April 21, 2010

#20, #38, #59, #64 and #118: Wine, Frisbee and More

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With the weather warming up (sort of, not really), spending time indoors is beginning to feel a little torturous. As far as I’m concerned, once we near the end of April, it’s basically summer, whether it’s Ithacating or not. Unfortunately, there are still a few too many professors at Cornell who insist on keeping their decidedly draconian attendance policies, and a few too many students who are too disciplined and driven to let a little bit of sunshine keep them out of the library.

Last week — while trapped inside Olin on an especially beautiful day — my friend B. organized a few Big Red Ambition activities to break up the day. B. has recently begun to take on the 161 list with new zeal and expressed some concern that I am not making my way through it quickly enough. She’s probably right.

Looking out onto people playing on the Arts Quad was making everyone pretty fidgety, so B., C., J. and I went first to play a game of tag in the stacks in Kroch (#59). After much debate over which version of tag to play (my personal favorite — TV — was rejected immediately), we decided upon the basic, “Tag, you’re it!” variety. The stacks were actually the perfect place to play. Unlike those in other libraries, the lights between aisles didn’t turn off and there were no desks so we didn’t have to worry about disturbing our more studious peers.

Shortly after, we moved to the Arts Quad to play frisbee (#20). As a graduate of a high school were the ultimate frisbee club was more decorated than the football team, I’ve had countless opportunities to attempt to improve my frisbee skills. Unfortunately, they  to remain atrocious. E. — perhaps the only one of us with enough control of a disc to be throwing one in the vicinity of pedestrians — stubbed her toe within seconds of taking off her shoes. A few minutes later, I threw the frisbee directly into a man pushing a baby stroller through the Arts Quad. We decided it was time to go back to studying.

The next day, I was ready to take a longer-term break from Libe. Luckily, wine tour season is upon us in the Finger Lakes. Sampling wines at the vineyards on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes and then sitting outside to take in the view and sip from a few bottles with friends can be a classy, serene way to spend an afternoon. Or so I’ve heard.

Most behavior I recall partaking in on wine tours is probably best left out of this column, but I will say that four years worth of winery photo evidence does not put me in the best light. I’ve awoken the morning after various wine tours to Facebook tags showing me wearing multiple pairs of sunglasses, shoving unripe grapes from the vineyards in my mouth and lying on the ground with my hair stuck to my face. So pretty.

Regardless of how far you choose to deviate from the elegant, wine-tasting model, few other activities can provoke such a “Wow, life is good” sentiment as a trip to the local wineries. If you manage to do just one thing on the 161 list before you graduate, make it #38. I promise it will go down as one of your best days in Ithaca. As C. told her younger sister after last week’s particularly wonderful excursion, going to school anywhere that isn’t within driving distance of wineries isn’t worth your tuition money. The only thing worse would be failing to take advantage of one of the very best things about spending four years in central New York.  RLD

Original Author: Jenni Warne