After over a month of cross-country travel, we finally arrived at the only pre-established way-point of our journey: Poughkeepsie, New York.
When we departed Salt Lake City at the end of August, we only had one semi-fixed destination. An old friend from New York City was having a wedding in Poughkeepsie at the end of September. This event has set both our compass and our clock for the past month -- with mixed pros and cons.
Perhaps the biggest pro of having this Poughkeepsie destination was that we had a vector out of the gate. Our departure from Salt Lake City was overwhelming. Leaving jobs, selling the house, making stuff disappear, and saying goodbyes sapped everything we had and turned us upside down. At least we knew which direction we would be heading.
On the other hand, once we made it out of the gate, we could feel the clock ticking. My goal of a four to seven day event horizon was quickly defeated as we mapped-out the days and weeks needed to arrive on time in Poughkeepsie. We might have liked to stay a bit longer in the Black Hills; ascend into North Dakota; tour Michigan and Ohio. Tick tock.
But that is the past. We made it to New York's Hudson Valley on time for a fabulous wedding. Fabulous? How so? What was the bride wearing? Excellent questions, I will answer in turn. The location was Hudson River waterfront. It was an open-air venue. The views were of the Hudson, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and dense forest on the steep west bank of ... the Hudson. Hudson. The wedding itself was carefully planned and well appointed. The ceremony was Jewish. Proud and ancient Hebrew was sang. A glass was broken. Beautiful people (the author excluded) dined on delicious food and held up varied drinks in celebration of the union of two fantastic people as one. Tomato soup and grilled cheese shooters were served. The bride wore an heirloom, updated by the hand of a friend to her modern style.
Life rule #5: when invited to a wedding, go.
The careful reader may wonder where we stashed our children for this evening of elegance. Another benefit of the long road to Poughkeepsie was ample time to plan childcare. We imported a grandmother and an uncle from New York City. They were kind enough to take a train from the city to do on-site babysitting at Bernadette herself. This trip wreaks of serendipity sometimes.
With the wedding in our rearview mirror and our agenda comfortably nebulous, we decided to stay several more days in the Hudson Valley to relax and explore. Front and center on the TODO list was apple picking. We ventured to the east valley, near Fishkill, for our apples. Living in Utah for the past four and a half years has buffered us from real autumn. New York has real autumns. Our apple picking adventure was benefited by sun, crisp air, and a light breeze -- and donuts. We have since turned the apples into pie and sauce.
Our other notable adventure was to ride our bicycles on the Hudson Valley Rail Trail. With continuing gorgeous weather and shifting fall colors, this ride brought a fitting closure to our stay in the Hudson Valley.
Now that the wedding is past, we look forward to a shift in style and pace of our adventure. I am very much looking forward to not looking forward too much. Our biggest driver at this point will be weather. So South. Except our next stop is North, to up-upstate: Lake Ontario and Watertown.