Phyllis Tarlow Fine Art - Hudson From Bear Mt
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Posts Tagged ‘NY’

Local Events Close to Home in Westchester County, NY

Hi everyone. . .wow we have missed being able to take our famous “day-trips” in and around the Hudson Valley this summer!  Between all the rain and our busy schedules this year we were not been out ‘n about as much as we normally are, but, the  few places we went were wonderful!

In between the many many rain filled weekends we enjoyed activities much closer to home than we normally do including:

The 14th Annual Peekskill Celebration the first weekend in August.  We rushed  to Peekskill’s Riverfront Green Park to watch the Dragons on the Hudson dragon boat races which started early in the morning on Saturday (before the rain).  This was my first time seeing these boats first hand.  The workmanship in the design/ construction of these boats is wonderful; not to mention the much needed strength/stamina it takes to actually paddle one of these boats.  These boats are rich in history and a treat to watch!

   

Because it was yet another cool/over-cast day, the crowds seemed to hold off in the morning when we were there but as the day went on more people arrived to take part in the Peekskill Celebration, enjoy good food and visit the many booths.

  

  

Once again the sun was finally shining on Sept. 10th, we took advantage of the great day and attend the 6th Annual Cortlandt Family Fun Day in Montrose, NY.  This was a cute / fun day for the families in Cortlandt.  And, with the record breaking rain fall during August, the sunshine and a day of games, food and entertainment was just was area families needed.

  

On Sept. 24th we went to the 3rd Hudson Valley Irish Fest  at the Riverfront Green in Peekskill, NY.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Irish culture and especially Irish music.  My Dad’s family hales from Ireland with my father’s great uncle being Daniel O’Connell, the famed “Liberator” of Ireland.  We sat and enjoyed music by Celtic Cross, a wonderful pop/folk band with a traditional Celtic Irish influence.  Led by lead vocalist  Kathleen Lee (I’m actually named after/for the song “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen“) is outstanding and amazing to listen to!

  Okay, so we all know how very much I love traveling to the Catskills, I’ve been going their since I was a child with my family for Sunday afternoon drives and now I enjoy spending long weekends traipsing around the Catskills.  While I have not yet had the pleasure of staying at Gavin’s, it is without a doubt on our list of places to stay.    At the festival I bought the most amazing celtic cross garden statue! I love it! And, the amazing thing was the designer of the piece Bill Bywater of Bywater.com is the brother of someone my honey used to work with in Poughkeepsie, NY – which made purchasing this handmade piece even more special!

Also on Sept. 24th we attended the  1st Buchanan Family Day at the Buchanan Pavilion in Buchanan, NY.  Like the Cortlandt Family Fun Day, this event was intended to give the families of Buchanan an opportunity to get together as a community, enjoy each other’s company, meet neighbors perhaps they hadn’t met and provide a fun filled environment for the children complete with face painting, pumpkin panting, a DJ providing live music and great food provided by  Buchanan Fire Department and Two Brother’s Pizzeria,!  Buchanan’s newest eatery Taste was also there meeting and greeting their neighbors!   From pumpkin painting to face painting, fun, food and entertainment, who could ask for more. . .the event was well attended and enjoyed by all!

  

  

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “SHARE” this post with your family/friends! And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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TO DO IN THE HUDSON VALLEY 08/01-07/11

Thanks to the various Patch.com sites here is a brief listing of some fun exciting things to do in and around the Hudson Valley during the week of 08/01 – 07/11.

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder – take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “share” this post with your family/friends! And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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SHINE ON SAUGERTIES – 2011

Lighthouse on a Lighthouse

OMG – I can’t believe my honey and I recently stumbled upon the wonderful Shine on Saugerties art display. For those of you that follow WonderfulWonders, you will recall that for the last couple years we have seemingly “been-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time” because we have managed to see the Horses Are Coming to Saugertieslast year and Cat-N-Around Catskill” and The Best in Show in Hudson in 2009 – how great is that!

“Shine On Saugerties 2011″ features handmade wooden lighthouses.  The lighthouse design is based on the famed Saugerties Lighthouse, the oldest (1869) continuously operating lighthouse on the Hudson River, which sits at the mouth of the Esopus Creek in Saugerties.

The lighthouses are a great way to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Saugerties’ incorporation in 1811.  The Lighthouses, which feature an operating solar light, are now on display along the streets of the Historic Village Business District, now through late September.  Not only are the models designed by a Saugerties artisan, the lumber is milled and harvested locally, by Native Lumber in Saugerties.  I highly suggest visiting Saugerties and strolling along the streets to enjoy these wonderful works of art as some thirty-two lighthouses are proudly on display.  Here are just a few:

Checker Lighthouse

 

Eye on Saugerties

Hudson Lights

Today is a Good Day

And, this is my favorite:

Valley View

If you are in need of some relaxation and an overnight stay with a great view consider staying in this historic landmark on the Hudson River!  Restored to its former glory, the Lighthouse hosts a rustic Bed and Breakfast. Open Thursday through Sunday nights year-round.  What a special / unique place to relax and enjoy the seasons of the Hudson River Valley (okay so we haven’t stayed yet, but can you tell I’m anxious to stay  !)

You all know how much I LOVE the water, and especially the Hudson River, I can’t imagine anything more beautiful that being surrounded by the river on a remote little shoal.          Of course to get to the Lighthouse you will need to enjoy a leisurely stroll along the half-mile trail. Many people are often seen enjoying popular activities include fishing, picnicking, bird-watching, photography, and relaxing by the riverside. There is no air-conditioning in summertime. It is heated in wintertime.

There are two second floor bedrooms each with a double-bed.

The West Room has windows facing south down the Hudson River and west towards the Catskills (probably the room I’d hope to stay) and the East Room, the larger of the two rooms, has windows looking east onto the river.

Breakfast is provided for overnight guests. Dinner can be enjoyed by one of the many local area eateries or you may bring food to the lighthouse as the kitchen is available as well as an outdoor propane grill.

The Saugerties Lighthouse Conservancy is pleased to announce the Between the Tides Festival,      its annual fundraiser and music festival. It will be held on Sunday afternoon, August 21st, 2011, from 2PM to 7PM. Hosted at the historic Saugerties Lighthouse, the festival is a family-friendly, all-ages event that includes live music, food, and drinks. It is scheduled “between the tides” so that the 1/2-mile trail to the lighthouse is passable throughout the event.

The line up of local musicians includes Paul Luke, the Josh Tyler Band, and more.

Tickets are on sale now – advanced ticket price is $25.00/person. Day of event: $30.00. Seniors $5.00 discount; children under 12 are free. Proceeds from the music festival supports the continued preservation of the lighthouse.

Celebrate the Hudson River and the historic Saugerties Lighthouse, a landmark of the Hudson River Valley. Enjoy live music, food, and drinks. The lighthouse is open for tours of the interior during the festival instead of the usual tour schedule on this day. NO PETS allowed during festival.

If you are in or around Saugerties I would strongly suggested walking through the streets, visiting the shops and eateries, and yes, plan that special weekend at the Saugerties Lighthouse!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder - take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “share” this post with your family/friends!  And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope – in the Catskills!

WOW, I can’t believe how time flies. . .it’s been a few months since I last blogged, what’s up with that?   So by now most of you “regular” visitors may be saying, hmmm, WonderfulWonders hasn’t done too much traveling in and around the Hudson Valley this summer…. unfortunately you are right.  Somehow our days have been filled with work, errands and then more work. So to all of you that follow my blog, you know that now that the warmer temperatures are here it’s time for my honey and I to get out and about traveling around the Hudson Valley.

We took a drive recently to Mt. Tremper to check out the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope – Kaleidostore at the Emerson Country Store. The store is filled with a large variety of unique items from the newest trendy fashion items to vintage fashion, antique to modern furniture and so much more!

Outside the front door an adorable garden says “relax, enjoy & stay awhile.”  I love love love shops like this!

The kaleidoscope is housed in the 56+ feet tall (certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the World’s Largest) silo of a beautifully restored 19th century dairy barn, The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope has been mesmerizing guests since 1996, which means we happen to visit while they are celebrating their 15th anniversary!

The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope show features brilliant moving images while you listen to theater-quality sound.  While you watch the amazing images moving and taking on different shapes & sizes you are treated to great music by Gary Burke, a local composer and drummer who has worked with Frances Ford Coppola and Bob Dylan.  Listening to this music takes you back in time as you hear hints of folk, jazz, big band, psychedelic rock and patriotic grandeur.

 

When visiting, you will enjoy one of three shows, depending on the season. We saw the America, The House We Live In:  A look at the history of America from settlement days through the first space walks and the sixties.


With Woodstock  being only a short distance away, the music was appropriate for our location.  So, what did we do, but of course head over to Woodstock for a bite to eat and browse the shops.

As suggested in our Hudson Valley & Catskill Mountains An Explorer’s Guide book, we stopped at Alyce & Roger’s Fruit Stand on Route 28 in Mt. Tremper and picked up the most delicious corn relish! The couple (we assume Alyce & Roger) was so friendly and kind, we will absolutely go back for more of their fresh relish and jams!

We absolutely had to go back to Cafe Mezzaluna on Route 212 in Saugerties.  We knew from out last visit how special this place was and it was confirmed again when we walked in the door and Sherri greeted us with that same warm & friendly smile.  More specifically, she asked if we were again staying at the  Grouse House/Penthouse (where we spent a long weekend last year).  Her remembering us and where we stayed re-confirmed why we LOVE Cafe Mezzaluna!

There are many great places in and around the Catskills and Hudson Valley and we love exploring them all!

As always, I wish you days filled with wonder - take a minute to wonder what it is that made you smile today!

Please feel free to “share” this post with your family/friends!  And don’t forget to leave your comments below, we love hearing from you!

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Autumn's Colors from 5,000 Ft.

To me, the beauty of the Hudson Valley and Autumn’s colors is nothing short of breathtaking, until I seen its beauty from 5,000′! 

My honey and I had another spectacular weekend!   The air was crisp as we headed north on Route 9 early Saturday morning as we ventured out on another one of our famous “day-trips.”  Today’s destination was the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck NY.   

