Travel Diary: A Hudson Valley Getaway
Updated: Oct 25, 2021
I recently took a short vacation to the town of Red Hook, NY (just north of Rhinebeck) with Kevin, Jasper, our three dogs, my in-laws and their dog, and my sister-in-law and her boyfriend. That's 6 adults, 1 baby, and 4 dogs. We stayed in an AirBnB that was wonderfully secluded, with a fire-pit, a large backyard, and private access to a small creek. It was a smooth 2 hour drive on the Taconic State Parkway, but it felt like such a world away from the city. Our four day, three night stay was a wonderful way to welcome fall and helped me to recharge for the upcoming holiday season.
The place we rented was perfect for our party. It has 3 bedrooms but perhaps could sleep another two in a lofted entertainment area above the kitchen. There were plenty of communal spaces, from the high ceilinged living room to the screened-in dining area on the porch to the fire-pit. It offers plenty of nature - with a large backyard and a tiny patch of sandy/rocky beach that leads to the creek. Best of all, it is dog friendly with no additional charges for bringing your dogs, which saved us an estimated $200 for the trip (many places I've seen charge $50 for each approved dog).
The front entrance is pictured above, with wood for the fire-pit and oven. The string lights in the screen-off portion of the porch are lit for the evening. More pictures below.
We all took turns cooking dinner for the party on each of our three nights. Breakfast was also always eaten at the AirBnB - Kev's dad is the breakfast guy and we relied on him to sling eggs and brew coffee (though by day 2 Kev and I were brewing a pot just for us as the sun rose, before the rest of the house woke up). Lunches were eaten while out and about. On Monday, we all split a few small dishes at Rose Hill Farm since we arrived so close to dinner-time. On Tuesday, we had lunch at Greig Farm. On Wednesday, we ate in Rhinebeck. And on Thursday, we all snacked on leftovers as we were cleaning up and preparing to check out of the house.
This was Jasper's first vacation, which also meant that it was the first time we had to pack for a baby. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the car was more full of baby and dog stuff than Kevin's and my things. A few selected essentials for baby include a travel crib (we use the Guava Family one), a foldable compact stroller (our Uppababy Minu), a baby carrier for farm terrain that the stroller wouldn't easily navigate, and a giant thermos that we could fill with warm water and take with us all day for making formula on the go.
His diaper bag is a large, sturdy zip-top canvas tote that Kev received as swag from a work event some time ago - it isn't glamorous but it does the job. In it, we typically pack:
Diapers, ointment, wipes, a few plastic bags (doggy poop bags are a nice hack here, perfect for tying up poopy diapers)
Portable changing pad that folds into a small rectangle
A change of clothes
A small tupperware of formula mix, a small bottle
A burp cloth, a bib, a baby spoon
Socks and a hat
A few toys
The dogs loved having the backyard to roam in. However because it was not fenced in, we arrived equipped with both a 50 and a 100 foot leash. We allowed all but one of our pups off leash once we felt that they weren't flight risks. Fitzgerald was a little too slow with recall for our comfort so we kept him on the 50 foot leash as a precaution. We brought towels for them because romping around in the grass left them damp from dew at all times of day, and we brought jackets for them to wear out at night because evenings got quite chilly.
Our dogs are on flea and tick medication, which proved relevant because I caught a tick crawling around near Sunday's eye one day. Luckily, it had not yet latched onto her. We check our dogs for ticks throughout the day whenever we bring them upstate and have on several occasions caught ticks before they latched and on one occasion shortly after latching. We also have this tick remover tool which we have not yet had to use but offers me some peace of mind in case one goes unnoticed.
Something else we needed to plan for due to our dogs' temperaments was how to make each one as comfortable as possible in a foreign environment and on the longer than usual car rides. For example, Huxley is a homebody but was made more at ease because we brought his bed, his "place", to the house and also rode with it with him in the front seat (yes our firstborn rode shotgun). Sunday is a daddy's girl so Kev rode in the backseat to keep her calm, and Fitz is a cuddle bug so he was in Kev's lap the whole time. We also packed Sunday's crate, which is collapsable, and her favorite bed. Fitz sleeps in bed with us so didn't need a bed, just his sweater and buffalo plaid fleece to keep him warm in the cooler environment.
Note on our timing
We noticed that several of the farms and restaurants in the area are only open from Thursday - Sunday, so that's something to keep in mind for the future. However because it was a holiday weekend, we were able to visit Rose Hill Farm on Monday when it typically wouldn't have been open.
Our timing was a little off-peak, but it did provide for much much less traffic on the way up and back. It also meant that many of the places we visited weren't crowded.
Places we visited:
Rose Hill Farm
Rose Hill Farm was our first stop on the trip because we arrived with a few hours to spare before we could check in. While not typically open on Mondays, we got to take advantage of extra opening hours due to the holiday weekend. We went to the tap room and enjoyed the ciders they made from orchard grown varieties and ordered some food from a pop up vendor set up in the grass. It was a beautiful afternoon, and though the taproom is in an impressively renovated barn, we sat at a picnic table outdoors since we had all the pups with us.
We had lunch at Greig Farm and bought a couple dozen apple cider donuts to take with us when we visited. There was a pen with adorable goats that you could feed, where Huxley drew a headbutt from the biggest goat with the biggest horns because he was sniffing too close to the gate. The farm also offers pumpkin and apple picking activities, as well as the Abandoned Cider Outpost (not open on the day we visited).
After lunch, we decided to check out the pumpkin patch, which was absolutely barren after the holiday weekend rush. I guess it was a bit too close to Halloween to expect otherwise. Still, we got to trek through the vines a bit and check out the apple orchards on our way out of the pick-your-own area. Kev and I made a trip to Trader Joe's to restock our fridge after we got back and I picked up a few pumpkins there so all is well :)
Red Hook - Little Pickle's
We stopped by the small town of Red Hook on the way back from Greig Farm, and the only store we popped into was Little Pickles Children's General Store where Kev's mom bought Jazzy a very cute toy bunny in a car.
Rhinebeck - Joust Juice
Our AirBnB was a quick drive to Rhinebeck and so we got to spend a few hours walking around town on Wednesday. After buying some olive oil at Oliva, we walked over to Joust Juice, a juice & smoothie bar and plant based food stall operating out of a window attached to a supermarket in a cute little lot. Kev got one of their green juices and I got a smoothie with cold brew coffee, bananas, almond butter, and cacao. The juice was served out of a glass bottle that they asked that we return for sanitization and reuse, which we did.
Rhinebeck - Aba's Falafel
For lunch, we went to Aba's Falafel. I got the split pea soup and split a falafel platter with Kev. The split pea soup was delicious, it had middle eastern spices that made it unique and the crouton was a super crunchy, super yummy piece of pita bread. The platter was good too, with falafel, hummus, slaw, and salads. We took some of it to go and finished it later that night.
Rhineback - Samuel's Sweet Shop
After Aba's, we went to Samuel's Sweet Shop just down the block for some iced coffee. This famed candy shop was harboring a line for entry when we first passed by, and had some nostalgic as well as some new-to-me and interesting candies.
More pictures from our trip below: