This May Woodstock women are rocking it! From the elite bicyclists who are rolling into town for the Woodstock Women’s Grand Prix bike event on May 6, through the many moms redeeming their Mother’s Day gift certificates, fun things are happening. (If you still need a gift, moms do love these certificates – whether she travels alone or with family members. You can order it here and we’ll also have a really nice T-shirt for her when she arrives – just let us know her travel dates and it’ll be our secret surprise waiting for her – shhh!)
But really, some years it seems Mother’s Day and spring take forever to get here. This year there certainly were lots of fits and starts to the warm weather (those faux “winter is gone” days followed by snow were NOT fun!) And the Grand Prix weather is still questionable with some rain possible. But once spring really arrives in all its glorious warmth and the flowers are blooming, well, you can’t help but smile. Watching nature rejuvenate itself is somehow extra reassuring when so many other things in life can be unpredictable.
In fact, it seems there’s a renewed interest in folks embracing staycations again. The summer months at the Inn are already filling up with couples and families and solo travelers who want to head to the mountains, or the galleries or the music venues – and also enjoy a comfy bed and warm shower! It’s so amazing that we have such varied activities right here in town – heck, right outside our doorstep is one of the most beautiful streams in the Catskills! It’s always a pleasure watching people enjoy their getaways. So often folks arrive stressed and with full agendas of what they will see and do, and within 24 hours they are simply sitting down by the stream, or swinging in the hammocks, content as can be. Their to-do lists and must sees are forgotten and the pure beauty of relaxation takes hold. It really is transformative on so many levels. Watching it happen is sheer joy and makes inn keeping so rewarding. Some days it’s so inspiring I chuck my own to-do list – at least for a bit – and smell the flowers and soak in the cool, fresh green and blue water of the stream and remember that indeed, it really is such a beautiful world – especially in springtime.
Things are pretty crazy lately – from Woodstock to Washington change is on our mind. But the beautiful changes March brings to our community are so wonderful, we’re eagerly embracing them. In fact, here are a few of the best things about March in Woodstock.
– There is warm weather! And then there is cool weather! And then there is warm weather again! The only constant is change.
– There’s still snow at the ski resorts, but not on the village’s sidewalks.
– Everyone is coming out of hibernation and are ready to talk, visit and chat.
– The crocuses really do emerge – a visual testimony to the power of Mother Nature.
Traveling in March can present some challenges, but also opportunities. If your agenda includes cross country skiing on Saturday, but you wake up to temperatures in the mid 60s? Switch it up and go for a hike instead. Flexibility is such a great gift when traveling. It seems people who really enjoy their vacations are the ones who embrace moments when they arise, rather than sticking to rigid schedules. We see that all the time, as folks spend hours by the stream, entranced by nature’s mesmerizing beauty. (And its refreshing coolness in summer, which will be here before we know it!)
So enjoy the chance to slow down a bit – really get to visit with neighbors and friends. And enjoy the uncertainty of the March’s weather: snow arriving and disappearing converts the grounds into an ever-changing landscape, while the sun shining in the breakfast room recharges the soul. It takes a lot of effort to appreciate moments, rather than be disgruntled should plans need to change. But this month of transition offers so many ways to discover interesting and rewarding activities in Woodstock, you really should come on up and enjoy. And if you’re ever at a loss for activities, always feel free to reach out to Karen or Angela. They have the inside scoop of what’s happening near the Inn and love to share with folks.
Last night I had a dream…in it I was walking around a city in the midst of much chaos. Looking around me I made the decision that I could not participate in the fighting …and so I started to flap wings which suddenly appeared where my arms had been. As I took off…people started to look up in astonishment and yell to me…”how are you doing that?? where are you going?” I soared higher and higher …as I passed through what seemed like layers and layers of stratospheres…I became lighter and lighter and more at peace. I thought to myself …am I dying? I never really got the answer to my question. I awoke for the first time in a long time with a sense of peace. We are at an amazing yet frightening time in the history of this nation. I do not pretend to know even one millionth of a fraction of what the hell is going on…but my dream has helped to refocus my energy towards solutions rather than obsessing on the problems or worse yet…adding to them.
The solution for me is to NOT give energy to hate…no matter the source. The solution for me is to engage in heartfelt, open discussions with those who are prepared to do the same. The solution for me is to drop my need to be RIGHT so that I can have those discussions. And finally to pray each and every day to a power greater than ourselves to guide this nation through these troubled times so that the phoenix will rise.
May peace and love guide us all…
It’s funny, but the slowest months are sometimes the best. Yes, in the height of summer, when we’re fully booked and folks are swimming in the stream and the gardens are abloom, it is fun.
