A Long Weekend in Dutchess County

For Labor Day weekend, I wanted to do a little dog-centered getaway because we hadn't really done a family trip with George Michael in over a year. GM's ideal vacation consists of hiking with access to a water feature of some sort, loads of treats, and basically spending every minute with the entire pack.

I wanted to go somewhere that wasn't too far, as I wasn't keen on spending too much time in the car, but it had to be far enough to justify staying in a hotel, otherwise it wasn't really going to feel like a vacation. I ended up choosing a hotel in Fishkill, which was about a 90 mile ride from our house.
I hadn't really been planning on writing a blog post for this little long weekend trip but I ended up taking so many fun photos on my phone, I wanted to share them.


I made a map and bookmarked all the places I was interested in and made a rough itinerary but ultimately, we really played it by ear which made it a super relaxing break. The most satisfying part of the trip was I think GM really did have a lot of fun.

Here's my map:

RESIDENCE INN FISHKILL
The hotel options were somewhat limited since we needed a pet-friendly hotel. I also kind of wanted to book in at a Marriott for the points. And since I was booking only a week in advance, I knew prices for hotels in the area would all be similar so I wanted to take advantage of the mini discount that Marriott awards to its members anyway.

In additional to being pet-friendly, Residence Inns are all extended stays which means there are kitchens in every room. This location also boasted a grill so in anticipation of this, I did some meal prep at home to make it easier on us during meal times so that it would still feel like a vacation. Plus, I knew that the selection of kitchenware available in the room would not really be that versatile.
I didn't take too many photos in the hotel but the website photos are great so if you're curious and want to stay here, head on over there.
WALKWAY OVER THE HUDSON
Our hotel had a really great complimentary breakfast so we fueled up on scrambled eggs, sausage, yogurt, waffles, and juice before heading out.
I'd known about this walkway for a little while now and finally having the occasion to go was v. fulfilling, especially because it was such a nice little hike. There are bikes for rent, free parking, and it's a v. well-maintained park. My only complaint is that the bridge is quite long and there were several dogs whose poops were a bit too soft and when their owners went to scoop the poop, they left a lot of smears behind. But hey, I'm just happy the owners attempted to clean up in the first place. I get so annoyed when owners don't pick up after their pups.
I was so glad to have a sweatshirt with me. It was just a bit chilly that weekend already, but even if it weren't, it's so windy when you're crossing the bridge over the river, I recommend having some kind of wind breaker.
The views here are gorgeous and I really want to go back when the leaves start to change colors. We also saw a lot of cyclists and the trail is completely paved and lovely so I also want to go back with my bike at some point.
There was a v. small stream once we crossed to the west bank and there was watercress growing in it.
HUDSON VALLEY COLD PRESSED OILS
This particular destination was really Instagram basic bitch of me, but hey, I am a huge fan of botanicals so I feel like it's not completely disingenuous of me to say I loved this place. Apparently, people were causing traffic by pulling over and taking photos in their sunflower fields so instead of putting up a fence and telling people to go away, they invited people to come into their fields. It's free to just hang out and take photos but it costs money to pick.
The fields were so lush and packed with flowers and their heads were so heavy, all of them sort of had a slight droop. They warned us that there would be a lot of bees but I didn't think there were that many. Plus, they were all bumblebees, which I find really endearing compared to really buzzy regular bees or even honeybees. I was much more overwhelmed by the bees that I encountered in the lavender farm when I was driving around Mount Hood.
I had a hard time trying to get GM to pose for photos in the fields.
VILLAGE CREAMERY
Feeling like we'd exercised enough for the day, we decided to head back to the hotel but first we made a pitstop for some ice cream.
The soft serve here was delicious. The texture was so light and creamy and the flavor was so rich and vanillary.
I shared a bit of mine with this monster:
When we got back to the hotel, it was mid-afternoon and too early to eat dinner but since we hadn't had a sufficient lunch, I broke out one of the snacks I'd packed. I had slathered a wedge of brie in honey and wrapped it up in parchment and foil. We used the hotel grill to warm it up until it was molten and ate it with a toasted baguette, apple slices, berries, and some spicy black pepper sausages I'd bought in Portland.
After lunch, we went for a walk around the hotel. The hotel is adjacent to a manmade lake and office complex so the scenery was actually kind of cute.
For dinner, we warmed up a rack of ribs on the grill (I had made these at home and all they needed was reheating), sauteed some Brussels sprout leaves (from our garden), and boiled some pasta for macaroni and cheese. I had made the cheese sauce ahead of time so all I did was stir it into the hot pasta and loosened it up with some of the hot pasta water. The photo below doesn't do the mac & cheese justice and it looks a bit watery; but actually, I kept stirring it until the starches from the pasta started to thicken the sauce and it yielded the creamiest texture.
After dinner, we went on another walk since GM is used to having an evening jaunt for night time poops and peeps. The sky was gorgeous. After our walk, we headed back to the hotel and worked on a jigsaw puzzle my sister had packed.
The next morning, we all indulged in some more free hotel breakfast before heading out for the day.
MINNEWASKA STATE PARK
I was super excited about this park because the photos made it look beautiful and it 100% lived up to my expectations. This is the sister park to Mohonk, and having been to Mohonk as well, I have to say that I think Minnewaska is much prettier. It costs $10 per vehicle and there's a little automated credit card machine for paying the fee at the entrance.
The first hike we did was the loop around the lake. There are loads of little lookouts and viewpoints so keep an eye out for them. You'll get to indulge in some really spectacular views.
I had my heart set on getting some really pretty shots hanging out on some rock ledges and even though I'm scared of heights, I think I managed to get some nice photos.
For lunch, we set up at a picnic spot by the parking lot and chowed down on Chipotle. We'd bought it the evening before (because there was a location right next to our hotel) and packed it in a cooler along with a sliced jalapeno (from our garden). It was such a delicious lunch and I know everyone around us was jealous.
After lunch, we did the hike down towards the waterfalls but they were so weak since it was dry season. The rock formations were beautiful though. And it was downhill to the falls which meant we got a little workout going back to the car; whether or not that's a good thing is different if you ask my sweaty and struggling body during or my slightly healthier and stronger body afterwards.
For dinner, we had kalbi and rice and kimchi and a Korean-style salad. I had marinated the meat at home and then we grilled it up on the hotel grill. For the Korean-style salad, I had made the dressing and packed it in a little bottle. I had also packed a hot pepper and some perilla leaves to make lettuce wraps. It was a really delicious meal. The beef back ribs were from Wegman's and I can't wait to get them again because after they were marinated, the resultant dish was so fabulous and moreish and we were all gnawing on the bones and licking our fingers, it was so delicious.
After dinner, we took an evening walk and then turned in early.
The next morning, we had our final complimentary breakfast before heading out early. It was Labor Day Monday so we didn't want to get caught up in afternoon traffic. Plus, we still had to do the weekly grocery shop and get ourselves ready for the week.

This was such a fun trip and I think I want to repeat this exact trip in October to see the foliage.

xoxo.

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