As of last week, the beau and I have officially known each other for three years. Three years?! Can you believe it? Seems just like yesterday…
Some of those posts make me cringe a little, but I secretly love that I documented everything during that time period. Oh to be 25 and oblivious to the Internet again.
Instead of gifts, we decided to spend some quality time together and book a room at the Woodstock Animal Sanctuary! The sanctuary is actually closed to the public for the colder seasons but the B&B is up and running- which also gives you the opportunity to hang out with the animals without the crowds. I had been looking forward to these two days off for quite some time and actually hanging out in the pig pen with the friends I made last time. I’m telling you, you’ve never seen pigs this big before! And each animal has its own personality; I just love roaming around and seeing this come forward.
We couldn’t check into our room until 3 PM on Tuesday and really didn’t want to walk around Woodstock, so we decided to check out a new-to-us town: Rhinebeck. The drive down on Route 9G was gorgeous! For the majority of the ride, there were views of the Catskills on our right and with the windows open, we could take in the autumn air. We got lucky with the weather- no jackets were needed! The town is super cute with a ton of history. There were plenty of shops to visit, a couple of restaurants worth noting (we didn’t stop to eat but would drive down to explore further), and the Beekman Arms Hotel. This is America’s oldest continuously operating hotel, opening in 1766 and is like walking back into history. I’d love to stay there in the future and soak it all in. Sorry, no photographs; I was living in the moment.
After walking through town and exploring a really old cemetery, we decided to hit the road and eat an early dinner in Woodstock. But little did we know, our favorite place is closed on Tuesdays! I remembered reading a review of another local joint that vegans love called Joshua’s Cafe, so we walked on over and saw the multiple V’s on the menu displayed outside. Sold! It was much smaller than we had anticipated but the service and food was great. For starters we had the Middle Eastern Appetizer Plate including chommus, baba ganoush, tabbouleh and dolmasi with pita. I wasn’t expecting this dish to be one of my favorites, dare I say ever? Everything was fresh, simple and loaded with herbs. Definitely the best tabbouleh I’ve ever tasted.
For lunch, the beau got the homemade oat and nut burger without cheese and I opted for the falafel sandwich. Oh, and of course we had to try a side of the fresh-cut sweet potato chips. The beau said the burger was great- he didn’t share which was a sign that he wanted it all to himself- and my falafels were o-kay. I was happy they didn’t skimp on the sprouts and sauce, but I do love Beirut’s falafel here in Troy more. That and I was pre-occupied with my seasonal beer and chips. Our bellies were full and we actually got another appetizer plate to-go for later.
I was happy that we arrived at the farm before sunset. We could easily navigate the old farm house and settle into our room. We stayed in the Brandy room, which was named after an extraordinary rooster who once lived on the farm. It was darling and perfect for the two of us. We shared two bathrooms down the hall with another couple that was there on their honeymoon, and I just loved the clawfoot tub.
Downstairs there was a full kitchen open to guests, a living room equipped with Netflix and a big selection of films, and a front porch. We definitely started drinking wine on the porch watching the sun go down and the sheep graze the field. Then we definitely took it to the living room to continue drinking wine, snack on our takeout platter and binge watch Anthony Bourdain. It was actually a really great night.
Ahhhh we slept in in the morning, not having to worry about feeding at cat before the sun comes up and we stumbled downstairs for breakfast. The caretaker was unfortunately not feeling well, so her boss came by to cook us breakfast. All meals in the guesthouse are vegan and all food brought on premises must be vegan- made our stay that much easier not having to worry. I snacked on some pumpkin seeds and then enjoyed the best vegan pancakes, which included dried cherries thrown in. Mary Beth, our personal chef for the morning, had previously owned a vegan bakery in Ohio, so you know her pancakes would be delicious! She had also made banana bread and fresh fruit was available.
Now for the best part of the day… well, the second best… I went upstairs after breakfast and checked my cell phone for an update from my best friend… her baby was born! Like, that morning! She held off from texting me the night before because she didn’t want me to up and leave Woodstock (and I thought about it). Baby Jude was finally here! Not going to lie, I went downstairs with the biggest smile on my face and told everyone. Can someone say proud best friend?! The poor beau knew what this news meant: we were driving to Boston!
But first I agreed to hang around the farm until we could grab lunch in Woodstock at Cafe Garden on the Green. We spent at least two hours wandering around, hugging goats, giving belly rubs, admiring the size of the cows and the colors on the turkeys. After our goodbyes and final pats on the head, we packed up and headed downtown.
Keeping this review short and sweet because 1) their food is always GOOD and 2) I want to get to the part about the baby already, Garden Cafe did not disappoint. We had the peanut satay as an appetizer served with a slaw and oh my goodness! By far the best appetizer I’ve ever had there. Not too peanut-y, not too chewy, so good.
The beau had their pasta with “meatballs” again served with toasted, garlic bread and I had their special entree: a fall vegetable pecan wild & brown rice saute with pan seared tempeh with a cabernet coffee reduction sauce, butternut squash “souffle” with cranberry drizzle, and orange chive “butter” braised brussels sprouts. Yeah, doesn’t that sound amazing?! Because it was.
No desserts for us because we were stuffed! and had to hit the road ASAP. Lucky us, just as we were arriving in Boston, it was rush hour… says no one ever. I was anxious to get out and hold that baby! Annnnnnd then it happened: I held him (after washing the farm off of me). I held my best friend’s baby. BLOWS my mind that we are old enough to have kids, let alone have it actually happen. He’s a big boy and was so happy to have me snuggle him for as long as possible. He passed out! Notice his open mouth 🙂
Oh, how I wish we lived closer and I wasn’t so busy every weekend at the shop. But three hours is three hours and because it’s not Houston (where she was previously living), I’ll make it work. Because it’s worth it.
“No one falls in love by choice, it is by chance. No one stays in love by chance, it is by work. And no once falls out of love by chance, it is by choice.”