We spent most of Monday at our campsite, except for a short foray into town to visit Artizanns, a gift shop/gallery that only carries the work of Finger Lakes artists. The rooms overflow with all types of art including paintings, jewelry, glass, and novelty items so, if you stop here, be sure to leave enough browsing time.
The rain rolled in that night with a vengeance but our tents withstood the showers and wind and by Tuesday morning it had cleared. Packing up quickly, we drove back down to Naples for breakfast at Caruso’s Café only to find a note on the door saying they were closed. Plan B was the local pizzeria and we were meandering up Main Street toward the restaurant when we had our adventure. There’s always at least one on every trip!
We’d paused in front of the Maxfield Inn-Tammy to take an important work call and me to try and get a decent picture of their gorgeous yard-when I met the owner, Wayne Buchar. After showing us the gardens, which range from a more formal layout in the front to native plants in the back, not only did the former Xerox engineer end up sharing the history of the beautiful, historic inn (circa 1841), currently run as a bed and breakfast, he also took us on a tour inside.
We were absolutely awestruck at the amount of historical research, hard work, and physical labor Wayne and his wife have put into this unique accommodation. It’s perhaps best described as a “living museum”, with each period guest room painstakingly designed with loving attention and care. The common rooms are welcoming and reminiscent of a bygone era and the top floor ballroom, with its beautifully restored floor, is striking.
But it was Wayne’s stories that most enthralled us. If you ever get the chance to visit Naples, be sure to ask him about the original owner’s life (part love story) and his various encounters with the family descendant’s (sense-of-place stories). These days, he’s president of the Naples Historical Society and has several ideas for Main Street in the works. Tammy and I can’t wait to see what happens next!
By the time we were finished, breakfast had come and gone, so our last meal in Naples was at Neapolitan Pizzeria. Fun fact: Naples residents are actually called “Neapolitans”! The first thing we noticed was the young, energetic, and smiling waitstaff which made our lunch so much nicer. Also, if you go there, definitely sit on the large front porch where you can catch a breeze and people-watch to your heart’s content. We split a pizza but there’s also salads, sandwiches, and desserts.
However, we had other plans for dessert, having scoped out the ice cream scene for our grand finale in Naples. We drove a few miles south to Lonnie Lou’s, a community-oriented ice cream stand that just happens to serve Seneca Farms (Penn Yan) ice cream-my very favorite sweet treat since childhood. Apparently, I’m not alone in feeling this way; there were people of all ages waiting patiently for their cones. The seating area was adorable, cool and shady with plants and whimsical decorations scattered about. As we dove into our dishes of Black Raspberry custard and Butter Almond Crunch, we agreed that, once again, we had not only survived but thrived as outdoor adventuresses.
Where will we end up next year? Wherever it is, it will likely be one more unforgettable page in our book of memories!