Cobtree Blog

This blog is about the daily trials and tribulations of living as expatriates in New York’s upstate Finger Lakes Region. It is about the Cobtree Vacation Rental Resort which operates in this stunningly beautiful part of the world. It is also a blog about everyday life and that of trying to live the American dream, and share the experiences of guests vacationing at Cobtree and at this quiet part of the country. The blog is frank, direct, from the heart and sometimes, of a very personal nature. I do hope that you will enjoy reading it.

  • 25th Annual Wine & Herb Festival

    Reproduced courtesy of the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance Date: May 5th, 2017 Website: Drink. Eat. Garden Repeat. Get a head start on your herb garden. Collect the potted herbs and veggies featured in all 16 food samples along with the matching recipe collection. As you savor herb-prepared cuisine, you’ll be offered a wine that compliments that dish and be able to take home the recipes, so that you can be the highlight at your next get together. You’ll also be offered up to 3 additional wine tastings. Herb and Veggies include: Jalapeno Pepper, Marjoram, Iceberg Lettuce, Cilantro, Parsley, Sweet 100s Tomato, Oregano, Celery, Dill, Sage, Roma Tomato, Lavender, Sweet Banana Pepper, Meatball Eggplant, Basil and Chives. At the end more»
  • Spring Has Finally Arrived and, its April Fools Day!

    I think it safe to say that winter is now behind us at long last. As nice as winter can be in the Finger Lakes, a quieter less busy time of the year where there is less human competition when out and about experiencing all that this beautiful region of upstate New York has to offer our visitors, never the less, our winters seem very long. Spring has now finally arrived. Yet, spring this year is going to be very short lived as tomorrow is already the first day of April. Speaking about the first of April, did you know that chocolate was first used as a food by the Egyptians? Oh yes, a recent discovery in a tomb in more»
  • Is Spring here yet

    Just when we think spring has arrived, the weather throws us a curve ball and it is snowing once again. How the temperatures can go from 70F to 20F over a 24 hour period blows me away! Having said this, spring is indeed around the corner and soon it will be Easter. We generally get busier at Easter so it is advisable to book early if you can. There is a myriad of activities for all the family to do whilst in the Finger Lakes and not just restricted to the many wineries, breweries and restaurants that abound this beautiful region of upstate New York. Even the simple pleasures of letting your dog run around freely along our woodland walking more»
  • My dear Valentine

    Will you be my Valenine and love like you have never loved before? Will you find us a perfect place to spend this perfect day? Wish you all find your true love and enjoy a Happy Valentines Day at Cobtree!   (please see our Special Offer for Valentines Day) more»
  • New Year Wishes

    Thank you to all our guests who stayed at Cobtree in the past year.  A special thank to those returning guests who have returned to Cobtree year after year for their continued support and we are so delighted to see the number multiplying. May we wish you and your families a very HAPPY NEW YEAR and may your New Year wishes come true with a big bang! Do not miss out on our Special Offer in the new year. more»
  • Christmas is approaching fast!

    Christmas is just round the corner.  It is a season for family gathering, a season for joy and laughter,  and a season for sharing and celebrating.  However you want to spend your Christmas, Cobtree is here for you. Do not miss out on our Special Offer for this holiday season.   more»

    One can easily fall in love all over again waking up to such a gorgeous sunrise like this at Cobtree.  Have a beautiful day, and wonderful life ahead of you. By the way, do you like the new look of Cobtree website?  We have also had some amazing aerial photos taken, full of golden yellow and scarlet red colors of the fall, which have just been uploaded to our photo gallery collection.  Enjoy! more»
  • The mesmerizing color of the fall at Cobtree

    Don't miss out on the mesmerizing color of the fall at Cobtree!  Reserve online today!  Or call us at 315-789-1144! more»
  • What a Great Summer!

    Cobtree has a very good and busy summer, thanks to all our loyal returning guests who bring back more and more of their friends and families to explore their Finger Lake Experience year after year.  And welcome on board to all our new guests who have joined us this year and thank you for all your lovely reviews (a couple of them are noted below).  Look forward to having you back for your return visits to Cobtree. “We stayed here for a bachelor weekend retreat and enjoyed the cabin thoroughly. We highly recommend this location as it is clean, comfortable and great for a retreat “ (from Robert who stayed at Cobtree this spring). “We have enjoyed both of our more»
  • Cobtree – a perfect place to cool you down this summer!

  • Wish You All a Joyful July 4th

    Relax with your friends and family at the tranquil surrounding of Cobtree in the Finger Lakes this summer. Don't forget to claim  your 30% off the 3rd night of your mid week stay at Cobtree. more»
  • Come and enjoy this beautiful spring at Cobtree

    Come and enjoy this beautiful spring  at Cobtree with me.  I have already reserved my place, have you? Reserve any 3 nights stay in midweek at Cobtree for arrival on or before 30th of June 2016 , and get 50% off the 3rd night.  For details, please visit our Special Offer.   more»

    Spring is only round the corner. Book a midweek stay at Cobtree and get $75 Cash Back. For details, please click here. more»

    In these long and dull winter days it is so refreshing to stumble upon a field of daffodils, and next to them hundreds of snowdrops (I am currently in England). It is amazing how much joy one can get from little surprises like these (apparently they have blooming since the end of January. They do not normally appear until March). Surprisingly our fondest memories often come from many inconsequential encounter rather than big days of our life. Kindness from a stranger at a spontaneous moment is often most touching too, like this bunch of bright yellow daffodils. Hope there are many little things that will brighten up your day. After all, spring is only round the corner! Best wishes from more»
  • $50 Cash Back on Valentine’s Weekend!

