REFILLING YOUR HAPPY IN THE CATSKILL MOUNTAINS

REFILLING YOUR HAPPY IN THE CATSKILL MOUNTAINS

Life seems to move so quickly these days that you have to grab hold of any moment to slow down just to stay sane.

My husband has gotten really good at seeing when he and I need to get away and acting on it a lot sooner than I. It was he who said, “We are leaving for a weekend, just as two” and I couldn’t have loved him more for it. (I’ve added a few new favorite finds from our return for another romantic weekend escape to the area.)

With an overnight bag we set out for quick weekend trip to the Catskill Mountains, where we know we can escape the world. We made our way past Phoenicia, NY (though not before grabbing brunch at the Phoenicia Diner) and towards the small town of Andes, NY. With snow still on the ground and the temperatures still pretty cold, most businesses have not opened their doors for visitors, many of whom flock to the area during warmer months.

But Wild Common Wine was open and preparing for a tasting later that afternoon. Courtney, the owner, showed us some of her favorites from her selection of organic wines from as close as the Finger Lakes to as far as France.

 

Little Lupe staying warm and watching over the wine shop.
Of course we left with several bottles in hand, and then upon Courtney’s suggestion, headed over to Wayside Cider where we indulged in some pretty incredible cider in a chill, cool place. We were still full from our brunch but were tempted by Wayside’s menu.

 

I was happy that we got to explore these two new spots and Andes looked like a hip little town, so of course it’s on our list now for another visit.

UPDATE: Upon our return to Andes, NY we made another fun stop at Wild Common Wine, but also did some antiquing at the very cool Kabinett and Kammer, where we picked up a couple of small gift items.

We also tried out a new eatery! Table on Ten, a cute eatery with a small menu of dishes that hold massive flavors. We both tried their egg skillets and just had to take a freshly baked loaf home, as well as their homemade granola. It was one of our favorite new finds to date!

 

A new favorite brunch spot.
We drove a bit further into the mountains and to the even smaller town of Bovina where our cabin oasis (an AirBnB rental) was waiting for us. I was giddy about it. It was the perfect cabin, and we’ve been lucky to have stayed in some pretty dreamy ones. It was quiet and isolated enough, surrounded by trees with no neighbors in sight. And as the busy parents and professionals that we are, we walked up to the second level, picked one of the two bedrooms, jumped into bed and fell right asleep. Heavenly doesn’t even begin to describe that afternoon of absolute nothingness and bliss. No phones, no television (the cabin had WiFi but no T.V. or other electronics), no dogs, no kids, just peace.

 

A few hours later we woke up relaxed and hungry. The owners of the rental also own a trendy restaurant in town called the Brushland Eating House which has gotten some great reviews, but we decided to leave that for next time and explore Hobart, NY, the next town over.

We had dinner and drinks at Bull and Garland, a British inn and pub which exceeded our expectations. From beginning to end, everything was so tasty and the service friendly, we smiled the entire time. When my husband asked for coffee and they brought out a French press, well, it pretty much stole his heart. (I couldn’t stop laughing at how excited this made him!)

The pub itself took me back to an experience I might have had in London, or Ireland even, which pulled at my heart-strings and the overall experience complimented our day. Their rooms look lovely (on Instagram) and I am thinking of revisiting for a stay.

UPDATE: We have since booked a stay at Bull and Garland and absolutely loved it. Our room was quirky and had a ton of character and it was private and peaceful. We played old jazz albums off the available record player and drank wine our recent Wild Common Wine stop. Though we only stayed a night, I would have enjoyed a longer escape. It was really lovely. At the time of this publication the owners were planning to close post holiday season with a return in the spring, so book early for a room!

Jazz and wine
Return to Bull and Garland
With our bellies full, our hearts happy, and our souls relaxed we headed back to our little cabin and sat on the steps of the wooden deck to look at the stars. The night was crisp, with the temperature having dropped significantly since our arrival earlier in the day. When my husband was tempted to photograph the moment, he couldn’t.

His camera couldn’t capture how beautiful the stars were, or how the shadows of the tree on the snow caused by the moonlight gave a sense of being in the middle of a storybook fairytale. It couldn’t capture the absolute silence in the forest disrupted by nothing, not even the animals who are still in hibernation. And it certainly couldn’t capture how great I felt only after a few hours of separation from my every day life. It was only a day, only a night, but it was just enough to refill my joy, and we all deserve an extra cup of that once in a while. Especially the moments so special not even a picture will do.

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