Monday, July 6, 2015

Annnd it's Monday.

I do believe we did.
For those of you dying to hear what Dr. H and I finally settled on for our 4th of July vacation (anyone!?!)... brace yourselves... it was a STAYCATION... and it was awesome! I confess, we actually barely "stayed" (I think our waking-hours-at-home grand total was under 4) but that's because we were busy exploring new parts of NYC, day-tripping to surrounding areas, scoring coveted reservations and even went back in time with Dave Matthews. It was relaxing and adventurous, work-less (YAY!) and an escape from my home/home-office fatigue. Here are some of the highlights of our Staycation adventure.

Did you know that you can do some incredible hiking just 1 hour north of NYC!? Growing up on Long Island, I was only familiar with the LI Sound side of Westchester County, but thanks to my Albany-born hubby, I've discovered the beautiful Hudson side and I love it! The riverfront small towns are packed with charm and the Hudson Highlands are a gorgeous place to hike and enjoy some fresh air. 

Not a skyscraper in site!
Cold Spring, NY from above
We travelled about 75 minutes north and got off in Cold Spring. The hiking trails are about a 10 minute walk from town, 15 total from the train station so no car needed!

My cocktail on the left was served in a chili pepper
Dr. H's on the right came in a flask w metal straw!
On Thursday night, we scored an IMPOSSIBLE-to-get reservation at ZZs Clam Bar, a 15-seat restaurant in the Village which I've had my eye on for months! The all-raw menu was out of this world delicious and I tried and loved everything from uni (that's sea urchin!) to oysters (and I never eat oysters!) The cocktails were also pretty outrageous as you can see from my shameless mid-meal photo snaps. Dr. H and I also loved the chic, inmate space which made it feel like we were at a dinner party more than out to a restaurant.

Friday the sun was shining bright and this water-loving girl was in need of some beach time so what's a car-less NYC couple to do? Head to the Rockaways of course!!

The view from the A Train, note JFK airport on the distance on the left!!
THIS IS NEW YORK CITY!!! (GOD I love this place!!) 
It could not be easier to get from anywhere in NYC to a beach that feels worlds away. There are plenty of Brooklyn options as well (I like Brighton and Coney Island is great,  but we wanted to stay away from 4th of July/Hot Dog contest crowds!) but we took the A to the S and in about 75 minutes went from our apt to this spot by the sea. I also highly recommend Playland Motel for delicious seafood and of course a post-beach beer:)

Finally, on Saturday we hopped on another train (man we take a lot of trains!), this time bound for Saratoga by way of Albany (Dr. H's hometown!) to see Dave Matthews Band (with Bela Fleck!!) at SPAC. Saratoga is a charming little town with a massive amount of culture, from shopping and art to the racetrack and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, SPAC (summer home of the NYC Ballet as well as a great outdoor concert venue). 

Just a few people ready for a concert!
Though it's been more than a little while since I thought about a Dave Matthews song (other than when I'm jamming to 90s on 9 of course) DMB did not let us down and the beautiful evening brought back a flood of middle school memories for Dr. H and I (which were funny to share since we hadn't met one another yet!)

So there you have it. A staycation for the ages and everything you need to know about how to travel far and wide in NYC without traveling very far or wide at all!!

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