    Make reservations for 2 nights stay or more at Cobtree for any arrival on or before 14th Feb 2016 , we shall give you $50 cash back for you to enjoy a lovely meal with your loved one or a nice night out. Click here for more details. Make a reservation today online or call 315-789-1144.     more»

  • Enchanting

    Dear Friends and Families wherever you are, we share the same moon in the sky. But have you ever seen an enchanting moonlight like this at Cobtree? Wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! From Jane, Robert and Cheeko     more»

    I am all set for the Christmas party of a life time Robert and Jane has promised me at Cobtree, but where are they? Should I look for them in the woods at the back of Cobtree. I know they sometimes like going there for a romantic walk in the moonlight. I do miss the days when my best pal Daniel used to take me with him to hunt in the woods where one can meet all creatures great and small. One time I even managed to jump on the back of a young deer. I was only trying to catch a ride but the shout Robert gave me was so deafening. He thought I was trying to kill the more»
  • You don’t need to stay anywhere else!

    Review from Amy, October 2015 The cabin is clean, the bed is comfortable, everything you need is available to cook/wash clothes/relax. The location and grounds are immaculate. AND it is pet friendly. You don't need to stay anywhere else. more»
  • It is so beautiful it makes me want to cry!

    Kamala arrived at Cobtree for the first time this week and she called me to say “It is so beautiful here it makes me want to cry…”, and the foliage season has not even started yet. But I know what she means. I like the cry of joy that can reach heaven and the tears of joy that sparkles in the sunlight.  Unlike a tragic cry that always seems to come from hell.... Due to changes in our circumstances, for the two years Robert and I have to be away from Cobtree for a long period of time. Every time I come back to Cobtree to stay, there is always the happiness to be embraced in its surrounding beauty again.  more»
  • Wonderful cabin with spectacular view!

    Review from Jim, August 2015 We stayed at the Canandaigua cabin by Cobbtree on Seneca Lake. The log cabin was spacious and very nice. The view of the lake from the front porch was spectacular. We would definitely stay here again. Loved it.     more»
  • Complete and absolute relaxation of mind, body and soul

    Reviewed from Reena, July 2015 We (my husband, kids, our dogs and me) stayed at Honey oye for a total of 4 nights in July 2015 and loved every minute of our stay. The cabin was very clean, neat and tidy and fully equipped with all amenities.  Loved the peace and the beautiful surroundings - natural beauty at it's best. Look forward to visiting again. more»

    Dear Cheeko, You were quiet that day when we met at Conesus Cottage, but I was able to follow your lead. You took me outside and onto the front porch, and we sat in the blessed shade while the noonday sun put down its roots. Our view was straight east across Seneca Lake, and once again I wondered if I’d seen a sight more beautiful. I struggled to come up with a name to describe the color of the lake, and you took up your usual place at my feet. Soon I abandoned verbal challenges altogether and turned my full attention to you. Neither of us is getting any younger, my dear, but perhaps this is not something you think more»

    Do not leave it too late to book your summer vacation! Many of our summer weekends are almost fully booked.  What are you waiting for?  Summer is finally here and so treat yourself to a break you well deserve and have been waiting for.  Come and relax at Cobtree, and enjoy the great wine and fine cuisines at the many wineries and restaurants dotted around this beautiful area.  Start your Finger Lakes Experience here at Cobtree! more»
  • What a great, relaxing way to visit the area!

    Many thanks to Dianne who has made such a lovely review about Cobtree: I have been staying at Cobtree for over 3 years now (my son is a HWS student). It is lovely to come home at the end of a busy day, relax on the couch, do your laundry, take a walk, watch tv, whatever, but be in a home environment. The kitchen is complete, the house is clean and comfortable, and the amenities are just what we need for a few days stay. A hotel will be cheaper, but there is so much more to Cobtree. Nothing beats hanging around a kitchen table as a family as opposed to sitting in the lounge area of a hotel. You more»
  • Phenomenal hideaway in the Finger Lakes

    One of our guests has remarked that their recent stay at Cobtree in February as “phenomenal hideaway in the Finger Lakes." It is hard not to be mesmerized by the natural beauty surrounding Cobtree, be it the FROZEN beauty or the FLAMING beauty. Which one do you like best? John, thank you for sharing your picture "frozen" with us. more»

    Enjoy a self-guided tour around beautiful Seneca Lake. Pick up your gift item at your chosen starting winery then start sampling chocolates, or foods prepared with chocolate, creatively paired with wine. Over the 2-1/2 day event, visit 30 unique participating wineries and enjoy a weekend of fun and relaxation. And with the event's proximity to Valentine's Day, spending the weekend with a loved one, sampling wine and eating an diverse variety of chocolate and chocolate-themed dishes, there is no better way to your love for each other than by enjoying this weekend-long event, together. Regular tickets purchased in advance are $35 per person.  To securely purchase tickets to this event online, click here: For more information on this event, more»
  • One of the best places we have ever stayed

    Reviewed from Mary January 20th, 2015 I wanted to send a note and tell you how much we enjoyed weekend stay at Cobtree – it was wonderful. One of the best places we have ever stayed. My husband liked it and enjoyed the weekend so much he wants me to a book a stay again for next year at the same time... The log home was great – so nice and clean – it felt like home right away. Our dog Fancy was in heaven with all the trails – we never saw any deer but I know she smelled them for sure. We were sorry we missed meeting Cheeko – he more»
  • A romantic Valentine getaway at Cobtree

    Escape from the winter blues and have a romantic Valentine getaway at Cobtree. Enjoy the fine food and wine at a host of fine restaurants and other eateries in the region. If you are more active, you may also go skiing at the nearby Bristol Mountain Ski Resort. All of our homes at Cobtree are of high quality and are fully equipped and winterized for your winter visit. Reserve 2 nights or more at Cobtree during the 2015 Valentine weekend and get 10% off total rental at, or call 315 789 1144 (between 8am and 6pm).   more»
  • A Quiet retreat

