Adventures, Travel

A Hudson Valley Hike: Walkway Over the Hudson

walkway over the hudson walkway over the hudsonwalkway over the hudson walkway over the hudsonThis past Tuesday was so nice that Tuna and I felt the need to crawl out of our winter cave and embark on a little adventure. We both enjoyed the Walkway over the Hudson so much on New Year’s Day that we decided to give it another go before the move. I especially wanted to visit during the week so we’d have the place all to ourselves but boy was I a fool. It was absolutely sardine packed! Seriously, are others as equally unemployed as me?  Probably, at the rate things are going. Anyways, it was lovely enjoying all the ice but not having to freeze my butt off doing it. The view was magnificent and it lit a tinsy spark of spring fever within me.

The one and only downside was that since it was so packed, Tuna was more than a little overwhelmed with all the people and dogs going by. Halfway through the walk she became really frustrated that she couldn’t visit with everyone. At one point she broke her collar and ran after a small dog, leaving both the dog and her owner absolutely, pants-peeingly, terrified. I can’t blame either of them. I would not want to see a pit mix barreling towards my toy poodle. It was just a bad scene all around and Tuna was extremely upset afterwards because she knew from the woman’s reaction that she had done something terribly wrong. Oh well, we live, we learn and now I know to avoid such overstimulating situations.


New Years Day 2014

My New Year’s Eve was nothing to write home about. Heck, it was nothing to even write here about, but I will… I spent the day running errands and then making olive oil herbal infusions for Sweet Pea’s Groceries. It was a low-key day but ideal nonetheless. That evening I had epic plans to go out for a night on the town but everyone cancelled on me at the last-minute. Many were opting to stay home where it was warm and I can’t blame them since it was going to be in the low teens. However, my friend Amanda was still up for some fun and invited me to spend New Year’s Eve in New York City with a place to stay next to Central Park. You can’t beat that with a stick! This, I was totally up for! Usually, I hate New Year’s Eve but I just felt like ushering in 2014 with a bold gesture. I desperately need 2013 to be over and done with. So, despite the change of plans, I decided to press on. However, at around 6 pm I got sick. Just plain ole sick, for no good reason whatsoever. One minute I was feeling like I could take on the world and the next I was wanting to puke all over it. Alas, I stayed home and ended up watching a marathon of Lost Girl episodes (one of my secret delights–no judging!).

On the flip side, my New Year’s Day was fantastic! I enjoyed the Walkway Over the Hudson with a few of my friends and it was absolutely beautiful (…and freakin’ cold as all heck)! The pictures don’t do the experience justice. The walkway goes from Highland on the west side of the river to Poughkeepsie on the east side of the river. I’m ashamed to say that I only live 20 minutes from the Highland side and yet I’ve never been there before. Clutch the pearls! Well, now I’m going to go there often because I loved it and so did Petunia.

I left my friends at the trailhead, dropped Tuna off at home and took a trip over to visit my friend and former roommate, Thom, at the Washburn Farm barn. It’s great to see how the place has changed and improved since I moved out. Thom installed a pellet stove in the kitchen so it’s actually warm in there for once and there are new housemates who seem really interesting and nice. They finally successfully kicked out the housemate who I interviewed back in May. She was certifiably insane and put Thom and the other housemates through absolute hell. I’m talking about small claims court hell, calls to the police, trips to the hospital, theft, animal abuse, alcoholism, the works. Admittedly, I was holding on to some guilt because I had a part in convincing Thom to let her move in. I had no idea she was crazy. I honestly just thought she was nervous to be interviewing for a place to live…but time would quickly tell that her behavior was not due to nerves. Oh the stories I could tell you about her, however, that would merit an entirely new blog. Nevertheless, she’s gone from there, thankfully, and I can visit more often. I do miss the place.

2013-12-29 20.53.06After my visit, I came back home and resumed working on my t-shirt quilt but I quickly found that I couldn’t because the two beers I consumed in the span of three hours made my sewing skills decrease dramatically. I had to choose between just not sewing or being okay with spending the rest of the night fixing my mistakes. I chose Lost Girl instead.

I hope your New Year’s was absolutely fantastic! Let’s make 2014 memorable for all the right reasons!


A Hudson Valley Kayak Trip: The Saugerties Lighthouse

I just wanted to share some photos of my recent kayak trip to the beautiful Saugerties Lighthouse. The lighthouse, located at the confluence where the Esopus Creek meets the Hudson River, was built in 1869 and, like all other lighthouses, has seen its fair share of historical ups and downs. Currently it’s owned by a young couple that has transformed it into a perpetually-full bed and breakfast with public tours given on Sundays. The best part is that the grounds are free and open to the public–including your furry friends. Accompanying me was my mother (aka Ling Ling) and her beau Craig. We went there two days in a row because it’s just an awesome place to hang out. Enjoy the photos! I hope they encourage you to get outside and enjoy our last remaining days of nice weather before winter comes along to bite us in the arse!