You may not know but my honey is an avid model plane builder/flyer .  He has been building and flying model planes since he was a child growing up in New Jersey.  While I truly enjoy watching him fly his planes, I wasn’t sure I would be “wowed” by our visit to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome but I knew he would be thrilled so off we went.

Upon arriving at the Aerodrome we were excited to learn they were celebrating their 9th Annual Glenn Curtiss Day (we somehow always seem to stumble upon an event or celebration taking place!) 

I am not an expert on airplanes, designs, manufacturers or aviation at any level but I was intrigued to learn that Glenn Curtiss flew from Albany to Manhattan in some documents report 5 hours and others 3 according to the MC at the Aerodrome.  Glenn Curtiss was born in Hammondsport NY and is considered “The Father of Naval Aviation” and “Founder of the American Aircraft Industry”, Now according to the MC at the event, some documents indicate this flight took 5 hours and some say 3, none the less it was a historical flight over the Hudson River.  The plane Glenn Curtiss flew during his flight from Albany to Manhattan was the Albany Flyer.  This flight was captured by artist John Gould as he paints the Albany Flyer flying past Bannerman’s Island and Storm King Mountain. 

Original Painting of the Albany Flyer by John Gould

It was interesting to see so many of these old planes many of which the ORA still fly today.  Some may only lift off the ground maybe 4′ but none the less, for a plane that was built in the early 1900′s and is still able to lift off the ground is a remarkable feat!  If only our cars of today were built to last as long LOL!

The ORA puts on spectacular air shows with many of these planes.  In addition to the air shows they have period music and automobiles as part of the show.  Members of the audience are encouraged to participate by volunteering to wear period clothing and ride in these beautiful old cars!  

One of the most exciting things to do / see while at the ORA is to take a ride in the open-cockpit 1929 New Standard biplane!  I felt like Amelia Earhart (my mother asked me if I had my scarf, darn I knew I forgot something!). We dubbed ourselves Amelia and Orville “wannabes.”

The New Standard D25 Bi Plane

More Autumn’s Colors from 5,000 Ft. photos

After a “wonderful” day at the ORA we decided to find something new for dinner.  With the Best of the Hudson Valley 2010 list recently announced we decided we were going to try to visit a few of the places voted BOHV 2010 while out n ’bout during our travels.  Being in Dutchess County we choose to have dinner at Terrapin Restaurant voted Best Restaurant in Dutchess County.  You can read more about our dinner at Terrapin in my “BOHV 2010 – Best Restaurant in Dutchess County” post.

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today! 

FALL FESTIVALS IN THE HUDSON VALLEY

What a beautiful Fall Saturday it was!  Finally, (for all of you that follow me) my “honey” and I were back to our “Hudson Valley ‘Travelingselves’” this past weekend!  Yippee, we were so excited as there were so many apple festivals, farmer’s markets and craft fairs along with the very early stages of the beautiful fall foliage, we couldn’t wait to jump in the car.  I need to warn you, because we haven’t been out ‘n about in while, we tried to visit a few of the many activities taking place so this post may be a tad longer than normal but hopefully you’ll be intrigued and want to read to the end.

Our first stop was the 4th Annual Hudson Valley Bounty Festival held at the Cluett Schantz Memorial Park in the tiny hamlet of Milton, NY.  Milton and Marlboro are hamlets of the Town of Marlborough, New York.

Pictures from the HVBF:

Nestled on the banks of the Hudson River, half way between Albany and New York City, this community (in Ulster County) represents the very heart of the Hudson valley.  Marlborough is an active farming community, with some of the best fruit and vegetable  products in the Hudson Valley.

As we drove along 299 (just outside of New Paltz which was our afternoon stop) we were stunned when we saw the many many many different apple festivals, farmer’s markets, etc. taking place in and around the Hudson Valley.

This mid-Hudson Valley area offers everything from scenic views, farms where you can pick the freshest fruits & produce, vineyards for you to sip the finest wines, savor the agri-cuisine, go horse back riding, relax at luxurious modern spas, stay the night for a wonderful weekend get-away at beautiful B&B’s, browse the eclectic shops, take in the magnificent; river, valley, mountains & bucolic views.  Psst, can you tell I love the Hudson Valley! LOL!

An absolute unexpected treat was the entertainment!  I’m so excited to have found a great new band and to learn they are from the Hudson Valley!  We were so impressed with John Cary & George Segnit of the Hudson Ridge Band that I’ve already purchased their CD!  

Take a minute to listen/watch my video here and you too will fall in love with this band!

And then we were absolutely thrilled to see the legendary Pete Seeger!   At 91 he is amazing!  Listen and watch my videos here as he performs one of my favorites Sailin’ Up, Sailin’ Down (ringtone available) which is about cleaning up the Hudson River – most likely sailing on the beautiful sloop Clearwater.  Pete Seeger launched the Clearwater in 1969 to clean up the Hudson River.  I would like to encourage you to help support the sloop Clearwater, consider making a donation or purchasing a great t-shirt from their store!

Watch and listen and Pete Seeger again captivated us as everyone stopped to sing alone with this legend and friend of the Hudson Valley.

