Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apples and Doughnuts and Cocoa, OH MY!

Yesterday was a LONG OVERDUE date day with my favorite husband! We both desperately needed a mental break, so we headed upstate to enjoy the fall weather and found ourselves in Gardiner, NY at Wright's Farm!
 Can you tell I'm excited? Happy coincidence- they serve Green Mountain Coffee (I recently discussed my belief in Fair Trade coffee, so this made me very happy)!

The colors were stunning- so vibrant! 

It had rained a bit before we arrived, so everything looked fresh and dewy! And... muddy.

Good thing Joe had a game plan. 
 Do not even get me going- the shirt, the pants, the white socks, the velcro shoes... Where to begin? Yep... we're married. 

It was a bit chilly (it was pretty mild in Brooklyn so neither of us brought sweaters... oops... as an upstate native I should know better...) so we headed up to the orchard and got right to work! 

 The best part about apple picking is tasting a fresh-from-the-tree apple! Many orchards have a one-sample-per-picker policy, which makes sense- I could easily eat 20lbs of apples before ever putting one in my bag, so keep it under control, people! :)

 Giant Mutsu. Oh, yeah.

 There were parts of the orchard where the ground was literally littered in apples- beautiful! I'm sure the local woodland critters are grateful.

 So much variety. 

 I chose a Macintosh for my sample! Yum!

 Sometimes I get artsy with Joe's random candid-shots...
 It's an unspoken rule that large rocks in outdoor locales DEMAND dramatic photoshoots...
 Or solo performances of Michael Jackson's Thriller Dance... you choose...

 Mad balancin' skills, yo.
 There's ANOTHER unspoken rule that if a large open space presents itself, Joe and I MUST take jumping pictures. You understand, I'm sure...

We were having so much fun, we didn't even notice that our feet were DRENCHED...

After picking, we headed back down to the farm stand to stock up!

Apple cider doughnuts? YES. PLEASE.

We did a quick back-seat change-a-roo, got rid of our muddy duds and then headed into New Paltz for dinner! We decided on the Main St. Bistro.

The interior had a fun, funky retro diner/ cafe feel with TONS of art on the walls!

Joe ordered the Sun Devil- sundried tomato and mascarpone ravioli with asparagus, mushroom, yellow peppers and roasted garlic in a basil pesto and asiago cream sauce. Delicious!

I chowed down on the Robert Eggplant Experience- eggplant lasagna layered with spinach, zucchini and ricotta, served with walnut citron bread. 

 Sweet baby dinosaur, was this delicious. Saucy, veggie-y, creamy, cheesy, sweet and tangy. I found myself longing for a bit more eggplant and a bit less zucchini, but other than that- perfection. 

 The toasted walnut citron bread was the PERFECT sidekick- toasty, crunchy, buttery and fluffy goodness. We were both very pleased with the food and the service!

After dinner we strolled down the block for a visit to the Huguenot Creamery. We selected two combos- pumpkin and apple pie in one dish, vanilla bean and cookies and cream in the other.  Each flavor was decidedly delicious- distinctly tasty but not overwhelming. We chatted with the friendly owner about fall, ice cream and the crazy weather- what a sweet lady!

Before packing it in and heading back to NYC, we dropped into Cafeteria for some warm bevvies for the road. 

What a beautiful place- huge, cavernous and exquisitely decorated in a homey, worn-in, shabby chic sort of way.

 I could DEFINITELY see myself chilling here for 8 hour homework marathons...

I swear my love for this place is only marginally impacted by the fact that the barista who made my hazelnut hot chocolate was really, really cute. Don't worry- Joe knows. 

All in all, a pretty perfect date day! Unfortunately, I'm now feeling a bit under the weather (WHY didn't I bring a sweater???) and I have a MOUNTAIN of homework to catch up on. My day off was worth it, though!

What's your favorite day-trip near where you live? Any that you haven't been on yet but would like to explore?