If you know me, you know that my summer road trip with the girls is something pretty special to me. One day I’m going to get my act together and write a longer blog post about why these trips have meant so much to me over the last ten years, but right now, I’m just a smidge emotional at the thought of sending Grace off to college next week, and I’m not sure that going through ten years of photos would be the best thing for me. As you can imagine. ?
I’m really not sure how I ended up landing on Ghent, New York as our destination this year, but I think it was 1) a combination of random people mentioning this part of NY to me 2) briefly considering a Getaway Cabin in the Catskills, and then dismissing that at the thought of no A/C and too many bugs in August (not a camper here!); and 3) stumbling up on this AirBnb, that looked like it was right up our alley. The decor was a combination of rustic, industrial, and cottage-like and it was appointed with everything we needed for a few nights, including making dinner and lunch. No breakfast we could have made ourselves could have been topped by any of the nearby places like Hawthorne Valley Farm, or Little Ghent Farm, so we left breakfast to them and were glad we did.
The little guest house is very private, yet attached to the main house that sits on FIFTY TWO acres of land, including a pond and a private trail that goes through the woods behind the house. We enjoyed sitting in the adirondack chairs by the pond and reading, watching the dragon flies, and listening to the croaking frogs.
Both girls found (and finished) books we picked up the first afternoon at the Chatham Bookstore, only about ten minutes from the house.
Being animal lovers, one of the best things about this AirBnB was this little guy, Scruffy. He meowed at our window the first night, and once we gave him some cuddles he did not want to leave us alone. We pretty much fell in love with him, and it was hard to leave him to come home!
Hudson, New York is another small town, about 20 minutes from Ghent. Warren Street in the Center of town is definitely worth spending some time. There are galleries, antique stores, cafes, and restaurants. A couple of the vintage clothing stores were a huge hit with Ellie.
Below left is the Rivertown Lodge — which was once a movie theater. This photo (along with most others in this post!) was taken with my iPhone and really doesn’t do it justice, so check out the website.
Damn, that kitty was sweet. I wish we could have taken him home.
Again. We are animal lovers. So when an AirBnB suggestion popped up that we try an “experience” spending an hour playing with goats, we went for it. Nina, the owner of the farm was really kind, and actually taught us a lot of about goats and what goes into keeping them. And told us that that if we ever want a pet goat (Jeff says no, we do not.), we actually need two, not one, because they are social animals. As you can see, they enjoyed Ellie.
Nina was also fostering two puppies so we got some time with them, too!
We spent two nights in Ghent, and then headed back to Andover on Friday. But not without a trip to Little Ghent Farm where we picked up a ridiculous amount of goodies to bring back home, including the best sourdough bread I have EVER had, garlic scape butter, sesame bread (oh my god was this good), and pork ragu that we cooked up for Jeff at dinner that night. They also have a farmstay listed on AirBnB, and this is definitely something we would consider in the future.
On the way home we stopped in Great Barrington, where I hadn’t been in a few years, and is most definitely worth a visit for the adorable downtown stores and restaurants. We ate at the Tangier Cafe and had really good falafel and baba ganoush. And passing by the Mahaiwe Theater, I couldn’t believe that both John Mulaney and David Sedaris were playing back to back nights – Jeff’s two favorites!
And we could not pass up Robin’s Candy Store, because even though Grace is an official adult now, she still loves her candy.
And that’s it for Girls Road Trip number TEN. From the bottom of my heart I hope these continue for a long, long time, even though times are changing. If you need me between now and August 21st when we drop Grace off at college, you will find me quietly weeping in a corner while at the same time being SO EXCITED for all that lies ahead for this amazing girl. And for her sister, Ellie too — who is starting at the Academy at Penguin Hall this year and I know that GREAT things are in store for her too! Big changes around here — but we are rolling along with this life we have and it’s all pretty special. Cherish your time with your kids, I am telling you now. ?