Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: The Haven That Is Hudson

I have the most restless legs in the world. It's an epic challenge for me to make it through a movie without leaving the theater and running laps around the parking lot. Apparently they make medication for this supposed 'restless leg syndrome', but I avoid it like the plague because I absolutely refuse to be the girl on crazy leg drugs. People would think I was loco, right?!?!

Now that you have a deeper understanding of my unruly legs, you'll understand that I can only take so many road trips without going certifiably insane. My legs prefer short, easy trips (3 hours tops) vs. the marathons to Indiana that Adam drags me on every Thanksgiving (Just kidding, Adam! I LOVE those trips!).

This past weekend we rented a car and took a short 2.5 hour drive north of the city to Hudson, NY. You've probably heard of the Hudson River or the Hudson Valley, but most people are pleasantly surprised to find that there's also a small Victorian-era town by the same name!

Hudson has become a haven for artists, antique dealers and city folk who have grown weary from the wear and tear of daily life in the concrete jungle. Downtown Hudson is very small but packed to capacity with shops and restaurants. There was even a weekend Farmer's Market... BINGO! We spent Saturday afternoon wandering through the shops while I made long mental wishlists of items to request from Santa (I'll probably need a house to hold all the stuff he's going to bring me this year).

After shopping 'til we dropped, we drove 20 minutes east to the Hudson-Chatham Winery in Ghent, NY, a small family-owned operation. They were having their annual Sangria Festival (yes, please!). After the parking lot attendant who looked like he was maybe 12 years old called Adam 'Christian Bale', we were pleasantly surprised to find that 'said' parking lot attendant and his buddy were the featured 'local band' listed on the afternoon's line-up. They played Johnny Cash's 'A Boy Named Sue'. They also had to stop and start over a few times to get their timing right. Need I say more?

For dinner, we made reservations at Swoon Kitchenbar on Warren Street. Swoon is a Zagat rated brasserie that prides itself on using food from local farms. The food certainly lived up to the reviews. We started with Matunuck Oysters on the 1/2 shell with a mignonette sauce and the Crispy Artichokes with black aioli. They both really hit the spot after a long day of shopping and sangria.

For our entrees, Adam had the Flounder over a colorful ratatoille, and I went with the Grilled Lamb Shank over Israeli couscous and sauteed greens with tahini sauce. Both were spectacular. Although I couldn't imagine eating anything else, we had a very hard time passing up the fresh blueberry tart with lavender icecream. When in Hudson, I guess...

Because we waited until the last minute to plan this adventure, we almost had to camp out after dinner (apparently, Hudson was THE place to be last weekend). Thankfully, the Front Street Guest House saved the day just in the nick of time. Front Street Guest House is a beautiful B&B-style cottage overlooking the Hudson River. The owners were extremely gracious and accommodating and the house had lots of charming Victorian-era touches. I highly recommend it.

New York City can easily become a bubble if you let it. Sometimes it takes a good road trip to remind you that there's life outside the city ...and nature at that!


  1. Hudson looks like the place to be this spring break for people who want something beyond the usual beach trip. Do they also accommodate RV trippers?

    1. Hi Raiver, I don't know of any RV sites within Hudson but I'm sure there are some in the surrounding areas! You can visit columbiacountytourism.org for more info. It's a great little town!

  2. I completely agree with you, there is indeed life outside the city. Though it's been a while since I went on a vacation myself. I miss going on an out of town trip and I guess it's time to plan one soon.

    1. Hi Meredith! I'm a huge believer in the necessity of vacation time! It's so important to have time to recharge your battery! Hope you get one soon! :)