Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Выходные в Поконос

Echo Valley Cottages. Arcadia cottage.На прошлых выходных мы наконец-то выбрались в домики в Пенсильванию. Было желание на такую вылазку всё лето, но обстоятельства не складывались — то слишком дорого, то нет мест, то Ароша болеет, то еще что.

Autumn in Poconos.В прошлый понедельник, 13 октября, был День Колумба, и Арошкина школа была закрыта. Данина работа на такие “праздники” выходные не делает, но у него накопилось много отпускных дней, так что мы забронировали домик с пятницы по понедельник. За 3 ночи, если интересно, мы заплатили $480, включая все добавочные платежи типа налога. С нами поехали так же Данины родители. Им, правда, пришлось уехать в воскресенье, так как с отпускными днями у т. Оксаны напряжённо. На самом деле Данина мама до последнего момента вообще не знала поедет ли она с нами — на работе завал, и начальство ожидает, что люди будут работать вообще без выходных. Мы все очень обрадовались, когда она сказала, что всё-таки сможет поехать.

Us.В Echo Valley Cottages мы уже останавливались в прошлом ноябре. Из плюсов данного места можно перечислить относительно приемлемые цены (особенно, когда делишь на две семьи), довольно большой и тёплый дом, наличие гриля, хорошее расстояние от нас (где-то 100 миль), близость к водопадам и фермам с яблоками. Из минусов могу сказать, что было ощущение, что хозяин считает каждую копейку. Например, запасной туалетной бумаги или бумажных полотенец не было (к концу и то, и другое закончилось); ножи, сковородки и прочее были самими дешёвыми; надо было самим застилать кровати свежим бельём (за которое, кстати, надо было заплатить $25), а при уезде его самим снять, как, впрочем и вывезти из домика мусор в специально указанное место. Еще там была пахнущая серой вода, что тоже не слишком приятно. Ну, и, как в большинстве подобных коттеджей, напор воды в душе там был так себе, так что купаться нам совершенно не хотелось.

After the rain.Мы выехали из Бруклина в пятницу вечером. В обед Даня с Арошей сьездили к Артуру подстричься, а заодно купили кое-какие продукты в русском магазине (хлеб, масло, колбасу, яблоки, бананы, помидоры и т.п.). Ну а я пол дня паковала чемоданы. По количеству собранных вещей можно было подумать, что мы уезжаем не на 2.5 дня, а как минимум на неделю. Дело в том, что в субботу обещали дождь, поэтому детям я брала не только кучу сменных штанов и курток, но и по несколько пар обуви, чтобы можно было переодеть промокшую. Мы также брали с собой свои одеяла, потому что, как и следовало ожидать, одеяла в домике были ужасные — тонкие и противные. Вообще надо отметить, что в гостиницах редко бывают хорошие одеяла, но в самолёт, конечно, их не потащишь, а вот при недалёком путешествии на собственном автомобиле они буквально сами запрыгнули в чемодан.

After the rain. iPhone 6 taken.Доехали мы хорошо — где-то за 2.5 часа. Анюта практически всё время спала, так как выехали мы примерно ко времени её ночного сна, да и Ароша тоже вздремнул часок.

Grandma and grandpa with granddaughter. Grill is grilling.В субботу, как и обещали, шел дождь. Где-то до полудня. Было немного обидно всё утро сидеть дома, но что поделать. Когда хляби небесные перестали поливать нас грустью, мы с Даней и д. Борей поехали в ближайший супермаркет за мясом и овощами для гриля, а т. Оксана осталась погулать с детьми. Надо сказать, что Ароша последние месяца два бесконечно болеет. Одна простуда перерастает в другую. Вот и в эти выходные он был еще недолечен — немного сопливый, немного с кашлем, и, как выяснилось, немного с температурой. Несмотря на то, что на нём были водонепроницаемые сапоги, его ноги в свежевымытой траве промокли до нитки, но мы об этом узнали намного позже — когда бургеры были уже наготовлены и сьедены, а он начал жаловаться на то, что ему очень холодно. Мы даже брали с собой в поездку ингалятор. В последнее время мы часто им пользуемся. Думаю, солевой раствор вреда принести не может.

