For the 10 years I have been living in New York, I have been aware of the MTA One-Day Getaways, but never really looked into them until last summer, when Renata and I invited a couple of friends to check out the North Fork wine tour in August. It shames me to admit that I have missed out on so much great, relatively low-cost activities that could get me out of the city without having to worry about how and when to get there.
So shortly before the Poland trip we started getting ready to go to the Cheese, Wine and Apple picking harvest tour in Duchess County. We got some people interested early on, and last week we got serious and made reservations for ourselves plus two friends.
We woke up extremely early and got to Grand Central Station, where we took the 7:40 train to Poughkeepsie, a town we had been to in the spring for the wedding of one of the guys I play with at the church here in New York. From there we met our buses, which took us over to Sprout Cheese Farm, a place dedicated to the production of several kinds of dairy products. I joined the tasting while Renata lounged with her friend. There was this incredible variety, and it was hard to choose what to get – but I ultimately got a smoked cheese similar to the kind I had tried in Krakow. There was also some delectable ice cream, and we also saw some farm animals, including a lactating cow, sheep, a newborn calf and several baby goats.
Next we went over to Millbrook, where we stopped for a long lunch at Village Wine and Spirits, a charming little place where I had a delicious Andouille sausage sub, while Renata went for tasty mushroom ravioli. After that we walked around and found an antique store, and as we made our way to our bus I stopped at this garage where they restore vintage cars back to their glorious days – which made me think of my uncle in Kansas, a car aficionado.
The next stop was Millbrook Vineyards http://millbrookwine.com/index.php, where we were presented to a tasting of several locally produced wines. Though not a big fan of white wine, I purchased one of their Chardonnays, which we enjoyed the next night when I made us a dinner of fish in Polish sauce and roasted potatoes (more about those recipes some other time).
Our final stop was Terhune Orchards, where we took a tractor up the hill to pick nine pounds of apples right off the tree. It was an interesting thing to do, as I had never been around apple trees (really!). As our tour came to an end, we found ourselves back in Poughkeepsie, where we hung out at Mahoney’s Irish pub – which was celebrating its 15th anniversary that night with DJs and local bagpipe group.
We have recently booked yet another one-day getaway – and I am sure to keep myself informed from now on, as there is so much I haven’t seen in this decade I have lived in New York.