Monday, October 7, 2013
The Suburbs of New York City
It was a bright and cheery day. And a gorgeous morning on a Fall Friday in the New York City Metro area to boot. Hands down, the perfect combination to take the edge off the proverbial rat-race. At least until I got stuck driving behind a commuter bus with the advertisement “Eat, Play, Love: In the Hudson Valley” centered across my windshield. The effect was hypnotic.
I decided then and there to take some much needed time off from work and visit several of the charmed Halloween favorites in the nearby Hudson Valley. With long days followed by logging in to work on evenings and weekends, it was time to disconnect. But first, there was that Friday to deal with. No sooner had I swiped my security card at the front desk, than I submitted my request for some time off. Staycation granted. Visions of touring Washington Irving’s “Sunnyside” in Tarrytown, NY where he penned “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” or attending The Pumpkin Blaze where 5,000 carved & lit pumpkins form serpentine routes along the Hudson River had me as giddy as an 8 year old Trick or Treating.
However, with some time off, I needed to fit in an overdue eye doctor’s appointment. I was able to schedule a mid-morning spot on the same day I planned on visiting these Hudson Valley sights. That became questionable after the routine part of the exam when the eyes are dilated (which I had completely forgotten about). If you’ve ever had this procedure done, the pupils take over your eyeballs and you can’t see straight for hours. Fortunately, I could see clearly enough after the eye exam to go online and jot down the details & directions to both Sunnyside and The Pumpkin Blaze (or so I thought). As luck would have it, the Pumpkin Blaze was sold out. But the last tour at Sunnyside was scheduled for 4:00. No problem. I was finally ready to head on out the door by 2:00 with my vision restored for the 45 minute drive.
And then the phone rang. My husband called in a panic from his friend’s cell phone to say that he had lost his. Could I call the provider right away and disable his phone. No worries. After about 30 minutes of “please hold,” I was finally able to speak with the right person who could disable a number that did not belong to me. With confirmation in hand that my husband’s cell phone was no longer usable, I finally got in my car, hooked up my own cell phone to the charger, and put the car in reverse to back out of the driveway.
And then my cell phone rang. The number that appeared on the screen was from my husband’s disabled cell phone. “Hello???” Three seconds of silence on the other end. Then click. Now I am haunted-house scared and have yet to leave my driveway. Back into the house I go to call the provider again and give someone, anyone an earful. After about 10 minutes of not being able to reach a single soul, I get another call from my husband’s cell. This time it was him. He found his phone tucked into his bicycle gear, mistakenly “pocket dialed” me, then quickly hung up and called the provider to undo what I did. All’s well and finally, again, I could head on out for some “Eat, Play, Love: In The Hudson Valley” fun.
And I arrive at Sunnyside just as they close for the day. I knew I was running late and that I would probably miss the 4:00 tour but did not see on their website that they shut down right after what must be a half hour tour. So much for being able to see clearly after the eye exam. Fortunately, the Gate Keeper was still there and he suggested that I visit the Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown, NY; a place I had never heard of yet only a stone’s throw away from Washington Irving’s place. If ever the expression “everything happens for a reason” were applicable, it would have been on that zany day. Here are some pictures of the Lyndhurst Castle, its grounds which includes a serene River Walk along the Hudson, and a creepy Scarecrow Exhibit.
Thankfully, I still have a few more days off and do plan on visiting several of the local Hudson Valley sights, including Sunnyside. I would have gone today but they’re closed on Mondays. Coincidentally, the entire state of New Jersey was under a Tornado Watch with heavy winds & rains predicted throughout the day. The 5:00 evening news reported downed trees, power outages, and a messy ride for commuters. Glad I did not get stuck behind any commuter bus today. As they say, everything happens for a reason. Off to check my work email…