Dad at Bushkill Falls.После ланча все немного вздремнули и принялись за приготовление ужина. Мы готовили skirt steak, перцы и кабачки. Ароше больше всего понравились кабачки, а мне перцы, хотя всё было очень вкусным. Во время приготовления ужина наши мужчины так же разожгли костёр, но много времени у него в тот вечер мы не провели.

Bushkill Falls.На следующий день после завтрака мы отправились на Bushkill Falls. Мы посещали их во время нашей прошлой поездки и решили прогуляться там еще раз. Людей в этом году была тьма — видно, еще сезон. Бедный Ароша немного подмерзал, хотя одет был вполне адекватно. Т. Оксана надела на него поверх куртки свою спортивную кофту, что возымело нужный эфект.

Bushkill Falls.Анюте в принципе понравилось смотреть на водопады, но больше всего радости ей доставляли многочисленные собаки, которые вместе со своими хозяевами тоже приехали полюбоваться красивыми видами. Ароша тоже любит животных, но такого восторга и восхищения как у Анечки, я не припомню.

Grilling hamburgers and salmon.После водопадов мы снова принялись за гриль — на этот раз в меню был salmon, помидоры и бургеры. Мне кажется, что Даня готовил рыбу на гриле первый раз. Получилось очень вкусно — понравилось и нам, и детям (они, кстати, рыбу доедали потом дома в Бруклине). Данин папа хотел немного вздремнуть перед дорогой домой, но случилось так, что Арошу возле уха ужалила оса. Я не уверена как так вышло, но видно он её чем-то испугал.

Укусила оса.К счастью, аллергической реакции не было, но всё равно Ароша очень громко и долго плакал от боли. Мы приложили к укусу упаковку сливочного мороженого, а потом Ароша его сьел, что слегка подняло испорченное вконец (он даже хотел уезжать и не оставаться еще на одну ночь) настроение.

Packet herself into a basket.Данины родители уехали около 16:00. К сожалению, по дороге домой они попали в жуткие пробки, сильно измучились и добрались до дома только в 20:30.

Anna at Echo Valley.Поближе к вечеру, мы разогрели остатки еды на еще тёплом гриле, а Даня с Арошей попытались разжечь костёр. Как они ни старались, сколько газет и бензина туда не подсовывали, дрова дымились и никак не хотели разгораться. Видно, отсырели за время дождя. Я, честно говоря, уже думала, что так ничего и не выйдет, но Ароше удалось хорошо поджечь довольно большую и толстую деревянную щепку, а от неё потом взялись и остальные дрова. Вобщем, огонь в результате получился на славу.

In front of our fire.Немного погодя, я пошла укладывать Анюту, а Даня с Арошей рассматривали звёзды. Потом мы все немного там еще постояли. Мне вспомнились фестивали, песни у костра, картошка с тушёнкой. Я даже промурлыкала по этому поводу пару песенок, хотя без гитары это, конечно, не то. Потом мы поджарили с Арошей кусочек хлеба на прутике, ну а потом пришла пора спать, и Ароша с удовольствием помогал Дане заливать костёр водой из больших галлоновых банок.

Putting fire out.После того, как лёг спать Ароша, мы с Даней немного поиграли в Hearthstone (в домике был wi-fi) и тоже отправились спать.

Firemaker.На следующий день Ароша проснулся с температурой 37.1. Мы даже думали отменить сбор яблок, но так как он чувствовал себя в принципе неплохо и очень хотел поехать на ферму, наши планы остались в силе. Уехали мы из домиков в 11:00.

Apple picking. Full heavy basket.Longmeadow Farm находилась где-то в получасе езды от домиков и прямо по дороге домой. Мы сначала сделали небольшой обьезд в надежде получить печати в Данин и Арошин пасспорта национальных парков, но visitor center был закрыт на сезон.

Everyone's busy.Ферма оказалась небольшой, но приятной. Больше всех яблок насобирал, конечно же, Ароша. Он вообще очень любит процесс сбора урожая. Мы еле уговорили его попробовать хоть одно яблоко прямо там, а не собирать всё в мешок. Некоторые сорта яблок были уже полностью собраны, но нам хватило и оставшихся. Мы купили чуть больше 30 фунтов яблок по $1.69 за фунт и 2.75 фунтовую банку местного сырого мёда за $20.

