Hudson River Valley

We travelled to Tarrytown NY to attend a wedding.   Tarrytown is in the Hudson River Valley about 30 miles upriver from New York City. We arrived in time to catch some of the fall colors and had a full day to explore both before and after the wedding. Our first venue was Lyndhurst, also known as the Jay Gould estate, a Gothic Revival country house that sits in its own 67-acre park beside the Hudson River.

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Lyndhurst Castle

Although the website, the sign in front of the street entrance and a sign on the front entry all said it was open, it was in fact closed as they had gone to their winter hours.  We did peek through the windows.  But, the grounds along the Hudson were beautiful and we enjoyed a walkabout.   I like this photo of red leaves on the ground.  It might make an interesting background wallpaper or something.

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Leaves on the ground

Here’s the tree they came from with my lovely wife.

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Mary Lou with color coordinated top
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A closer look at the red leaves

Below is another shot that might make a nice wallpaper.

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Into the forest

Not all of the leaves were red, here’s proof.

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Mary Lou and fall color

Also on the grounds was an old apple orchard.  Living in warm climates, Texas and previously California, we don’t often get to see apples growing.

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New York Apples

As we wandered through the orchard we spotted movement at the base of the tree and I snapped a photo of this creature before it scooted into its burrow. We assume this is a groundhog, but having never seen one before it’s just an educated guess.

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We next ventured to the former house of Washington Irving, writer of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.

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Washington Irving’s Home

Although he was considered middle class in his time, he had 5 servants, plus a live-in brother, who managed the property and outside help, and 2 live-in nieces who managed the house, meals and inside help. The design for this house was inspired by estates he saw during his travels to Europe, where he was when he wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Unknown to us before this trip, Sleepy Hollow is an actual town just north and adjacent to Tarrytown. We had lunch there and bought some apples at a farmers market.  It’s a very charming village.

That was it for our pre-wedding exploring.  The wedding was held at Stone Barn at Blue Hill. It’s an old farm estate restored to a stunning hotel, restaurant and event venue.   Since we arrived after dark and there was no photography allowed during the ceremony, you’ll be spared from the wedding photos. Here’s one of the bride, who we’ve known since she was a child.  It was the most classy wedding we’ve ever attended.  The food and service were spectacular.

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Mary Lou and Meredith

Meredith’s dog, Roo, was in the wedding. Mary Lou painted a portrait of Roo as a wedding gift.

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Roo Photo
Roo iPhone Photo
Mary Lou’s work






We had a great time at the wedding. Many of our California friends were there that I hadn’t seen in a few years. I enjoyed the evening and took few photos.

On Sunday we did brunch and then headed into the city where we went to the 911 museum.  It was a sad but moving and meaningful experience and I urge anyone with the opportunity to see it.

We also got Googled.  We were using Google Maps to navigate to our pre-paid parking near the museum.  As we approached the final turn there was no left turn allowed.  Google Maps solved this by having us continue straight on West St through the Brooklyn-Battery tunnel, 1.7 miles under the East River and an $8.00 toll, then making a U Turn and coming back through the tunnel, another 1.7 miles and another 8 bucks, so that we could now turn right into the street where our parking was.  Yikes!

We returned to Tarrytown and had dinner with the parents of the bride. It was a nice evening with old friends.

Our flight back on Monday was until 8:30 PM so we had time for one more adventure.   Our first choice, since it was close, was to see Stone Barn at Blue Hill during the day.  It is a working farm and ranch and they raise much of what they serve there.  When we got there my one concern was confirmed – Closed Mondays. Instead we drove out to West Point and toured the military academy. Here a few of the more interesting photos from the tour.

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Cadet Chapel

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I thought the above photo came out pretty well for a handheld shot with my little G7X that was later cropped to about 5% of its original size.

I’ve always been impressed with pipe organs.   The one in the cadet chapel has 23,236 pipes and has the world’s largest horseshoe console.  It is one of the top 3 pipe organs in the world.

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Cadet Chapel Pipe Organ

Here’s a great shot of the Hudson river as it makes a turn at West Point.

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That’s it for our late fall New York trip.   We have another trip planned, so stay tuned.

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In the city


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