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Welcome to Bannerman Island…Zee Plane! Zee Plane!

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If you’ve ever taken the train from the Hudson Valley to New York City you’ve seen Bannerman Island and its gorgeous Scottish style castle out your window. It’s a strange sight to see a castle in the middle of the Hudson River but it’s there, I promise you, at least for the time being since it’s rapidly falling down. A few weekends ago my mother and I took a 20-minute boat ride from Beacon out to the island to learn more about the castle and its interesting history. Rather than reinventing the wheel here, I will just point you in the direction of the history of the island and the castle. What I can tell you is that Frank Bannerman, the castle builder extraordinaire, was the largest buyer of army/navy surplus weapons, ammunition, goods, supplies, etc… and was the father of the first army/navy store and catalog (he was also the inventor of the sealed bid contract system that is used today). His enormous storefront was in Brooklyn, NY and he built Bannerman Castle as a safe warehouse for his surplus of weapons and such. The castle is now falling down but the Bannerman Castle Trust is working to stabilize what is left of the castle and the main house. You can actually help to do this by voting for it through Chase Community Giving by September 19th. You can find out more about the castle, the island and about voting here. Enjoy the photos and if you get the chance definitely take a tour of the island.


Own it already!

Owning who I am has always been a continuous uphill battle. We live in a culture where people value who you are by the job you have. The first thing everyone asks when they meet you is “What do you do?” This is the question I dread and instead of seeing it as an opportunity to declare who I am (not what I “do”) I usually shrink away and tell them “nothing.” Since I’ve made the bold stroke to turn my life upside down a few months ago, my identity was tossed upside down with it. Who the heck am I and what the heck do I do? Deep down inside I know the answer to both. The hard part is publicly owning and embracing these things. Like if I declare them out loud I’m somehow giving away too much or I will jinx the good thing I have going in my mind. And I know I’m not alone in this. A few weeks ago I asked my housemate what her passion in life is. After she stammered a bit she weaseled her way out of the question. The next day–a full 24 hours later–she was finally able to move it from her mind to her mouth and set it free by telling me (with great discomfort, I might add). I think there is some sort of unwritten obligation that once you’ve declared something, you must then set it in motion immediately–even if you aren’t ready to do so. But that’s silly and isn’t the case at all. That work comes later. The first thing you need to do is own it. Get comfortable with it. Be able to declare what you do when someone asks you. Don’t tell them what you do for a living if it has nothing to do with who you really are. Create a title for what you do and a little description about it. Practice it in front of your pets. Then practice in front of your friends. Then let it rip the next time a new acquaintance asks.

Where is this coming from you may ask? Why this post now? Well, if you follow this blog you already know that I’m working on a series of online classes. Well I was speaking with a lawyer–the same one that works with Jennifer Lee on the Right-Brain Business Plan book and all the wonderful stuff that has come after it–about my classes. Just speaking about these classes to him was a uncomfortable. I stammered a lot and couldn’t find the right words for what I know is supposed to be my life’s work. How can this be? How am I not able to describe what I want to do with my life to someone else? I realized that it’s because I’m not fully invested in my dream. I’m treating it like I’ve treated everything else in the past. Well…I’ll just dip a toe in to see if the water is fine and if it isn’t to my liking I’ll just walk away. No harm, no foul. It’s taken me countless years of painfully and expensively trying to figure out what I’ve been put on this earth to do and now that I’m 100% sure, I’m doing that lame-ass fear of failure dance! During that phone call I decided to stop the madness and just own it–with every fiber of my being. There is no half-assing my dreams anymore. I’m not going to be afraid of failing. That fear is what keeps people from doing what they love. But you can’t fail if you embody and own what you love. You can’t fail at it because you already are it.

The lesson in all of this is to ask yourself if what you are doing with your life is really what you are meant to be doing. If not, figure out your life’s work and own the heck out of it!

Now on a lighter note….enjoy these photos of the beautiful Hudson River. Petunia and I were standing almost in the middle of it during low tide.





Enjoying the Hudson River

This is a lovely little park just a few miles from my home. Perfect for a quick hike.


It appears to me that someone was crazy enough to try to dock a very large boat here. Either that or it’s one bad-ass rope swing.


This is a combination of broken ice and bricks. This area once had a booming brick industry back in the 1800s thanks to the abundant natural clay deposits. As you can see, the remnants are still scattered throughout the Hudson Valley.