But this time of year it’s so nice to slow down a bit and really get to visit with neighbors and friends. This month devoted to love is especially welcome right now with all the recent craziness in the world and in our country. It’s special to just have unrushed time with loved ones, or even alone. Nothing like going for a hike, appreciating expansive views and the beauty found in a sparse winter landscape to put things in perspective.
At the Inn we’re so lucky to have close, constant encounters with nature. There are birds battling elements, the snow arriving and disappearing converts the grounds into an ever-changing landscape, while the sun shining in the breakfast room recharges the soul (or maybe that’s the second cup of fresh coffee taking effect?) It takes a lot of effort to appreciate moments and February offers that opportunity in many ways in Woodstock.
Upstate Films continues to offer interesting movies and The Barn at Levon Helm’s has wonderful concerts every weekend this month! What an amazing venue and so proud of all those who are keeping the music going. Over at New World Home Cooking chef Rice Orlando is again preparing his annual “Safe Sex Valentine’s Dinner” which is always a fun, event-filled meal and of course, at the Inn we’re thrilled to be featuring our recently renovated Room 15 as Room of the Month for February. With its mantled, electric fireplace as the centerpiece this is the perfect sanctuary for winter.
The windows, dining area and private porch overlook the stream, the bath is luxurious with a shower and separate jetted tub. And the bed, with its cozy quilts, is so comfortable that getting out of it may be the most difficult hurdle you face when staying here. (As Room of the Month a 2-night stay in February includes a $100 gift certificate good for any return visit.)
We do like keeping it simple here, no matter the season. But there’s limited time to appreciate these snowy, and kind-of-slow, beautiful days in this shortest month, so let’s enjoy them while we can.
Karen is way more than an innkeeper! She’s a woman of action – whether it’s sweeping away dust or our post-election doldrums. Check out her lovely video and singing – and do know she’s determined to make our country a better place – one song at a time. Enjoy.
It is amazing to think we are still surrounded by an ever-changing beautiful landscape here in Woodstock – and it’s almost the end of October! The Indian Summer kept the fall season at bay, and these past few weeks have simply been a wonderful gift from Mother Nature.
The bright red and orange colors that brightened the stream did get knocked out a bit with this weekend’s rainstorm, but the yellows and golds are still all around, colorfully altering the landscape. I keep thinking at some point I am going to choose a favorite season. But when I really reflect on it, it seems the season I am in is my favorite.
This summer was warm, and wonderful. There was little humidity and the days were perfect for languishing by the stream. Well, at least for guests. It is the busiest time of year for us, so it often feels like non-stop action behind the scenes, but seeing friends returning and meeting new ones always gives me pause. However, all too quickly the nights were encroaching earlier, the days were just a bit cooler and now, another season is here to steal my heart. I imagine when the snow falls it too will appeal to my senses.
Being reminded of time’s passage in such a dramatic way is humbling. On smart days we take time to reflect upon it, other days we just rush to play catch up. But for now, taking time to watch the warm sun stream through dancing yellow leaves seems the perfect way to spend an October afternoon.
We’ve now wrapped up our photo contest and, with half the year gone, want to look back and share. We are once again amazed at the diversity, beauty and love that is evident in the submissions. People captured nature, each other and, of course, Woodstock in their pictures. And it was a joy looking at them, remembering a wonderful year featuring snow, blooming crocuses, the stream in summer and, of course, a glorious, ever-changing fall season. As always, it was tough picking the winning pictures, but here are the top three winners, plus three honorable mentions.
Michael Sable’s view of sitting by the stream garnered first place, while Jan Mclaren’s picture of the Inn’s duplex won second place for its magical quality and MaryLynn Culbert’s picture of the Inkeeper’s home was a lovely reminder of the property’s beauty and earned third place.
Honorable mentions were given to Shelly Angelo for the picture of the birdbath and flowers, Livia Beasley’s picture of love rocks! was a lot of fun and Gina Scarola’s rainbow-filled picture of the stream left us all with happy thoughts. Gina and her mom used to travel to the Inn together, but she passed away. When Gina took this picture of the stream on a sunny day she was shocked to see the rainbows streaming into the picture – as if her mom were shining down and also enjoying the stream.
There were many more wonderful entries. Take a peek at some of them in the gallery. And thanks to everyone who shared their vision of the Inn with us – it’s wonderful seeing your happy memories. Do know it’s an honor to be part of your life and your traditions. Thanks. And we look forward to you coming back to capture many more happy moments at The Woodstock Inn on the Millstream.
Summer may officially arrive at 6:34 p.m. on June 20, but summer inspiration has been evident throughout the Inn for weeks. The gardens are more delightful than ever and the weather is certainly cooperating. And this year the activities and attractions we’ve seen in the area are simply amazing. The greatest challenge is choosing what to do….
