Our family recently took a day trip into Dutchess County to visit some of Chris's and my old stomping grounds. When we were much younger, I attended Marist College and we enjoyed visiting landmarks like Vanderbilt and Mills Mansions, as well as the historic towns of Hyde Park, Rhinebeck, and Redhook. It had been years since we had been down to that area and there were many sites the girls hadn't gotten to see or were too young to remember.
We spent the day taking senior photos of Ariana as well as some great candids of Taylor and Chris. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), Taylor was able to get a few pictures of me with my Droid.
Our first stop was Vanderbilt which was one of our favorite places to visit back in the day. Chris dubbed it our 'summer home' in a Facebook post with a response of self-invites to come and visit us from our friends. The house is incredible and the grounds are stunning with its beautiful gardens and magnificent Hudson River view.
I thought this would be the best place to get some great shots of Ariana and I was not disappointed. We walked and talked and enjoyed each others company, which does not come as readily as it used to as our daughters are getting older and busyness with all our schedules is near constant.
We then drove down to Poughkeepsie to show the girls the college I attended for a time. Ariana is beginning her first semester next year on a small commuter campus and I wanted her to see what a larger college campus looks like as she starts this new journey in her life. The one thing I adore about Marist are the stone buildings that overlook the Hudson. It is a beautiful campus. I wish I would have immersed myself into all the college had to offer when I was a student there.
We turned directions and began our jaunt back north, stopping at Mills Mansion along the way, where upon walking up to the massive home my shoe broke. Despite my little setback we continued our walk on the grounds, the girls joining me in barefootedness. This too is a beautiful property with long sloping grounds that bring you down to another amazing view of the Hudson River. We took some more photos of Ariana and Taylor before heading out towards Rhinebeck.
Many of you probably remember when Chelsea Clinton was married a few years back. Her location of choice to celebrate her marriage was in the village of Rhinebeck. There is a quaint charm to this historic village with a number of antique venues along the main drag. Cozy, artsy shops and delicious eateries make this a wonderful destination for many throughout the year. One location we have frequented a number of times is an old church building converted into a restaurant. The first time we went, they served stone oven baked pizzas and we fell in love. Upon our return, the menu had changed under new ownership. Now known as the Terrapin Restaurant, delicious dishes made from fresh produce from local markets is served there. Needless to say, we were not disappointed.
It was a spectacular day as evidenced by Chris asking me (easily a dozen times) "Have I told you how much I enjoyed our day?" We didn't travel to some distant fairy tale land, we didn't take in a heart-stopping show, we didn't dine at the most elegant restaurant. However, it was a magical day for us - one of those rare moments you wish you could bottle up, then pour out and drink in over and over again.