Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On to the Berkshires and Hudson Valley

Lake Placid Lodge is a place you could stay for a long time. Our little cabin was ideal. Still we dusted
ourselves off and headed out for the Berkshires with the lure of theatre at the end. In Pittsfield, MA at the Barrington Stage Company, we had the privilege of seeing Maggie Donnelly perform in The Crucible. She stole the show. It was an excellent production, lots of Broadway experienced actors. Arthur Miller amazes me. How was he able to write like Nathaniel Hawthorne? (speaking of whom, I just finished House of Seven Gables, very Salem-like and entertaining).

Pittsfield has not much to offer. Smallish town, bit down at the heels. We took off to explore more of the Berkshires and found a fabulous hike in the Pittsfield State Forest called the Hawthorne Trail, which seemed a good sign given my reading material. We had our doubts after going what felt like straight up for an hour or so. But then the trail ended and we turned around and went back down. Surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. This was my fantasy of fall foliage. Walking under the canopy with all colors of trees and leaves around us.

Ate at the Red Lion Inn (no relation to Fess Parker), rumored to be one of the oldest inns in the country. The tavern looked and felt the part. Worth a return visit. Dinner at Bistro Zinc in Lenox, which is a really pretty little New England town (and expensive per our Pittsfield chatty innkeeper).

Next route - stay off the interstates and find our way to Hudson, NY. Now we are there, staying just across from Olana, Frederick Church's gorgeous homestead which outshines his art in my opinion. He virtually painted with trees of all types all around his home, Moorish in style, and beautifully furnished in every way. We ended up spending a goodly part of two days in and around Olana. The first day touring the house, and the second hiking the grounds. More walking on leaves under colorful canopies.

Thanks to Susan, who has a house in Hudson and knows it well, we found the Spotty Dog -  a bookstore and beer place - yes, they have both. Does it get any better than that? Great beer and books all around. This is our second day here as well. (We tend to return to a good thing.) Had dinner at a restaurant called Da Ba last night, with a Swedish chef. Tonight is Italian at Ca Mea, super yummy. We were all geared up to go see Prairie Home Companion HD at local theatre until we figured out today is Wednesday and not Thursday as previously thought. Aging is such fun. Ended up at PM Wine Bar where Pat got to drink real absinthe!

Still trying to figure out how to see Susan and John. Tomorrow we are off to New Haven to see Claire Bear!

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