Travelogues: Flirty at THIRTY - an adventure through Hudson Valley and the Catskills

posted on: Friday, June 1, 2012







Every boy needs a red velvet cruller for breakfast.

To celebrate Alan's 30th birthday we both took a long weekend off work and headed out on a surprise (to him) trip to the Hudson Valley and the Catskills.

We left Friday, much later than I the planned and after hours stuck in traffic, we finally made it to Beacon. What a cute town, but my lord, every person I interacted with there was so rude! It was really weird. The guy at the hamburger joint, the people working at Dia: Beacon, even some random person on the street yelled at me for no reason. It was really strange. But my burger was good and Dia: Beacon was amazing. I'm kind of in love with John Chamberlain, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Robert Smithson now. Favorite artist category? Possibly so... I'd like to go back, good thing Metro north stops within walking distance, making it easy. After that we drove Route 9W, meandering through small towns, up to Saugerties. Saugerties was super cute. Not as pretentious and cutesy as Beacon, not as hippie dippie as Woodstock. There were some decent antique stores including one called Green that had a ton of great mid-century stuff that I'm too poor to buy at this point in my life but I had a great time looking! We had some decent bbq, I'm always so surprised when I eat good bbq outside of the south! Especially when the cole slaw is good. That's just downright shocking. We stayed at a b&b that was pretty great called the Montgomery B&B. Small, unpretentious and simple on a hill over Esopus Creek. I couldn't see the creek but from the awesome back porch (where we ate breakfast both mornings) I could hear the waterfall roaring. The decor was a bit dated but in a way that just felt like you were staying at your not very hip aunt and uncle's house, if you know what I mean, and the innkeepers were absolutely lovely people. 

Saturday we slept in a bit then went to Woodstock to check out a flea market that was going on. It turned out to be lots of hippies selling cheap silver jewelry and not much else, but I did get a pretty cool orange 60s plastic ashtray (perfect for holding small things on the coffee table) and a little brass unicorn. We were going to do a hike but Alan had worn jeans and he was really hot, so we went headed back to Saugerties. We stopped for some lunch and to check out the antique stores, then went to the Saugerties Lighthouse on the Hudson. Super cool! We were going to rent kayaks after that but when we went back to the b&b to change, Alan fell asleep. So instead, he took a long nap while I read most of a book. Perfect vacation, right?! After he woke up, we walked around for a bit, checking out the creek and a park and some neighborhoods, then went for Mexican food at some place right outside of town that was full of nothing but locals. Always nice to get off the tourist path! 


Antiques in a basement jumble in Saugerties


Beautiful old lighthouse on a beautiful old river

The Catskills were stunning, absolutely beautiful. I had no idea... Sunday morning we moseyed our way to Roxbury, deep in the Catskills. We stopped at Kaaterskill Falls, which was breathtaking. Absolutely amazing. I'd really love to do the Hudson Valley painters art tour someday. At the falls, we were the idiots that had to hike up to the second step, completely ignoring the intense sign warning of the dangers of doing so. Not so bad going up but coming down... Terrifying!! From there we drove west on NY-23A, stopping in Tannersville for coffee and a delicious chocolate chip cookie and to stretch our legs. We went into the strangest thrift store ever and then the coffee place we went to was also a shop where I lusted over Le Creuset cookware that I can't quite yet afford. Tannersville was kind of cool! Tiny of course, like all of those towns, but I liked the vibe. Would it be crazy to quit my good job and move up to the Hunter Mountain area and become a snow bunny? Ha. After leaving Tannersville, we took NY-214 south through the mountains to Phoenicia, stopping at Devils Tombstone campground to check out one of the loveliest ponds I've ever seen. Seriously looked like a fairy pond. In Phoenicia I had to get a picture with the huge Davy Crockett statue, and we ate some really crappy food. If you're ever in Phoenicia, don't go to the Alamo! Next time I'm going to try Sweet Sue's where they evidently have 24 different types of pancakes. Or something like that. From Phoenicia we took a slight detour south on NY-28 (actually, we got lost due to not having signal in the mountains or a map or common sense, but it worked out...) to check out the world's largest kaleidoscope. So funny!! We headed back north on NY-28 to Arkville, then took NY-30 to Roxbury and the Roxbury Motel. Warning! There is nothing to do in Roxbury on a Sunday night! At the bar and grill by the hotel, the kitchen was closed by 7:30 and she was only serving drinks until the customers finished eating. The one sad little convenience store in town doesn't have much in the way of food and I don't have a clue where the nearest grocery store is located. But our motel was super nice and fun, our room was hilarious (the Samantha's Cloud room, decor inspired by Bewitched) and the area is beautiful. I'd definitely love to go back, but maybe with friends and rent a suite so there are other people to hang out with and laugh and drink beers on the lawn and play games. 

I may or may not have disregarded this sign...

Kaaterskill Falls in all her glory



Monday morning we left Roxbury after a yummy continental breakfast (literally, they had like 15 different kinds of jams and nutella type spreads) and headed north on NY-30 to NY-23 east to Prattsville and Pratt Rock. Driving through Prattsville was heartbreaking. They were one of the towns hit hardest by the floods after Hurricane Irene. You can still see the water marks 8-10 feet high on all of the buildings, for sale signs and wreckage and red x's spray painted on buildings and debris... I'd like to go back there as well, take some friends, spend some money. Pratt Rock is right outside of town, that's where the horse and various other oddities were carved into the side of the mountain in the late 1800s. Really funny story, you should look it up! After recovering from the hike straight up the mountain, we continued driving through the windiest roads through the mountains that I could find. I think we took NY-23A to 42 to Co Rd 47, passing a place called Frost Valley YMCA that I'd like to research for a future trip, then on to NY-55 along the Neversink reservoir, then NY-17 to Monticello. I don't know why I wanted to stop in Monticello, I thought I had heard it was cool but not so much! I tried to convince Alan to go the few miles west to Bethel for lunch but instead we stopped at some diner. Meh. But the crappy food and weirdness of Monticello didn't put a damper on all the awesome scenery we'd passed through! From there, with a stop at some mall in Orange County, we headed back into the city.




Amazing to think that several towns are below those waters.

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