“Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today…New York, New York,” a still-to-be-released duet by Francis Albert Sinatra and Marge, my wife, echoed through the house earlier this week.
And since Ol’ Blue Eyes just happens to be Marge’s all-time favorite, it was the perfect theme song for our trip to the northeast to visit our son and daughter-in-law, better known as “the kids.”
On our layover in Chicago waiting for our connecting flight on Chautauqua Air to White Plains, New York Marge had another opportunity to join Mr. Sinatra in a rousing rendition of “My Kind of Town Chicago Is.”
So, in time-honored tradition it’s time to share with you some travel snapshots, which of course now come in digital form for mass distribution to be shared with friends, neighbors and total strangers on all types of social media, which I must reluctantly admit, I have no clue how it works.
The kids live in New York’s Hudson Valley, where the region’s magnificent landscapes have inspired generations of artists, writers and statesmen, all of this less than an hour’s travel time from Manhattan. The majestic Hudson River, which can be seen from the kids’ bedroom windows, flows southwest from the Adirondack Mountains for 315 miles. The river is named for Henry Hudson, an Englishman sailing for the Dutch East India Company, who explored the region in 1609.
Noted author Washington Irving set many of his stories in this region, including the classic Legend of Sleepy Hollow, the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. And yes, there is an actual Sleepy Hollow town just down the road from where the kids live.
There is a lot of history in the area. Just up the road, actually up some very narrow, windy roads, is the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In Hyde Park is Franklin D. Roosevelt’s home as well as the world famous Culinary Institute of America. The school was founded in 1946 with 16 students, and today the enrollment tops 2,800. Marge had her heart set for a nice lunch or dinner at the Institute but it was not meant to be — the entire campus is closed in July for summer vacation.
There are numerous wineries in the area that the kids enjoy visiting, lots of great places to eat (but not Mexican to the dismay of our daughter-in-law who is a native West Texan) and above all time to spend with the kids.
The week went by, as all vacations do, much too quickly. The last evening I sat on the deck lost in memories, secretly wishing that tomorrow would not come, knowing that on the way home Mr. Sinatra would have no more songs for Marge.