Catskill Mountains. We'd been talking about it for a couple years so I was glad that we finally made it happen. Now, because fall foliage peaks at different times depending on where you go, I had been stressing over picking the right spot at just the right time. The Catskills sounded like a beautiful destination and located only two and a half hours from New York City, it'd be an easy drive up. Ideally we would've made our trip on Columbus day weekend so we could take part in the area's festivals and chair lift rides, but I couldn't be happier with our time there. Well, maybe if I wasn't sick the entire time we were away.
Catskill Lodge, a charming house located in Windham, NY along the northern edge of the mountains. Finding an inn that wasn't full during this time, was affordable, and didn't look like it was decorated by your great-grandma was a challenge (and truly there were so many pretty places, but they cost $140+ a night!), but I really lucked out with this pick. The seven-room house was cozy and clean and you'll feel comfortable living there almost straight away. As someone whose shyness typically keeps her from connecting with strangers during her travels, I was a bit nervous about breakfast the first morning. "There will be people eating at the table with us, too!" I whispered as I tried to stall in our room.
And then the road turned a corner to reveal a clear view of the colorful expanse before us and I don't know how I didn't jump out the car window right then. I wanted to be enveloped by all that vibrancy and dance under that yellow canopy of leaves and light. You remember the double rainbow man? Well I wasn't that crazy, but I can understand how someone can be so overcome by the beauty of nature. Even now, looking at these photos, I can't believe what a show this earth can put on. If that road was all we got to enjoy during our stay in the mountains, I would've returned to the city entirely content. It was just what I had wanted.
Kaaterskill Falls would be gushing so after sharing a sandwich and fresh smoothies at Maggie's Krooked Cafe & Juice Bar, we made our way down Route 23A for the falls. Landing a parking spot in the tiny lot off the side of the road was a nightmare, but once we did, we climbed our way through the rocky wet trail along the side of the waterfall. It was a fairly easy-to-moderate hike (and I was fighting through my illness as best I could) that took just a little over an hour to complete both ways.
That evening, we had dinner at Millrock Restaurant and while A. didn't think his salmon and penne pasta was that good, I really liked my baked shrimp. Back at the lodge, we popped open our complimentary champagne (a little bonus if you're celebrating something at the b&b) and toasted to A.'s 30th birthday and my general awesomeness.
North-South Lake in the Catskill Forest Preserve. It was chillier that day (so thank goodness we squeezed in all we did the previous day), but we were happy with taking the day slowly and wandering around. We walked to a lookout point and from there were treated to a view of the Hudson Valley spreading out below. We cuddled on a bench and talked about our ideas, personal wishes, and where we want our lives to take us. It's hard not to be inspired or want to take on so much more when you're sitting on top of a mountain.
Vinnie's Farm Market, which was conveniently located on Route 32 and on our way back to the New York Thruway. The place was filled with fresh fruits, veggies, rows and shelves of baked goods and jams, and such kind service. We walked back to the car with our arms full of cider, apples, banana walnut bread, applesauce, cider donuts, and pies filled with strawberry rhubarb (for me) and pumpkin chocolate chip (for him), satisfied with how we capped our fall weekend retreat in New York. It was the sweetest way to celebrate my favorite season.