Maverick Concerts, nestled in the woods right outside of town is always a magical setting. The 101st season kicks off the weekend of June 26 and is a testimony to the venue’s commitment to inclusivity. There’s a children’s concert Saturday morning, an actors & writers program that night and Sunday afternoon the renown Escher String Quartet will perform. And that ‘s just the first weekend! The performances, (including a new focus on jazz) keep getting better through the season.
Theater is always a Woodstock fave. From the 21st season of Bird On A Cliff’s free outdoor Shakespeare performances (this season’s show is A Comedy of Errors) to the Woodstock Playhouse’s 2016 season (Guys and Dolls, Beauty and the Beast, Cherry’s Patch and Pippin) there’s plenty of quality entertainment to be found north of the Great White Way.
The music venues at Levon Helm’s Studio and also Bearsville Theater continue to woo amazing musicians with international reputations (many of them our Woodstock neighbors who love playing a fun-filled night with friends and families in the audiences.)
Hiking is one of our favorite activities year-round, but in summer the deep green trees and shady trails make it especially delightful.
But, to be truly honest, our favorite summer activity is found right here, at the ol’ millstream. Swimming, sitting, napping – it’s always better when it involves the Millstream. When the calming charm of the stream works its magic on you, well, there’s nothing quite like it and it makes us so appreciate the season.
Last weekend I traversed the entire Devil’s Path supposedly one of the most difficult trails on the east coast. We were to be 5 brave souls that weekend but a few folks bagged out due to the weather forecast and so just two of us ended up doing the 2night/3day backpacking trip led by Jeff Vincent of CatskillMountainWild.com
. I highly, highly recommend Jeff! He’s so amazing …I’ll write a separate blog about him and his company!
The trail begins at Prediger road in Elka Park and ends about 24 treacherous miles later at Spruceton road in Westkill, NY. It poured rain the first day (part of the day), sun shone the second, and we were told weather was headed our way the second night so we took shelter and waited for a severe thunderstorm that never materialized. A cold front did move in that evening along with wind that forced us to wear hats and gloves as we finished in some snowfall on Sunday afternoon.
If you tried to tell me 25 years ago that I’d be traipsing around the woods in the Catskills hauling 30 lbs on my back for “fun” um…actually I wouldn’t of even known a person who could have said that. My circle knew nothing of backpacking, the Catskill mountains, or any type of athleticism. We were wine drinking snobs who smoked Gauloise, spoke about art, put on art collaboratives in Paris–and thought we were the cats meow. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…. it’s just that my priorities have shifted…dramatically… and I really like where they’ve landed. I know they’ll shift again. It’s one of beauties of life. I’m learning to just roll with it all and treasure each and every moment. But….I digress……back to these mountains!
If you look up the hike … which I did obsessively …it’s listed as extremely difficult, strenuous, for athletes only, etc. I kept reading over and over… and fretting day after day that perhaps I’d gotten in over my head. But wait a minute I reasoned, I’ve run marathons, trail marathons. I’ve hiked all those mountains ( just not all together). I’ll be fine I reasoned. But in came thoughts of doubt…”Yeah but you are a slow marathon runner, you came last in that ultra you did… You
aren’t an athlete! You have a heart condition, you shouldn’t go. If you ask your cardiologist he will advise against going.” On and on and on. Well, I didn’t listen to that negative chatter and I stuck with my plan to go and take it one step at a time. Lo and behold I lived to write this blog! And ….I had the most glorious weekend ever… traversing 5 peaks and spending 55 glorious hours in the forest … heaven!
I have a dream to thru hike the Appalachian Trail …. I concocted it a few years back. Last year during my annual visit to my cardio surgeon he advised me against taking on such an endeavor warning that if I dissected during my trip I’d never make it to the hospital in time. I later realized that if I dissected at home in Woodstock I also might not make the 40 min drive to Vassar Brothers. I decided then and there to not let this condition run my life. I decided to not sit home in fear of dying which I will admit I did for about a month. Good god I wouldn’t even walk across the parking lot at the Inn without clutching my heart!
If any one really knows me they know I’m happiest in the mountains on a hike with Willy & Zelda. Willy is now mostly retired and spends his days cat sitting and swimming (weather permitting). Zelda tore her ACL last
year and only recently has been back on the trails. Just the
other day she came on a hike and I cannot describe the joy I felt…talk about priorities shifting! My ex husband considers me an unsophisticated hick who lives a barbaric life in the boondocks. I know I’m just a mountain loving woman who no longer smokes Gauloise and no longer talks
about art but makes