Monday, August 8, 2016

A Trip to the Catskills: July 2016

This trip actually came to fruition when I found out the Lumineers were playing at Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, NY. Ever since I have known my husband, he has always talked about Cooperstown and the famous Baseball Hall of Fame. Since he was turning 30 in June, I decided back in April that I would surprise him with a trip north to visit his baseball mecca and hit a good concert while we were there. (Unfortunately as a married couple we are awful at secrets, so the surprise turned into not such a surprise). When searching for accommodations, the options around Cooperstown were slim (I guess that's what happens when 8000 people are coming to town), so I branched out and checked Airbnb. That's when I found Table on Ten. About five or so years ago (per her mother, who we got a chance to meet), Holland-born/former model Inez opened a restaurant and inn in Bloomville, NY- a very teeny tiny town in the Catskill mountains (population 215). The chippy old building on the corner of River and Main Streets has three rooms upstairs- the top floor is the attic complete with a bathtub in the middle of the room, the second floor holds the suite with two small rooms, a bathroom with clawfoot tub, and another more quaint room with floor to cieling bookshelves- and the bottom floor is the restaurant complete with a brick oven for their Friday and Saturday night pizza cook-outs. Despite the unassuming exterior, the inside is cozy and inviting.

We arrived around 5pm on Friday night after driving 4 hours north through upstate Pennsylvania and through the Western Catskills. The weather was gorgeous- the sun reflecting off the large lakes and silos we passed along the way. Our room was the suite on the second floor- perfectly European-influenced and minimalistic yet chic- with linen sheets and plank floors. Six o'clock is the start of pizza night, so we hurried downstairs to grab a spot along one of the long thin picnic tables, under the hanging lights with a glass of rose for me and beer for him. Sure enough, right on the dot the place was swarming with locals and the band began to set up. We ordered a ham and egg pizza as an appetizer, as we had reservations for our main course at Brushland Eating House in Bovina, just 15 minutes away. The pizza was out of this world and the weather could not have been better. We didn't want to leave, but we made our way to Bovina where we ate a delicious meal at another inn/restaurant founded by a young couple who made their way north via Brooklyn. Sitting next to us was a young couple from Midtown NYC who had the same itinerary as us for the weekend and we ended up seeing them at the Baseball Hall of Fame the next day. They were nice to chat with about city living and wanting to move to solitude in the country. After dinner we headed back to Table on Ten for a late night glass of wine outside, where it was a cool 66 degrees, before ascending to our un-air conditioned yet perfectly breezy room for a wonderful night sleep.

Nine AM was our wake up call and after a shower in the cleanest water we've ever felt (straight off the springs of the mountains), we went downstairs for breakfast. A skillet egg dish for me and a baguette with local mozzeralla and ham for him. Around 11am we left and made our way the hour north to Cooperstown. First stop was the Baseball Hall of Fame where I finally found out how men feel when girls go shopping. (yawn). His souvenier was a bottle of bourbon from the cute baseball-themed yet tasteful distillery down the way. We had some time to kill, so grabbed a quick bite and started driving toward Ommegang with a pit stop at a large antique store. When we heard the owner tell someone they were expecting 8,000 people to the show, we skipped to the car and bolted toward the brewery, where cars were already filling the lot an hour and a half before gate opening. Fast forward to 5pm and we found our spot on the field with blanket and chairs in hand. We grabbed some $5 beers and burgers and hung out till the 7pm show time. It started to rain and we were a sea of ponchos and umbrellas. The opening bands were Rayland Baxter and Langhorne Slims. Finally around 9pm, with a clear bright sky, the Lumineers entered the stage. They played an amazing show with songs from their old and new albums. The grande finale was Stubborn Love complete with fireworks. Simply amazing. Back to Table on Ten by 1am for another night's rest.

Sunday morning was rainy and wet, so we enjoyed a slow-paced breakfast at Table on Ten complete with a slice of pie for dessert before heading home, not without stopping at a farm stand for produce.

We had an amazing time in upstate NY and cannot wait to return someday!

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