Happy Friday! It’s crazy that today is the last day of July. Even amidst a pandemic, the month seems to have flown by. Before we know it, we will be getting ready for back to school…..whatever that may look like. New York schools had to submit their reopening plans to the Governor today and we will find out next week whether he approves them. I really feel like my kids need to be in school, at least for a couple of days, mostly for the socialization. However, there are so many challenges. And with the recent upticks in numbers throughout the country, I am keeping my fingers crossed that New York remains at our current, stabilized numbers. I guess we will find out next week and can then start finalizing what we want to do. As for weekend plans…..nothing is definite as of last night, when I’m typing this. But Sunday they are calling for possible thunderstorms, so we have to find something to do outside on Saturday. Here are five from this week:
1. NYBG – Last week the New York Botanical Gardens finally reopened for members (and this week to the public). Saturday we braved the heat and took a drive down to the Bronx for a visit. I loved looking at all the flowers and plants. But it was HOT! And they aren’t running the tram, so there was a lot of walking as well. We discovered the tropical courtyard, which along with the rose garden were my faves. It wasn’t a super long visit due to the heat, but an enjoyable one.
2. Reading – I just finished The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. This was my first Jewell book that I thought was just okay. I just started Good Girls Lie by J.T. Ellison, which is another suspense/mystery book. I’m a little nervous that I’m getting tired of this genre, which used to be a fave.
3. Making – My son wanted to make some popsicles. So, I dug out our popsicle holders and this week we made Orange Mango Coconut popsicles. They are vegan and were very refreshing. We are looking forward to trying different flavor combinations.
And Cooking: Our favorite dinner this week was a Caramelized Corn and Tomato Tarte Tatin from Half Baked Harvest. The corn at the grocery store wasn’t looking so great so I used some zucchini instead. I served it with an arugula, tomato, avocado salad for a delicious, light, summer meal.
4. Watching – What haven’t I been watching?!! Work has been crazy busy with school reopening stuff and I come home exhausted! At night I just want to sit on the couch. My evenings have been spent watching Indian Matchmaking. My daughter and I have started season 1 of America’s Next Top Model and Dana and I have been watching Alone. Reality binge watching at its finest! LOL!
5. Skateboarding – Back in June my daughter got a long board. Then we got my son a skateboard for his birthday in July. The kids have been going out skateboarding almost every day. It’s fun seeing how much they’ve improved over the course of a couple of weeks.
Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week. I am loving my summer Fridays because this was another crazy work week. It’s going to be another hot weekend but hopefully the weather will be bearable enough for us to spend a little time outside. Here are five from this week:
1.Magazzino Italian Art – Saturday we visited Magazzino Italian Art in Cold Spring. I have a whole post write up, linked below. It was a great way to spend a hot afternoon. While we don’t like to be in indoor places, we felt 100% safe with all of the safety precautions that they have implemented.
2. Ice Cream – Did you know that last Sunday was National Ice Cream Day?! Yeah, neither did I until I saw all the posts on Instagram. We ended up getting ice cream Saturday at Moo Moo’s Creamery in Cold Spring. I had heard lots of good things about this place, so we finally went and tried it. The cookie dough was super creamy but a little light on the cookie dough chunks. It’s located right next to the river, so we got to enjoy beautiful views of the Hudson River while we ate.
3. Drinking – I’m not a big drinker. However, when I do drink, I usually prefer a hard cider. Ace Pineapple Cider is so good! I love a sweet cider and this one is perfect!
4. Watching/Listening – I’ve been on a David Chang kick this past week. I have been watching Season 2 of Ugly Delicious on Netflix, which is a short season with only 4 episodes. I’m already halfway through so will have it finished over the weekend. I’ve also been listening to his podcast The Dave Chang Show. I’ve never eaten at any of his restaurants but I’d like to!
5. Reading – I finished The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett this week. It was a really good read about a set of light colored African American twins. One of the twins lives with her African American daughter in her childhood home. The other twin passes for white and lives a life hiding this secret. It follows the twins and their daughters over several decades. The book is going to be turned into an HBO limited series.