    Reviewed from Susan, December 10th, 2014 My husband and I enjoyed our stay at Cobtree Vacation Rental Homes in November 2014. We brought our 2 English Springer Spaniels dogs with us who were welcomed by Cobtree. We stayed in the Hemlock log cabin which was perfectly located in front of one of the hiking trails. The dogs were in their glory as they ran the hiking trails every chance they got. They actually flushed a ruffed grouse in the woods behind the cabin on the first day so the dogs were hooked the rest of the week. We enjoyed the peace and quiet as well as the view of Lake Seneca from our porch. The beds at Cobtree were comfortable, more»
  • Spectacular views

    Reviewed by Tina on December 6th, 2014 “…We truly loved the house and the views, my cousin and I stood in the kitchen for about 2 hours just talking about the views. He lives in Ontario, NY.... We will be back next year for my daughter's graduation and will rent from you again. The views were spectacular…” more»
  • Cheeko the pet Boxer Cross

    My Dear Friend, When we saw each other again last month, you made it clear that you remembered me. I wasn’t sure you would. I’ve thought of you every day since we last saw each other, but I’ve not known if you’ve ever thought of me. However, whether you’ve thought of me at all is beside the point—it’s clear from our reunion that we’re on the same affectionate terms, even after the passage of time. Your voice greeting me, the way you sat close to me, the way you held your head just so, and especially your kisses—these things assured me of our continuing mutual affection. I’m not certain that you recall, my dear, how we came to know each more»
  • We have one of the best vacations at Cobtree

    We would like to share with our readers a lovely email we received from Wendy, who had just vacationed here with her family in Cobtree last month (September 2014): Hi Jane, I wanted to write and thank you. We returned on Friday from spending one of the best vacations we have had in years.  The whole intent was to do very little and try to relax as much as possible.  We arrived on Sunday evening and the minute we walked in the door we knew we had made the right choice.  The cabin was exactly as portrayed on your website, clean, cozy and perfect for us and our dog. The brick houses made me feel like I was back home more»
  • The Finger Lakes Wineglass Marathon Weekend October 3rd -5th 2014

    The Wineglass Marathon Weekend Events will be held October 3rd, 2014 - October 5th, 2014. The events include the Wineglass Expo, Wineglass 5K sponsored by the Community Foundation, Wineglass Marathon presented by Arnot Health and the Wineglass Half Marathon. October 5, 2014 at 8:15 am the Wineglass Marathon will mark its 33rd year running! The Wineglass Marathon is considered one of the top destination Marathons in the US. Run in the heart of the Finger Lakes, the Wineglass Marathon is a flat, fast and scenic 26.2 miles starting in Bath, NY and finishing in Corning, NY on historic Market Street. In 2011, a new tradition was born with the running of the inaugural Wineglass Half Marathon. This very popular distance more»
  • Are you sitting quitely and doing nothing? Come and stay at Cobtree and enjoy the spring!

    Are you sitting quitely and doing nothing? Come and stay at Cobtree and enjoy the spring! Our midweek rates are very budget friendly for those guests lucky to be able to get away for a short break arriving anytime between a Sunday and a Thursday. The numerous local wineries are now open for you to visit and for you to taste the new seasons wines now being released for 2014. There are many restaurants and bistros dotted around the Finger Lakes for you to enjoy some great tasting cuisine as well as many indoor activities for the occassional inclimate day. If you like taking photos, then this is the time of year where the Finger Lakes displays all the colors more»
  • For Pities Sake when will winter ever end!

    I for one had hoped that we were finished with winter and that the snows were behind us. Not yet so. Last Friday and Saturday we once again had a ground covering of snow just when we thought that spring was finally arriving. This winter has been one of the coldest and longest in living memory for most residents of the Finger Lakes however, the weather forecast is now showing that we should start to see the temperatures climb, possibly into the upper sixties by the end of this week. With Easter being just over two weeks away, I do hope so as this will attract visitors into the region where they can enjoy visiting some of the many wineries more»
  • Cobtree – New York’s Finger Lakes Region’s hidden gem!

    One of the greatest pleasures of living in Upstate New York and particularly the Finger Lakes, is that we do have a full four seasons. What I mean by this is that the year is fairly divided into four distinct seasons. Spring typically is March through May, June through August is summer followed by the fall September through November and then Winter December through February. Whilst the winter can seem to get very long and cold, the snow is a wonderful contrast to the heat of the summer months. However, whatever the season, there is always something to do in the Finger Lakes Region. Not only do we have a good viticulture culture that has rapidly grown over the last more»
  • Spring is coming to town

    I heard a whisper, spring is coming to town. Right behind the winter that is starting to pack up it's bags to leave. Good riddance, pack your bags quickly, get out of Dodge and don't come back!   Ah.. but do not speak too soon. Winter is not planning on leaving town without a fight and spring still has a struggle on it's hands to get here as Winter finally gets the hell out of here. Soon... very soon! more»
  • Easter at Cobtree in the Beautiful Finger Lakes

    Well I for one am really fed up with the long winter that we have been having. However, there does seem some hope for rising temperatures on the horizon and hopefully, the worst is now behind us. Fingers crossed that is! Our valentines offer has been a huge success and we are now almost fully booked this coming weekend. The next big event in the spring calendar will be the Easter weekend. For many Canadians, this is a great time to get away and enjoy some quality time with friends and family here in the Finger Lakes because unlike in the USA, Canadians benefit from a long Easter weekend taking in Good Friday and Easter Monday. Geneva is less than more»
  • Find the Easter Egg and enter a draw for a free Easter stay at Cobtree for up to 8 people sharing!

