Autofocus! Goes to Ithaca: Travel Tips for Lesbians in Love

Hello Autostraddle! Last week, my girlfriend Carlytron and I left for a super short but fabulous 5 day vacation in upstate New York before going to The Berkshires in Western Massachusetts to attend a wedding. And because Carlytron & Robin have been crowned Cutest Couple ever by our friend (and Autostraddle’s COO) Brooke (she made us mugs to prove it) …


I’ve designated us qualified to offer some travel tips for lesbians in love! I offer these tips not because I myself have figured it all out or somehow think i’m one half of the Gay Lady’s version of Brangelina, but because I went on vacation last week with my girlfriend and this is all I got to photoblog about! :-) Also, I took some pretty pictures. So, here goes …

Background on our little road trip upstate: For those of you unaware, Ithaca is a small town in upstate NY packed with amazing eateries, hippies, gorgeous waterfalls, more hippies, and scenic hikes. It sits with below the middle finger of the fingerlakes!  Lovely!  “Ithaca is Gorges” is the catch phrase in Ithaca and it is indeed the truth.

Carbin (see exhibit A, mug, for explanation) traveled to Ithaca because:

A. Ithaca is really gorgeous, obvs.

B. Robin went to school there for 2.5 years, and

C. in Robin’s head, Ithaca was somehow on the way to The Berkshires from NYC.  (Fact: it is not.)

Waterfalls at Tremen State Park in Ithaca

Waterfalls at Tremen State Park in Ithaca

Tip #1 – Have a plan.

Open a google doc and write down your ideas about what you want to do and where you want to go.  Share this document with your traveling companion.  This will prevent one person from having too much control over what is done on the vacation and allowing everyone to share ideas and priorities. Compromise is key!
An example of this would be our list of “To Dos” while in Ithaca.  I had included kayaking as a possible activity option, not aware of Carly’s fear of drowning via overturned kayak. Crisis averted!


As per our plan, we spent our first day at the waterfalls which gave me some time to teach Carly a requested photography lesson and Carly some time to work on her physical fitness.

We had a great time “hiking” around and being outdoorsy. After being bitten by several bugs, we decided we had had enough nature and were in desperate need of sangria!







Tip #2 – Laugh off traveling mishaps.

Sometimes shit happens on vacation.  You just can’t plan for things like rain or a failed meal or a really crappy pedicure.  So you have to suck it up and chalk it up to a lesson learned.  The stress of travel and spending money can sometimes cause two loving ladies to turn on each other. Don’t let your troubles keep you from enjoying the good experiences and even better company!  This goes for missed flights and lost luggage too!


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Robin specializes in entertainment, lifestyle and portrait photography. She's also a Creative Producer, Director of Photography and co-owner of Scheme Machine Studios LLC, her production company based in Los Angeles. Robin loves shooting for TV and film and has worked with media companies like Legendary Pictures and Viacom. She shot and directed the Pride campaign for Google called #ThisIsFamily. Robin has had the pleasure of working on national campaigns for companies like Dove and Levis, and had the unique opportunity to shoot for non-profits and initiatives such as The Black List, Save the Children, Move to End Violence, Have a Hart Day, and The Clinton Global Initiative. She is most proud of the work she has done with organizations such as The Ad Council and RAINN working on national impact campaigns. Her celebrity roster includes Cyndi Lauper, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The B-52s, Keri Hilson, JB Smoove, Tegan and Sara, Margaret Cho, The B-52’s, Andreja Pejic, and many more. She was there for Autostraddle’s birth and proudly served as A-Camp co-director for many years.

Robin has written 82 articles for us.


  1. Very good read. I LOVE to travel so any articles from you all about that is A+ to me. You both look super cute. Who would have thought all of that was in NY?
    I can’t wait for the Buenos Aires trip review!

  2. Hmmm I always forego to the mani part of the manipedi because… well because it seems to be breaking a lesbian rule to have painted nails. Nicely filed nails, yes. Painted? Not so much. Am I wrong? Do other girl-on-girls like to get their nails painted? Discuss!

    (Then again I didn’t really like to paint my nails really even before I discovered the joys of girls-on-girls. So it might just be me. Excuse me, I need to go file my nails.)