Arosha especially liked apple picking tool.Еще там можно было собирать малину, но её было так мало, что мы ничего не набрали. Дети поели немного ягод (мы заплатили за пол пинты), а Даня сорвал для нас 4 сочных сладких кукурузных початка. На самом деле, кукурузу уже не продавалась, но мы не смогли удержаться (её еще много оставалось на поле).

He was quite proficient with it.Анюте, кстати, на ферме, понравилось. Она с удовольствием грызла яблоки и ела малину. Я боялась, что после даже небольшого количества малины её сильно высыпет, но вроде всё обошлось. Эх, всё-таки свежие фрукты и овощи с фермы заметно вкуснее магазинных. Жалко, что от дома до ближайшей фермы 2 часа езды в каждый конец.

Apples were a success.Через некоторое время мы пообедали в Longhorn Steakhouse. Сразу вспомнилась наша поездка в Теннесси и то, как мы тогда устали от однообразия американских сетевых ресторанов.

This reminds me of an old photograph of Alena when she was a little girl. Apple in each hand.Домой мы доехали без приключений и особых пробок. Если честно, то мне такой вылазки на 3 дня более чем хватило. Летом я думала, что будет хорошо остановиться в подобном месте на неделю, но теперь я поняла, что это было бы утомительно и не так интересно, как казалось. Даже еду жарить на гриле, когда рядом бегают двое маленьких детей, занятие не такое простое. Хорошо, что с нами были Данины родители — чем больше взрослых, тем легче. Одни бы мы тоже, конечно, справились, но вместе и веселее, и интереснее, и спокойнее (во всяком случае нам).
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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Weekend in Poconos

Echo Valley Cottages. Our cottage.It’s been a month, but I only got a chance to write about our little Pocono trip now.

Morning grilling. Burgers.I have to say, I love my husband! One of the great things about him is that he loves traveling, so in the beginning of November he had an urge to go someplace. He checked a number of cabins, but they were either too expensive or out of vacancies. He did find a good deal for my birthday weekend though, so we booked a cabin in Echo Valley Cottages. We invited Daniel’s parents to come with us, and they happily agreed.

Stream near the cottage.We left Friday evening after Danya’s mom came home from work. The ride was only about 100 miles, but it took us 4 hours to get there — first we got stuck in traffic getting out of Brooklyn, and then we spent almost an hour doing food shopping at Wegmans in NJ. I have to say that Danya wanted to specifically go to this store, since Wegmans that we visited by Arsen’s house was really great, but we were disappointed. They did not have organic grass fed beef or burger shop; it was still big, so we spent a lot of time trying to find items that we needed, while in a smaller store it would have been quicker. But whatever.

Bushkill Falls. Trail start.We got to the cottages at around 11pm. The owner came by and gave us the key. Arosha was pretty excited about the trip and he did not even fall asleep in the car. The cottage was pretty big — bigger than I expected — and although it was not as fancy as the other Pocono cottages we’ve been to in the past, I still liked it.

The falls themselves.We traveled on two cars this time around — with two car seats we can’t fit 4 adults into the car anymore.

Wooden paths.The next morning I was woken up by Arosha, who was so excited that he got up after about 7 hours of sleep and said that he wants to grill. Our three men went to the store to get well burning coal and lighting fluid after unsuccessfully trying to start a fire with regular coals. Danya’s mom, Annushka and I prepared meat and vegetables for burgers.

More falls.Soon enough the burgers were ready. Danya did an amazing job — he doesn’t cook at home, but grill is his domain. They were really good. I have to say that Arosha really likes grilled meat. He ate as much as adults!

Different part of the falls.After that we went to see Bushkill falls. They were a short ride away from the cottages. There was an entry fee — $12.50 per person. Not exactly cheap, but I guess they need that money to maintain an impressive infrastructure of wooden paths, steps, bridges and other structures around the falls. The paths were not stroller accessible, so I was mostly carrying Anechka in my arms. We spent around two hours walking around and enjoying the views.