    Simply find the photo of an Easter Egg that is hidden somewhere on the web site at and you will be entered into a draw for a three day FREE stay at Cobtree to be taken the weekend of the 18th, 19th and 20th of April 2014 for up to 8 people sharing. When you have found the Easter Egg send an email to together with your name and telephone number. Copy the URL of the page where the Easter Egg is located on this web site and include it in your email. You will then be entered into the prize draw and notified if you are a winner on the 1st April 2014 This competition closes at more»
  • Valentine’s Day

    This year Valentine’s day falls on a Friday and so this makes it a great opportunity for couples or mixed couples to come to stay at Cobtree and enjoy the hospitality of the people of the Finger Lakes. There are lots of things going on and lots of things to do. Most of the wineries are open all year around as well as a host of fine restaurants and other eateries in the region. If you are more active, you may also go downhill skiing at the nearby Bristol Mountain Ski Resort too. All of our homes at Cobtree are fully equipped, comfortable and fully winterized for your winter and spring visit and all benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi and cable more»
  • Happy New Year

    Who would have thought that even though we are now only half way through the first month of the new year, already the local stores are starting to sell Easter eggs!  Unlike England, the country where I was born and raised, Americans do not consider Easter as being a major holiday of the year unlike our cousins across the border in Canada who come to stay at Cobtree during their Easter holidays. The beauty of the Finger Lakes is its myriad of things to do throughout the year and which has become a major tourism destination whilst still retaining its beauty, its peacefulness and overall attraction for visitors to the region. Already our property calendars are starting to fill up more»
  • Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

    It has been a while since I last updated my blog and for this I humbly apologize. If truth be told, I am going through a bit of an ordeal and very personal crisis at the moment and am trying to make the best of a bad situation with the help and kindness of so many friends and family. It is for this reason that I have not had a mind to update my blog and may only rarely do so for the time being until the problem facing me is resolved. I wish that I could be more explicit but am barred from saying more on the subject. As Christmas draws steadily nearer, both Jane and I wish everybody more»
  • Peak Fall Colors

    The colors of the fall are now at their peak here in the beautiful Finger Lakes. If you have not yet booked your stay with us there is still time to do so and we are offering a whopping 20% discount of any mid week stay of three days or more during this stunningly beautiful time of the year. more»
  • Seneca Lake is sparkling like diamonds

    Today is a beautiful day here at Cobtree and Seneca Lake looks like a myriad of diamonds sparkling on its surface. As is usual at this time of the year, we are fully booked this weekend as indeed we are next weekend when we have a wedding party staying with us here at Cobtree. Some of our guests chill out during the evening time around one of our campfire pits and enjoy a good chat, sing along and of course a few drinks, well into the late evening. There is plenty of windfall wood available in our woods which guests can forage for free or they can go down to the local gas station or one of the local stores more»
  • Summer Sun with all the beauty of the Fingers Lakes!

    The sun is shining hot, hot, hot and there is so much to do in the Finger Lakes during the summer time. If you click on the what to do tab on the side bar of this web site, you can access a huge amount of information and links in which to plan your stay with us or even access the information whilst you are already staying in one of our air conditioned homes at Cobtree by using the free WI-FI that all of our properties are supplied with. Information such as the local swimming beaches or swimming pools, boat, kayak and canoe rental, horse riding and fishing jut to name a few activities that our guests like to do more»
  • When the cats away the mice will play!

    Well, not quite. Jane and I are setting off tomorrow for a month abroad. First travelling to Canada to visit friends living in Milton (Near Toronto) leaving Geneva at 12 noon tomorrow and then we will be flying to England this coming Sunday where we will be staying for a week. Then we will be flying over to Hong Kong for 10 days to visit Jane’s family and to attend her great aunties funeral whilst we are there. Then it is back to England for another week before returning to the USA via Toronto once again. Our son Daniel is coming over to stay with us for the summer and will be arriving on the 8th June. Whilst we are more»

    Whether it is the pristine lakes, charming villages, or world-class wineries, New York’s Finger Lake region will be sure not to disappoint. The spectacular scenery and taste of rural life is enhanced by the rustic culture and warm hospitality found throughout the region.  The Finger Lakes are an all-season destination so if you are looking for an excuse to get away, the Lakes will have just what you need whether it’s for a girls getaway, a weekend of family fun, a romantic escape, or a foodies adventure! The region is full of activities and experiences to suit any taste and interest. With more than 100 wineries alone, there will be no shortage of things to taste. For travellers who wish more»
  • ‘Wining’ Your Way Around the Finger Lakes

    The cluttered congestion of city life is often best healed with a weekend escape to the rustic country life. The charm and appeal of small town America can still be enjoyed by people seeking a quiet and simple place to relax. For decades, families have come to find such a haven of peace and tranquility in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Long before cars were available, families and couples in search of adventure from sailing and fishing in the summer to skating and skiing in the winter would make the journey to this history-rich region that is known for its stunning fall foliage using trains and steamboats. Even President Bill Clinton couldn’t resist the family-oriented rusticity as he more»
  • Hobart William Smith Graduation Weekend 2013

    It is looking like a beautiful weekend ahead of us and for the graduation of  the Hobart William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. Jane and I wish all of the graduates the best of luck with their future careers and their lives ahead of them. Meanwhile, we are fully booked this weekend and have been for almost two years now as our vacation rental homes are extremely popular with parents wishing to visit the colleges or for such events as the graduation weekend and parents weekend when there becomes such a huge shortage of accommodations in the whole region. We even get reservations from parents whos children are graduating from Cornell University over in Ithaca at the same time more»
  • My favorite times of the year in the beautiful Finger Lakes

    For me, the spring and the fall are the most beautiful times of the year here in the Finger Lakes. Neither being too hot or too cold. The spring and the fall is a time of frantic activity for local farmers too. As spring heralds the warmer weather and the soil becomes drier, farmers till the soil and plant their crops the first usually being corn followed by cabbage and beans and so on. By the middle of May the winter wheat that was planted the previous fall, is already a foot high, lush and emerald green. Spring is a time when you see so much wildlife abounding, turkeys, deer with their fawns as well as a myriad of birds more»
  • Discrimination against foreign investors by William N McAdoo CEO for the Town of Geneva, NY 14456

    One rule for local Americans with minimal investment, paying minimal taxes and with  no employees. Another rule for Foreign investors that have invested over $3,000,000 in the local economy with 6 employees and paying extensive taxes! First letter of complaint : Dear Bill, The Lacey Magruder winery (Farm winery) was granted use of the premises as a farm winery for the sale of wine and other related farm produce per agricultural and markets regulations and town code. Minutes of said planning board meeting clearly defined what the property could be used for and what restrictions were placed on such use of the premises at such time.  As far as I am aware, no subsequent applications have been made to the more»
  • How many Mennonite masons does it take to…….

