May 12, 13, 15 & 16, 2018 – Hudson River Valley, NY
As we stated a couple of posts back, our base for seeing New York City was Newburgh, New York. Located about an hour-plus north of NYC by rail, this charming area nestled in the Hudson River Valley is as if you are in a totally different world. The rolling hills are dotted with small farms and little towns, in contrast to the metropolis to the south. With us being in the vicinity for the better part of a week, we decided to explore and see what hidden gems we might find!
Saturday, May 12 was a cold, drizzly sort of day, we decided it would be a good opportunity to do some grocery shopping. On the way to the store, Diana did a little Google search and informed me that Angry Orchard Hard Cider was located near there in the town of Walden, and that they had live music that afternoon. Seeing that this cider is available across the nation, I had always assumed Angry Orchard to be a fictional place. Apparently, this wasn’t the case. I made a quick U-turn and we headed to the cidery. Groceries can wait until later!
This very real place is filled with gnarly-looking apple trees. According to the company, the angriest trees produce the best cider.
It is here that they have what is known as their Innovation Cider House. This is where they offer new flavors and blends to their guests, before sending it out to the masses.
Everyone of drinking age is given a free flight of three different ciders, and the bar offers several other flavors for sale. As you can see in the photo above, the complimentary pours are a decent size! Diana also tried their Rose. I had a pint of their Maple Wooden Sleeper, which is aged in bourbon barrels. It has a somewhat dryness to it, with hints of maple, vanilla and bourbon. At 12% ABV…double their normal offering…it also earns the name ‘sleeper’!
They had a duo that afternoon, which made for a great atmosphere! We were sitting at community tables with several locals, which was a lot of fun.
They have a self-guided tour that ends with this showcase of the awards they’ve won. Most were from the Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition. Hmmmmm…..never heard of that, but it might be worth checking out sometime!
Sunday, May 13 was another rainy day, so we decided to head across the river to Hyde Park. We had visited this town back in 2007 to see Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home and Eleanor Roosevelt’s cottage, Valkill. Both were amazing and are recommended by us, if you are in the area. This time, we visited FDR’s neighbor, the Vanderbilt mansion.
Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt had this estate built in the late 1890’s as a summer escape from the heat of New York City. These are the people who owned the New York Central railroad and are responsible for the beautiful Grand Central Terminal we love so much. When Frederick passed in the 1930’s, he willed the mansion to his niece. After unsuccessfully trying to sell it, FDR convinced her to donate it to the National Park Service. It has been in their care since 1940.
This is the dining room. The table actually looked small in this room, but our guide explained that the couple only entertained a few guests at a time.
This is Louise’s bedroom. Lots of gold leaf adorning the walls.
This is the man cave, so to speak. I’m sure there were plenty of cigars smoked in this room!
Tours are offered at $10 each. Although it doesn’t state it in their literature or on their website, NPS Interagency Annual Passholders are admitted at no charge. We didn’t check, but that is probably the same at the Roosevelt sites, so be sure to ask.
On Tuesday May 15, we decided to check out the nearby town of New Paltz with our friend Kathy. We met her while working at Amazon in 2016 and we’ve been fortunate to see her twice between then and now. Check out her new blog called Wonder Woman Wandering. After checking out a few stores, we grabbed a drink at a local watering hole. While there, everyone’s phones went crazy as there was a tornado warning. We looked at the radar and it appeared we were OK where we were, but we decided to head back to camp, just in case. Later that evening, a nasty storm hit. While it was bad by us, it was much worse just to our south. Huge trees were toppled everywhere and a couple of people were killed when they fell on them.
The next day, the three of us decided to do some more exploring. On a stop at Walgreens to pick up a prescription, we saw this:
I guess this is why it’s a good idea to have a backup generator. All of their dairy coolers had lost power in the storm.
We headed to Minnewaska State Park on a quest to do a little hiking.
This is Awosting Falls from above. We continued down the trail to see what they looked like from below.
Very pretty! These falls are located on the Peters Kill River, which was flowing rapidly with the recent rains.
Diana and Kathy spotted this interesting boulder across the river with trees growing over it. 🙂
We then drove up to Lake Minnewaska to see what that looked like.
Kathy read a sign that told how the quartz that underlies the lake prevents the acidity from being filtered out. As a result, this body of water doesn’t have any fish. It is a picturesque scene, nonetheless.
On the way back, we made a stop at Kelder’s Farm in Kerhonkson.
Kathy had spotted this garden gnome in Roadside America, as the largest in the world when it was made in 2006, and said “Now THAT’S a selfie moment!” By golly, I believe she is right!
To cap the day, we stopped at Tuthilltown Distillery to sample what they had to offer. They had some excellent bourbon, but their prices reflected their small size. We did enjoy the tasting, though!
That wraps up our time in New York and the Hudson River Valley for the time being. Next up, we visit with friends in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Be sure to stay tuned for that. Until then, safe travels to all!