Have you ever driven by a place numerous times and never realized what exactly it was? That was our case with Magazzino Italian Art. This art museum is located right on Route 9 in Cold Spring. It was co-founded by Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu and opened on June 28, 2017. The 20,000 square-foot museum features postwar contemporary Italian art displayed in 8 galleries.
Magazzino welcomed guests for the first time in 4 months on July 10th with multiple safety measures in place. Admission is by timed reservations only and parties are limited to a maximum of six guests. Guests must wear a mask at all times.
Upon arrival, guests get a contact-free temperature check. They are also each provided an EGOpro device on a lanyard, that will quietly alert you if you get too close to another party. The museum has one way traffic flow that is marked with arrows. Guests are encouraged to take their time in each gallery as reservations include only one lap of the building, to provide a safe flow of foot traffic. Once inside, you can scan a QR code on their phone to access the digital museum guide for information on the exhibits. This was a nice feature.
Until September 7th, you can see the special exhibition “Homemade” in gallery 8. This exhibit features more than 30 works of art from eight New York-based artists that were created during COVID quarantine. It goes to show that challenging times can result in works of inspired beauty. We probably spent the most time in gallery 8 as it was the most relatable for us.
Make sure to leave time to stroll around the grounds after your museum visit. A variety of flowers are planted on the grounds, including lavender that smelled wonderful!
At the top of the hill, accessible from either the steps in the parking lot, or the gravel walking path from the museum, are donkeys! A baby was born just two weeks ago, but unfortunately, we didn’t get to see him, as he was hiding inside the shady barn.
Picnic tables and two tree swings are next to the donkey pen. You can enjoy a snack here and kids will have fun swinging.
It is evident, in the measures that they are taking, that the staff of Magazzino Italian Art takes the safety of their visitors seriously. We felt very safe and the 90 minute time allotment for our reservation was plenty for us to enjoy the exhibits.
I would not recommend this museum for families with young children, unless they are VERY closely supervised. There are a ton of fragile art pieces at their reach and on the floor. However, reservations are not needed to access the grounds.
Escape the summer heat with a visit to Magazzino and enjoy viewing Italian art!
The Details: Magazzino Italian Art (museum) 2700 Route 9 Cold Spring, NY 10516 (845) 666-7202
Hours: Monday: 11 AM – 5 PM Tuesday: CLOSED Wednesday: CLOSED Thursday: 11 AM – 5 PM Friday: 11 AM – 5 PM Saturday: 11 AM – 5 PM Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Admission: Free – but advanced reservations required
Parking: Magazzino has its own parking lot with free parking
Hello Friday! I love me some half-day summer work days! It is going to be a HOT weekend….allegedly temps may reach 96 degrees on Sunday. I see a weekend spent inside trying to stay cool! Here are five from this week:
1. Family birthday party – Saturday we had a small family gathering to celebrate my son’s birthday. We had not seen my brother-in-law and his fiancee since before Thanksgiving, so it was really nice to get to see them. Since we are vegan/vegetarian, and the rest of our family is not, we ordered Italian food from a local restaurant. Then we had cookie cake and ice cream cake for dessert. It was nice to not have to cook!
2. Turning 12 – Tuesday, my son turned 12! We celebrated with sushi (for him) and Chinese takeout, at his request. He asked for flan for dessert, so I tried my hand at making flan for the first time. It doesn’t look great, but it tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself! We then had a zoom with my family. He didn’t want a birthday parade with friends and we weren’t quite ready to do a friend party. So, it was a small but celebratory day. And as you can see from the birthday treat pics, I didn’t realize that we didn’t have a “2” candle. Oh well!
3. Reading – This week I finished A Good Neighborhood by Therese Ann Fowler. It was a really great, five-star read for me. I am currently reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. This is a YA fantasy book that has been on my to read list for awhile. My daughter read it and said it was really good so I’m finally giving it a go. So far, it’s an okay read.