As you know, I grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and wouldn’t trade it for the world.  My love of the river and the entire Hudson Valley grows deeper as I get older and can appreciate all the history behind our beautiful region including the history of Verplanck.  Stories of how Henry Hudson’s Halfmoon is reported to have dropped anchor in the waters off Verplanck.  NY Times Article dated March 8, 1896 refers to the date of  August 24, 1683 when Verplanck was purchased from the Indians for “wampum, rum, beer, knives, and trinkets”.

I cherish the many stories my father has told me about when he and his friends would swim across the river from Steamboat Dock in Verplanck.  I remember my father taking us in our boat over to the Hudson River National Defense Fleet of ships and listening to his stories of how he and his friends used to swim the length of these ships underwater! These ships are huge, and as a child they were enormous!   My father has told me stories of how brickyards and the ice industry were major industries for Verplanck.

The following was taken from a commemorative roadside plaque on Riverview Ave in Verplanck:

“In the 1840s John Henry, the principal landowner of Verplanck’s Point at that time, opened the first brickyard north of Steamboat Dock. In 1884, there were 10 separate brickyards operating in Verplanck, employing about 425 men, mostly Irish immigrants. The brick making season lasted about 150 days and the combined output of the yards was apx. 60 million brick per year. At the beginning of the 20th century the clay deposits were becoming exhausted and the brick-making era was coming to a close. By 1914 there were only 2 yards operating in Verplanck.”

This 1891 map of this area by F. W. Beers shows many brick companies in this general region. Right on Verplanck’s Point, it lists the Bonner Brick Company to the north and the Hudson River Brick Company to the south. More brick companies were located to the south in Montrose and Crugers (Jones, F.W. Seward and Bellefuille). These yards were later operated by OBRIEN and today is the Montrose Point State Forest. Here’s a Trail Map. Farther south in Crugers was the L. H. Lynch Co. yard.

Lake Meahagh (which was literally my backyard) is actually an artificial lake created by the Knickerbocker Ice Company to ship ice to New York City residents.  Having the sounds of the ducks and swans as my lullaby each night I beleive is also responsible for my love of living on the water!

To read more about the Hudson River,  check out the Google book The Hudson, a guide book to the river by Arthur G. Adams.

At the bounty festival we also discovered Luigi’s Infused Oils!      Their oil is amazing!  All ingredients locally grown and yes, for those of you that follow me, we did purchase the Sun-Dried Tomato oil! I was thrilled to see the back of their business card actually shared a few tips & suggestions! Their oil may be purchased from a variety of retail locations in and around the Hudson Valley.

We loved meeting Diana Henry from Quimby Farm and sampling her delicious jams and jellies.  They grow their own berries to make this “wonderful” jams and jellies.

After leaving the bounty festival we stumbled upon a sign that read “festival” with an arrow.  Yes, you guessed it, we turned to see what it was and we came upon our 2nd stop of the day at the    DuBois Farm in Highland and their “Fall Into Fall” festival!  This 54 acre farm was voted Best Pick-Your-Own in the Mid-Hudson Valley.  The orchards seem to go on and on.  They provide a pumpkin patch area, you can shop for fresh apple cider and donuts,    lunch and overall spend the day enjoying a day on the farm! .  There are a variety of events scheduled between now and November 7th so if you are looking for a great way to spend a weekend picking your own apples DuBois Farm is the place!

Some pictures from the farm:

Next stop was the   The 21th Annual Huguenot Street App le Festival & Craft Fair in New Paltz.   Huguenot Street is rich in history.  Huguenot Street is now a National Historic Landmark and was created to preserve the oldest continuously inhabited street in America with its original houses, a wonderful collection exhibiting Dutch vernacular architecture and furnishings. My personal favorite was the Deyo Houseone of the twelve (12) original houses.  The principle houses on Huguenot Street were built surrounding the turn of the 17th into the 18th centuries, from 1680′s through the first decates of the 18th century. Descendants of the first families lived in them for hundreds of years and some were adapted for their changing needs.  The twelve originals patentees were:

The twelve patentees were:

  1. Louis DuBois and his sons,
  2. Abraham DuBois and
  3. Isaac DuBois
  4. Christian Deyo and his son,
  5. Pierre Deyo
  6. Simon LeFevre and his brother,
  7. Andries LeFevre
  8. Jean Hasbrouck and his brother,
  9. Abraham Hasbrouck
  10. Antoine Crispell
  11. Louis Bevier
  12. Hugo Freer

The streets will filled with various local craftsmen & women, local bakers, local painters, and more! We sampled a couple homemade apple fritters that were absolutely delicious, darn, wish I could bake them that good!

We had an amazing day traveling around Ulster County this past weekend.  We were a little disappointed that there wasn’t as much color/fall foliage as I had expected.  The weekend before, we had traveled up to the city of Hudson in Columbia County to visit Taconic Orchards with my parents & brother and we were thrilled to see the early stages of the fall colors peaking in and out of the trees.

Looks like we will just have to go back to the beautiful mid-Hudson region in a week or two if we want to see the display of colors in it’s peak!!

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!

