My younger sister, whom I haven’t seen in almost a year (she works out on ships) had the weekend off and we threw together a spontaneous girls weekend at our family’s house in Columbia County.
While she graciously spent an entire day driving from a port in Virginia to upstate NY, I had time to grocery shop and open up the house.
Sister is gluten free coupled with some food allergies which had to be considered, but my main priority was making sure she got to eat all her requested food. This type of list will appear anytime someone returns home, say from camp or college, but for Sister it was all about foods she couldn’t get on her ship. Steak and fresh vegetables. And gluten free waffles. Done and done.
Then me and dog waited and waited and waited. Sister finally arrived and we had a perfect summer dinner at the house. Followed by an adventure to watch a movie, it included a 20 min drive to Walmart, a DVD player, and rotating two TVs in the house.
On Saturday we woke up to waffles, watermelon and real NY syrup. (Food coloring is on the list of things Sister can’t do, so the real versus imaginary syrup wasn’t even a question)
After a two mile walk with my dog, we decided on a trip into Chatham.
Since we unofficially grew up in this area, our trips are less about sight seeing and more about spotting changes in the landscape. Those changes have become so numerous, we hardly recognize some of the roads beyond the oasis of our property.
Chatham, while visually the same, has had an explosion of food and drink choices that were intriguing. But first we had to visit ReWraps, my favorite second hand store. They usually have quality pieces and good finds: I debated a very 90s Bestsey Johnson dress while Sister found a very bright, summery Gap dress in her size for about $10. Their sales rotate weekly I believe, depending on the color dot on the items tag.
We were hungry at this point, but not starving. We decided on salad, something healthy and no where complicated. That led is to Ralph’s Pretty Good Cafe, which seems like a disheartening name now that I think about it.
We managed a mixed green salad with chicken, after confirming the chicken was not pre-marinated and the dressing fit Sister’s allergy stipulations.
It was beautiful, and the veggies and dressing were seriously perfectly on point. The chicken, however, was just not good. I’m not sure if our allergy requests threw off their regular prep of what the story was, but the chicken appeared to be sliced and then pan fried to reheat. It was as tough as microwaved thanksgiving leftovers. Not okay.
After that we were hoping to do some wine tasting at the Hudson Chatham winery, which is consistently a great trip. Except for this one time I try to bring my sister there on a Saturday. They were slammed, with an event going on outside and at least four couples waiting inside. And two staff people total. The woman inside was so busy chatting to one woman, and you could see the visibly growing aggravation of the only couple in the room that had actually attempted to start a wine tasting, that we decided to just head to the wine store.
Not too surprisingly, we were able to pick up a bottle of their Ghent Blush, which I adore, at the next wine store we passed. I like to think we supported an extra business in the process.
We headed back to the house, built a fire, poured some wine and relaxed.
Now it’s Sunday, the dog is crying to go out and there’s more waffles to be eaten. I’ll be sad to see her off, as she heads back to her ship for a 4am Watch shift, but I know we’ll make sure it’s not another year before I see her again. Maybe I’ll journey down to her this time.