Living in Texas makes one miss the seasons!
SO… In search for some cooler temperatures and some autumn color my family and I took a trip to up-state New York a few weeks ago where we visited the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, hiked through the Ferncliff forest and got into other fall time shenanigans.
First off, let me start by saying that I absolutely LOVE New York so I may be a little biased when it comes to my review, that being said everything about our trip was FANTASTIC! We began our weekend in New York city, staying one night at The Paper Factory Hotel in Long Island City, before renting a car and heading out of town. The Paper Factory Hotel was a trendy little hotel, with comfy Industrial meets bohemian decor and large clean rooms. Upon arrival we discovered that one of our bed frames was broken, but after a bit of improvisation we made it work for the night and the hotel staff were extremely helpful and apologetic in the morning. I can definitely recommend a stay at The Paper Factory.
Once out of town we enjoyed a leisurely drive to Rhinebeck, NY, stopping along the way to ohh and awe over the beauty along the Hudson River. The fall temps were perfect and the leaves were just beginning to change. It proved to be a wonderfully relaxing day.
In Rhinebeck, NY we stumbled upon Kesicke Farm which was offering a Pumpkin patch/Corn Maze and detoured so the girls could spend hours feeding and scratching the goats, cows, piggies and donkey. Overhead we spotted the main reason for our trip, as the 1929 D-25 Biplane from Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome twisted and turned as it gave passenger rides over the New York countryside. It was an exciting taste of what we had planned for the next day.
After finally pulling the girls away from the petting zoo/pumpkin patch we headed off for our original destination, the Ferncliff Forest and preserve for a bit of hiking. The Ferncliff Forest consists of several hiking trails, at the center of which is a fire tower. Free and open to the public, people are allowed to climb the tower and for the brave at heart the view from the top is spectacular… or so I hear. I myself am deathly afraid of heights and couldn’t make it past the second flight of stairs, but my husband and the girls were able to make it to the top. Just please exercise caution as I did notice in several areas that the wire fencing strung along the sides of the stairs for safety is pushed out in places and in need of repair.
As a rule we NEVER book a hotel in advance! For many reasons this tends to work for us. What if the hotel is a dump, what if we find one we like better and closer to where we want to be, but mainly it’s because we non-rev travel and never know for certain where or if we might show up. It being peak season and finding absolutely everything booked in the greater up-state area we headed to Albany, NY for the night and stayed at the Hilton Albany. This was a typical Hilton with all that you might expect from a Hilton, but I will say the base boards were filthy and the shower tub was old and stained with rust and grime. Other than that it was as suitable hotel and you can feel comfortable staying there if need be.
The next day we headed back down to Rhinebeck to visit the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. America’s first flying museum of antique aircraft and replicas, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a beautiful airfield that will transport you back in time through aviation history. It is the proud home to several WWI vintage aircraft, like the Fokker DR-I Triplane as well as other various aircraft and replicas, like the Spirit of St. Louis and the 1909 Bleriot. This is a great learning experience for young children and aviation enthusiast alike. As well as the airshow, they perform a fashion show and parade featuring volunteers from the audience dressed in period clothing who are then treated to a ride in vintage automobiles. It’s great fun for the kids and young at heart.
The perfect ending to a visit to the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome is a ride in their 1929 New Standard D-25 Biplane. I won’t lie ever since having kids open cockpits and hot air balloon rides offer me a whole new level of fear, but the ride was exhilarating and I highly recommend it. It brings history to life, offers amazing views and you get to wear really nifty hats and goggles.
The museum is open daily from 10-5, May 1st – Oct. 31st and they offer airshows every Sat. and Sun. through Oct. 20th. Ticket prices are as follows: Youth (6-17) $12, Adults (18-64) $25, Children under 5 are free and they offer a $5 discount for Seniors and Military. Food and drink options are available on site, but be forewarned they are CASH ONLY.
All in all we had a GREAT trip! Now just to talk the hubby into moving there…