    The answer is Five!   more»
  • Now this is what I call will be a monster of a home to live in

    This is a photo of my friend David Patrick Juniors new Home in Hall New York.  What a monster!  Well Done David. I wish you all the luck and prosperity in the world. You and your wife deserve it! more»
  • Arborist and Entrepreneur

    It would seem that my son Kenneth has turned into a rather clever little arborist and entrepreneur. First he manages to get on the housing ladder back home in England and now rents the property he purchased to pay his mortgage. Over time the property will increase in value and when he comes to sell it down the road, he should be able to make a nice profit too. Next he has persuaded me to use a piece of land that he owns next to Cobtree to start a small tree nursery project and so it was arranged that the first 376 trees were planted today on the western parcel of his property, ironically, up by the Lacey Magruder winery. more»
  • At last, the warm weather has finally arrived here in the Finger Lakes

    At last, the warm weather has finally arrived here in the Finger Lakes and today has been the most gorgeous day so far this year with Seneca lake looking so blue and the water sparkling like diamonds. Our builders had to cry off onto another job today putting a roof on for a customer over on Keuka lake. Not that it matters as there is only a couple of days work left for them to do to be able to complete the two new homes we are building here. We have purchased  a whole bunch of trees to plant around the property once it has been landscaped, starting we hope, from this Saturday. Meanwhile, if any of my avid readers more»
  • Where have I been?

    Well actually, nowhere at all! Having said this however, I have been very busy, as well as recovering from a couple of surgeries that I recently had. I got an infection in my sinuses which brought me down for a while but now the antibiotics have kicked in I am feeling a lot better now. Believe it or not, I can now breath out of both of my nostrils, something that I cannot recall ever being able to do before! Then there has been the continuing saga with our planning issues and dealing with the town planning board, zoning board of appeals and so on, as well as trying to get the two new properties ready for occupancy next month. more»
  • Has Spring finally arrived in the Finger Lakes?

    Not quite I am afraid to say.  Usually we can herald the arrival of spring when the Killdeers arrive to begin nesting on our crusher run driveways here at Cobtree. For those avid birdwathers reading this blog, the Killdeer is a Bird and is a medium-sized plover. Adults have a brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with two black bands. The rump is tawny orange. The face and cap are brown with a white forehead. They have an orange-red leyering. Although the Killdeers have indeed arrived (two pairs so far) alas, spring has not yet arrived here in the Finger Lakes and overnight it was bitterly cold and we had about a foot of snow more»
  • Updated photos of Canadice Log Home 16th March 2013

  • No time for the wicked or for resting fully

    My Doctor tells me to rest. Easier said than done when I am working hard to supervise the completion of the two new homes currently under constrution here at Cobtree! The project is rapidly nearing completion leaving only the septic systems to be completed and some external works to the two new hybrid log homes as well of course, the landscaping once the spring arrives and the ground is workable and ready to plant grass seed, shrubs and trees etc. It has been a beautiful day here in the Finger Lakes. We awoke to a powdery covering of snow which rapidly disappeared as the day wore on and the temperatures started to climb with blue skies and sunshine throughout the more»
  • After my nose and thoat surgery today.

    So far, so good and the surgery, as far as I am aware,  went without a hitch. My nose is not at all painful YET but the throat is very sore right now. Nothing that a little pain medication is not fixing though! My nose is bleeding copiously every so often and I have to use an ice pack on my cheeks or under my chin to help reduce the swelling on my face.  I cannot begin to thank my surgeon  Dr Gregory Caravale and his team at his office and the team at the Geneva ambulatory surgery center, for all they have done for me as their patient. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending this excellent nose and more»
  • Cobtree owners asking for equitable treatment

    Dear Editor, I refer to the article in the FLT 02/27/2013 edition in regards to the town planning board meeting on the 26th February. Just to clarify a number of pertinent points. The concrete pad that we installed here at Cobtree last fall was designed so that it could be used for any lawful purpose that the town code permitted and it did not require any planning permissions or building permit for its construction. This pad has not to date been used for any use whatsoever. Cobtree, consisting of 10 rental units, operates under a special use permit granted since 2003 as a "Motel Complex". The only occasional outdoor functions  held at Cobtree have been for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners more»
  • Surgery once again!

    First there was my very successful gastric bypass almost two years ago. Then surgery for a hernia in the same year, closely followed by a near death experience with a massive heamatoma whilst vacationing in San Antonio in Texas. This year I have had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand and this Thursday I will once again be going under the knife to have uvuloplasty on my uvula and septoplasty surgery on my nose to correct for a  deformed septum. I still have problems with my right shoulder which I am suffering from calcific tendinitis. Ah...yes....this is called getting old! more»
  • Making Progress

    We are just a few weeks out from completing the construction of the two new log homes here at Cobtree. The only thing holding things up right now is the weather. We now need drier and warmer weather conditions to be able to to get started on completing the outside work and to start the job of landscaping around the two new homes. I have not yet been able to take any usable photos of the homes because the work is still going on and the photos would not look at their best for you to view. What I can tell you however, is that these two new log homes are spectacular and I cannot wait to post some updated more»
  • Busy, Busy, Busy

    First I had surgery on my hand 10 days ago which has somewhat incapacitated me. I will also have surgery on my nose and throat in 10 days time as well! Then, I have been busy, busy, busy with the building project here at Cobtree which is fast nearing completion. This together with getting ready to renew our E2 visas back in London has meant that I have had little time to update my blog as I would like to have done. I hope that in the next few weeks I should be able to upload some more photos of the two log cabins but meanwhile, here is a photo of the kitchen and part of the lounge/dining room area more»
  • Frustrated and very angry