Fall In & Around the Hudson Valley

Welcome to October in the beautiful Hudson Valley and beautiful it is!  The hills and valleys come alive with color in late September and October.  Fall in the Hudson Valleys is both breath taking and invigorating!  Apple season is upon us and the fall foliage is everywhere as families, couples and people from cities and suburbs visit the valley to take it all in.

Dozens of The Hudson Valley has many many established farms that welcome visitors year after year to come and pick their own apples and pumpkins in the crisp fall air. Of course you can’t leave one of these “wonderful” stands without also picking up some fall flowers, Indian corn and yes, the best part for me and my honey, fresh baked pies and apple cider donuts!

I’ve put together a small listing of some of the apple festivals, orchards, farm stands and more that you may consider as you plan your drives into the valley this Fall.

FALL IN & AROUND THE HUDSON VALLEY NY

Sunday, Oct. 3rd- The Warwick Apple Festival, 10 am – 5 pm Warwick, NY

Sat. Oct. 2nd = Capital District Apple Festival and Craft Fair at Altamont Fairgrounds, Altamont, NY –Seventeenth annual family fall festival. Haunted house, pony rides, kids’ activities, wine tasting, farmers market, entertainment and more.

Sat. Oct. 2nd = The 21th Annual Huguenot Street Apple Festival & Craft Fair! Huguenot Street New Paltz NY – This street wide festival features everything apple….great food, live entertainment, quality craft vendors, children’s activities and best of all, homemade apple pies, fritters, candied apples, cider & more.


Sat. Oct. 2nd – 10:00am-3:00pm rain or shine — APPLE FESTIVAL- Rhinebeck Reformed Church 6368 Mill Street/Rt. 9 Rhinebeck, NY – Fresh Apple Pies made from local apples for sale, bake table, crafts, and gently used items for sale. Lunch is available from 11:30 until 2. Rain or shine

Sat. Oct. 2nd & Sun Oct. 3rdCrafts at RhinebeckDutchess County FairgroundsRhinebeck NY

Sat., Oct. 2ndThe Heart of the Hudson Valley Bounty Festival - Cluett Schantz Memorial Park, 1801-1805 Route 9W, Milton, NY –  lots of; fun, live music, a taste of the local cuisines, artists, crafts, demos, farmers market, wine tasting, + plus a special musical performances, cider and apple desserts. There is no admission fee for this event

Oct. 2nd & 3rd & 9th & & 10thOktoberfest Hunter Mountain, NY – October is the time of the harvest, and in the old country, after the harvest is in, it’s time for celebration. Join us in celebrating Oktoberfest, in the finest old-world tradition – Free Admission

Sat. Oct. 2nd Capital Region Vegetarian Expo 10:00AM-5:00PM Empire State Plaza (Directions) Encouraging compassionate lifestyles

  • Free Admission ($5 donation suggested)
  • Free off-street parking available

Oct. 17th Beacon Sloop Club Pumpkin Festival – Beacon Waterfront noon to 5:00pm

Oct. 1ST – 3RD Oct. 9TH -11TH Oct. 16TH & 17TH Country Charm Farm - 201 DuBois Road New Paltz, NY   (845) 255-4321        Fall Harvest Festival – Visit this family farm, take a wagon in the fields to pick your own pumpkins, ride the scenic hayride, see over 40 life-size scarecrows, find your way through the corn maze, and browse in the giant barn sale.
$3 per adult and $1 for ages 10 & under – (includes unlimited hayrides and corn maze admission) — No admission charged on Fri, Oct. 2, Barn Sale Day
Oct. 16th & 17thNYS Sheep and WoolDutchess County Fair Grounds

Saturday 9AM-6PM Sunday 10AM-5PM

Fall Foliage Guide - If you visit any of the orchards/farms or festivals mentioned please share your thoughts & pictures, I’d love to hear from you – leave me a comment below.

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!

A SUMMER WEEKEND IN THE CATSKILLS

 So by now most of you “regular” visitors may be saying, hmmm, WonderfulWonders hasn’t done too much traveling in and around the Hudson Valley this summer…. Unfortunately you are right.  Somehow our days have been filled with work, errands and then more work. So with my honey having this past Friday off (probably the last for a while) we decided to take a 3-day long weekend in the Catskills – we’re off to the Woodstock/Saugerties area! 

 Let me warn you, this blog post is a bit longer than my usual posts ~ we had such an amazing time I just couldn’t help myself when writing…

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we pulled up to the Grouse House/Penthouse, our weekend retreat!  The Penthouse Suite provides complete privacy (with private entrance by spiral staircase).  Here you can escape to one of 3 very private decks; the main/lowest deck is where you will find the outdoor hot tub and shower with small sitting area and porch swing.  Up a small flight of wooden stairs to the middle/2nd level you have BBQ and the most entertaining squirrels you’ve ever seen!  Then make your way up the final spiral stairway to the 3rd level where you have yet another private deck and entrance to the suite.  The suite itself has a great king bed, Cathedral ceiling with ceiling fan, in-suite Jacuzzi tub and kitchenette!  The kitchenette and self-serve breakfast is stocked with juice, muffins, fruit and coffee!  

