January 4, 2014

new year in hudson

It seemed fitting to round out 2013 taking a trip with the sole purpose of attending another wedding - my third of the year. My journey, four hours each way, on six trains round trip, led to a brief stay in the charming town of Hudson, New York. Weddings can be a perfect excuse for traveling to a place you may never venture to otherwise and this is the element about them that I find myself loving most. This was my first ever New Year's Eve wedding and I enjoyed it immensely. It really is a brilliant idea. Can there be a more festive event on a more festive evening? I think not. The excursion started very early the morning of the 30th of December fittingly at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. After switching trains first in Trenton, NJ and then Penn Station in NYC I boarded an Amtrak bound for Albany and made sure to grab a window seat on the left side of the aisle. As we rumbled and rolled along the Hudson river, grey skies opened up to the sun, the river widened and narrowed, tiny towns came into focus on the hills of the river banks and spectacular views of the Taconic Mountains dominated the horizon to the west. This was surely the most scenic train ride I have found myself on in the United States.

There are many places for lodging in Hudson. My search started with a good combing of the local B&Bs and small hotel offerings. Not seeing anything that really appealed to me, I went with my default move and browsed Air B&B. After a few false starts, I found a perfect carriage house. Originally there may have been four of us staying in town for the wedding but when it came down to it, my friend Tracy and I ended up being the only two disembarking the steps of that river route train. We made the short ten minute walk from the station to the house to meet our host and got a taste for the area as we wandered. Our host was welcoming and warm and gave us a brief tour and run down of house rules before handing over the key and dashing out to work. Our home for the next two nights was rustic and cozy. Each room was simple and sparse yet had everything we needed right down to fresh robes laid out on comfortable beds, super soft throw blankets, fresh cookies, a selection of teas and soap & towels. One of the best features was it's proximity to Warren Street which is really the heart of Hudson. After putting our bags down, we popped some champagne and mapped out the neighborhood, making plans for our afternoon and evening.

Hudson is adorable. Warren Street is lined with shops that are filled with antiques, books and clothing and peppered in are cafes, bars and restaurants. It is about seven blocks long and completely walkable. Some of my favorite places were Cafe Le Perche, The Helsinki, The Spotty Dog, The Red Dot, and most of all Le Gamin Country Cafe.  

Hudson also has it's fair share of abandoned homes, churches and bars. Around the edges of the town you see this more than right on Warren Street. It speaks of a place coming back. There is a true revitalization happening here.

The New Years Eve wedding was held at The Basilica. It was a classy, well planned and captivating affair. I was so happy to be apart of this celebration.

New Year's Day brought with it the return home. Back on the train watching the river beginning to freeze over I felt content and energized by stepping away from my home and routine and seeing a new place, meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends.

Happy New Year!