    Armed with a packet of documents and application forms prepared by our immigration lawyer in NY City at a cost of some $2200 including filing fees, Jane and I headed to the US Customs and Border patrol offices on rainbow bridge overlooking Niagara falls. Otherwise referred to as a port of entry to the USA from Canada. A two hour dive there and a two hour drive back and the net result was that it was a complete waste of time. Our lawyer had sent us on a wild goose hunt, a complete red herring. The forms were armed with were useless. The port of entry only processes such applications for Canadian citizens and our own applications have to be more»
  • Auntie Peggy

    My Auntie Peggy passed away last night back in England. She was a kind woman and I shall miss her very much indeed. Auntie Peggy was the last of my Mothers sisters still alive but my Mother still has two brothers still living, Uncle Ted and Uncle Mick (who I once lived with too as a child). My auntie had been suffering from mesothelioma which she likely contracted when she used to help my Uncle Norman when he worked as an electrician in various factories when he was still alive. May you rest in peace Auntie Peggy. more»
  • Dear Representative

    Please send this information to everyone you know and put it on your Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.  Thank you. E2 visa holders (Our family included) desperately need your help with this request please) Information: We would like to bring to your attention a group of Legal Immigrants, who are living in the US on an E2 Treaty Investor Visa. The E2 Treaty Investor Visa is a Non Immigrant Visa, which can be granted to a national of a treaty country, of which there are around 75 all over the world. There must be a substantial investment made into a business and the business must provide significantly more than just an income for the investor and family. In more»
  • Canandaigua and Canadice Log homes at Cobtree

    I am pleased to announce that these two new log homes are well on schedule for completion in the spring. Today the light oak, hardwood flooring  for the 2nd floor of Canadice log home was completed and work will start on the second floor tomorrow which, should take about two to three days to complete. Then the builders will start installing all the internal doors and trim. Meanwhile, the sister home of Canadice across the driveway which is Canandaigua log home,  is being internally log stained and this work should be completed by the end of next week ready for the flooring to be laid as well. The weather has been reasonably kind to us and I hope that it more»
  • Back to my normal blogging soon….I promise!

    I apologize that I have been remiss in not blogging more frequently than I usually do these days. Ironically, there has been a lot of things going on as well as my having to supervise and push forward the building of the two new log cabins at Cobtree to be ready for the spring. By the end of the day I have been simply exhausted and with little motivation to post on my blog. I beg your indulgence and understanding for the time being. more»
  • We are always thinking about how to improve the accommodations for our guests

    However, the pure economics of running a small business, such as ours, is always a challenge with ever rising costs and ever increasing property taxes as well as balancing the needs of our guests. Afforability plays another important factor as to what we can afford to supply as part of the already high quality of accommodations that we rent here at Cobtree. This week for example, we bit the bullet and swapped out all of the older style televisions in the living rooms of all of our properties for modern high definition flat screen televisions with HDMI. We also installed televisions for all the master bedrooms at Cobtree as well. This upgrade alone cost nearly $3000 but we think this more»
  • Les Miserables

    Jane and I went to see a showing of this movie this afternoon at the Geneva Movieplex on Hamilton street and have to say that this was an amazing movie.  I also came across this review of the movie  and think it worth sharing with you. I pretty much agree with all that the reviewer writes although, I thougtht that Russel Crowes performance was also very good and whilst he is not the worlds best singer, he certainly can carry a tune all the same. Colm Wilkinson plays the part of the bishop in this screen version of the play and as anybody knows, Colm Wilkinson does indeed have one of the finest tenor voices in the world today. more»
  • Happy New Year from Cobtree Vacation Rental Resort in the beautiful Finger Lakes of upstate New York in the winter!

    Should old acquaintance be forgot And never brought to mind Should old acquaintance be forgot And old lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne And surely you’ll buy your pint cup And surely I’ll buy mine And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet For auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne We two have run about the slopes And picked the daisies fine But we’ve wandered many a weary foot Since auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear For auld lang syne We'll take a cup of kindness yet For auld lang syne We two have paddled in the stream From morning sun till dine But seas between us broad have roared From more»
  • Cobtree this morning and Jane going to get the newspaper in the icy wind!

  • SUNDAY MORNING 9AM-December 30, 2012

    Dedicated to Miriam E. and Robert A. Dorn As I had to reluctantly make a few stops in our busy shopping district the day after Christmas, passing the crowded parking lots and lines of shoppers literally stretching out of the store entrances, I couldn’t help but recall an experience I had as a teenage department store stock worker.  I know that Christmas was only five days ago, but I must tell this Easter Weekend story. It was Easter Saturday 1968 and I was working at Abraham and Straus at the Walt Whitman Mall, in Huntington, Long Island.  I was stocking the shelves with some last minute sale items and it was 8:59 AM.   Ok, so you might be asking yourself, more»
  • My world today!

    It snowed over night and the ground is covered in a white snowy blanket. The clouds over the lake are dark and ominous and so perhaps more snow is on its way later in the day. The photo I took looking Westwards shows the progress of our two new log cabins here at Cobtree which will be ready for renting this spring. Meanwhile, I am busy preparing Christmas dinner and we have our neighbors coming over to join us at around 12.30pm  Here is a menu of todays gatronomic delights: Sausage Rools made with homemade Mille-Feuille (Puff Pastry) Lobster Thermidore Appetizer Beef Wellington with a rich sherry and mushroom gravy Green Beans, stir fried with garlic Brussel sprouts finished with more»
  • It is Christmas Day

    A Christmas Prayer Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus' sake. Amen. by Robert Louis Stevenson more»
  • A diamond in the rough!

