Three-day weekends always leave me feeling confused because Monday ends up feeling like a Sunday, Tuesday like a Monday and so on. We had a nice time away. The hotel was lovely and the staff was very friendly. It’s too bad the majority of guests were miserable crows.Â I don’t know if they were West PointÂ alums, parents, or people justÂ visiting, but they didn’t leave a good impression.Â When we were checking in… complain. When we were checking out… complain. And just forget about when we went to dinner on Sunday night. (This gets long, so go to the bathroom if you need to, make a cup of tea, get a snack, whatever…)
The hotel had a large wedding going on, and so the restaurant proper was quite understaffed — only three members of the waitstaff were available. A little before 8 we headed down there for dinner and there was an older couple in front of us, both holding what was at least their second or third glass of wine. They asked if we had a reservation, and I told them that we didn’t, so the wife started to go on and on about how bad the service is and how long we’re going to have to wait. Shortly after, a couple other older couples, all in the same state of inebriation, all waiting for tables, came over. They tried to snare us into their trap of negativity and complaining, but we had nowhere else to go and fully expected a wait anyway. One oh-so-funny lady said, “Oh, you don’t have reservations? Well I bet you have reservations about this place now.” Oh, ha ha ha! That is so clever! Ugh! They were giving the hostess and the manager such a hard time, saying they’ll never come here again, and just not shutting up for one minute. Somehow they decided to all sit together (“because now we’re old friends!” one said), and the manager put them at a table outside the main dining room, probably just to get them to be quiet. She came back over to us and I said, “Don’t worry — we are NOT with them! Whenever a table frees up is fine, we’re not going to complain.” She laughed and we could tell she was thankful for our understanding. The way we looked it — hey, things happen. We didn’t have anywhere else to be and it wasn’t a huge deal.
We eventually got a table and glasses of wine on the house. Our meals were delicious! We both had onion soup, D. had Chicken Cordon Bleu and I had Chicken Trento (chicken with mozzarella and tomatoes in a marsala sauce). We were too full for dessert, so I didn’t even peek at their dessert menu. We also had some dining room entertainment. At the table next to us were two former West Point grads (in their 40s) and their wives. All also rather inebriated and displeased with the service, so one of the guys asks for the manager when their bill is delievered and he procedes to launch into a long speech about how unhappy they were, how “unprofessional” the staff is, and so on. The manager, of course, apologized and took some money off their bill. As soon as she left they started giggling and then making excuses as to why the service was sub-par that night. That really ticked me offÂ because you know… if you’re going to ream someone out about not being professional, you should hold yourself to a similar standard and not act like a child.
So that aside, we had fun. The weather was gorgeous and the Hudson River views are just amazing! I will upload some photos later. We did some shopping at the outlets nearby. I got N. a winter coat and J. overalls at OshKosh. I picked out new shoes at Sketchers for D. to give me for my birthday. And he got himself a whole winter wardrobe at Eddie Bauer. The sales were great this weekend!
Yesterday we drove over to Warwick Valley Winery for some wine tasting. I tried Doc’s Framboise, which is a hard apple cider, with raspberries added to it. It was a little sweet for me and kind of reminded me of raspberry gingerale. Their Chardonnay was fantastic — light oak, nice fruit. The Cabernet Sauvignon, neither D. nor I cared for. It was very thin, not a lot of flavor. I don’t think that NY wineries do Cabernet Sauvignon well in general, so I wasn’t really surprised. Their Black Dirt Red, however, is fantastic! It’s made from Baco Noir, aged in steel, and the flavors are just… wow! Think strawberry or raspberry jam, with a hint of pepper (but not much!). Awesome, awesome red. The Harvest Moon was nice, but I’m not a huge fan of sweeter white wines like Riesling so it wasn’t to my taste.
I also tried the Harlequinn Port, which we’ve had before, and it was still fabulous. However, their Black Current Cordial and the Bourbon Barrel Aged Apple Port… wow! Just… wow. The apple port was so different and the wood adds so much to the taste. Fantastic. The Black Current Cordial, too, was delicious. Creamy cassis flavor, smooth, warm… Loved it.
After that we decided to head back. Unfortunately we had some bad timing (though, I guess argueably we had good timing because the accident we encountered could always have been us). As we were getting on the highway we heard sirens. We merged in and sure enough, a firetruck was screaming up between the two lanes (hello, drivers… you need to MOVE ASIDE when you hear emergency vehicle sirens!). Then an EMT van, then a police car, then an ambulance. Meanwhile, traffic had come to a complete stop. Two hours later, we had travelled approximately half a mile, and what solution did the police come up with to route traffic? This is a great one, people. They had us drive over the median and farking turn around! They were being real jerks about it too. We had no idea where we were going, and some cars could barely drive accross the grass, and the cops weren’t being any help at all. So yeah, two hours for absolutely nothing.
Somehow, using this crude, handrawn map of the Warwick Valley that we picked up at the winery, we kind of figured out where we needed to go. We figured that worst case scenario, we’d end up in New Jersey and we could figure our way to 87 if it came to that. Luckily, it didn’t. Don’t ask how but we somehow navigated the wilds of Orange County and eventually saw signs for Bear Mountain which was exactly where we needed to go! We made it home late, but it was certainly an adventure.
The boys had an awesome time with their grandma and aunt. They took J. to see The Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze and he loved it! I totally want to go. N. slept pretty well for her, too. He didn’t get up at 4:30 or 5 AM (whew! I would have felt bad about that), and only got up a couple times during the night. Patting his back seemed to put him back to sleep pretty easily. I think we might finally be done with nursing now. Those couple nights at grandma’s helped a lot, I think. It’s been three days since he nursed, and I have to say that I’m glad. I’m glad I was able to do this, and I certainly never thought I’d nurse 13+ months! I remember shooting just for 6 months. But it is time.
So it was certainly a full, exciting weekend for everyone. We have a break this weekend, and then next weekend we have two events. Saturday I’m taking the boys to the NY Sheep & Wool FestivalÂ (J. loves to pet yarn almost as much as me) and Jaya and I are supposed to meet up there (I haven’t forgotten)! I’m very excited to finally meet her. The next day, D. and I are going to the Greater NY Food & Wine Expo. I really hope I get to meet Ming Tsai, that would be amazing! After that it will soon be my birthday, then Halloween, and then forget it! Thanksgiving. Christmas. The rest of the year will just be flying by.