"Nature is loved by what is best in us." — Ralph Waldo Emerson
I just spent a fantastic weekend in nature, just as the heat wave mercifully ended! On Saturday morning I left Avis in Brooklyn not in the economy car I rented but in the only vehicle they had available: a huge, brand new (just off the lot!) Dodge Ram 1500 Quad SLT 4x4 pick-up that I was the first to rent. It had just 44 miles on it, and I added 250 more as I ruled the road all weekend. It was a ton of fun to drive!
First stop on the weekend getaway road trip was The Farm at Glenwood Mountain in the mountains of northern New Jersey for a friend's picturesque, pastoral wedding on a hilltop followed by a fabulous farm-to-table dinner inside a beautiful barn. Even from the first salad course, I was asking my table, "OK, is it just me, or is this the best cucumber you've ever had?" It was so fresh and crisp - probably because we were sitting a few feet from the farm's gardens! Dancing with old friends under the stars besides a waning supermoon all made it a magical event filled with love.
Since I had the rental all weekend, I planned a great Sunday to make the most of being outside the city. I invited a friend in the area to join me for a guided hike and tour of Dragon Rock Studio at Manitoga (pictured above) - the incredible home and studio of renowned mid-century modern American designer Russel Wright. No relation to Frank Lloyd Wright, Russel Wright planned Manitoga to be immersed in and in conversation with nature. (Comparisons to Falling Water are inevitable). He built Manitoga inside an old stone quarry, with pathways surrounding it to immerse oneself in the native trees, ferns, mosses, and flowers he personally curated and planted throughout the property's 75-acre woodlands. The guided tour is well worth the visit, as you can enter his home and studio to see its original furnishings, funky doorknobs, openness to the natural world, and a lovely museum gallery of his work. Manitoga is near Garrison, NY - an easy daytrip from NYC and worth an even longer visit to explore all the trails on site that are open to the public.
From Garrison in Putnam County, I drove north to Dutchess County and Amenia, NY - near Wassaic, the northernmost stop on Metro-North's Harlem Line. Here I had a lunch date and tour arranged at the Virtuoso hotel property Troutbeck, former home of Myron B, Benton, poet-naturalist who hosted his friends Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and John Burroughs. By car, Troutbeck is just two hours from Manhattan and a perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature. The main lodge is an historic building (with other accommodations options a stone's throw away next to or behind the lodge). There's a fab outdoor pool, half-shaded by the surrounding trees, along with spacious cabanas. With only 36 rooms, this is an intimate, relaxing, secluded retreat nestled inside woodlands and gardens along a hammock-lined, small river where trout are found upriver. You'll love to come here to swim, use the spa, eat delicious food, and go for walks in the woods for a while without ever having to leave the property, or come with a car and explore the surrounding areas to visit Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (soooo good), Innisfree Garden, art galleries, Wassaic Project, and Kent, CT too - all very close to Troutbeck. I can't wait to go back and explore even more!
Would you like to stay at Troutbeck? Let me know! My clients receive exclusive amenities including breakfast for two daily, $100 food/beverage credit, free WiFi, and subject to availability: upgrade on arrival, early check-in and late check-out. I would love for you to experience Troutbeck for yourself!
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