4. Drive-In Movie – Wednesday night we went to our first drive-in movie! This has been a bucket list item for awhile. Amazon Studios and Michael B. Jordan have created “A Night at the Drive-In.” Select drive-in theatres throughout the country are showing free double feature movies that celebrate, “diverse voices in cinemas.” We saw Black Panther at the Overlook Drive-in in Poughkeepsie. We originally saw this movie in the theater when it first came out and it was just as enjoyable as we remembered. Since the movie didn’t end until after 11:15 PM, there was no way we were staying for the second movie, Creed! Although we do want to see this movie too!
5. Butterfly Bush – Somehow, the small, orange butterfly bush that I bought a couple of years ago has really grown. I was able to get a picture of this Monarch on it the other day.
Happy 12th birthday to my son today and happy book day! Today I’m sharing my June reads and linking up with Steph and Jana’s Show Us Your Books linkup. So far, summer has been great in both the quantity and quality of my reading. I read 10 books in June and we are almost halfway through July and I’ve already read over 5 books! It’s funny because me, who loves holding and reading actual books, has read most of my books this month on my kindle. It’s been relatively easy to get new releases of ebooks from my library system. And with my library closed for so long, this was one of my few options for new books. But great news, my library has been open for curbside pick up and will soon be open to visit! Here are my June reads:
The Dead Girl in 2A by Carter Wilson – Clara sits down next to Jake on a plane and they both feel like they know each other, but can’t figure out from where. When they land in Colorado, he is off to do interviews for a ghost writing job and she tells him that she will heading into the mountains to kill herself. As the story unfolds we discover how the two end up knowing each other and the cause of the memory issues they have both been experiencing. I found this to be a pretty slow read that didn’t hold my interest very well. I actually found it to be a bit sci-fi in the unbelievable factor. (mystery/thriller)
The Jetsetters by Amand Eyre Ward – Charlotte Perkins writes an essay and ends up winning the “Become a Jetsetter” contest. She ends up asking her three estranged adult children to come with her on a ten day cruise to Athens, Barcelona and Rome. Of course there is lots of drama, and everyone has secrets that end up being revealed. I thought that I’d enjoy this book but was disappointed. None of the characters were likable and it didn’t feel like anything was resolved. (contemporary fiction)
Open Book by Jessica Simpson – I was never a huge fan of Jessica Simpson or her music. But I did watch a few episodes of “Newlyweds” and had heard a lot of good reviews of this book. It was interesting to see how things really were behind the scenes but overall this was just an “eh” read for me. (memoir)
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore – On the night of Oona’s 19th birthday, which happens to be New Year’s Eve, she ends up time traveling and wakes up as her 51 year-old self. From then on, each New Year’s Eve she time travels to a different age. As she travels, she slowly pieces together the events of her life. I wasn’t a huge fan of this book. I didn’t really know much about it before I read it and I didn’t really love the whole time travel aspect. None of the characters were really likeable, except Kensie. (contemporary/science fiction/time travel)
The Wives by Tarryn Fisher – Thursday’s husband is a polygamist. He has two other wives that he sees, but that she has never met. She gets tired of only seeing him on Thursdays (really? right?!). So when she discovers their names she starts looking into the other wives and even befriends one. But of course things don’t go well. This was a fast-paced read with the usual unreliable narrator. However, I found the ending to be horrible. (thriller/mystery)
Beach Read by Emily Henry – August is a literary fiction author. January is a romance writer. The two end up neighbors and make a deal where they each write a book in the other’s genre. As they embark on field trips and interview to help each other research the genre, they of course end up getting close. Although this is a contemporary romance read, it’s not one that I’d classify as light and fluffy. (contemporary romance)
Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – Plus-sized influencer Daphne Berg is shocked when her old high school friend Drue Cavanaugh asks her to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. The two have a checkered past and Drue is not liked by many people. Daphne agrees and heads to Cape Cod to help Drue celebrate when things go downhill from there. I can’t say too much without giving away spoilers. This book was much different than the Weiner books that I’m used to. There was a mystery aspect to the book and I liked how Weiner addressed issues of body image, family and friendship. However, I did find some of the relationships a bit unrealistic. (contemporary fiction/mystery)
