Autumn day in and around Cold Spring, NY— Stonecrop Gardens; Buddhist monastery

By Sandra Hutchinson

During Columbus Day weekend, I spent a pleasant day with a friend in the Hudson Valley, in and around the historic and lively village of Cold Spring. Located on the east side of the Hudson River, directly across the river from West Point in the area known as the Hudson Highlands, much of the village is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The central business district contains many nicely preserved 19th century buildings that house antique shops, restaurants and specialty shops. Cold Spring is about 50 miles north of Manhattan, and easily accessible by Metro North Railroad, and many urbanites make their way here for weekend getaways.

On Saturday, the village was bustling with autumn leaf peepers, Hoping for a leisurely lunch, we managed to grab a small table on the porch of Le Bouchon, a cute French bistro at 76 Main Street. The basket of French bread was ample, and I enjoyed a generous portion of perfectly seared salmon with haricots verts and sautéed fingerling potatoes, paired with a nice house Pinot Grigio on this unusually balmy October afternoon. My friend had a croque monsieur, which she pronounced “très bon!”

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North Creek, NY Mosaic Project

By Sandra Hutchinson

If you happen to be driving (or hiking, skiing, biking or rafting) near the hamlet of North Creek, in New York’s Adirondack Park, make a point of stopping on Main Street to check out the mosaic panels.

 

A multi-year public art project is transforming a wall of concrete into an 180-foot long stretch of mosaic panels that depict life in and around this Adirondack community.

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Top ten essential camping tools

By Sandra Hutchinson

Here in northern New York State, we are getting into prime summer camping time. School is out and the best sites have already been reserved, especially on our favorite place to pitch a tent — one of the Lake George camping islands.

After years of camping on the islands with my family, I’d like to offer my list of top ten camping essentials for tent camping. Don’t leave home without these!

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Community Day at Hildene, in Manchester Vermont

Note from Sandra: I’m pleased to share with you a piece written by my husband, Mark Frost, which appeared in the June 1 issue of The Chronicle Newspaper. 

By Mark Frost; Photos by Sandra Hutchinson

Last year by chance, my wife Sandra and I happened on Community Day at Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. It was great, and it was free. The 2017 Hildene Community Day is Sunday, June 11, from 9:30 to 4:30.

The Hildene gardens are known for their spectacular display of peonies in June. They were in all their glory during last year’s Community Day.

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Inspiration: Charleston and Savannah window boxes

By Sandra Hutchinson

It’s getting to be that time of year when we start visiting garden centers and choosing annuals to fill our outdoor containers. (I say “start,” since in our neck of the woods, a frost is still a distinct possibility.) When I drive by my favorite nurseries, my car practically turns itself into the driveways!

I’ve been lucky to make a number of visits to both Charleston, South Carolina (where one of my best friends lives, fortunately for me) and Savannah, Georgia. Both cities have large historic districts, gas-lit street lights and house lanterns, and lovely gardens. One of the things that has struck me, particularly in Charleston, is the extensive use of beautifully planted window boxes.

Here’s a sampling of some of the window boxes I have spotted in both cities:

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Santa Monica and Santa Barbara Farmers Market — feasts for the senses

By Sandra Hutchinson

It’s a long winter here in northern New York State. Now that it’s warming up, we look forward to our local outdoors farmers markets that will spring to life in May.

We were lucky to get an early taste of some outstanding California farmers markets during a visit to Los Angeles (including Santa Monica) and Santa Barbara in March. No visit to southern California is complete, in my opinion, without a visit to one of the region’s fantastic farmers markets. (N.B. Per the AP Stylebook, I’m not using an apostrophe in “farmers markets” because it’s a descriptive, not possessive, phrase.)

I’m sharing some of my photos from two of those markets — one, in Santa Monica (said to be the largest farmers market in the state), and the other, in Santa Barbara.

 

Quintessential southern California— blue sky, palm trees and luscious produce available at the many farmers markets. Here, Santa Monica’s Wednesday downtown market.

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On to Rajasthan — Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodphur and Jaisalmer

By Sandra Hutchinson

This is the third installment on my blog about the trip I took to northern India in January, 2017. Earlier posts focused on Delhi and visiting Agra (site of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort). I also posted about the new United Airlines Polaris class for long-haul flights. Please see the end of this post for information on the heritage tourism agency we used to book our driver and hotels.

The northern Indian state of Rajasthan — literally, meaning “land of kings” — is the country’s largest state by area. The region is a popular tourist destination, known for its palaces and forts, wildlife preserves and religious sites. On its western border, the Thar desert borders Pakistan.

This blog post will just touch on some of the highlights of our trip. Rajasthan is large, complex and diverse. We spent a week in the region, visiting four major cities, as well as driving through some remote, rural areas.

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