No matter how awful I feel or how miserable my week has been, there is one little town with the gift of melting away any anxieties or suffering, Warwick, NY.
Cruising along Route 17, windows down, XM’s The Highway blasting, the feeling of anticipation heightens as the highway turns into small town roads leading through Sloatsburg and Tuxedo, before abruptly transforming into a 55mph serpentine along the side of a mountain. Reaching the top, drivers witness stunning views of the surrounding countryside before disappearing into a mass of foliage. The journey is all part of the experience.
Warwick is the ideal small town. It consists of a lively downtown area with boutique shops and restaurants as well as jewelry stores and salons, but directly outside of the downtown area is the country. Rolling hillsides meet orchards of apple trees, low valleys filled with wild raspberry bushes. Horse farms are in abundance and everything is lush and beautiful. The downtown is constantly host to county wide events such as the Applefest in the fall, farmer’s markets every weekend, and festivals of all sorts.
I have been horseback riding in this country town in upstate NY for the past fourteen years, never truly appreciating its quaint, country charms until the past two years. My routine visit usually includes breakfast at Le Petite Cuisine, a fabulous French restaurant across from the train station with marvelous concoctions and fresh, warm, buttery croissants. Their breakfast crepe is to die for. I follow this lavish meal with a long horse ride through the 200 acre plot of hay fields, woodland and rivers that makes up Quiet Creek Stable. After a cool down, I meet up with my cousin Lindsay for some family time, usually over more food.
This past weekend (Columbus Day Weekend), I ventured outside of Warwick to the small town of Sugar Loaf, NY. Known for its crafts and artsy crowd, this town was host to a Fall Festival featuring local artists and designers. The street was closed to make way for tent after tent of jewelry, paintings, baked goods, leather wares, and gifts of all sorts. I took my 10 month old puppy, Darby and everyone fawned over her. She is such a beautiful girl.
The fair was great! I even found a baker with organic dogs treats; Darby devoured them in moments. It was perfect. I look forward to exploring some more towns in Orange Country.
[I’ll add some photos to this on my next trip.]