  

  The private upper most deck has the most amazing views of the mountains and provides the tranquil setting to relax and enjoy all the beauty that surrounds you.  In addition, Gilbert (the homeowner) has created a very unique “gym” area for the birds and squirrel to romp and play!  Watch as the squirrels play in this amazing setting.  Between the majestic views and entertainment of bird / squirrel watching you can easily loose track of time. 

A Bird's Paradise at The Grouse House

  Gilbert is “wonderful,” he offers EVERYTHING you could need and then some!  We completely enjoyed spending time chatting with him and hear about Ursa.  Oh, didn’t I mention Ursa, she is the local bear that frequents the property on a pretty regular basis.  She didn’t stop by (that we know of) while we were there but Gilbert has video of her attempting to climb the trees where the many bird feeders and the squirrel’s gym is located.  Watch as Gilbert calmly tells her to get down and leave the feeders alone and be on her way.  

  The Grouse House is located only minutes from Woodstock and Saugerties.  Both offer quaint shopping and eating, local artisanship and a variety of attractions along the way. 

 Typical for us, it was somewhat a rainy/overcast afternoon on Friday so we decided on spending the afternoon strolling around (shhh, yes that meant shopping a bit) Woodstock. 

 Okay, don’t laugh, first stop, yup, lunch!  At Gilbert’s suggestion we headed out for lunch at   Café Mezzaluna on Route 212in Saugerties.  This great little cafe totally gave you that warm welcome feeling!  Sherri was as friendly and down to earth as can be, made us feel like she was truly glad we stopped in.  Serving your basic / classic sandwiches, drinks and homemade ice cream, Cafe Mezzaluna should be on everyone’s “to do” list along Route 212!  We’ll be back, for more homemade mango ice cream – it was delicious! Visit our Weekend in the Catskills (Woodstock & Saugerties) July 2010 flickr album.

With our appetites feed we were now ready to venture into Saugerties.  Yes it was still rainy/overcast but we decided we should check out the village anyway.  To our surprise, we stumbled on The Horses Are Coming To Saugerties!  For you faithful WonderfulWonders followers, you will remember last year my honey and I accidentally stumbled upon Cat-N-Around Catskill and Best in Show Hudson Dogsso for us to accidentally stumble on the Horses Are Coming to Saugerties was extra special!  We loved it!  The horses will be on display until September so if you can get up to Saugerties we say giddy-up! 

   

We continued to walk through the village of Saugerties stopping by a few antique and/or thrift/gift shops.

 Due to the rain, we left Saugerties and headed for Woodstock!  Guess we were thinking it wouldn’t be raining 10 minutes down the road LOL.  It’s been several years since I’ve been to Woodstock and I was just as excited to be there now as I was the first time I visited some 20 years ago.  The shops are the same, the people are the same, heck, even some of the clothing is the same! 

  

 Known as the Colony of the Arts, Woodstock stands for and represents the idealism of a peaceful mind set and way of life.  Woodstock, NY located in Ulster County, most famous for lending its name to the Woodstock Festival, actually held at Max Yasgur‘s dairy farm 43 miles away in Bethel, New York in Sullivan County.  It’s a great day of walking around shops and galleries, enjoying good conversation along the way! 

We stopped in a few shops including the Bread Alone Bakery’s  Woodstock Café on Mill Hill Roadeagerly anticipating some of the tempting treats described on their website. Hmmm, granted, it was late afternoon/early evening but they really didn’t have a large selection, leaving us slight disappointed.  I’m sure their treats are tasty, perhaps we’ll get to try again another time. Then we just popped in and out of a few shops. . .okay, this time there was no major shopping spree on my part, I was good (saving up for our St. Thomas vacation end of August).

So we all know how much we love our waterfront dinning right, so we had heard a great deal about The Bear Café, Streamside & Fireside Dinning    on Tinker Street (Route 212) so we just had to have dinner here.   Because we had a late lunch, neither of was terribly hungry so we both had the three-cheese ravioli with garlic – it was good, but, too much garlic for our taste. 

After a full day of enjoying the drive to the Catskills, strolling stepping back in time while strolling through the streets of Woodstock, it was time to head back to the suite for a relaxing evening in the hot tub!  While enjoying each other’s company as we discussed our day, we were graced with the presence of a local visitor! Amazing to have this deer just walk past you on her way to the other side of the yard! 

Up early Saturday morning to enjoy our coffee and muffin on the deck while soaking up the fog lifting over the mountains! This was so beautiful and peaceful.  Along with this beauty of the mountains came along more local visitors – these wild turkeys casually went from one end of the yard to the other as we watched from our penthouse deck.   

 I was completely mesmerized as I sat sipping my coffee, watching the birds fly from feeder to feeder, the squirrel’s playing, the turkeys strolling along and the sun burning off the early mountain fog. This is the good life! Check out one of Gilbert’s videos of his “squirrel circus.”

Ironically, the bird that was flying around the most was the American Goldfinch—interesting little fact: the American Goldfinch is the state bird of New Jersey (my honey’s home state), as well as Iowa & Washington.