    • It’s a personal choice I guess. Carly gets black. Short nails = a lesbian rule. I think anyone can get them painted. This is 2009 afterall!

    • I always have my nails painted black and ask them to cut them as short as possible because I “type a lot.” I actually feel naked without my black manicure and get a little antsy on the days that it starts to chip until it can be perfect again!

    • I was that girl with a boyfriend and french tipped acrylics in HS, but now that I’ve met my gf, I have given up on the fake nails. I still like to paint them, and do so frequently (as well as my toes), but my gf won’t even let me paint her toes clear. I think I’m close to a breakthrough with her, but it hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s just a personal preference. I like that all lesbians don’t fall into one category of dress and style, and can mix it up a bit. When I met my gf and she wore makeup, I was surprised! We shouldn’t judge a girl by what she LOOKS LIKE she should look like.* Do what feels good to you. It will help get all of us on the same page and support each other rather than put each other in categories. (LBTQ…)

      *I’m not saying you’re judging, Sarah, I’m saying PAINT THOSE NAILS IF IT FEELS GOOD! LIVE IT UP!

  3. next up, my review on how to vacation when you’re SINGLE AND ALOOOONE.

    jk jk you guys are the cutest ever and i want to squish your faces.

  4. ZOMG Carlytron I am also afraid of kayaks! I’m afraid I’ll flip over and not be able to right myself OR that I’ll hit my head on a rock and be knocked out, stuck underwater! Shudder. I also hate canoes. And bugs. But I like hiking.

    Also, you guys are too cute for words.

  5. Dear 1/2 of my Favorite Couple EVER, two things:

    1. I would like to Facebook like this post.

    2. I have never heard of this trying 16 wines for a dollar??

  6. I think now is a good time to reveal my internet crush on Robin. Paired with thinking that Carly and I would be internet BFFs, I want to publicly voice my support of the Favorite Couple Ever award.

    And the Berkshires are awesome. I went there for flag day weekend two years ago and it was the best long weekend ever. This may have inspired revisiting the ‘shires this soon!

    Great post and pictures as usual, and I also support the mani/pedi movement.

    • it’s a good thing you have a crush on robin on the internet, cos if you talk to the interns, you’ll hear that she’s SUPER MEAN in person. we’re all terrified of her!

        • Stef, I’m just going to start telling people you have crabs. How do you like me now!?
          oh hi Mindy! I’m so delighted to hear someone has an internet crush on me! My ego thanks you. Also, did you hear Stef has crabs?

  7. That part of New York is so pretty. My dad’s family is from there. Maybe next time we go to visit, I’ll hit Ithaca!

  8. is it weird that when I first saw the header I thought you were talking about Ithaca in Greece? like in the Odyssey? man, I think I’m too much of a nerd.

    and I’m even FROM upstate NY.

  9. The best tip you gave was to roll with the punches. My gf and I did a East-West cross country trip 2 years ago, and boy did that get challenging. Prepare yourself that everything and anything that could go wrong just may, and that it’s ok and you’re in it together. No nitpicking and no cranky girls. Best. vaca. ever. will happen.

  10. robin, i’ve been ogling your “Robin Roemer Photography” logo basically forevs, and now I see that you have a necklace to match! storytime…

    ps- i totally wish my friends made me commemorative mugs

  11. oh boy. robin and carly, i just “awwww”ed over you taking time apart and having social lives. i am in love with your relationship. AND these pictures are beautiful. AND brooke’s mugs are too cute for words.

  12. i cannot believe i lived in ithaca for 2 years…you actually made it look totally beautiful and enjoyable. :)
    such a cute pair of grrrrls!

  13. Pingback: Queer Links – 7/29/09 |

  14. Ok, first time posting, i always read but im too much of a lazy person to comment but i just had to cause i do think u two are quite cute togheter and because i have a serious trauma with this song by Deleted Scenes “Ithaca”i just love it, the AutoRock Remix is even better…I’m from Mexico havent heard about the town before but after i listened to the song, Ithaca just pops out everwhere i go, haha, like on a Sagan book, talks with friends, a few other reads and here i just love it, i think Ithaca is my new favourite word. The town looks amazing thanks for the pics too.

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