If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that I believe in making lasting memories and celebrating life whenever possible. Life shouldn’t be wasted sitting around wondering “if you should”, or “if you can”; life should be a wild ride full of experiences with your loved ones – and sometimes by yourself.
I’ve not done too much traveling in the past; I had only rode on a plane a handful of times, partly due to finances, partly due to my responsibilities of being a mom. However, when the stars align and things just fall into place for an adventure, of course I’m going to jump on it!
I stared on here a couple of weeks ago that I happened to receive a scholarship (last minute) to attend the Wine Bloggers Conference that was being held in Corning, NY this year.
I was filled with excitement, joy, and nervousness at the same time. I love wine, and have loved learning more about it over these past few years – expanding my knowledge slowly through books and by picking my husband’s brain; but the majority of these attendees was nothing but wine bloggers and other individuals in the wine industry, whose knowledge vastly exceeded mine. As nervous as this made me, I was not going to let that stand in my way and ruin a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn not only more about wine, but also about a new region.
I started my journey on a Wednesday night, leaving Portland around 8pm and didn’t arrive in New York until 11:30 am the next day. I had never taken a red eye flight before, and don’t intend to again – unless I have too. 😉
I landed at the small Elmira Airport, a town roughly a 20 minute drive from Corning. When I stepped in to the airport off of the place I was immediately greeted with a banner welcoming the wine bloggers to the area. The airport sponsored free transportation and happily drove me to the Radisson Hotel and even carried my bags right up to the hotel’s front desk for me.
I set off to my room to freshen up and meet my roommate, Regine, who writes at Shallwewine.com and she turned out to be an amazing roommate to have. Since we had 6 hours or so before the initial reception, we decided to walk downtown and find some lunch.
We quickly found out that in addition to the full agenda, there were also other “unofficial” events begin held all week long, and were invited to a pre-conference dinner, hosted by Robert Strong Vineyards, Fox Run, and Anthony Road Wine Company. There we were greeted with an array of wines to enjoy and be paired with four courses. It was a lively and crowded event, with everyone getting excited for the upcoming 2 ½ days.
Afterward I officially checked in to the conference, and then headed down to the waterfront park in Corning, where we were welcomed with bites and wine tastings presented by Corning’s Gaffer District. A couple of my favorites were a delectable red wine cupcake created by Poppleton Bakery, and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s 2014 Semi Dry Riesling (you’ll be hearing more about them over these next few posts!)
After a very long day, I turned in for the night, so I could be rested up (a bit!) for the first full day of events.
Click HERE to read day 2! 🙂