Celebrating my 10th Wedding Anniversary: A Weekend in New Paltz (Part One)

It seems hard to believe that I’ve been married for ten years. Ten years! Matthew and I met while in college, and we’ve cherished every minute together, and it really helps to have a partner who shares the same interests as you.

On the morning of my anniversary, I woke to some beautiful surprises on my coffee table. To be honest, I had not even processed the information that it WAS my 10th, so I had not really done quite the amount of planning as Matthew had (evidently). First, I woke up to these:

Wildflowers in a tin pail

Because it was my 10th?the metal of choice was tin: hence the elegant tin pail. And of course, there was a card. When I opened the card, it asked me to look under the table, and I found yet another package. Inside this was a sleek black new Dell Inspiron Laptop, which was particularly touching because my old one had died a few weeks ago, and I was trying hard not to get frustrated at the thought of tapping away at a desktop. What a thrilling morning already!

Now, as though this weren’t enough (to be honest, I would have been completely happy with flowers, a card and a tin pail!), I was promised a trip to the New Paltz area (the base of the elegant and seemingly endless Shawangunk mountains) but our lodging would remain a mystery. That’s one aspect I love of being married: we love giving each other surprises. In fact, I keep reminding myself on a daily basis that a life without pleasant surprises is just not as fun. We work at it?but it’s a labor of love.

So that evening, I was whisked away to one of those Bed? & Breakfasts that are everywhere in the area. To my great surprise, we were allowed to bring Butterscotch as well (a quick call to the B&B took care of this). That just about sealed the deal because I knew then that weekend was going to be perfect. Even though I love to travel, I do hate leaving my Golden Retriever behind.

After a swift drive with relatively little traffic, we discovered it was close to dinner time, and we had not even thought of dinner arrangements yet. We were eager to try the Foodspotting app to see what vegetarian options were nearby. We were instantly taken with the photos of a delicious vegetarian enchilada platter at a restaurant called Cinco de Mayo in Waldwick, NJ. The restaurant’s web site itself is unimpressive, and thank goodness I didn’t look at that first because I would have brushed it off. But Foodspotting‘s pictures were very convincing, and we took a 3.9 mile detour from our journey to head towards our enchiladas.

Cinco de Mayo prides itself on “Fine Authentic Mexican Cuisine” and I was excited to try some authentic salsa. The art on the wall, hand painted by one of the owners, was striking with its sun ripened, tropical colors. And thankfully, after convincing our waitress that we did not indeed eat any meat or dairy (our waitress even understood the word “vegan”?hooray!), we ended up with a delicious meal worthy of Foodspotting‘s best. They even gave us a complimentary dessert: a fried banana concoction that was definitely NOT vegan but delicious (see, sometimes it’s okay to have dairy for a good cause).

Cinco de Mayo MExican Restaurant Waldwick NY

The interior of Cinco de Mayo in Waldwick, NY: A true Fiesta

Cinco de Mayo MExican Restaurant Waldwick NY

The salsa was perfection, and the secret, they told me, were the poblano chiles

Cinco de Mayo MExican Restaurant Waldwick NY

This is just one of the examples of the art you can expect to see in this restaurant. It’s worth coming here just for the eye candy alone.

So, by the end of dinner, we were staunch fans of Foodspotting and we continued on to our bed & breakfast. By the time we arrived at Mountain Meadows, it was close to 11:00pm. The atmosphere was beautiful, dark and quiet as a pin (not even any crickets), and we pulled into the driveway and checked into some very cosy digs.

Mountain Meadows is a solid choice for a B&B, and run by a charming couple, Art and Corinne, who instantly made us feel at home. It features several amenities you’d want in a B&B: a heated pool and hot tub, extensive gardens, a delicious hammock and comfortable and tastefully furnished rooms. We had a tropical room furnished with the cutest toucans and wicker furniture?it brought back fond memories of our time in Clearwater, FL and Fisher Island.

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

Everything was comfortable, peaceful and quiet?the way a Catskills B&B is supposed to be.

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

The day too, was perfect. Sunshine ruled.

Mountain View B&B New Paltz NY

Hammocks are always welcome!

Sitting in the living room’s rocking chair (it’s good for the baby!) with my first child, Butterscotch.

It’s amazing how much attention Golden Retrievers need! They take longer than your taxes.

The smell of a delicious breakfast woke us the next morning. These are fresh baked blueberry muffins that were soft yet chewy.

After a restful evening at the B&B, we were ready to tackle the day and were eager to begin hiking and wandering through the acres of the Preserve. We were glad to chat with Corinne and Art for a bit during breakfast, and they told us after having done this (the B&B business) for several decades, they had decided to put up the place for sale. This saddened us but let’s not forget how much work a B&B can be. Many people think it’s an idyllic lifestyle, but don’t take into account the early mornings, clean up and regular maintenance and effort (not to mention marketing) that comes with the territory.

We were also so glad they loved Butterscotch and invited her to come along. While the concept of a pet-friendly bed & breakfast is becoming more mainstream, it’s tough if there are say?three or four dogs on the property and they can’t get along.

Stay tuned for more adventures on our anniversary trip?

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