Grandparents.After that we went home and Danya got to grilling the dinner. It gets dark early, so we wanted to at least start the process before the sun was down. The meat (skirt steaks) and vegetables (peppers, zucchini, corn) came out delicious. I was again amazed at how much food Arosha ate.

Wooden stairs on the trail.After dinner we drank tea with my birthday cake. Arosha helped to put candles in, and he also helped to blow them.

Dad on one of wooden bridges.I went to feed Annushka and tried to put her to sleep for the night. She was not cooperating, and threw a long screaming fit. I think she was crying for over 30 minutes overall, which does not happen often.

Lunch on the trail.Danya, his dad and Arosha made fire outside. Arosha really enjoyed it. He wanted to add firewood himself and as often as possible, but I don’t think that he was allowed. What he was allowed thought is light up sticks and wave them around. He did not want to go back inside.

Climbing.The next morning we grilled some more burgers and left. Arosha asked me in the morning if its possible for us to stay until the evening and was a little bit sad that we had to leave before noon.

Jumping.Another thing that Arosha liked is just to play outside. There was a small creek nearby and he pretended that he was a fisherman (one of his favorite games) and that long sticks were his fishing rods. He also liked playing with all kinds of things he could find — stones, leaves, mushrooms, you name it.

Grilling.On our way home we stopped at local outlets and got two pairs of Levi jeans and a few flannel shirts for Danya since the winter is coming. We also stopped to eat at Olive Garden, but the food was so so.

Dinner. Skirt steak and grilled vegetables.We got home at around 7 — exhausted, but satisfied with how our weekend went.

Alena's birthday cake.Arosha keeps saying that he wants to go to the cottages again. I think he definitely took after his daddy!

Campfire.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pocono Getaway

Mountain Springs Lake.Yesterday we came back from our third trip to Mountain Springs Lake Resort. It’s a beautiful place in Pocono Mountains that offers very cozy cabins, located on the lake and surround by forest, for rent. It’s not cheap, but is well worth it.

Our cabin #41.The cabin (#41) itself ended up costing us a little under $900 for 3 nights. There was a total of 6 of us — Alena, Arosha, Maruk, Alina, Emma and I. We split all the costs in half which made it much more affordable. The overall total expense for each family came out to $594.

Best tasting beer in existence.I like this place so much because it is such a non-worry vacation where one can really relax. There is not much planning involved beside making a reservation for the cabin and getting there — and it’s only 100 miles away. This seems to be the only type of vacation where I don’t end up driving myself crazy by becoming a nervous wreck a day before.

On the lake.We drove out at 12pm for 4pm check-in — even though we got there quite a bit earlier, they had no problem giving us the keys to our cabin. We picked this time specifically for it to coincide with Arosha’s day-time nap. And luckily for us Arosha did fall asleep soon after and slept for hour and half — pretty much all of our drive there.

Maruk, Emma and Alina.We did all the shopping with Maruk on the first “morning” right after we got there. There is a number of huge supermarkets around it, Giant being the closest — a much more pleasant shopping experience than that of a shopping at any of the Brooklyn places.

Maruks marinated the shish-kebabs a day before using their own recipe for marinade.We filled our shopping cart with all kinds of organic things to be grilled. We ended up with $225 worth of food and proceeded to eat pretty much all of it during our stay there.

One of the salads.Our daily dining regiment consisted of early light breakfast (yogurt and tea), hamburger brunch, shish-kebab lunch and skirt steak dinner. Ever meal included a number of side dishes such as salads, fried pineapples, grilled onions, seared collard greens, squash and pumpkins. One day we grilled salmon steaks and shrimp.

Salmon steaks and shrimp.Everything was super-delicious and we are very grateful to Maruk for doing most of the grilling.

Emma and Arosha cooking a soup.The lake itself was no more than 20 meters away from us. Kids enjoyed playing in the sand and the playground.

Arosha getting ready to slide down.Arosha found one of his favorite objects on the playground — a юль (руль — steering wheel) and a slide which would propel him at freakishly high speed down — it was made of some very “slidy” plastic.

