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She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes, (when she comes).
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes, (when she comes).
She’ll be coming ’round the mountain, she’ll be coming ’round the mountain, She’ll be coming ’round the mountain when she comes, (when she comes).
Sing it! Sister and Brothers! The Catskill Mountain Railroad is coming round the mountain even after Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on part of its track along the Esopus Creek–All thanks to a cadre of dedicated volunteers who keep this vital piece of transportation history alive for us and our children.
Children are train enthusiasts: My son loves steamies, roundhouses, chanting “I think I can,” and singing the opening song for the PBS Kid’s show Dinosaur Train:
We’re huffing and we’re puffing like a hurricane…
Take a ride on the Dinosaur Train….
Well, maybe I’m the one who likes that song…it really loops around and around in your head…but ANYWAY!
Recently, we tripped the light “traintastic” on the Catskill Mountain Railroad.
The train is worth exploring. You can feel the wind sweep through your hair in an open-aired gondola car or bask in the antique lighting and seating of one of the 1920s-era commuter cars. Just make sure you watch your kids – the windows open wide unlike kid-proof windows of today.
Many Catskill Mountain Railroad volunteers loved trains as kids and just never grew out of it, so they love meeting their former selves– our train-loving kids! If you get chatty with the volunteers, you can learn a lot.
The train station’s ticket agent Peter Fluchere bubbled over with enthusiasm explaining the history of the railroad to us. Years ago, there were two ways to travel to the mountains, you could take a dirt road or the railroad. He asked us to look around at the tree-covered mountains and imagine them bare, as they once were due to the logging and tanning industries. We had no idea the landscape was once so different.
The conductor was, also, happy to give us some details about the train. He told us volunteers pitched in to buy the train’s cars and spent thousands of hours restoring them.
Sidenote- Even though it is an all volunteer operation, the Federal Railway Association monitors the line, so it is just as safe as any other train.
|Opening gates to the Millbrook Tribute Gardens|
Sometimes it’s nice to experience the finer things in life.
Sometimes you just want to take a trip to where the rich and famous live.
Where we live is great.
I love the creeks, the daisies, and the rough country view of the Gunks, but sometimes I crave grey poupon instead of spicy deli mustard. Sometimes instead of rockclimbers, bicyclists, and hippies, I like to see men in plaid cardigans swinging golfclubs, meticulously pruned hedges lining wimbledonesque tennis courts, sprawling mansions with gate and guesthouses, and let’s not forget old women with surgically altered necks and giant sunglasses walking show poodles. When you have a child that screams at you, “I’m a monster!” It’s nice to visit a place where wild things are tamed. You can sit back and relax, observe and reflect a bit, learn maybe.
I grew up on Long Island, where you drive out to the Hamptons to see these sights, but now our replacement “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” destination is Millbrook, a town that has been coined the Hudson Valley’s lowkey version of the Hamptons.
In Millbrook, there are polo fields, country clubs and there is even a Sotheby’s. The men hanging outside the local deli are dressed in very good taste. The entire town is in very good taste, charming, very gentle, genteel, and loaded.
So it makes sense that Millbrook has the most impeccable park I have ever visited. We’re talking sand that literally sparkles below the swingset, two waterfalls cascading into a Koi pond, tall beautiful shading trees honoring fallen soldiers from WWI, and most impressive of all –pristine public bathrooms with teak side tables and artwork on the walls. Millbrook Tribute Gardens is a great park for any family to visit with its beautifully landscaped grounds and upscale playground equipment.
Just make sure you tell your husband not to change your kid’s diaper in plain sight in the parking lot. Mine started doing this when I wasn’t paying attention, and while the man walking by in the purple polo shirt and white shorts didn’t say anything, he must have thought we were unrefined, ill-mannered, let’s shout it out to the rafters “poor” out-of-towners. But who really cares? It’s a public green space. All can go and enjoy no matter your socioeconomic bracket. Is that spicy enough for you, white shorts?
Anyway, I shouldn’t really be angry at white shorts because he is the one paying what must be astronomical taxes for a place like the Millbrook Tribute Gardens. Let’s face it, most playgrounds are pretty boring for adults. Millbrook Tribute Gardens stands out as being a nice destination for the whole family.
When you’re in Millbrook, make sure you check out the Trevor Zoo too. Read my blog about the zoo‘s newish parking lot. What’s with me writing about bathrooms and parking lots…?
Goodnight. I love you “M” & “R”. Big Kiss.
- Hudson Valley Kim
|Waterfalls and koi pond.|
Millrook Tribute Garden honors fallen soldiers. This plaque lists these soldiers’ names and shows where each soldier was honored with a tree in the park’s Court of Honor. Visitors to the park benefit from these trees’ shade and beauty. Take a moment and reflect.