The Happy Ever Playlistby Abby Jimenez – It’s been two years since Sloan’s fiance died and she still hasn’t gotten her life back together. While driving one day, she ends saving a dog. This dog, Tucker, ends up bringing Jason, his owner, into her life. The two hit it off right from the first phone call. But Sloan doesn’t realize that Jason is a rising rock star. Can a relationship survive his career? This is the second book in the Friend Zone series. I learned after reading this book, that it was actually written first, before The Friend Zone but was published after. The Friend Zone gives Sloan’s backstory which leads up to this book. I actually enjoyed this book more than the first! (contemporary romance)
Little Secretsby Jennifer Hillier – Marin and Derek seem to have the perfect life. They are wealthy and both own and run successful businesses. But as they discover when their four-year-old son is abducted while they are out Christmas shopping, money cannot buy happiness. A year after Sebastian’s abduction, Marin discovers her husband is having an affair. She puts a plan in motion to end the affair because she will not lose her husband too. But of course, things don’t go according to plan. This was a fast-paced thriller that had me guessing until the end. (thriller/mystery)
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See – Li-yan and her family are part of the Akha people and live in the rural mountains of China farming tea. After she gets pregnant and has a baby out of wedlock, Li-yan drops her baby girl at an orphanage and cannot return to her family. She later ends up selling tea and studying under a tea master. She creates a new life for herself, but never forgets the daughter that she had to give up. This book was informative and well written. You really learn about the tea industry and I had never heard of the Akha people prior to reading this. I’ve read several of See’s books and have enjoyed them all. (historical fiction)
This Wednesday, July 15th, you can enjoy the second of five weeks of “A Night at the Drive-In.” This FREE summer movie series is hosted by Michael B. Jordan, most recently of Creed and Black Panther fame, and Amazon Studios. Hudson Valley locals can enjoy viewing these movies at the Overlook Drive-In in Poughkeepsie. Every other Wednesday there is a double-feature screening of movies that celebrate, “diverse voices in cinemas.”
Tickets are free but must be reserved and printed here in advance and shown at the gate. Although the movie screening doesn’t begin until 8:50 PM, you can arrive earlier to stake out a good parking spot. Gates open at 7 PM. You can either pack some dinner and snacks or purchase them at the snack bar. Burgers, hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders, nachos, fries, pretzels, ice cream and more are available.
This is a fun summer evening out where social distancing can be practiced. Movie ratings vary and parental discretion is advised.
Remaining Movie Schedule:
Although the series started July 1st, here is the schedule for the rest of the summer:
July 15th: “Movies to Make You Proud” Black Panther (PG-13) Creed (PG-13)
July 29th: “Movies that Inspire Your Inner Child” Spiderman Into the Spiderverse (PG) Hook (PG)
August 12th: “Movies to Make You Open Your Eyes” Do The Right Thing (R) Get Out (R)
August 26th: “Movies to Make You Laugh” Coming to America (R) Girls Trip (R)
The Details: Overlook Drive In 126 Degarmo Road Poughkeepsie, NY 12603 (845) 452-3445
Time: First showing screens at approximately 8:50 PM
*Please note that the Overlook Drive-In policy requires all visitors to wear a face mask for entry.
Happy Friday! As is our annual tradition, we spent a couple of days in Rhode Island with my parents for the 4th of July. Usually, there’s a crowd that includes my sister and her family and sometimes my brother and brother-in-law. This year, it was just the four of us and my parents. It was a much smaller and quieter gathering. But it was so nice to get away for a couple of days. Dana and I headed home Sunday because…..work. But the kids spent the rest of the week with my parents. They come home tonight because tomorrow we are having a small family gathering to celebrate my son’s birthday (which is Tuesday). This week I also officially headed back into the office. We are on a staggered schedule and only go in twice a week for the month of July. The other days I still work from home. They have implemented lots of safety measures and it’s a very small, partial return to normal. Here are five from this week:
1. Beach time -While we were up in Rhode Island we only got to the beach twice. Once at night to catch the sunset and the other during the day. The water was freezing! But sitting on the beach reading is one of my favorite things to do!
