“When the seasons shift, even the subtle beginning, the scent of a promised change, I feel something stir inside me. Hopefulness? Gratitude? Openness? Whatever it is, it’s welcome.” ~ Kristin Armstrong
I know, I know, I am straddling seasons like a poorly timed pole vaulter, (of which I was way to short to ever be) but before I really throw my blog into an early Blogmas, I wanted to share some autumn nostalgia. I also know we could all go on and on about 2020, and how it has screwed up our plans and traditions, etc. I don’t want to be depressing and hopefully this is more reflective, then that, but one of the biggest things I have missed was my weekend excursions to the Hudson Valley in Autumn.
I, like most of the world, have had cancelled trips. I am not going to cry about Italy, much, and I have had plans go awry, case in point STILL in NH. But while I have tried to take a positive note on most of these 2020 disruptions, because as they say, shit happens, everything DOES happen for a reason, and also, I have been saving quite a bit of moolah with not traveling, so I cannot complain there. That said, there were two occasions that I was disappointed had to be changed, the first being my Grandmother’s burial and not having family come for that, not being able to see my family (I only JUST met my cousin’s baby and MY new goddaughter a couple weeks ago) and Hudson Valley traditions. Which might seem like it falls in the travel category, but it doesn’t, because those excursions were done with family and or friends.
Last Year Brought Old Traditions
Moving out of New York over a year ago, I was afraid I would miss the autumn traditions I had created with my family and friends.. Fairs with friends, apple picking with my cousin and pumpkin picking with my niece. In fact my niece even asked my sister if I would be able to drive down for the day so we could do fall festivities. (the sweet child.) my sister had to explain that unfortunately it was to far away for a day trip.
Amazingly and gratefully I didn’t have to fear I would miss those traditions because I was able to go back to New York in the autumn and despite having left, I still got to do all the fun things in the Hudson Valley. This year, unfortunately, due to the pandemic it just was not possible. In fact I even had to miss my nephews confirmation and I was his sponsor!
The Hudson Valley
That said, the Hudson Valley has so much to offer and has even become known as the alternative to the Hamptons, especially in the Autumn. Many New Yorkers (sorry, upstaters and down staters) have eve been leaving the city and settling down in the Hudson Valley and I can understand why. It truly is a beautiful place.
Despite not being able to visit, I thought it only fitting to give it some love, especially since many of the places I use to visit, are not only small businesses, but also the perfect place to have some social distance fun. I have written before about my trips to Dubois Farms, Hahn Farms, and Wright Farms multiple times. As family owned and operated farms, each place offers a unique and fun experience, and this year especially they not only offered a sense of normalcy, but did it in a safe fashion.
The Hudson Valley isn’t all sprawling farmland and stunning foliage, (which I grudgingly admit, gives the White Mountains a run for their money) but also has quaint towns like Rhinebeck and and Hudson which give all the vibes of a Hallmark movie set in the autumn. They are the perfect place if you are craving a quieter more historical feel. And the Hudson Valley has history in spades. From mansions like Roosevelt, (which is also home to his presidential library) Vanderbilt, Schuyler, and Boscobel Mansions, to the Sleepy Hallow Lantern Tour (perfect for Halloween) the Saugerties and Roundout Creek Lighthouses, the Hudson Valley has preserved its’ history while still creating a hip and modern environment with a food scene that isn’t just up and coming, but has arrived. As well as an extensive list of breweries and wineries to visit.
The Hudson Valley also has an extensive system of trails through aqueducts, and old historical railroad tracks, as well as hiking in the Catskills and even a bit closer to the city, in towns like Cold Spring and Kingston. Just a half hour away from the city, it offers a reprieve for those who are craving nature.
The Place to Visit
I admit, I didn’t think I would grow to be as fond as I have become of the Hudson Valley. In many ways it reminds me of the town I grew up in, except it has kept, preserved, and even marketed its history, much better then we have. The architecture is also second to none, and I am a sucker for historical architecture. There is so much to see and do, while still being able to escape the hustle and bustle if you need to.
While I wasn’t able to visit this year, I am crossing my fingers for autumn next year, to see my family, and continue some of the autumn traditions I created whilst living in New York. The beauty of city living, is that the Hudson Valley is literally just a train ride away if you live there, taking you along the Hudson and giving you an exquisite tour of fall foliage. Until then I am so grateful for my memories from last year.
Have you been to the Hudson Valley? Did you create new traditions this fall because of COVID?