Sand that sparkles
I’d never seen this playground digger before our trip to Millbrook. My husband had them growing up and said that was because he was from Port Washington and I was from Ronkonkoma. Ahh the class wars continue!
|A little sad when you think that all of these trees are symbolic of fallen soldiers….|
|Good inexpensive local deli. Their competition offered a pint of fruit salad for $15. I bought a meal for the family here for the same price.|
|Crayola’s Color Twister –kid-or mommy-powered fun one drop at a time. No batteries needed.|
It’s a nice activity for a party, playdate, or a rainy day at home. When our playgroup met at our house recently, I was thankful to have this fun activity for our guests. Everyone took home their art. What a great party favor!
Have fun in the Hudson Valley with your kids!
- Hudson Valley Kim
Sweetpea Teepees and compost maker.
The woman who heads Abundant Life Farm, biodynamic spin farmer and educator, Linda Borghi told us, “What you sweep off your kitchen floor is dirt, but what we have here is soil.”
Abundant Life Farm is a half-acre biodynamic spin farm. Spin farming is an economic model that makes farming on small plots of land profitable, and according to the farm’s website, “Biodynamics grows food with a strong connection to a healthy, living soil. “
Have fun exploring the Hudson Valley with the kids!
Take a look at the fun we had at Abundant Life Farm this weekend! It’s hard to believe that you can do so much with only a half acre of land. It’s something to experience.
|Linda holds a refractometer, a tool that measures nutrients in foods. She said you can buy it on the web for about $50.|
My son loved riding the saddled barrel and exploring touch tables covered with pinecones and bones. It’s the sort of place that moms and dads of toddlers need. The kids can move around without much chance of hurting anything or anyone (themselves included).
Of course, my son did manage to drop a chestnut into a turtle tank in a matter of seconds while we were there, but thankfully, a very helpful volunteer, Joan, fished it out before the swarming turtles ate the nut my nut threw.
Find out about scheduled programming at the Wildlife Education Center by clicking on the link below:
If you have older children, you will probably also want to check out HHNM’s Outdoor Discovery Center. It’s a preserve with more walks and talks and there’s a preschool on site too!
- The Wildlife Education Center is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-4pm with Meet the Animals on Saturdays and Sundays only at 1pm (January, February and March) and 2:30pm (year round.)
Admission is $3. Museum Members are free.
25 Boulevard, Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY
Have fun exploring The Hudson Valley!
I was feeling the JetBlues yesterday. It just so happens that my family has plans to fly JetBlue, and have you heard the news? A two-year-old had such a fit on one of their flights right before takeoff, the plane’s pilot removed her and her family from the plane.
My two-year-old often has mini tantrums and the occasional full-blown booger-spewing tear tornado too. If one of these seismic events occurs on the flight, will we have to land prematurely on a grassfield in Kentucky? Chances are all will be spared. Nonetheless, life is a mixed bag these days, and, now, it is possible we will alter a plane’s trajectory and be kicked off a flight.
So, is this all my fault?
Yes, according to Kimberly – 2068293 on the discussion board following an MSN-video about the incident . She writes, “This is nothing more than a lazy parent who has no better sense. And a child that’s use(d) to getting their way through the practice of tantrums,” and let’s not forget how “Parents are so permissive with their children that they do not listen and do not know how to behave in public. I understand that a two-year-old is very young, but even at two the child should have been taught how to behave and to listen to her parents,” writes JS in SD in the same discussion.
In fact, seventy-one percent of people side with JetBlue for its decision to remove the parents from the plane, according to a poll on MSN.
Personally, I liked DrainBramages comment:
If you have a two-year-old that can actually process your demands to calm down and oblige – you should either be extremely rich from selling/teaching your methods - or just got damn lucky.
But really, the story has shaken me up, presenting me with a worst-case scenario for our upcoming flight and the realization that people really are judging me when my child is having a tantrum.
I’ve been asking questions like “Why won’t he listen to me? Do I need to set firmer limits and am I too soft on him? I know underneath it all, he is supersweet, so what am I doing wrong?” I have asked all of these questions before, but, hey, why not ask them again?
Who am I angry at? JetBlue? The 71%? Myself? How angry can I really be at people who just want to sit quietly on an airplane? I happen to be one of those people too! Truly, mostly I am angry at my two-year-old for having tantrums. I wish I were a better, more loving parent, but he is just so demanding sometimes. Will anything be different from now on? I will try to be firmer in the coming weeks before our upcoming flight, but he can be tough, and I don’t know if it will work…
I spend a lot of time with two-year-olds these days. We frequent sandboxes, jumping emporiums, and playspaces, and I have witnessed pretty much every two-year-old in our circle crash and burn at some point. The fury of toddlers varies but every one I know well has been unreasonable and completely self-centered at some point.
For our flight, we will bring the requisite toys, snacks, distractions, etc, but there still remains the superslight-hopefully infinitesimal chance that he will go ballistic. If he does, we will do our best to calm him down, hope we are not escorted off the plane, and have to chalk it off to one of those moments he is supposed to be having. I wish we wouldn’t have them, but when you have a two-year-old, life will sometimes throw you a tantrum.