Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Traveling with Adult Children

Over the past couple of months, Ed and I have had the joy of traveling with each of our grown children. And what a delight it has been. Maggie, Jack and Mary are all highly independent, savvy travelers, who are exceedingly kind to – and patient with – their sometimes befuddled parents.

Faster than I can blink, they can book an airline ticket, make a near-impossible reservation for six at a Brooklyn restaurant, tap for an Uber, or communicate with the locals in any number of languages. Ed and I are flattered that they are willing to let us tag along.

Our latest adventure involved driving to Brooklyn, with a stop in Valley Forge, to meet up with Mary and then head up the Hudson River for the weekend.

Our children lead busy lives. The fact that they are willing to travel with us allows us to spend large blocks of time with them, catching up on their lives and watching them navigate the world. We are impressed. As an added bonus, we met Jack's friends in Berlin and Mary's friends in Brooklyn, giving us a chance to get to know those that are important to them in their faraway-from-us lives.


Highlights from our Hudson Valley Trip

Valley Forge National Historic Park
We spent our first night on the road in Valley Forge and were far more comfortable than George Washington and his Continental Army were in the winter of 1777-78. We woke early and walked along the Park's trails as the sun came up, stopping to see the reconstructed huts of Muhlenberg's Brigade and Washington's headquarters.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden
While Mary was still at work on Thursday, Ed and I spent the afternoon at this century-old urban garden, wandering through its rose garden, native flora garden, herb garden, bonsai museum and cherry esplanade.

Mary made a reservation at this hip neo-bistro Brooklyn restaurant, invited friends: Alena, Matt and Brian, and ordered for the entire table. It's so nice to have someone so competent take charge! All we had to do was pay for it...

Brooklyn Walking Tour 
While Mary worked on Friday morning, we walked. We joined a two-hour tour of historic Brooklyn Heights and trendy DUMBO. Great way to see parts of the city that we didn't know.

Stone Barns Center I've long been interested in seeing this non-profit farm and since it was on our way up the Hudson, we stopped to check it out. The Farm Store alone was worth the stop!

Dia Beacon Our next stop was the museum for Dia Art Foundation's collection of art from the 1960s to the present. The museum, housed in an old packaging factory on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon, is about an hour outside of NYC.

Hudson, NY We planned this trip at the last minute and were unable to find a hotel in Hudson, but managed to spend most of the day on Saturday wandering around the town – beginning with the morning farmer's market, then lunching at Little Deb's Oasis, taking in the Flag Day parade, and as the sun set, sitting on the back porch of Ca'Mea Ristorante enjoying an alfresco Italian dinner.

Saugerties Lighthouse We had an hour or two to kill before dinner on Saturday and so we took a drive, stopping for a short hike to the Saugerties Lighthouse, an 1869 landmark beacon on the Hudson River. It is also a bed and breakfast.

Hyde Park, NY On Sunday, we headed to Hyde Park to visit the home of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and Presidential Library/Museum. FDR planted more than 400,000 trees on his estate, so it held special interest for us. I also appreciated the FDR quote that greets visitors on the museum's entrance wall: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those that have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

On Sunday afternoon, we dropped Mary off at the train station in Poughkeepsie – she headed back to the city; we headed back to the farm.

Thanks Mary for spending the weekend with us. We loved every minute of it!

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