Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hudson Valley Resident Moves To France | Bretagne, France

Well…yes, it's my Mom who decided to move to France for a year. Nothing was tying her down here in Newburgh, NY and the rent for her house is actually cheaper in France than here! So last December, my mama and her Chien (dog)  Skippy moved to Josselin. Everyone says "She's a brave woman!" Yes...she's brave and one of the few I know willing to seek out a dream and make it come true.

We finally got a chance to visit her these past 2 weeks and it was magnifique! We flew from NY to Rennes, picked up our rental car and drove to mama's.

My mom lives in Bretagne (Brittany) in the small medieval village of Josselin. She rented a great house in the heart of the village just around the corner from the town square. She is learning French and working on her art exploration (perhaps a book?). Since moving she has made some wonderful friends. Lucille, the former dancer, Sue the gardener who lived in NYC at one time but now lives in Josselin and her home in the UK, Ann & Brian Bird who run a beautiful Bed & Breakfast Maison Oiseau in Josselin (also British), William the artist, and Frank (the gambler?) from Ireland….and the list goes on…so many! Mom meets up with her friends many evenings to grab a beer at Le Bistrot, one of the many cafes in town. Luc (Owner) opens in the summer and spends his winter in Thailand (not bad huh!).

Mom's Street at Night
Josselin is a great town that's about 45min west of Rennes in the center/south of Bretagne. It's visited by many tourists (mostly French) who come to see the Basilica Notre Dame and tour the Large Chateau that is still owned and lived in by the Rohan Family. A large canal runs through the town and you can rent kayaks for a day to explore. At night the cafes come to life and throughout the summer they have music and arts events in the square. We saw a choir sing classic Bretagne songs and dancing while we lingered in the cafe over our meal and a few beers. It was great. At 6pm on Saturday's the bells ring for about 10 minutes at the Basilica…it was beautiful.

Me & Rob - Chateau Josselin (Castle)
Choir in Josselin Square
wearing traditional striped Bretagne tops (Yes I bought one!!)
Village of Josselin
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Day Trippin | Gardiner, NY

There are so many great towns to explore in the Hudson Valley!! Last weekend our neighbors brought us to Gardiner, NY…so much to do and see!!

Our first stop was Skydive The Ranch. (NO we didn't skydive) but they allow you to sit at the cafe area and watch the planes take off and the skydivers land. I'm not sure why I love watching skydivers since I would never do it myself, but there is something beautiful and frightening about it that captures me. (See story on Nu Cavu..also in Gardiner).

Next, our neighbors brought us to Tuthilltown Spirits, New York's first whiskey distillery since prohibition. This place is wonderful!!! I'm not much of a whiskey drinker but I did the tasting. They explain the process for each whiskey blend and I actually enjoyed a couple of them. The tasting room is also a shop where you can purchase Hudson Made spirits distilled here as well as other fun merchandise (cat not included). If you're on the hunt for whiskey barrels this is the place but they aren't cheap. Don't forget you can also book a tour of the actual distillery. Visit the website for more information.

Next to the tasting room is the Tuthilltown Grist Mill Restaurant & Tavern. The building is a beautiful Historic Mill with Al Fresco dining over the Shawangunkkill River. We didn't stay for dinner, but opted to have a cocktail at the bar. The Grist Mill is cozy and has a true historic flair without being stuffy. It's the oldest continuously operated water powered gristmill in New York State, built in 1788. A must try. Visit the website here for more information and full history of the mill

Our last stop (no pics sorry) was to Lombardi's Italian Restaurant. OMG fresh pasta!!! Lombardi's will be seeing us again. They make some of the best fresh pasta I've ever had and I must try more. They make the pasta by hand right in the dining area. My husband had the 11 layer lasagna and it was delish! They also bake all their own bread…perfect for soaking up extra sauce. You can't go wrong here!!!

Thank you Gigi & Ron for a wonderful day!!

The town of Gardiner is a great choice for your next day trip! Enjoy :) Links & Pics Below.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yoga Friends | Hudson Valley

Ahhhh...YOGA! I love it but I can't say I practice it. It's a lifestyle change I haven't been willing to make yet. There are lots of new studios opening up in the Hudson Valley and I'm sure I'll make it to a few classes. Meanwhile, I took a few photos for my best friend Tiffany and her teacher training friend Jennifer. They both teach at Hohokus Yoga in Bergen County, NJ and they are beautiful women who have fully embraced what yoga can do for one's soul!

Here's a peek of the Tiffany & Jennifer Yoga Photoshoot  :)

Jennifer & Tiffany

Monday, July 22, 2013

Pics of the Week | Rockland Boulders Sunset

It was a beautiful sunset on Saturday evening July 20th at the Rockland Boulders Stadium in Pomona, NY.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bananas in Orange Juice | Refreshing Family Breakfast

OK...It's nasty out there...too hot for toast even especially since we only have AC in our bedroom. One of my favorite breakfast treats is...wait for it... Bananas in Orange Juice! That's right....crazy?

Growing up my Mother would serve this to us and I've never stopped eating it. I try to serve it to friends and even my husband but they all think I'm crazy!! Have you ever tried it? All you do is cut up 1 medium sized banana and pour OJ on top! Eat like cereal :)

I guarantee that if you like the banana/orange flavor combo you will love this as a refreshing breakfast especially during this heat wave.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Creatures of Algonquin Park | Newburgh, NY

OK....I must follow up on a previous post about walking the dog where I said we didn't have a dog....because now we do!!! ....and she loves to take long walks. Thankfully we live right down the road from Algonquin Park in the town of Newburgh. A lovely park with a running stream, holding ponds and a waterfall.

Our dog Gypsy loves the park because of all the yummy dog smells but I love the park because of all the creatures. Although Algonquin is not large, there is a good amount of mammal, aquatic and reptilian creatures hiding out. Here are some pics I captured the other day. Enjoy! (Pics of Gypsy the dog next time!)

Amenities at Algonquin park include: Ball Fields, Playground, Nature Trails, Pond Area, Fishing, Picnic Shelter, Comfort Station, Benches, Picnic Tables, Grills and Parking.

I call him "Old Man Algonquin" 
Rock wall snakes......

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July | Newburgh, NY

This year we stayed local to see the Newburgh waterfront 4th of July Fireworks. I decided to bring my new camera and experiment. We had a great time and I'm sharing my pics here.
I do love celebrating Independence day with my family!
All images are taken with my new camera that I absolutely love!!! It's a compact digital with a multitude of manual settings. More info here:


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pics of the Week | Sailing The Hudson River

What a beautiful sight from Newburgh. Busy Summer here...apologies for limited posts. Back in the groove soon. Amanda

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pics of the Week | Watership Down

This year the rabbits are multiplying like's become Watership Down in our backyard!! Here is one handsome fella.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mountain Jam 2013 Recap | Hunter, NY

Another great year at the Jam!! We only made it 1 day this year and that's a bummer because the lineup was great (at least I got to see my fav Michael Franti)! Each year Mountain Jam gets better and better! Now for next year :)  Here are a few pics I took this year...and a shaky video of the The Lumineers (After a few beers!! :-)


Lumineers (New favs)
Nieces Maggie & Emma
Awesome Neighbors Ron & Gigi

Nephew Nick, Brother Jay & Husband Rob
Amy Helm


Bonnie Dancing
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti
Michael Franti Beach Balls
Michael Franti & Kids
Gary Clark Jr.
Views from Sky Ride
Views from Sky Ride
Views from Sky Ride

Jay Perching