Saturday morning and it’s very hot and humid even in the mountains.  So, we decide to go swimming in The Deep Swimming hold in Woodstock.  Located on Route 212 about 1.5 miles before the center of Woodstock   This secluded setting, is just minutes outside of Woodstock . It’s easy to miss though.  Look for Gallo’s plant nursery on Route 212 and the entrance to Big Deep is on the other side. This Google map has approximate location.  Park where you can and walk down the dirt path to the swimming area and be sure to carry out any trash you bring in!

The Deep Swimming Hole-Woodstock NY

After a nice swim we headed over to Opus 40 on Fite Roadin Saugerties.   This truly is a fascinating pieces of sculpture ever created by a single man.

The work is an immense composition of finely fitted stone, rising in ramps and swirling terraces around pools and trees and fountains out of the rock bed of an abandoned bluestone quarry. It spreads out over more than six acres.

It is the product of more than thirty-seven years of a man’s life. His name was Harvey Fite. He worked alone, using his hands and traditional quarryman’s tools, to build his masterpiece: Opus 40.Mr. Fite purchased the abandoned quarry in 1937 and began working on his masterpiece the following year in 1938.  He worked tirelessly for the next 37 years, passing away just 3 years prior to it’s original goal of 40 years. 

Then the grand finale of our weekend was the Celtic Woman concert at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on Saturday night!  

Bethel Woods Center for The Arts

Home of the original Woodstock back in 1969-3 days of music in the Hudson Valley.  We first visited the museum which was like a flash back to the 60’s right before your eyes!  It was great; and while I was born just a little too late to actually be able to go or even completely understand what was happening at the time, I know now that it was an event of its decade and one our nation will never forget. 

We sat and ate our picnic lunch/dinner as we waited for the shuttle to take us to the pavilion.  The Celtic Woman were outstanding!  They are truly gifted and talented ladies.   As the concert was coming to its end the skies lit up with lighting while thunder rolled over head and the rains came down!  We were completely soaked.  It was like 1969 without the mud.

So can you tell we had a “wonderful” weekend in the Catskills.  Despite the rain on Friday afternoon/evening, and again Saturday night and yet again Sunday afternoon, we can’t wait to go back. 

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!  Don’t forget, we would love to hear from you about your if you’ve visited any of the places we’ve visited, leave us a comment below!

A Day @ Sugar Loaf, NY Artisans Village!

  

Sugar Loaf, NY Artisans Village

What a spectacular day it was this past Saturday as my honey and I started out on one of our famous “day-trips”!  We headed to Sugar Loaf Artisans Village located in the picturesque Warwick Valley, Orange County, New York. Directions to Sugar Loaf.  Many people refer to Sugar Load village as a “mini Woodstock.”    

Oh my gosh, here I go again but, without a doubt Sugar Loaf is now on the list of my “Top Picks” places to visit!  Handmade treasures, meeting great local artisans and the beauty of the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley Sugar Loaf should be on your to-do list.  

You can’t help but fall in love with this quaint village filled with outstanding selection of handmade art, crafts and gifts. There are so many “wonderful” unique shops each offering a broad range of artistic items from oil and acrylic paintings, water color, stained glass, black & white and color photography, pottery, antiques, jewelry and woodworks, candles, soap, sculpture and much much more!  

I truly believe this village is one of the most unique shopping villages in the Hudson Valley.  This “wonderful” village has the distinguished reputation as a crafts community for over 250 years, Today, Sugar Loaf remains true to its heritage as the year round home of over fifty independent business men and women. Many of these artisans live and work in the original barns and buildings which date back to the 1700’s.  There you still find a rich history of artists, writers and creative people that have left a great legacy to build on.  

You’ll find everything in Sugar Loaf within easy strolling distance; there are specialty and gift shops, pottery, art and photography studios. Spend the day browsing though the “wonderful” collection of shops, bring a camera or sketch pad and create your own impressions, Sugar Loaf’s beautiful surroundings will release your creative energies! When your stomach starts to stir, stop at one of the fine restaurants for a rejuvenating meal, quick snack or a refreshing drink.  

As hard as we tried, we couldn’t visit all the great shops and galleries in one day. Darn, guess we’ll have to plan another trip LOL! We couldn’t visit them all because we were thrilled to spend time meeting & chatting with the owners/artisans of the shops we were able to visit!  So here are a few of my favorites:  

 The White Weathered BarnThe White Weathered Barn– what can I say but fantastic! I was thrilled to meet Rena (another Westchester County girl!) and wish here luck in her new and expanded space at Sugar Loaf.  And yes, I couldn’t resist purchasing one of the most beautiful bracelets I’ve seen!  It was like it was made for me as the colors were an absolute perfect match for what I was wearing, so, I just couldn’t resist!  Go ahead and follow The White Weathered Barn’s blog  or visit their website

The White Weathered Barn from from Romer’s Alley

  

Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbslove it!  At Rena’s suggestion (knowing how much I too love gardening and such) we next visited Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs and met our new friend Alicia.  This special shop offers a variety of specialty teas, organic bulk herbs and spices, heartfelt gifts, aromatherapy and herb plants and flowers in season. So if you are interest is in making your own or rather the convenience of ready-made, Alicia has it all. Okay okay, I know you’re wondering, so, did she purchase anything……and the answer….but of course!  I purchased this beautiful old style urn filled with dried flowers!  Keep up with Sugar Loaf Mountain Herbs via their blog!

