by Britt

Back from the wilds of upstate NY for my good friend (and beautiful bride) Lauren Ruge Dunne’s wedding. It was a bit of a drive – 4 ½ hours – but there is nothing like the green open forestland stretching forever in rolling hills sandwiching route 17, broken only by the occasional town, lonely and wildly painted Victorian, or white-pebbled banks bordering some glass-surfaced lake or creek.

We danced all night in the barn of her fiancé’s (and my boyfriend’s BFF) parents’ barn. It was like some sort of country-themed fairy tale. Fields of goldenrod flowers stretched to wide-open pastures and the occasional pine clusters all the way to the horizon, and you could see the next town over in one direction (which must have been at least 10 or 15 miles!). It was a gorgeous ceremony, complete with a candle-lighting by the mothers, led with beautiful and idiosyncratic style by the charismatic and confident Nick Hammer. The fading lights outside made the inside of the barn seem set half in a dream.

We were able to camp out in the yard that night. There is no way to describe the brightness of the stars – the purple and silvery tail of the Milky Way blotted out by the city lights in Westchester. And there were even roosters there to wake us up (at the crack of dawn) in the morning! After seeing how beautiful and (relatively) close all of this is, and the sheer size and just BLUENESS of the finger lakes, I’ll be sure to make a trip up there for some Autumnal R&R in the coming months.