Posted by: blueheronacres | October 8, 2011

Balloons and Bounty

This past weekend we attended Balloons and Bounty at Wolf Oak Acres, near Oneida, NY.

We took a balloon ride on Sunday morning with Steve and Jackie in the Aussie Heir balloon. It was wonderful – way better than we imagined. We took off from Wolf Oak Acres and touched down in the town of Sherrill, not far from the Oneida Community Mansion House. After the ride, we had a great breakfast with them and their excellent crew at the Nothin’ Fancy Cafe. We have included a few pictures here, but you can find a more complete album on our facebook page.

SunriseTakeoff in Ausie Heir

We stayed at Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. The hotel was nice – clean and spacious rooms and the staff was generally friendly and helpful. A light dinner and drinks at Mr. G’s was good – the butternut and ale soups were wonderful. Unfortunately, we didn’t find out about the continental breakfast until our last day here. While most of the stay was just fine, the buffet breakfast in the casino was horrible. It might be the worst breakfast we have ever had – and we have put in a lot of miles on the road. Sunday evening we had a similar experience trying to get something to eat at the 777 in the casino – we didn’t get any food but  we got a heavy handed response from security for complaining about the abysmal service. The hotel is an acceptable place to stay, but we suggest you stay away from their food venues.

Inflating the balloons

The festival was quite enjoyable and we tested wines from Thousand Islands Winery, Crooked Lake Winery, and Knapp including Rieslings, Merlots, Cabernets, and Vignoles. You can see all our favorite wines on

We had a couple of dinners at  The Only Cafe in Vernon.  David made us a delicious bacon pizza with a wonderful dough made from unbleached white flour and doctored until it tasted like whole wheat. For so much density and flavor, the crust was incredibly thin and crispy. The following night we had some delicious quesadillas with sweet potato and lots of other tasty ingredients. We highly recommend trying out The Only Cafe next time you are in the area.

Saturday afternoon balloon launch

The drive here was gorgeous and we made most of the trip there  on NY 26. The leaf colors were perfect and we had 4 gorgeous, perfect Indian Summer days for the event.

The Aussie Heir, taking off


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