Adventure: Upstate New York

Adventure: Upstate New York

Last week, Husband and I took an unexpected trip to upstate New York.

The trip included some very somber moments, but it proved to be the break that we needed. Between Husband’s garden, our regular full-time work, Husband’s catering and all the business of summer, we haven’t been able to spend much time together. We were craving time.

And we got it. 10 hours in the truck together up and 10 hours back (first road trip in the new truck was a total success!), plus a few hikes, waterfalls, and some good nights camping.

It was my first time camping with Husband’s family, and it was great (in spite of the rain). I even learned a few things, like how difficult it is to squeeze into skinny jeans when dressing in a tent…

Ready for an overload of trip photos?

On the way up, it began to rain…and of course we don’t yet have my tonneau cover installed.

tarping truck

We hiked Watkins Glen

Hiking Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen waterfall

When we reached the bottom of the glen, I saw this little Perry’s ice cream stand and got really excited. Having lived in Upstate New York for all of middle school and high school, I had come to love this local brand of ice cream. Alas, this stand didn’t have anything chocolate! So we spent the rest of the week hunting down another spot for Perry’s–successfully! I got mint chocolate chip…

Perry's ice cream!

We went to the farm where Husband’s dad grew up…

Family farm

And Husband checked under the rocks for crayfish.

Looking for crayfish.

We saw a few more waterfalls…



More waterfalls


We explored the town of Horseheads, and found a delicious little Italian pastry shop (and iced chai!)…

Italian pastries

Iced chai

And Husband managed to steal the camera from me for a while…


And I managed to sneak away for a quick swing on the playground…


And, finally, we had plenty of late night campfires at Robert Treman SP

Camp fire

Overall, I’d say it was a good trip.

Long week

Long week

I’m on my third cup of tea already this morning…not a good sign. Basically, it’s just been a long week.

As I went through my morning routine on auto-pilot today, I was thinking back to last Monday morning. I was in New York. Yep, New York.

Road tripping with Husband.

Husband’s grandmother had passed away, and we were taking a last-minute trip to upstate New York for her funeral. Husband and I quickly threw together our camping gear, bought a few road-tripping snacks and took off.

This was my first time camping with Husband’s family–it was a strange mix of a pilgrimage back to where their grandmother was from and an impromptu family reunion, mixed with grief, celebration, laughter and tears.

Although bittersweet, Husband and I made it our mission to spend some good quality time together and time with family. An unexpected little breakaway from real life.

Trekking upstate New York farmland.

There were moments of solemnity, like visiting the graveside of Husband’s beloved father. And times of remembrance, like trekking across the pastures on the farm where Husband’s father grew up. And there was joy, as we all sat around the fire, laughing and enjoying one another.

There were moments of reality, like when it started to rain on our campsite as we attempted to cook dinner and when my MIL’s truck broke down and needed a tow.

New York covered bridge.

And there was surrealty. Spending uninterrupted time with Husband on the ten hour drive there and back. Even a few stolen moments to visit waterfalls and hike a glen.

New York Waterfall.

It was an exhausting, uplifting, enjoyable and grief-filled five days.

But now, we are back. And real life isn’t waiting for us to catch up…



As I write this, I am totally distracted by anticipation. In a mere 6 hours it’s quitting time and I will be on my way to the best weekend of our Spring. Seriously.

Just a quick pit stop at home to pack up the truck with our tent, sleeping bags, and cooking supplies and then we’re putting the pup in the cab and heading off for a weekend of…nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

No chores. No budgeting. No extra working hours. No cleaning. No laundry. No yard work. No preparations for our future. No worries. No guilt. Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Our tent.

I envision a lot of laughter, smiles, stress relieving walks through the woods. I see visits to the lake, splashing the puppy (who is terrified of water, but we’re trying to help her past that).

I envision reading, relaxing, throwing a ball with the pup, sitting by the fire, and snuggling down in a tent for the night, complaining that Ginger is taking up more than her fair share of space =).

French toast over the fire.

I wait in breathless anticipation.

Truthfully, we’re not going very far away. In fact, Northwest River Park is just in Chesapeake. We can come home to feed the Sugar Gliders and take care of the fish tank. But it feels like we’re escaping life for a few delicious days.

I vividly remember the anticipation of a camping trip from the time I was just a tiny thing. I loved packing my backpack with all the necessary supplies: Flashlight, check! Water bottle, check! Pocket knife, check!

Eager giggles and whispered plans for adventure with my brother went on for days before we would leave. A camping trip was joy itself.

And you know what? It still is.

Camping with Husband and puppy last year.

Someday, I hope I get to share the anticipation with my own kids. I hope I get to give them the magic of tents and campfires and roasted marshmallows and “hobo packs.” I hope I get to overhear their excited giggles and whispered plans. I hope they learn to love the sound of rain drops on the canvas roof of a pop-up trailer. Maybe they’ll even learn the joy of being rescued from your tent as it begins to float in the flooded campground, just to be dried off, wrapped in a warm blanket, and placed next to a warm wood stove at 4am with all the other people who fled the flood.

Maybe someday my own children will understand the pure magic of camping…