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Wendy Schreiner: It’s tough to resist the lure of a day trip

Sometimes, it’s great to get away. Hence, the escape of a day trip. It is rejuvenating to get in the car and drive somewhere not so far away and enjoy the day and all that nature has to offer.

This past summer brought about a few of these day trips. My destinations of choice, more often than not, included water – large bodies of it. Peaceful, tranquil, beckoning waterfronts always call my name.

Olcott Beach, here we come! Waves, sunshine and beautiful flowers set the tone. Ice cream was enjoyed, as was entertainment provided by a laid-back guitar player who was strumming along to fun and easy summertime songs. Tips were tossed in his open guitar case, and thanks were given in return.

I ran into a friend from years ago who’d had the same idea – to get away for the day. The night was warm, the sun was shining and the shops at Olcott were abuzz with visitors taking it all in. Youngsters were playing in the amusement park area. Some were trying their luck at Skee-Ball, while others were going round and round on the carousel.

The Wurlitzer organ played on for everyone’s listening enjoyment. And a band was performing on the gazebo-like stage. Classic cars lined the side street and spectators oohed and aahed as they admired the brightly shining cars displayed in the show.

Of course, no trip to Olcott is complete without a stop at Bye’s Popcorn stand. The cashew popcorn was to die for and it didn’t last the ride home. Of course, I couldn’t pass up the freshly popped white popcorn either.

A repeat of this trip was taken a month later, and it was equally enjoyable.

Another lovely day brought about an unplanned drive to Chautauqua Lake. Webb’s Candies was included in this visit since I am a chocoholic. After a chocolate-covered Oreo and a pecan turtle, I was satisfied.

Of course, ice cream was found at a nearby stand. The most popular flavor seemed to be Road Runner Raspberry. I learned why with my first lick.

For me, there’s nothing quite like the lure of water. I believe it is related to my summer astrological sign, because I’m a Leo. Whatever the reason, my heart surely lies by the water.

To celebrate my birthday, my husband and I took a bus trip with a local tour company to the Toronto Zoo. Here, the two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, were actively chomping on bamboo every time we stopped to admire them. We also saw other zoo favorites – giraffes, zebras, tigers, rhinos, ostriches and a spotted leopard. I hope a return visit is possible since Er Shun and Da Mao will be at the Toronto Zoo until the spring of 2018.

Now that autumn has arrived, I am looking forward to the fun times at fall festivals. I can already hear the cider calling my name. I know there’s a bag of warm, freshly popped kettle corn waiting at the stand for me.

In Wyoming County, where apple orchards and pumpkin patches are plentiful, the annual AppleUmpkin Festival is being held this weekend. The Castile Cider Mill, another favorite, recently opened for the season. And soon the beauty of Letchworth’s leaves will abound, coloring trees in autumn’s majesty and providing another destination for a day trip.