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Jan 16, 2013

Travel Essentials of Nearcation

Our getaway during the New Years break:

During the long weekend, we took a road trip north to Dutchess County. I have been there before as I graduated from a college in the area. Though that was awhile ago and quite different.

Our first stop was the Brotherhood Winery. This was our second time there and we stopped in for a refill of their great tasting wines. While at the winery, snow storm began. It is not like the snowy rain in the city. After only a few minutes, I had to clean off my car. And because of the storm we had to shorten our itinerary.
Our next stop was Jenkins Orchards, where we stocked up on everything apple and then some.
Butter and BreadThe next stop on our journey was a place for dinner. We went to Brasserie 292 in Poughkeepsie, aka Po-town. It has great reviews and the menu sounded good. We were not disappointed. While the prices were not something a college person would afford, the atmosphere, the food and the service were great.
Bed and Breakfast
For our overnight stay we stopped at the Inn the Woods B&B. The place was very nice with a hot tub outdoors that we used for two nights. The breakfast they made was amazing, a three course culinary morning feast. The overall stay would have been even better, if the house was not up on the hill that was covered with wet snow that my car could not scale. The owners cleaned up the driveway upon request and it was smooth sailing afterwards.

For the second day of our trip our plans included more educational sightseeing. The first stop was the Vanderbilt Mansion.

Vanderbilt mansion Vanderbilt mansion Vanderbilt mansion

It was a five minute drive from B&B. The house is massive, with each room having its own motive and color, grandiose entrances and furniture. Another mansion we visited was the Mills Mansion. It was a contrast to the Vanderbuilt's. Where that one had walls made of and covered with marble throughout the house, Mills Mansion was made of wood. Other than decor and lifestyles, another thing that I learned during the visit is that the owner, Darius, was very opportunistically smart. During the gold rush, instead of joining the dreamers in digging around, he opened a general store selling those dreamers shovels and other tools and accessories needed for digging. In doing so, he made more money than most of the other venturers for the reaches
Getting to this mansion was another story. Like a few other places in the area, we found out that we cannot trust the directions provided by the GPS. Even if we had the correct address. The park's website also did not provide much information. It was only after we called them directly did we get the right route. Here it is if you are thinking about visiting:
- Use your navigational device to get you to the park's gates. Afterwards, turn off the navigation and keep it on to view the map only
- Go down the Old Post road that will be on your right as you enter the gate. Follow the road past a golf course on right side. Once you pass it, you will see a sign on left for the park. This is where you would enter the Mills Mansion. You should see the building ahead and slightly to the left.
Our third night in the area we spent at the Ashokan Dreams B&B. They have a great loft style first floor room with great views. See pictures below of the views from the large windows and from the hot tub just a few feet outside the house.
We took our Panasonic LumixPanasonic waterproof camera with us on the trip to use in the hot tub. Yes, that camera is good to use here too. For more picturesque pictures, my wife had her Canon DSLR camera along.

Hottub outdoors

We also took the iPad with us as each of the B&Bs had free Wi-Fi included. It was good to have that option available but we didn't get to use it much. I wish we did have an iPad waterproof iPad case as then we might have been able to have the iPad with us in the hut tub.

My newest gadget on the trip was the travel sonic toothbrush. At home I use the rotating full size toothbrush and really like brushing with it. Until I came across these travel size brushes, I had no idea battery operated ones existed for travel. These toothbrushes are compact, light, and easy to use. They operate on one AAA battery. My mouth felt very clean during the trip and I didn't have to compromise for the usual tiny not great feeling travel toothbrushes.

Happy New Year!

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