3. S’mores – Is it summer without s’mores?! We didn’t have a fire but we were able to make them in the oven. Such a tasty treat!
4. Sparklers – it’s legal in Rhode Island to sell fireworks. While we were at the local Walmart I picked up some sparklers to light with the kids. Can you believe my husband and kids had never held a sparkler before?!
5. Family Time – Over the four days spent together in Rhode Island, we enjoyed some quality family time. This included playing croquet in the backyard.
We introduced my parents to Telestrations. This fun game is a cross between telephone and Pictionary.
My kids have gotten into skateboarding and we spent some time watching and helping them practice.
Summer has arrived and we are all itching to get outside and explore. Thankfully, New York State has slowly started to reopen. Here are 8 Hudson Valley gardens and sculpture parks that you that you can take advantage of. Of course masks must be worn and social distancing rules apply. But it’s a chance to get out and explore the beauty of the Hudson Valley. Please check directly with the organization for the most up-to-date information.
Art Omi (Columbia County) 1405 County Route 22 Ghent, NY 12075 (518) 392-4747
Art Omi is a 120 acre art and sculpture park in Ghent, NY.
Admission is free.
Parking is limited during this time and visitors will be turned away if the parking lot is at capacity.
Face masks must be worn in the parking lot and when passing others. Social distancing rules apply.
The Brunel Sculpture Garden is located on 1.3-acres and is home to over a dozen statues and sculptures. Emile Brunel was an artist who decorated his property with sculptures inspired by Native American art seen on his travels.
Today is the last Friday in June. If things were “normal” my daughter would have had her 8th grade graduation ceremony this past week. This weekend we were supposed to be in Miami for my brother-in-law’s wedding tomorrow. Instead, he has postponed the wedding until next year and the kids have survived their first week of summer vacation. This has involved staying up super late and sleeping until 11:30 AM most days. It’s hard for me to complain since they don’t have much else going on. Here are five from this week:
1. Last Day of School – Last Friday was the official last day of school for the kids. We participated in a graduation car parade for my daughter, who is heading to high school in the fall. It was definitely not the school year we were all hoping for. But the kids made the most of it and still had a successful year. As a bonus, during the online graduation slide show, we discovered that our daughter earned the academic award for earning the highest grade in Math 8! It was a huge surprise for us all, including her!
2. Doughnuts – Saturday I picked up some vegan doughnuts from Peaceful Provisions. I had to pre-order these Wednesday evening and was lucky to get them, since they sell out so quickly! This week we got a Coconut Cream Sticky Bun Doughnut and a Coffee Cake Truffle filled doughnut. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but these doughnuts were huge! The flavors change weekly, but they are always delicious!
3. Father’s Day – Sunday we drove up to Wethersfield Garden in Amenia to enjoy some outdoor time. This was our first time visiting these gardens and they were really pretty. My husband requested homemade veggie burgers for dinner, so the kids and I made them and served them with fries. Then later that night we had two Zoom calls – one with Dana’s family and one with mine.
4. Reading – I finished Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner this week. This was a fun, summer read. I didn’t know anything about the book before I started reading it. Weiner usually writes chick-lit, but this book has a mystery aspect too which I enjoyed.
5. Take-out – Izla, a local Puerto Rican take-out restaurant near us is one of our faves. Since we’ve stopped eating meat, we still do take-out but only get sides. This weekend we got tostones, yucca fries and rice and gandules and made a tasty meal out of it!
Although we may be social distancing this summer, there is still a lot of outdoor fun to be had. I know many of us go apple picking in the fall. But did you know that there are many other pick-your-own fruit opportunities in the area, especially during the summer?! Use our Pick-Your-Own Fruit Guide to help you know what fruit is available to pick when in the Hudson Valley. Please note that some farms require reservations for picking and all farms are requiring face masks and social distancing. Different varieties of fruit are available at different times of the picking season. The farms offer fruit picking at different times during the growing season. So please check directly with the farm to find out what fruit varieties are available for picking and when.