This morning we wandered over to Millbrook, a small village about 90 miles north of NYC, with a population of only 1452, but one of the most affluent villages in New York State. Just a 13 minute drive from Clinton Corners, the Farmer’s Market opens at 9am Saturdays and offers fresh veggies, fruit, eggs, handmade wood furniture and local crafts.
Imagine Amir’s surprise and delight when the third stall at the market was a British Food Truck, complete with sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, and scones with clotted cream & jam. Jackpot!
Just up the hill from the Farmer’s Market are Tribute Gardens, dedicated to the local residents who fought in WWI. Upon walking to the garden gates, you are immediately struck by a sense of peace and beauty, and unlike most faux displays of patriotism, with American flags and eagles plastered everywhere, a single simple flag waves tall and reassuringly at the top of the garden hill.
As you enter the garden, you have the option of walking straight ahead up the stairs, across a small bridge spanning a babbling brook with lily pads and flowers, or for those of us with strollers or disabilities, turn right and you’ll find a snaking pathway that weaves back and forth at a steep grade as you climb the hill.
The top of the hill features one of the most immaculately tended playgrounds we’ve ever visited. There are play structures for all ages, public restrooms, picnic tables and plenty of shady seating.
It was difficult to pull everyone away from the playground, but ultimately our stomachs started rumbling, and Millbrook has a whole street lined with picturesque cafes and restaurants calling us to explore. We settled on Babette’s Kitchen, a small bakery with fresh sandwiches, coffee and chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles.
Back at The Willows, Amir discovered an unexpected talent, and perhaps a new hobby – archery. The first day we arrived, we’d noticed the target sitting in the garage, but hadn’t been able to locate a bow. Oddly, yesterday, we found the bows hiding in the secret back stairwell that connects the kitchen to the second floor, a common feature of older houses, including our own back in Richmond.
Amir had only been out shooting for a few minutes when I wandered out to see what he was up to (and maybe ensure no one would get impaled). After only 10 minutes he was hitting the target, and on shot #11, maybe #12, he hit the bullseye. It just happened to be when I was filming in slow-mo with my iPhone. We couldn’t have staged it better.
I also gave it a turn, and while Amir snapped a photo for evidence, nothing looks more ridiculous than a pregnant woman yielding an ancient weapon, so I’m opting not to post that one (editor’s perk), but will say that after just 4 tries, I was striking within the rings, too. Not bad considering my general lack of coordination and aim in all things athletic.
#1BigSis even gave it a go – but after 4 shots, gave up in frustration and stomped off shouting “I wanna watch something!” Old habits die hard.
After our archery adventure, we headed to the pool for some swim time. The pool here is heated to 85 degrees, which on this 78 degree day was perfect. #1BigBrother remained attached to his dad, while #1BigSis and I worked on some swim lessons.
The nap-inducing pool time gifted us once again with some afternoon downtime. Amir took the quiet moment to build a LEGO VW Campervan Bus, and me to edit a few photos and type out this post. We’ll cook dinner here at the house tonight, and enjoy yet another tomato cucumber salad fresh from the garden. I’ve been enjoying great sleep on this vacation, which is much welcomed given that pregnancy and sleep are ironically not very compatible. We’ll wake up again tomorrow to the sound of #1LilBrother rather than our alarm clocks, and see what adventures another day holds in store.