Aurora by boat is the way to go. The new public dock for the Aurora was beautiful...with a path going from the dock to the top of the hill, overlooking two gardens, one more wonderful than the next. We had an absolutely delicious dinner at the Fargo, across the street from the Aurora Inn. The Fargo is totally cute with my favorite, big red woodtype signs (historic) extolling the local baseball team and some other activity Aurora boasted of in the past. Total class. And, the food was great...with terrific soups (which I agree with my friend Maura, are unbeatable), great sandwiches and burgers an a price tag that didn't sting at all. Plus, the sheer perfection of the "new and improved" Aurora beckoned. "New and improved" are the amazing improvements funded, directed and inspired by Pleasant Rowland, creator of the American Girl Doll, and a Wells College Alumnae. Pleasant, upon her sale of American Girl to Mattel, turned her attention to Aurora, a sleepy, slightly shabby town (with jewel potential as Pleasant understood), home of her college and home to MacKenzie Childs, a boutique, eccentric tabletop/lifestyle company she purchased from the original owners in a hostile (or so it is said) take over.Ms Rowland took what she knew of telling stories, creating dreams and building a business around it (remember American Girl Dolls? Remember American Girl Place? Remember the American Girl Revue?)--with panache and a great deal of taste and focused it on this little gem of a town. Around 5 years later--the town has been transformed---with many of the locals kicking and screaming. Ms. Rowland should have been extolled for her gift to Aurora, to Wells and frankly to the rest of us in the Ithaca Area in giving us a lovely place to visit, to shop, to while away a summer evening. Prior to her work, the town didnt even have a dock. Now, there even is a cute florist, an ice cream store, a kids toy store, a wine store, a few clothing and gift stores and the jewel in the crown is the Aurora Inn. No, I am not being paid by the Chamber of Commerce...I am just enthused (as always) by a project or a concept that is done right. No compromise. Right and dead on. And Ms. Rowland's efforts personify that.It's a shame that she is no longer engaged in Aurora and MacKenzie Childs as her level of expectation, excellence and clear vision could drive more innovation and design in this little place on Cayuga Lake (and Ithaca/Tburg too!)
Maybe this weekend we will take another spin over for the fun!