Hudson Anniversary Weekend

This weekend was our first anniversary. To celebrate, Justin and I wanted a relaxing getaway and a chance to be in nature for a while. Lots of time to talk, to rest, to just be together and not feel the pressure to be doing all the time. We're going to Italy as our "big trip" so we wanted a simple, quiet weekend together.
We drove up from New York Friday night, slightly paranoid about driving on the spare tire and starving, since neither of us had eaten dinner. The Wendy’s in Kingston tasted like gourmet goodness at 9 pm. But we were welcomed into the Renwick Clifton by Eric, one of our hosts. He showed us around the house and made us feel immediately comfortable. Then, we walked into our room and I saw the most beautiful, lush bouquet of lilies and roses. Justin had managed to track down a local florist. They made the whole room smell heavenly!

Eric and Miriam grew up in the area and have owned the bed and breakfast for a couple years now. Eric cooks the breakfast, and Miriam serves and decorates. The house overlooks the Hudson River, so we enjoyed the wonderful four-course breakfast with a view. 
We spent much of the day hiking, first along the river from Glasco up towards Saugerties. We sat on a bench and talked for more than an hour, just enjoying the breeze off the water and the time to think.

But our favorite discovery of the day was the Saugerties Lighthouse. A long path winds through the woods to reach the lighthouse. Then, everything opens up and you’re on a little peninsula, jutting out into the river. Behind the lighthouse is a large deck area with tables and benches. Several families were out there for the day, with picnic baskets, games, and all their swimming gear. We wished we’d had our suits!

I just loved the way this church's cemetery is right outside the door. The gravestones have settled, tipping and toppling over at an angle. Ever since childhood genealogy trips with my grandmother and mother, I've been fascinated by cemeteries. Not in a morbid way, I just find them very calming and peaceful. (Probably the result of playing around in so many with my brother as a child.) I like to look at the headstones and read their inscriptions and imagine what their lives were like. If you could choose one phrase or sentence to describe your entire life, what would it be? "Beloved wife and mother"sounds insufficient for most wives and mothers I know. 
We headed to downtown Saugerties browsed through several cute antique shops, checking out old books and jewelry and furniture. We discovered GREEN, a store that specializes in Midcentury furniture. They had some amazing, authentic 60s pieces. The whole place made me so happy!

For dinner, we drove across the Hudson to Rhinebeck. Another cute little town, Rhinebeck is filled with little shops and good restaurants. Calico did not disappoint. Run by a husband and wife team, Anthony and Leslie Balassone who are both guest chefs at the nearby Culinary Institute. He cooks the food and she creates the pastries. We had a romantic, delicious meal and looked back at this crazy, busy, good first year of marriage.
On Sunday—our actual anniversary— we got up for another amazing breakfast, this time blueberry pancakes with blueberry butter and blue berry syrup! Then, it was off to Woodstock for the flea market. It is exactly what you'd imagine—a quirky, hippie mountain town and so cute. The highlight for me was stumbling upon a shaved ice stand—piña colada with cream, please!
Our final stop was the lust-worthy home of Frederick Vanderbilt and his wife Louise. It overlooks the Hudson River and is on 211 acres of land. Built in 1895, the home was given to a niece upon his death in 1938, and she never lived there. Unable to sell the property, she gave it to FDR and the National Parks Service for $1. It is exactly as it was when the Vanderbilts lived there, down to the tapestries and furniture. We had a fun, knowledgable tour guide/park ranger and were pretty impressed with all we saw. The architecture of the house is just incredible and the entire estate is now a public park you can wander around.
As we walked to our cars after the tour, I saw this woman laying out on the lawn... 
This was the horse tying ring on the massive old tree in front of the Renwick Clifton. All in all, we loved the area and would definitely come back again. There was so much we didn't get to see! Au revoir!

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