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I was perusing Instagram a couple of weeks ago, when I came across a photo that made me “OMG” right out loud.

(Psst. the Favor part I mention in the title is at the end, and if you want to skip all this, just scroll on down. Thanks!)

Somewhere around 5 years ago, I thought: the Finger Lakes needs a website or something that shows all the fun/beautiful/awesome stuff/adventures/food from a personal point of view. Not an agency pumping out glossy travel guides and spending a bazillion dollars trying to get people to come here.

I mean, that stuff is well and good, and we can be grateful for it. But we didn’t have just a person sharing all there is to do/see/love here, making personal recommendations and telling stories for people who love the Finger Lakes–locals and visitors alike.

And I thought a good solution to that would be to create an app.

Ok. Look. Creating apps was the bandwagon to be on back then.

But I’m not an app developer. And I didn’t really want to be (I’ll take HTML, CSS, and WordPress development all day long but real programming is really, really over my head).

So I set that aside (if you have it on your iPhone, you can delete it now). I continued to think about the purpose of inthefingerlakes.com and how I could use it to share the Finger Lakes.

2 years ago, I decided to create this blog after spending a great day at the New York State Festival of Balloons in Dansville.

I’m not a thrill seeker, so I’m not sure I would ride in one for real, but hot air balloons are fascinating and beautiful.

I did ride in this colorful, smiley-faced tethered balloon with my daughter (she was 5 then).

NY State Festival of Balloons  - InTheFingerLakes.com

Recognize it? It’s the balloon that’s been at the top of the website and served as my Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Pinterest profile pictures, since the beginning.

We waited in line for… oh… about 2.5 hours. For a 60 second ride.

Isn’t it amazing the crazy things we do in an effort to show our kids that life and its adventures are amazing? And terrifying?

There is an endless amount if adventuring to be had in the Finger Lakes. And it’s totally worth sharing. And photographing. And Instagramming. And Tweeting.

So that’s when I really started being intentional about blogging about the Finger Lakes. Now I take my kids on adventures in the Finger Lakes – often times “just because” – and occasionally drag the Mr. along too.

And the OMG pic I saw on Instagram a couple weeks ago sort of instigated this post.

Dansville Balloon Fest by Chris Clemens (@cpclemens on Instagram)


Okay, it’s not *my* balloon.

I didn’t realize, I guess, how important that balloon was until I saw Chris’ picture. I never thought I’d do a celebratory “blogoversary” post, but SURPRISE: Happy 2nd Blogoversary to me.

It’s a lot of fun to write when you know people are reading. So thank you!

Speaking of people who read what I write, I just want to fist bump all 5,037 of my Twitter followers.

I have random people tweeting me all the time for personal recommendations for places to eat, places to stay, and things to do. And that is awesome!

I’m not as big a deal on Facebook, with only 1700 fans, but I usually get a comment or two on my posts. Thanks Mom.

And Instagram is my all time favorite social media app at the moment, and I’m OH SO CLOSE to 1000 over there.

Something you may see in the coming months: Guest Blog Posts! I have a couple bloggy friends who I’d love to write guest blog posts here. So expect to see something like that soon.

I will continue blogging here of course, and this will remain a personal blog of mine.

I’ve been thinking about a possible name change for the blog, but haven’t made a decision on that yet. The title “In The Finger Lakes” stems from the idea that here on my site you can find ______ the Finger Lakes. [Blank] In the Finger Lakes. Anything, whatever. It isn’t a great title, but I owned the domain name, so, I just went with it. You may see a new blog name soon (and if you have ideas, will you please let me know?).

Now, for the favor. It’s a small one, I promise. Would you just take this quick poll for me? I really appreciate it!

[poll id=”4″]