Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Berry Beautiful Summer Saturday

Ithaca hosts probably the coolest farmers' market around, and this morning I got a very delicious taste of it. The setting is beautiful,located on the banks of a lake, and shaded by mulberry trees (their fruits are incredibly yummy). It has all the elements of a good, wholesome country feel to it, and the food is sublime. The vendor stalls hold everything from hikame gooseberries to fresh-grilled Cambodian food. We experienced so many different colors of chard, purple speckled green beans, and samosas.

However, my favorites were the berries. Vendors had not only the summer blueberries and raspberries, but strings of pink champagne currants and a huge selection of gooseberries. The latter two are East Coast berries I've never experienced in California before, and not only are they packed with vitamins and antioxidants, but also intensely delicious flavor. Choosing which ones to buy was the most difficult decision of the day; there are hairy ones, hybrid Black Velvets, and strings of tiny pink ones which look like jewels. I devoured a whole half-pink of black raspberries in about five minutes and went back to get more berries. This was definitely a fresh and flavorful experience.

After the morning snack, we joined Genevieve, Joe, Nick, and a few other Summer College students for a trip to Buttermilk Falls. It was nice little workout hiking to the top of the forest-shrouded gorges, where we were treated to the awe sight of water falls, terraces, and secluded water holes. How awesome is it that an incredible age-old process of nature, this beautiful clear water flowing over the rock faces, has created this natural wonder.

We hiked back to the swimming hole at the bottom, where some sunbathed and some dived in. I spent my time attempting to swim and as saved from sinking into the depth a couple of times.

The perfect summer day was rounded out by a trip to Friendly's diner. I gorged on comfort food, waffle fries, and ice cream sundaes. I figured I could afford it after the load of metabolism-boosting anthocyanins from the berries and our little outdoor excursion, but I'm not so sure my coaches would agree.

Conditioning has started back home, and I'm kicking myself for being unable to be there with my team. But, it's summer days like these that make you set aside these emotions in your mind, including my sadness that our time in Ithaca is wrapping up, my eagerness to get into shape again, and reluctance thinking about the dreary summer assignments awaiting me at home.

Because, after Cornell, Hotel, and this whole experience, our high school lives and responsibilities just seem like a lifetime away, and I feel like there's just so much more out there beyond Hercules. College life and independence(or Summer College life at least) is completely immeasurable when compared to the high school humdrum. This has been pretty epic.

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