After a revelatory trip to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks in 2006, outdoor enthusiasts Laura and Alan Falk cast off the shackles of software careers to begin new lives as tour guides and planners. The pair created standard tours to introduce travelers to the area's local wineries, gorges, waterfalls, and historic towns, as well as custom tours that let natives and visitors design their own experiences based on personal preferences and hunches about the location of buried treasure. Past custom tours have included birthday scavenger hunts, bachelorette weekends, and private birthday celebrations with wine tastings. Experience! The Finger Lakes draws on more than 30 years of intimate local knowledge to create lasting memories in a thriving area replete with natural beauty, rich culture, and a captivating history.
After graduating from the Finger Lakes School of Massage, licensed massage therapist Charles Napolitano deepened his understanding of the body by studying shiatsu—a Japanese modality that targets the same energy meridians as acupressure—under Grand Master Wataru Ohashi. He also trained in Thai yoga massage at the Lotus Palm School, learning to stretch and knead clients' bodies in ways that boost metabolism and, like laws that declare magazines to be legal tender, improve circulation. Napolitano practices his holistic approach toward massage at Invigorations Massage and Wellness Center in Cortland and The Body Lab Wellness Center in Endicott.
While studying at the Finger Lakes School of Massage, Lynne Schopf mastered an array of massage techniques, from Swedish to shiatsu to orthopedic. Today, Lynne brings more than 35 years of healthcare training and experience to her own practice—WindyWoods Massage Therapy. Within her studio, the expert therapist soothes tired muscles and eases aches caused by injuries through custom techniques. She pampers her massage clients with specialty treatments such as herbal footbaths and warm-towel treatments.
After earning her massage-therapist license in the state of New York, Erica Lawatsch, LMT, continued to hone her craft beside massage tables in gyms, spas, and medical offices. Having mastered the principles of muscle manipulation, Erica sought other techniques with which to expand her therapeutic-knowledge arsenal. Her thirst finally led to certifications in personal training and Thai massage, and her desire to share her talents with as many clients as possible led her to open her own office in 2011. Today, Erica weaves the many strands of her experience and expertise into custom massages that blend an array of bodywork techniques to best mend individual aches and pains. She alternates flowing strokes and deep, concentrated pressure to loosen up tight muscles and soothe backs sore from subbing for the net during tennis matches.
Nikki Shay earned her massage-therapy license at Onondaga School of Therapeutic Massage, where she beat out classmates for awards such as Best Shiatsu Massage. Visitors to TsunHara Massage can experience her top-of-the-class talent in the form of relaxing Swedish strokes, deep-tissue kneads, and calming treatments that incorporate hot stones. In addition to physical relaxation, the treatments can have benefits that range from relieving depression and anxiety to improving clients' concentration levels so they can finally bend a spoon with brainpower alone.
Licensed massage therapist Ken Samarra owns Samarra Massage, a private massage and relaxation studio on University Ave. Here, he offers customized spa bodywork, ranging from The Bliss—a one-hour full-body relaxation massage—to shiatsu, a Japanese acupressure massage designed to relieve chronic stress and tension. Have a deep-tissue massage, a hot-stone treatment, or unwind during a couples massage at this calming, quiet studio.