    In search of even more maple dining room chairs to furnish our two new log homes at Cobtree, I discovered a gem of a company on at the following link. This company sells a myriad of items from furniture to shelving, to totes and containers and much, much more. The owner “Scott” has a large inventory of items for sale and I believe has a very special niche market for what he sells. Scott can be contacted on 315-589-9497 after 1pm daily and his warehouse is located in Williamson NY.   more»
  • SUNDAY MORNING 9AM-December 23, 2012

    Reposted as received from our friend Robert Dorn this morning and Dedicated to Miriam E. and Robert A. Dorn I was talking with my father in law tonight at dinner and our conversation about a paint job I will be doing led to his recalling a ladder incident he had while working many years ago with a neighbor.  A ladder he was standing on slid down the side of the house, breaking through a window as it fell to the ground.  Fortunately he was uninjured but embarrassed.   I then shared a ladder mishap story involving my car. I am sharing this incident for two reasons:  I want to prove to you that I have a sense of humor and the ability to laugh at myself; and more»
  • Winter has arrived at Cobtree in the Finger Lakes of upstate New York

    Perhaps I may be forgiven I believe in saying that I thought that winter would never come.  We had been experiencing such mild weather throughout the fall and leading up to Christmas that I thought that it could well be that for the first time since we moved to the USA that we would not have a white Christmas this year. The night before last it was forecast for snow but what was forecast as snow turned into torrential rain and it must have rained over an inch during the night. At one time the wind howled and the rain cracked against our window panes with such ferocity. This continued until around lunch time yesterday when suddenly the temperature dipped more»
  • “The pen is mightier than the sword” is a metonymic adage coined by English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 for his play Richelieu; Or the Conspiracyfully:

    True, This! — Beneath the rule of men entirely great The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! — But taking sorcery from the master-hand To paralyze the Cæsars, and to strike The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword — States can be saved without it! Good people of the Town of Geneva, New York who may happen to read or to follow my blog. I humbly beg that you forward an email from your email contacts to all of your friends living in our township asking them to visit my blog at this link and to request that they in turn forward the email to all of their own more»
  • Wedding Guests Please Do Not Be Alarmed!

    We have received a number of telephone calls from guests that have already reserved their weddings for 2013 and 2014 in light of the earlier blog that I posted regarding our ongoing battle with the town of Geneva regarding our planning issues here at Cobtree. I am sad to say this is nothing new to us and whilst the town is effectively trying to damage our business by their shameful bullying actions and behavior, this has been going on now for over two years now. In the process we have racked up a legal bill for us of some $78,000 and counting. We were also forced into suing the town earlier this year as well. Although we are for the more»
  • Outrageous remarks from a town official. Contemptible and despicable!

  • Dedicated to Miriam E. and Robert A. Dorn

    SUNDAY MORNING 9AM-December 2, 2012 Here follows a copy of my friends weekly blog which I thought would be nice to share with everybody. Forgive me for seeming to dwell on the recent hurricane, but I wanted to share something quite positive about my experience just yesterday on the Rockaways (Long Island south shore community hit hardest). I had an occasion to spend a brief afternoon in the Rockaways yesterday, helping our son, Dave, move back to Brooklyn from his apartment in that devastated area.  I was struck by the amazing presence of NYPD and NYFD personnel, and scores of iridescent-vested volunteers helping all over the Rockaways as well as Cross Bay Boulevard which is one of the major access roads.  Without more»
  • Windows are in and the electrical and heating installation commenced

    The windows are in one of the two new log homes and the lower floor windows in the second home. The electrical and heating installation commenced on Tuesday and we should have heating in both properties within the next three weeks. All is going to plan it would seem. Next will be the installation of the tongue and groove pine throughout each cabin and then the upper floor siding on the outside of the buildings. I ordered the kitchens from our local Lowes store yesterday and here is the design for them. more»
  • Attempted deception and fraud originating from India

    We have recently been made aware that an unauthorized party has been reaching out to owners on the Flipkey and Tripadvisor web sites posing as a FlipKey or TripAdvisor representatives in an attempt to solicit payment from  property owners. These calls are not associated with FlipKey or TripAdvisor and both companies are investigating and pursuing the matter further in an attempt to locate these criminals.  FlipKey accounts remains secure and if you are ever unsure whether you are speaking to a FlipKey employee on the phone please feel free to call them directly at 1-877-FLIPKEY (354-7539) in the U.S. or 617-849-7015 internationally. more»
  • Not an easy job!

    Some people down at the Hall diner, where I have breakfast most mornings, feel that my job is an easy one. Well, I have some off the press news for them, it is not an easy job at all! Take this morning for example when I observed out of my office window that there were 11 Indian guests who had travelled up to stay with us from Ozone Park in New York, who had only paid for 4 guests staying at the property. This coupled with the fact that the property that they stayed in was only equipped and insured for 8 people sharing made this quite unacceptable. Once again I had to confront the guest about this. However, my more»
  • Thanksgiving feast with friends this afternoon. What a great time had by all on a gorgeous day here in the beautiful Finger Lakes.

    The homemade menu with local produce sourced where possible. Tuscany Soup with leaks, celery, potatoes, chicken stock, herbs, seasoning and spicy pepperoni served with dinner rolls and butter Chopped heart of Romaine lettuce salad with cucumber, tomatoes, Mandarin oranges, spring (green) onions dressed with a champagne, orange vinegar and olive oil dressing A shoulder joint of oak smoked bbq roasted pork cooked over charcoal in the “beast” Roast potatoes Baby yellow potatoes with salted butter, chopped parsley and chopped fresh spearmint (from our garden) French dwarf beans stir fried with butternut squash seed oil, finished with prosciutto ham Baked Cauliflower in a four cheese sauce Home grown plum and dried apricot pie Éclair balls filled with custard and dipped in more»
  • Canadice Log Home at Cobtree

