New Paltz, New York

It’s been a busy fall. Last weekend my good friend Heather Pollock (see the links to the right) and I photographed a wedding in New Paltz, about an hour outside of New York City. Sixteen hours of driving from Toronto and back in a three-day weekend didn’t leave much time to explore the area, but we had a little time on the Saturday morning before the wedding. I’ll get to the wedding in another post.

New Paltz isn’t too far from Woodstock and some say the hippies wandered here after the concert and never left. It certainly reflects the times with health food and tie-dye clothing competing equally. The town itself is quite old and has an historic area with houses dating in the late 1700’s. Huguenots, fleeing persecution in France founded the town and gave it the name of their refuge on the Rhine. There is an old section where you can see the original buildings. The area seems focused on outdoor activities and seems to have a wide range of excellent bike and hiking trails. A couple we met at our bead and breakfast had spent the entire day cycling. And yes, the were sore.

We found an interesting store that sold a wide variety of olive oils. I had been looking for something to replace the lemon olive oil I brought back from Sorrento, Italy and found a bottle here. I also found a rosemary infused olive oil. The owner introduced us to U.S. olive oil from California now winning international awards. A little bit more of a bite, but really good. Got some of that, too!

We continued our tour of the small town and found two book stores, strangely across the street from one another and off the main drag. My wife and I can spend hours looking through books and the helpful staff showed us some gifts for our nieces.

The reason we were here, the wedding, was being held at a local resort called the Mohonk Mountain House. At the top of a small mountain, it is a self contained resort with everything you need for that outdoor adventure (e.g., a world class spa). It’s a little pricey for my taste (though it includes practically everything) so we stayed at a local bed and breakfast called the Hungry Ghost, which I highly recommend should you find yourself in the area. When we arrived at Mohonk, we really didn’t have time to explore the area or the massive establishment, dating back to the 1880’s.

I would like to go back and spend some time in the area, especially in fall when the colours are so good. We were about two weeks late for the best colours I think. But a pink cadillac is still very pink all year round.

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