There was a time, one we hardly recognize now, many lifetimes past, when we lived in San Francisco. The guitar playing, nature loving, hemp milk drinking, reiki practitioner in us that we have fiercely protected and stayed committed to even while in New York, often yearns for the beauty of California and the many experiences it offered us. The ability to travel up or down the coast and within a 1 to 2 hour drive be in the most stunning surroundings – Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Sonoma, Point Reyes. On a moment’s notice, as you leisurely roll out of bed on a Saturday morning, one could pick a glorious getaway that required little advance planning or time. Any direction guaranteed traveling along mesmerizing scenic beauty, making the specific destination irrelevant.
We always crave California; there is an empty space waiting to be fulfilled by the unparalleled beauty of its coast line and a way of life that melds health, fitness, purpose and meaning. Rest and inner harmony instead of busyness, repetition, uninventive and even harmful ways of avoiding oneself. So on days when we tire of living a life parallel to the one we were meant to, we try to merge what we have with that which is to come. California by way of New York. Runs along the East River, imagining it as Santa Monica, store bought hemp in lieu of the fresh milk of Brentwood Market, and drives up the Hudson that will eventually lead to Napa.
Mr. K and us began our tour of the Hudson Valley in Millbrook, at the Millbrook Vineyards and Winery.
The tasting was rather quick and since we had not eaten much before our drinking, we were happy to spend more of our time at the picnic area by the water.
As the restaurant was not yet open, we were relieved to have brought along our own snacks. Mr. K is slowly coming around to our port infused chicken liver pate, and was hungry enough to even go along with the pumpkin, oat, chia bread.
The smoked Gouda made him a bit happier – honestly, we wish stores would carry aged Gouda instead. Its sharpness cannot be anymore of an acquired taste than the unnatural smoked version. Smoked Gouda is a bit like sweet and sour chicken.
A complete fabrication, a perversion of a cuisine that the natives it is attributed to, do not claim. We never once ate smoked Gouda in Spijkenisse….
But as this is our parallel life, we nevertheless were happy to coat our stomachs and to venture to Glorie Vineyards next.
A rustic, unassuming barn with the tasting room situated to take perfect advantage of sweeping views of the Valley. We immediately felt calm and peaceful. Fully focused on wine and valley views, even the toddler allowed to run around in circles, stomping his feet and giggling loudly, over and over and over, could not break our zen. This was not the case for the poor host.
We were most proud of Mr. K for while we were traveling along rolling hills and admiring this unusual situation of a water fall running through a house, he not only avoided the turtle crossing the road,
But he picked it up with a shovel and gently carried it to the other side.
Our most fun was had at Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, the first New York distillery since 1933. We were so impressed with this marvelous story of a climber who wanted to buy property near the Shawangunk Mountains for a resting place after climbing. The distillery was an old mill where grains were ground and after his request for a bed and breakfast was turned down by the zoning board, he cleverly decided to open a distillery instead.
With a fantastic tour guide telling a great American story of entrepreneurship and innovation, a band playing early Appalachian Folk music, and an introduction to our first Manhattan, we fully expect to return to Tuthilltown quite a few times…Us checking a newly hand filled, hand labeled, and hand topped bottle of bourbon for sediment and perfect filtering!