Ramblings · Travel

Distractions: Upstate Escape

I have a lot on my mind these days, and I have been going to great lengths to distract myself. Several options are on the table for the near future, but I don’t want to talk about them until I know anything for sure. As I think many of friends like to do, I love to discuss “what ifs” to death, but right now that just makes me anxious. I wish I knew what was going to happen! Oh well, I guess that’s life for you.

Luckily, I have been able to avoid stressing myself out with some adventure escapes with Collin. Thanks in part to the snowpocalypse, Collin and I have had his mom’s car in Brooklyn for almost a month. See, the plan was to head down to D.C. to celebrate pre-New Year’s with some extended family. Collin brought his mom’s car back from PA to take us down once I got back from LA. Obviously, the piles of snow and slow clean up (especially in our area of Brooklyn) kept us from traveling anywhere.

I remember when I was an intern at Glamour a few years ago, one of the fashion editors was telling me how he needed to leave NYC and go upstate occasionally to fully appreciate living in the city. I really didn’t get the concept at the time, but now I do. New York City is an amazing place, but you can get sucked in a little too deep sometimes and start to resent it if you don’t escape every now and then. Whether it’s a full vacation or just getting into a more suburban area, it’s so refreshing.

Once the roads were accessible again we went on a few day trips and most recently a weekend escape. Our first adventure took us on a scenic tour through Kingston and then Woodstock. Woodstock may not have been the official home of the festival, but it sure still had many life-long hippies hanging around.

Kingston was a cute little town with nice people everywhere. And I mean, how can you not like a place that has a restaurant with a margarita-drinking armadillo?  We headed through Woodstock next and then checked out the town of Catskill. It was too dark to take good pictures, but seriously, if you ever need anything cat-related, funny or serious, go to Catskill. I mean, they have a Catamount Museum. Freaking awesome. Anyway, we went back through Kingston for dinner, but sadly did not visit the Armadillo.

Scenic drive

Then, of course, another bit of snow came through. This is quite a snowy winter, isn’t? Not that I would really know. This is my third real winter and I have no idea what’s normal or not. Anyway, snowy mornings = trekking to our fave breakfast spot.

Bagel time!

Our next day trip was a little more last minute. We headed up to the Bear Mountain Zoo despite it being freezing out. It was a really nice drive, but once I stepped outside to walk around it was sort of terrifying. The wind chill has to be the worst part of winter. I took a little time to “warm up” enough to stop whining (luckily Collin finds it funny), but then we had fun with the animals. At least, the ones that weren’t on vacation.

That otter was seriously riled up because it was lunch time. Luckily he didn’t get close enough to take a bite.

We were originally going to relinquish the car in the middle of last week, but then came another big pile of snow. So we took it as a sign to plan another brief trip. This time we headed up to Hudson, NY. We made a stop at the Olana historic site, where Frederich Church created a Persian style home.

We lucked out and made the last tour of the day. A perk of taking this trips in the winter is the low volume of people (sometimes good, sometimes not). In this case, we had a more intimate tour. The views are amazing. You can see why this Hudson Valley artist created his home there.

We then checked into our cute inn in Hudson and walked the streets. Another reason getting out of NYC is essential to the soul? Cheap beers. Very profound statement, I know. We stopped into a bookstore-slash-bar for some $3 beers and watched the place fill up with friendly people who all knew each other.

Then on to dinner. In all our excursions upstate, we’ve found an abundance of Mexican restaurants. Most have been rather excellent too. This place we visited was also amazing. Especially since I got my margarita in a martini glass (just like the armadillo!).

The next day we stopped in for breakfast at a cute diner/deli type place. Then we headed up the road to Albany. Collin had looked up a great brewery for lunch and there was an art museum we wanted to check out. The art museum was sadly lacking, as they were setting up new installations, but it was still fun. They had a great display of shoes over the years. I have monster feet compared to women in the old days.

Lunch was delicious. I’m overloading on sweet potato fries these days and couldn’t be happier about it. As we stopped for gas on our way out of town, I had a mini exciting moment. We were across from Susie’s bar! We went there the last time we were in Albany, but it was too cold/dark to take a shot. So this time around I got one through the car window.


Now the long weekend is over. Like I said before, my brain is running in circles about the future. But I know for sure one answer I’ll have within a week… future gainful employment on the horizon in a new-ish field that I’m kind of excited about but  not too excited because I can’t get my hopes up. Right?

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