I’m finally getting the chance to catch up on all of those travel posts I’ve been wanting to write since last June. Well, here we go with number one!
Last year I got to go on a trip upstate. Even after being here for 5 years, I’ve never ventured further outside of NY than Montauk and Westchester. Upstate had always been on my list and when my friend suggested to spend Christmas there, I was all for it. Upstate can be defined as anything more than one hour outside of the city, I believe. Upstate goes as far as to the border of Canada. Syracuse would be pretty much in the middle, but I’ve heard there is not too much out there. New Yorkers like to go Woodstock during the warmer months and perhaps even during winter, even though I am not sure what type of activities can be pursued at that time of year.
We ended up in the Catskills, which is a common weekend stay for summers. Perhaps not so much in the winter, but then again, you never know as people like to go skiing and whatnot.
The part of the Catskills we went to was about 2 ½ hours by car. We rented out a cute green cabin perhaps 30 minutes outside of Woodstock. It was Christmas Eve and nowhere close to being a white holiday. Instead, we danced around in the rain during some 50 degrees early-winter warmth.
The cabin itself was a pretty amazing place to stay. My friend had rented it out because of its fireplace. In the end, we burned down way more logs than thought because we sat in front of it the entire day and night up until 3am in the morning. Even though it wasn’t snowing and chilly outdoors, we certainly enjoyed the pre-winter-thoughts and being able to do whatever we wanted without having any neighbors in our proximity.
After cooking a simply Christmas dinner, we idled our times away telling stories, discovering the surroundings, and “warming” up in front of the fire. We also drank the three bottles of red wine my friend had brought with. The next day I was pretty hungover and in absolutely no mood for a nature hike. Too bad, because the Catskills were amazingly beautiful on Christmas day. I’m sure they are even prettier during spring and summer. The entire landscape kind of reminded me of home, because it was slightly hilly and had a lot of green on the mountains, such as fir trees. I grew up in an area in Germany that is strikingly similar and yet this area lies on another continent…
Since we had already turned in the keys to our cabin, we couldn’t really eat home-made food that day. Therefore, we drove to Woodstock, in hopes to find an open diner or restaurant of some sort. Unfortunately everything was closed, as it was a major holiday. We ended up getting Chinese food in Kingston, which is the biggest city up in that area. I also ran across some cool graffiti, while trekking over to the Chinese take-out place.
After cruising the Catskills a bit more, we finally decided to simply drive back to Brooklyn. However, not without making a stop at a local theatre and watching Big Eyes (which is a pretty good movie starring Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams).
My short stay in proper upstate New York needs to be continued during much warmer weather and when I am able to jump into some of the amazing lakes, which are found all over the place. Until then, the Christmas memory will have to do.