    This afternoon I took this photograph of Canadice Log Home now under construction here at Cobtree. There was no building activity here today as traditionally Mennonites take the first Monday off after the deer hunting season opens. Today alas was noexception and as before posted, this will be a short working week with the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. I went shopping this morning and it was bedlam down at our local Wegmans store. I could not believe how many people were shopping on a Monday morning! BJ's however, was not so busy though. Tomorrow morning the crane will arrive to start setting the trusses for Canandaigua Log Home, the sister log home of Canadice. With a little luck, the roof more»
  • The Weekend Ahead

    Our grounds contractor, Todd Hoover from Hall NY, is coming over this morning to consolidate the stone for the concrete patio we are building for hosting future weddings receptions and reunions on here at Cobtree. This pad is going to be a "T" shaped brushed concrete pad measuring 42 x 62ft and with a 20 x 20ft area which creates the "T" which will be used for the catering or bar area of the patio.  A 40 x 60ft tent with the 20 x 20ft addition will then be erected on this patio when we host these functions from May through October each year for up to 150 guests attending. It has to be stated that we do not allow more»
  • Wow….what a roller-coaster of a week

    Monday we battened down the hatches for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. It arrived here in the Finger Lakes during the evening. After hearing the howling winds outside, the lights flickered on and off a few times but stayed on albeit, we lost cable for almost 16 hours until the service was reconnected. Not because the cable went down but rather there was an electrical breakdown somewhere or other and so the cable company, Time Warner, were without electricity to operate their own relays. So much for battening down the hatches though. On Tuesday morning all the plastic sheeting and canvas used to cover materials and equipment on our construction site had been torn to shreds by the wind and more»
  • Battening down the hatches for the storm ahead

    Hurricane Sandy is moving steadily northwards towards the eastern seaboard of the USA and with it is forecast torrential rains. If the meteorologists are right and the storm meets with a cold front coming in from Canada, we could have some serious snow as well.  All this of course makes for some careful planning on our part with the building works going on here at Cobtree on the two new cabins. This afternoon we, as the expression goes, battened down the hatches and securely covered everything in readiness for the potential weather storms ahead if the hurricane stays on its current track. The coming week may prove a difficult week to keep our construction work going however, we are planning more»
  • Christian and Hana Smith

    This weekend Cobtree is hosting the wedding of Christian and Hana Smith. A very large tent has been erected as well as a delightfully quaint wedding arbor decorated for the fall. We are expecting an attendance of some 150 guests to arrive today. The wedding took place out on the lawn and here Cobtree has pleasure to introduce to you Mr and Mrs Smith. more»
  • Pleasantly Inebriated

    What a terrific night out Jane and I had last night at the West Lake Road Fire House annual dinner and prize draw held each year here in the town of Geneva. We enjoyed a few drinks together with neighbors and friends   and each ate a NY strip steak with baked potato and side salad. To top off the evening I won $150 in the prize raffle before going home pretty much inebriated and then straight to my bed and fast asleep in minutes! more»
  • A quite weekend here at Cobtree

    The first frost of the winter arrived this morning after the overnight temperature plummeted.  Our contractors generally do not work over the weekend and so today is remarkably quite here at Cobtree. The temperature has meanwhile risen  and it is nice and sunny outside. We are fully booked this weekend and all of the guests have gone out for the day, many have gone on wine tours as I did see two limos arrive to collect guests to take them. This evening Jane and I are going to go to the West lake Road fire house to attend their annual dinner. They cook great steaks and there is a chance to win some great raffle prizes too. more»
  • Construction moving at a pace on Armstrong Road

    The log kits arrived a day earlier by tractor-trailer from Tennessee and we almost had a disaster when the forklift and operator we had arranged to unload the truck did not show up claiming that his forklift had at the very last moment broken down. Fortunately there was in place a plan “B” and at short notice we were able to put this into action. In fact, everything went really smoothly and the truck was unloaded in less than 3 hours. Then, the truck with its driver was off up to Buffalo NY to pick up yet another load. Already the porch deck of one of the new cabins has been erected. Each post measures a whopping 8 x 8 more»
  • A place to call our own home on Armstrong Road

    We are planning on building  yet another property here on Armstrong Road on a piece of land that sits just in front of the farmhouse that we used to own which is on it's own sub division  and which has fantastic views overlooking Seneca Lake. This property will be built to be occupied as our own personal home to live in and as an investment for our children to one day inherit.  I have today arranged a percolation test to be carried out, once the soy beans have been harvested off of the field and then we can plan where we will locate the property to get the best views and easy access onto Armstrong Road itself. I would anticipate more»
  • Another wedding here at Cobtree in the beautiful Finger Lakes

    Once again we have a wedding party staying with us here at Cobtree this weekend. Although a tent is not being erected (The guests chose not to pay for the requisite rental fee for using our grounds to hold a function) the properties being occupied are only being rented together for the accommodations this time. I observed the bride and bridal group out on the grass yesterday afternoon on a fine fall day with the pastel fall colors of the trees behind them; taking photos together and the lovely bride all dressed up like a meringue in her traditional white wedding dress. She sure did look very beautiful, as did everyone else with her that were all dressed up to more»
  • Something for nothing!

    Let’s face it; we all want something for nothing don’t we? Imagine if you will that you went into a restaurant to order a meal for you and your guests, place your order for the meals and then invite other guests to join you, order additional food and then not expect to pay for them! Or another analogy, suppose you rented a room for two people in a hotel and then invited a couple of friends to come and stay in the room together with you.  (Yes, it happens all the time you know) Do you think for one moment that the hotel management is not going to add the additional occupants staying in the room to your bill when more»
  • Pouring with rain here in Baltimore

    It is pouring with rain here today in Baltimore. It really sucks and makes Jane and I feel so depressed! Still, in a city you can always find something to do indoors and so we are setting off to see the Baltimore museum of art this morning. We had a nice meal last night at a Greek restaurant in the Falls area on what was a gorgeous day here. Perhaps later in the day we can find an indoor market to do some shopping however, we are finding out that Baltimore is far more expensive than the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York! more»