Mountain Springs Lake.I slept rather well during the nights — we brought our own blanket and didn’t have to deal with typical hotel type multilayered deal that I always hate. Arosha slept in his portable bed which he likes quite a lot, but he kept waking up several times a night. Sadly he did the same thing at home this night, but hopefully it will pass soon.

Grilled pineapples.In the evening after the kids would go to sleep we would sit around a fire and drink tea, hot-chocolate and eat some fire-toasted marshmallows. I myself stuck to tea, but Maruks loved their marshmallows big time.

Sitting by the fireplace in the evening.It was a great getaway spent in a small circle of family and close friends. I enjoyed it a lot.

Shish-kebab with a salad.
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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

It’s Wednesday and people have started wondering why there is no update yet. So here it goes. We had a very good weekend and did a lot of fun things.

Purple Cottage of Clove Cottages.Our cottage was in a secluded place, away from the noisy towns, and that’s exactly what we were hopping for. Yet it was located close within 5-10 minutes away from the places that we wanted to visit.

Cottage itself was clean, yet it has been furnished with antique furniture it seemed. The owners were very nice and they baked some scones for all the guests on Sunday. They also have 2 llamas for pets, but sadly we didn’t end up with any good pictures.

"Helpful" notes all over the place.Another strange thing was that they had instructions for everything. I mean all the cabin was taped up with small notes on proper and not proper ways of doing things.

Saturday


On Saturday morning we ate our breakfast at one of the small delis in High Falls and went on on our first adventure of the day — biking. We rented 2 mountain bikes for $25 per day each and took them on a local trail. We had a lot of fun.

Alena and mountain bikes.The trail was packed dirt, mud, puddles and stones. Road bike would have 0 chance of going through there. It would’ve been scary and unfun. Mountains bike — that’s a whole other story. I could maintain pretty high speed and it was handling the road just fine. My bike had dual suspension on the rear and the front. I even managed to ride up a no-road hill alongside the trail and got off from it without falling and breaking my neck. Fun.

Mountain bike. Some bridge in the middle of the trail.Our ride took a little bit less than 2 hours and was 14 miles in length. Not too bad of a time for a dirt trail with practically no cycling since the end of April.

After that we drove through the local winery trail. The first winery that we encountered (El Paso Winery) had a nice and friendly owner, but a pretty bad choice of wines, at least in our opinion. They use the grapes from Long Island (the owner asked us if we ever heard of such a place) and don’t really grow anything there themselves.

El Paso Winery.We tried 6 wines and were quite disappointed. Nothing like our tasting in Maine. Not to be time wasting bastards we still bought 1 bottle of the wine that we found least bad.

Stoutridge Winery.After that we drove through a bunch of wineries that were either closed or we just couldn’t find the tasting place. And at the end we ended up at a place called Stoutridge Distillery & Winery.

Wines for tasting.Now this was a whole different story. First we got a very good presentation from the wine-maker himself. He was very excited and full of passion for his craft. We tried 4 white wines and 2 red ones and were very impressed. We tend to favor white semi-dry wines more, and we were very pleased with his selection. We ended up buying 6 bottles.

Wine maker.For dinner we came back to High Falls and went to Depuy Canal House Restaurant. The place had the most ancient furniture I have ever seen and the clientele was no less ancient. Even though they had some Zagat Award and their prices could rival many places in Manhattan we were not impressed.

Restaurant interior. Or was it an antiques store?Alena got served a meal with an elaborate name which could’ve been gotten in any pizzeria for $5. And my meal was somewhat similar. Not that the food was bad, it’s just that it doesn’t seem to match all the fuss that they are making about the place.

And that was our first day. We went back to our cottage and from what I remember went to sleep soon after.

Sunday


Umm, raspberries.Next day we started with a hike through the forest right from our cottage (no driving anywhere). Turns out our cottage was on top of a pretty big mountain and when you go down you end up at a river which formed a couple of large pools where one could take a nice swim. It was pretty cold thought and we weren’t really in the mood. We did see a whole bunch of deer while hiking. It seems they are everywhere.

