Fall Getaway

Happy Thursday!  We just got back yesterday from a lovely 24 hour adventure an hour north of New York City.  Several years ago my husband and I came across the small town of Fishkill, New York and we absolutely fell in love with it.  It is the perfect distance from NYC and just a beautiful hour long drive along the Hudson River.

We randomly had two days off this week and a free night to use with our Marriott points so we cashed them in and headed north.  The weather wasn’t perfect, chilly and rainy, but we weren’t complaining.  The fall colors were out in full display and Fishkill sits perfectly at the foothills of some small mountains.
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Our first stop was Fishkill Farms where we make an annual trip to get some apples, apple cider donuts and coffee.  It was pouring and since it wasn’t the weekend, they didn’t have their usual awesome festivities going on.  So we grabbed some freshly made (as in still warm) donuts and hopped back in the car.  We both agreed that they were the best donuts we have ever had.  I could have eaten them by the dozen!
Another reason we love this area is that it is full of incredible history.  The town itself was established in the early 1700’s and there are relics of the Revolutionary War all over.  Many properties still have the original fieldstone lining them and there are so many gorgeous original churches, cemeteries, and even a few homes.  On our drive in we passed the spot where Benedict Arnold fled during the Revolution.
Despite the weather we drove to a favorite rail trail and wandered for a few miles.  Being that it was the middle of the week on a drizzly afternoon, we had the trail to ourselves.  It was delightful!  This was where we trained two springs ago for a marathon.  We did a 17 and 18 mile run on this path and have some pretty great memories from those runs.
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Rebellious!

Rebellious!

After a stop at All Sport Fishkill (my favorite gym ever and they offer free passes to hotel guests) for a nice interval run, we headed out to one of our favorite places for dinner.  This was my first real run since the marathon and I admittedly did most of it because I planned on doing some damage at dinner.  Café Maya is a legit Mexican restaurant.  I went to town on the chips and salsa and had a margarita that I had been really looking forward to.  That was followed up by some authentic Mexico City tacos.  Heaven!
Did I mention that the hotel hooked us up with an upgraded room?  This is awesome anytime but considering the tiny studio apartment we have been living in for the last few weeks here in the city, this was a HUGE deal!  Our place in the city is so small that we have been sleeping on a pull out couch and there is no TV or internet.  We enjoyed sprawling out, watching TV, and sleeping on a real bed!
Wednesday was followed up by some more rainy rail trail action and then a drive to the Sleepy Hollow area.  Most people visit the area this time of year because it is Sleepy Hollow but we were there for an even more exciting adventure, Stew Leonards!  This grocery store is a food lover’s dream.  You won’t find anything prepackaged here.  It is just a maze of fresh produce, meat, and dairy along with singing produce and animals around every corner.  In the spring and summer they even have a baby farm animal petting zoo.  Plus they make their own frozen yogurt and ice cream. Worried about where your milk is coming from?  Check out the live video feed from their dairy farm in Connecticut.
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Sometimes its nice to have a band sing to you while you pick out your produce.

Sometimes its nice to have a band sing to you while you pick out your produce.

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If you ever come to NYC for a trip, skip the Statue of Liberty and visit Stews.  Sit outside and get something from their grill and enjoy their not so NYC produce prices.
We stocked up on some delicious produce, grazed on yummy samples, and headed back to the city determined to figure out a way to cook healthy meals for the remaining week we are here in our minute kitchen.
Oh yeah they make donuts too.  In case you were wondering, they are delicious as well.

Oh yeah they make donuts too. In case you were wondering, they are delicious as well.

What an adventure!  Sometimes all it takes is 24 hours to come back refreshed and ready.  And a comfy bed doesn’t hurt either.  Any color tours planned for you?

Fall Is In The Air!

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Happy Monday.  I hope you had a great weekend.  It has been getting so beautiful here in Chicago.  This past Saturday we had one of our last long group runs along Chicago’s Lakefront Path and the weather was just spectacular.  It is slowly starting to cool off but the air has an autumn crispness to it and the path was scattered with various colored leaves.  It was a pleasant change from some of our more humid and oppressive long runs and a great reminder that the marathon is quickly approaching.

It has been fun to look forward to and enjoy fall this year.  For many years, ever since I was in middle school I suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder in the fall months.  Something about the days getting shorter, the weather getting colder and the sky getting darker used to really get to me.  I would have an overwhelming feeling of melancholy.  Living in the city certainly helps, but finding reasons to embrace the change in seasons seems to really keep those feelings away.

I may have also gone a little crazy with some fall decorating.  Our apartment is filled with autumn colors, as well as a few cauldrons full of candy (which I can’t keep my paws off of), and some fun Halloween decorations.  I have also added some pumpkin spice scents which is my absolute favorite.  Since those Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes are such a killer to the waistline I prefer to just enjoy the scent around home.

These might be a problem for me too.....

These might be a problem for me too…..

I realize that I am no home decorating expert and should probably stick to my running advice but I had to share with you a fun new way that I have been getting into the autumn excitement.  I have been doing some stove top scents to make the whole house have an air of the season.  Don’t you love walking into Williams Sonoma and breathing in their festive aromas in the winter?  Our olfactory receptors are pretty powerful little things and they are directly connected to the limbic system which affects your mood.  So adding some nice aromas really is a great way to feel good.

I was on a mission to try and recreate these scents which I have a feeling many people who know me might appreciate.  I have to admit that I recently had to leave right from a group run for a business trip.  I called up an Uber car after the run and as the guy was taking me to my destination I noticed that he rolled his window down.  After awhile he asked me if I was sure I didn’t want to roll my window down.  I thanked him and said no.  Later it dawned on me, that I had actually smelled bad enough that the cab driver was bothered by it.  That had to be a first!

pinterest.com

pinterest.com

So getting into the festive fall feeling, and keeping things nice and refreshed at home I created this stovetop aroma:

1 cup apple cider

1 cinnamon stick

A pinch of whole cloves

1 tablespoon pumpkin spice

Simmer on low and add water as needed.

Once you try this out, it is easy to make your own creations.  The first time I did this I found packaged apple cider mix (which was perfect because it tasted gross so I was happy to use it with this).  Fill a pot with water and add in your favorite ingredients.  Some that I found online are: vanilla, cinnamon, lavender, orange rind, cranberries, apples, canned pumpkin, and nutmeg.

Do you have any scents you like to create at home?  Any other good festive ideas besides eating pumpkin everything?