     

   

Next stop,  Rosner’s Traditional Soap Makers, I’ve been anxiously waiting to visit this shop to get their Soapstone (also known as steatite or soaprock) soap dishes! Again, thanks to links on my friend Rena’s site is where I first learned about these soapstone soap dishesand couldn’t wait to get one for myself!  While I didn’t purchase any soap on this trip (I’ll save that for our next visit), I clearly understand why Rosner Soap was voted Best Soap in The Hudson Valley 2006, by Hudson Valley Magazine. Can’t wait to go back!  

charm outside of Rosner's

Onward to  Kelly Jane Accessories, adorable accessories and more! Unique handmade handbags & coordinating accessories fill this shop!  Everyone loves to have a bag or accessory that is a conversation piece and that is what you will find in this great shop!  Kelly does all her own sewing and each piece is created to be a fashioned to be a statement of originality!  I know, I know, yes, I purchased a great little blue bead stretch bracelet! I just can’t help myself when I’m surrounded by so many “wonderful,” people and things! Go ahead, visit the website of Kelly Jane Accessories shop and see for your self.  

Kelly Jane Accessories from Romer’s Alley

Up next was Bostree, okay so I wanted one of everything!  This shop/gallery has a large varied selection of unique functional and decorative American craft created by numerous local and national craftspeople as well as by its owners, Theresa and Ray Boswell. I fell in love with the many unique mirrors! And so, true to form, I purchased one and added one to my “wish list” for our next visit!  If you like these mirrors they can be customized to a particular color if you wish.  The picture here titled “wish list” I’m having done in a green – so go ahead and visit the website of Bostree shop, you’ll be glad you did as you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.  

Mirror I purchased from Bostree"Wish List" Mirror from BostreeHaving this done in green instead of blue shown

Then on to The Exposures Gallery, here you will see the most amazing photos of the Hudson Valley and many other exciting places Nick has photographed along his travels.  He recently released a beautiful coffee table book entitled “The Great Valley” containing over 140 color photographs spanning 25 years in the region.  As we looked through the book we were in awe of the beauty of Nick’s photos of our great Hudson Valley.  This book is wonderful and now on my Christmas Wish List! Without a doubt The Exposures Gallery is a place to visit – visit their website.  

So these are just a few of the many shops that await you in Sugar Loaf.  There are a variety of restaurants too!  If you haven’t already visited then you must consider planning a day trip to Sugar Loaf, you’ll be happy you did!  Feel free to leave a comment on your visits to Sugar Loaf!  

As always, I wish you days filled with happiness and “wonder” – take the time to “wonder” what it is that made you smile today!  

HUDSON VALLEY FRESH MILK….TRY IT!

I just learned about this and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you that love the Hudson Valley as I do!  Perhaps you are already aware of Hudson Valley Fresh which is a not-for-profit dairy cooperative dedicated to preserving the agricultural heritage of the Hudson River Valley and promoting it as one of the premier food regions of the United States.

 

Michael J. Fox (a resident of the HV also) supports this very important effort.


Currently their main business is producing premium quality dairy products – whole, skim, low-fat and chocolate milk along with half and half, heavy cream, and sour cream.  They believe in supporting sustainable agriculture and are currently preserving 5,000 acres of open land.  Their mission to secure living wages for our farmers and their families.

 

By ensuring a fair price for their farmers’ goods, HVF is keeping those farmers in business, which means preventing the loss of their land to development. Consider this – in the 1970s, there were 275 dairies in Dutchess County, the highest number of dairy farms in New York State — and now there only 26.   They formed a dairy cooperative in 2004 to provide a sustainable future in agriculture for participating cooperative members by stabilizing market prices.

The HVF milk is sold in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City and Connecticut. 

 

All HVF dairy farmers live within 20 miles of the processing plant at Boice Brothers Dairy in Kingston, N.Y. (conventional milk usually travels hundreds of miles before it reaches the processing plant.)

By keeping farming economically feasible, the farmers in turn spend their income on local goods and services. Studies show that farmers put most of their income back into the local economy, i.e., by buying feed, farm machinery, veterinary services, hiring plumbers, electricians, and using all the services in their community.

The economic multiplier factor ranges from 1 1/2 to 4 times. This means the $32 million estimated farm product sales per year from Dutchess County farms puts any where from $50 to $120 million back into the local economy.

Hudson Valley Fresh Milk Locations

 

Consider trying the HVF Milk For Yourself at the Following Milk Tastings:

Event Name Date Time Location
Nature’s Pantry 4/24/2010 10-2PM 142 Route 17k Newburgh, NY 12550
Whole Foods 4/24/2010 11-3pm 2101 Northern Boulevard Manhasset, NY 11030-3528
Whole Foods 5/1/2010 11-3pm 270 Greenwich Street New York, NY 10007 USA

 

For more information about this amazing organization and their efforts please visit the Hudson Valley Fresh website (http://www.hudsonvalleyfresh.com)  

Courtesy: hudsonvalleyfresh.com

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