Forest hike.The next objective was a farm of some kind. We went to Stone Ridge Orchard. First we proceeded to raspberry part. We did collect a lot of them, but mostly into our mouths. Then we also collected a pair of buckets which we had to pay a bunch of money for. Considering the price I assume the part that goes into the mouth was priced in as well.

Let me just hover up to that apple.Then we went to the apple garden. It was full of trees covered in … wait for it … apples. The part that we were supposed to pick in consisted of McIntosh apples. But we also wondered into the peach part, plum part and tried a bit of everything.

Plum tree.With 2 bags full of apples we were done with the farm. It was fun. I’ve never tried it before and I haven’t been a fan raspberries for a long time, but I found these very delicious.

The rest of our plan was simple — buy a lot of cheese and drink a lot of wine. And then do stuff. Well, you know.

We stopped on a large yard sale on our way to the cheese shop. I have to say that these towns have 3 yard sales on each block. And it seems all the restaurants and whatever else they have in these towns are designed with stuff obtained at said yard sales. They keep each other in business.

Peach tree.The reason we were stopping at this is that I had a splendid idea — somebody somewhere is selling some great older Nikon lens with great optics for cheap. I was not lucky enough to find any Nikon glass, but my thesis was correct. We did find a cool Kodak camera made somewhere in the 40s and we did find some Minolta lenses. Of course I have no use for either, so we bought nothing.

In the cheese shop we tried at least 10 different cheeses and bought small slices of about 6 I think.

Cottage window.We stopped by another local restaurant — Egg’s Nest — for lunch. This one not only was full on antique furniture, it also had a corresponding smell. o.O The food however was pretty damn good. After our Maine trip, as Alena noted, we did not became fans of lobsters, but fans of mussels. I never thought I’d be able to eat this kind of stuff, and enjoy it on top of it.

Egg's Nest restaurant.Ate a good bowl of French Onion Soup and ordered some fancy quezadilla with more cheese inside to go.

Mussles.At our cottage we grabbed a couple of DVDs (they didn’t pay for cable, but they had a good large collection of weird tapes and DVDs from 80s and earlier it seems). We grabbed our worst bottle of wine (didn’t want to spend a good one) and drank it with our quezadilla and cheese. The movie that we ended up watching was Firm with Tom Cruise which turned out to be pretty good.

Drive Back


In the morning, after checking out, we drove back to I-87 through New Paltz (about 15 minutes away from our cottage). New Paltz seems to be a college town with a lot of young people who looked like they were coming Gyro place in New Paltz.out of a 2 day long high.

We ate breakfast at a local Greek place (a pair of gyros) and there wasn’t much more to do there.

On our way back we stopped in Woodbury Commons Mall which was filled with people and cars. It took us 30 minutes at least to find parking and even more time to get out of there.

I wanted to get some new shoes, but wasn’t sure of my size again, so I wanted to try some on before ordering online. Long story short we ended up spending about 5 hours there! shock I know, I was shocked myself. However we did stock up on a lot of new clothing, shoes and other stuff. We also did adjust a bracelet on my watch and got a pair of white gold diamond ear rings for Alena. They are really tiny and we wanted to get some for a long time, so she could wear them all the time and prevent her ear piercing from closing up.

Last moring.In the end we managed to get home without getting stuck in traffic yet again. Amazing. We were thinking about going out and eating somewhere, but we were so tired that Alena just cooked some dumplings and that was the end of our vacation.
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Clove Cottages

Several weeks ago we booked ourselves a trip for a little weekend getaway to Catskill Mountains and that’s where we’ll be going on this upcoming Labor Day weekend.

We’re going to be staying for 3 nights at Clove Cottages1 which are located right between Catskill and Minnewaska State Parks near New Paltz. The drive2 up there is a little over 100 miles, but considering that we’ll have to drive through NYC right before the long weekend it will probably take hours upon hours.

We haven’t spent much time in that area, so hopefully it will be fun.

  1. Staying in Purple Cottage for $429 with tax included. []
  2. 102 miles via Google Maps. []
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O.o teeth mrgreen neutral -) roll twisted evil crycry cry oops razz mad lol cool -? shock eek sad smile grin