Finding trees changing color is always my top priority in September and October. Fall is my favorite time of year for a variety of reasons: the smells, the colors, the foods, the temperatures!
We’ve lived in a variety off climates, each one providing its own version of fall. The Carolinas have a huge variety of trees that change all sorts of colors. Texas skips fall and goes straight to its two weeks of winter before heading into something that resembles a spring. Germany… I can’t say enough about the fall in Germany. Germans adore fall and live it up. They have an entire festival devoted to pumpkins and my grief over not being there to attend this year hit me out of nowhere. Last fall we fully expected to still be in Germany which means we didn’t experience our last time at the festival knowing it was our last time.
I planned a consolation trip for our family: finding fall in the Catskills of New York! But first, church:
This is what it looks like when you have to meet a buyer for an amp you sold on Marketplace and you live in the city:
After church we headed home, ate leftovers, because I despise wasting food, before heading out of the city. A $30+ coffee stop on the way hit the spot. (Apparently, buying seven drinks in the drive through window at Starbucks is frowned upon… to be polite we ordered, paid, then parked and I went in to pick-up our treats.)
We arrived at the location given to us in the email for our AirBnB and were NOT at the house. We were also in a dead-zone: no cell, no data. Fortunately we saw an old man on the front porch of a restaurant so I pulled over to ask directions. While preparing for our trip I had “Google-earthed” our AirBnB and knew a few markers near the place to use to ask questions. The old man told us we were still seven miles away from our destination! I definitely put this in our review of the AirBnb listing… Thank goodness I had done my research and I’m even more thankful we arrived during daylight hours. When we found a bridge I recall seeing in the listing’s photos I knew how to get to our place. In a completely different city from what we were told!
As I was going through my photo library to select the images to share with you I found a video Anna made on the iPad as we arrived at the (incorrect) destination!
Anyway, the place itself was a dump – all the recent renovations were done by someone with less skill than Matt and me (and if you know us at all, you know that that is a very low standard). One reason we love renting is because someone else fixes all the broken things! In spite of the horrible condition of the facility, it was clean and had the views we had traveled to see. Our stay was just what we needed and the slant of the building gave us plenty of reasons to laugh (as we got vertigo and sometimes almost fell walking through the house!).
Less than an hour later our kids were happily throwing a football.
View from our apartment:
One of our activities was to hike to see Kaaterskills Falls. This was a highlight of our trip!
Anna packed her bathing suit even though I told her that it was going to be too cold to get in the water. During her rest time one afternoon she dressed in faith for the water. As soon as Bailey saw her he offered to take her to the river. They had a blast!
My girl adores sand. Dirt, sand, rocks… you name it. I picked this particular location in large part due to the huge sandbox located within walking distance. She spent a good bit of time playing, digging, and trying to catch tad-pulls (tadpoles). I brought her mud pants, a decision I am still thankful for.
We all needed a break from work and school. We’ve been here 100 days as of today, Saturday, October 17th, 2020. We have spent a good deal of time figuring out our new normal that includes pandemic alterations. We have tried making new friends, which is hard in a community that is not a real military location… we have definitely made some good progress and I’m so grateful for those who have welcomed us into their lives. We have competed eight weeks of school and made it through the summer heat. Fall colors were just what we needed and this trip hit the spot.
I will say, though, I’ve increased our nightly budget by $100 for next fall and already picked out where we want to go: The Adirondacks! We don’t want to find ourselves in another place that’s falling apart!
Final thoughts: this was the first trip we’ve taken away from the city. This is going to sound very obvious but to a military family, it’s kind of a big deal: this was the first time we came back home to NYC. It sets this place in our hearts as home… up until now we sort of felt like we were on an extended vacation and we’d be going back home to Germany. Now… we’re home.
For a while I’ll be adding a link to my recently released book at the bottom of my blog posts. For the first year, I am donating 100% of the proceeds to my favorite organization, Be the Bridge.
To find out why I wrote it, you can read the blog post I wrote to announce it’s released.
Once You See Racism: A Christian, White, Southern Woman’s Journey from Being Oblivious to Racism to Seeing it Clearly https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KXNLX3B/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_d6YIFbGE8P2MH