It feels a lot more like fall in upstate New York than it does down in central Texas. When we walked out of JFK to take the Airtran to pick up our rental car, we were instantly greeted with a cool, low 70s, breeze. It was a welcome respite from the current heatwave down south! I was hoping I could magically bring some of that cooler weather down here with me, but I don't think it worked.
The good news is, I can confidently and honestly say visiting New York again did not make us regret our decision to move back to Texas. Not one bit. Of course, there is the part about seeing our friends again that made us miss it, and yeah the cutesy neighborhoods and restaurants, but otherwise, we are done with it! All it took was driving through the city in *heavy* traffic from JFK to Harlem to make us uncomfortable once again, and then we took a long walk from Chelsea Market up through Times Square to Hell's Kitchen. If you want to confirm any dislike for NYC, just go through Times Square on a weekend! The crowds will make you want to jump in the Hudson.
Have I made it clear that I really don't like crowds anymore? Hehe...
One thing we always used to talk about when we lived in NYC was that it was a lot easier (in a weird way that doesn't make any sense) to love New York by simply living there, rather than just visiting. When one visits New York, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the people and the rush and the skyscrapers and the crowded streets. But when one lives there, one has a place to go back home to that's their own space, and it makes living there more bearable (and super fun!) and more realistic. So, this was our theory: that, since we didn't live there anymore, we simply couldn't imagine living there anymore. I realize I probably sound kind of negative about NYC right now, but it truly is the perfect example of a love/hate relationship with the city.
We stayed with some friends for one night while we were in NYC for less than a day, had some NY pizza, and then had to get our favorite Absolute Bagels before loading up the rental car and making the 2 hour drive upstate to New Paltz. Have I ever mentioned how beautiful upstate NY is? When we lived in NYC, we made multiple trips upstate (even if it was just for the day), and loved visiting the small towns.
On our drive we stopped at a couple of farm stands and orchards where apple picking and apple cider donuts are in full swing!! Before checking into our AirBnB, we got lunch and some coffee at Mudd Puddle Coffee Roaster, which was near the best antique shop ever. (I got a bunch of antique silverware and things, and even made it past airport security with two butter knives!) And then we then had the best couple days where we celebrated the STUNNING wedding of Alex and Joel at Mohonk Mountain House. This resort was located along a (river, lake?) and surrounded by huge trees with views of the Catskills. I wore my fancy bridesmaid dress, Kyle wore a suit and tie, and we danced the night away complete with tons of wine, cocktails, food, cheeses, and of course, wedding cake!!