Upstate New York

As many of you may know, I'm moving to New York City in September and in preparation of that, I've been to the city twice this summer. I love the city! The endless shops and restaurants and museums mean you're never bored or doing the same thing twice. I love the fast pace and all the opportunities to delve into things you're passionate about. I'm constantly thrilled at the niche events that pop up all over the city that wouldn't happen anywhere else in the world. I could go on forever. Sometimes though, it all gets a bit much and being delayed on public transportation four times in a week and having to carry all of your groceries up a 3-story walk-up and waiting behind a long line of tourists to do something you find commonplace start to lose their charm. When this happens and you need to get away for a breath of real, fresh air, you plan a trip upstate. Which is exactly what my sister and I did a couple of weeks ago.

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She had tickets to a live reading of one of her favorite podcasts—Welcome to Nightvale—at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson. I tagged along because I’d never been upstate and I love exploring new places. This town, and all the little ones around it, are surrounded by the Catskill Mountain Range, giving the area the rich comfort and awe-striking beauty that accompanies mountain towns in the summer. As we got closer we were wide-eyed at the scenery and even pulled over at an especially picturesque overlook to take in the view of a little town on the water.

On Saturday, we made the short drive over to Woodstock (because, obviously). This legendary town is a quaint little collection of vintage boutiques, fresh food spots, and stores filled with hippie paraphernalia tucked under a mountain and steeped in its own history. Our first stop was Rock City Vintage where I found the coolest pair of bellbottoms you ever did see and had to be stopped from emptying my bank account right then and there on the rest of the store. We meandered through the shops downtown and got fresh pressed juice in a little garden café before making our way back to the Airbnb to get ready for the show that night.

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Our Airbnb was the guest house of a working farm that had been located in the Hudson Valley for generations. There are several farms in the town and on our way back to the Airbnb, we stopped at one of their farm stands. We found fresh baked bread, local jams and cheeses, handpicked vegetables, and even bouquets of fresh flowers. My sister and I had a nice late lunch with all of our farmers market finds.

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Because Annandale-on-Hudson is a college town, there are lots of cute little places to eat and enjoy your time in the little town center. After the show, we left the college to do just that. In town, we found a tapas lounge called Rojo and enjoyed a nice glass of Rosé along with several delicious mini-dishes.

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Our trip was short but totally worth it. I’ll definitely be returning in the fall to watch the leaves change and experience upcoming events like the Woodstock Film Festival in October. I think I found a new happy place!