Yes, folks, we have a car...in Brooklyn. We are the dummies in New York City constantly looking for parking spots and paying through the nose for car insurance. Having a car here is largely an enormous pain in the ass, but we keep it for four reasons: 1) We're stubborn and we've grown accustomed to a driving lifestyle, 2) Daniel drives to work, making his commute much simpler, 3) It makes for a quick getaway out of the city during a zombie apocalypse (duh), 4) It makes for a quick getaway when we want to venture out of the city for a vacation.
Today, I'd like to talk about that final reason because this last weekend, thanks to our trusty automobile, Daniel and I took a most wondrous vacation to the Catskills!
|A CAT with some major SKILLS. #wordplay #jokes #nailedit|
That's right! We went upstate to a town just outside of the Catskills Mountains called Accord. Why Accord? Well, in truth, all we were looking for was a cute cabin somewhere, anywhere in the woods where I could write and Daniel could take lengthy naps. We found an adorable little place on Airbnb (which, by the way, is my new obsession). I'm sure you know the deal at the point, but just in case, Airbnb is a home-sharing site which enables you to rent out your home/apartment/cottage/houseboat/igloo/etc short-term. I have had so much success using it that it's possible I will never book a hotel room ever again. Here are some images of the picturesque, two-bedroom, super cheap cottage that brought us to Accord:
|I miss it already...|
|The view from the living room. Those are my feet, in case you were wondering.|
|I mean, honestly, what more do you need in life?|
It all kind of seems like a dream now. Every morning, I would wake up, pour myself a cup of coffee, get settled in a comfy chair on the back porch, and just spend time writing about whatever this view happened to inspire:
I was acutely aware that I was essentially manufacturing this idyllic writers' moment, but I didn't care. I've always dreamed of going to the mountains, holing up in a little cottage with my typewriter (laptop) for a month or two to write the next great american novel. This experience wasn't exactly that, but it was a taste. I wrote some things that I quite like as well as some things which read like the ramblings of a crazy person. It was exactly like I dreamed it would be.
But we didn't just stay in our little cottage, no sir. Being the explorers that we are, we ventured out into the wilds of the Hudson Valley. I should warn you that from here on out, this blog post is going to be just like the days when your aunt would show you slides from her vacation to Fiji that you really never asked her to see (Remember when that was a thing, by the way? Slides? Projectors? If you're feeling nostalgic, you can bid on some vacation slides on eBay). Feel free to zone out as a defense mechanism.
Down the road from us was a place called Saunderskill Farm, an impressive market where I bought more apple cider donuts than I care to recount as well as this magical jar of pickles.
|When God made pickles, he was like, "You know who I bet would love these? My girl, Christy,"|
And he was right.
We also traveled to a nearby hamlet called High Falls (up there they refer to towns as "hamlets" because, well, they appreciate the works of Shakespeare? I don't really know). For all of you Parks and Recreation fans out there, High Falls is to Accord what Eagleton is to Pawnee. In other words, it really seems like a much nicer place to call home. Here I am with an electricity-generating waterfall that we stumbled upon:
Also in High Falls, we ate a delicious lunch at The Egg's Nest, a lovely restaurant which won me over with its extreme, tacky decor. As you may well know, I'm a sucker for bright colors and pictures of kitties everywhere.
Arguably the most ambitious thing we did while on vacation was continue our half marathon training. For our big weekend run, we headed to Minnewaska State Park, a place as beautiful as its name is silly.
|Part of our glorious five mile running trail. Also pictured: A small dinosaur maybe?! Does anyone else see what I'm seeing?!|
While driving through Minnewaska, we randomly stumbled upon this incredible collection of driftwood "sculptures".
Really, they just came out of the ocean like that, so I guess they aren't really sculptures in the technical sense (I guess you could say they are God's sculptures). Regardless, I want all of them.
However, we still managed to be somewhat productive at our little cottage in our little hamlet. I, of course, spent my time writing and Daniel, for some reason, got it in his mind that his time would be best spent roasting a chicken. From the time the idea entered his brain to the moment that damn chicken came out of the oven, he would not stop talking about it. It was "roasted-chicken-this" and "roasted-chicken-that" and "giblets-this" and "rainbow-carrots-that". I mean, the man was persistent, maniacally-so, but I wasn't going to complain as long as the end result was actually deliciously moist chicken (and, by the way, it was).
As one can plainly see, it was a marvelous trip, and through it, I learned many things. One of the most important bits of wisdom I gleaned is that I need to slow down and focus, especially when it comes to writing. I need to let my ideas flow freely, but I also need to commit to finishing my projects.
|Daniel, the mad scientist, prepping the pan for the roasted chicken of his dreams.|
|The roasted chicken, pre-roast (recipe by Ina Garten)|
|The final product. Delicious moist chicken, potato salad, and wine obviously.|
Additionally, I learned that an intentionally-spent five minutes with my husband is better than three hours of zoning out while binge-watching Netflix with him. Having purposeful time together frees us both to be independent in other areas of our lives. I must remember this.
Most importantly, however, I learned that camp fires, wine, and Daniel's coat are maybe three of the best things on the planet. Please see the following picture as definitive proof of that fact: