#1,824 NYC Family Vacation 2014 + Stockbridge.

After another super quick stop by La Esquina for one more helping of the plantains for breakfast, we said goodbye to the Big Apple (why do they call it that, anyway?) and hopped in our rental car bound for Stockbridge in western Massachusetts.

We spent the day driving along the gorgeous Taconic Parkway through the mountains in upstate New York through the Hudson Valley. I’ve long had this romantic fascination with the Hudson Valley (in the summertime—because of Cup of Jo), and I suspect that’s 100% accurate about how magical it is.

Along the way, we stopped into a historic little town called Millbrook, home of the Orvis shooting range and shop…

I forgot to take a photo, and this is Millbrook in the fall thanks to Google, so imagine it without the leaves but all the best Christmas finery and lights.

And Halcyon Hall, the absolute most frightening thing I’ve ever seen.

We stopped in Millbrook for homemade chocolate bark and some gifts at the Orvis shop, and as the sun was setting, we carried on north to Massachusetts.

And tonight we had dinner in the tavern at the Red Lion Inn, Ben and Jim had a momentarily intense snowball fight, and now as I write this, I’m in flannel pajamas and my cable knit sweater coat at the desk beside the fire in our room, with a mug of hot apple cider with an orange slice. The window is cracked and I can hear the sound of snow crunching outside as people walk past.

It never feels like this could be a real place. But it really is.