This past Thursday, instead of my husband coming home to Nashville, I flew to New York. We spent about half of the time we were together in the gorgeous Hudson River Valley of New York state and one evening at Yankee Stadium. It was better than I even dreamt it would be.
Jim knew that one of the first things I wanted to see was Sleepy Hollow, the setting of Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Having worked in the area for about a month, he had already done some reconnaissance. As a result, he showed me several places relative to the story and the author, including Irving’s grave. Not far from where we stayed was Irving’s home, but unfortunately, we did not get to go there.
After his work on Friday, we drove up the Hudson River Valley. Even though there was only the faintest hint of green on bushes and trees, it was evident that the river valley is amazingly beautiful. I am so happy we did this because my only impression of the Hudson River had been made in New York City itself; I saw the river as nasty and uninviting there, so seeing its beauty was wonderful. Crossing the river, we drove back down on the west side and made it across the Tappan Zee Bridge at Tarrytown before dark.
Saturday, he and I headed to New Jersey, and that is a story for another time. We returned to Tarrytown Sunday afternoon. After a quick shopping trip in downtown Tarrytown (I needed a new NY sweatshirt) and a nap at the hotel, we rode the train from Tarrytown to Yankee Stadium. Again, it was an amazing experience. Yankee Stadium is, as someone said while chatting as we waited on the train, “a cathedral.” As far as baseball parks go, I have to agree.
It was our experiences at the hotel and as went to various local places to eat that one of the biggest myths I had been told and believe was eradicated. I’d heard that New Yorkers are rude and not friendly. Based on my long-weekend experience, this is so wrong. As we walked to our hotel room the first night, I think a half a dozen people smiled and said hello. After settling into the room, my husband and I went in search of New York pizza and a local pizzeria. We found our spot on the west side of the river. Our server was so friendly, and the pizza, which was huge, – Oh. My. Gosh! It melted in our mouths.
The next morning, Jim and I walked across the road from our hotel to a diner Jim had found pleasing to him for dinner, but it was his first time there for breakfast. Again, everyone was extremely friendly and accommodating. When our food came, I had to pick my chin up off the floor; there was SO much yummy food, and it had been extremely reasonable. There was no way we could eat everything served to us. You see the pattern?
We had planned to eat dinner at Yankee Stadium. I mean, how could we not have a New York hot dog while there? Since we had plenty of time before the game, we stopped on our way to our seats to get our food. The two ladies who waited on us were lovely! There were gracious and friendly and helpful. Later on, Jim went back to see the same two ladies for popcorn and a pretzel, and they went above an beyond.
What I learned:
- The Hudson River Valley is beautiful.
- Food in New York State is delicious, relatively inexpensive, and you get your money’s worth.
- People in New York are very friendly.
- The history in the area is mind-blowing for history lovers
- I want to go back!