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So yesterday was July 3rd, and I opted to take my Independence Day holiday early. Let’s start with the end of the day and work our way backwards, shall we?

nyackmemorialparkUrban exploration took me and a friend down to a riverside park on the Hudson – Nyack Memorial Park. There were a ton of people out shooting hoops, goofing off, tossing horse shoes, and just basically having a good time. We even met a very friendly young girl – maybe 12 or so – near the opening to an arched vault in the side of a stone wall with a mini-waterfall inside and plenty of future cave-ish exploring to do! She was the sweetest thing; intelligent, kind, inquisitive, and wanting to share her find with us as eagerly as we wanted to get in there and slosh around. She even walked in to pick out the dry spots where I could set up my camera equipment when we made it back there! Such a little cutie!

nyackpourhouseBefore that, we had dinner at a restaurant/pub on the main drag in downtown Nyack. Have you ever had pulled pork? I hadn’t – I’d eaten Poi when I visited the Hawaiian Islands once, but PULLED PORK??? Holy Cow!!! This is the stuff of the GODS! And what did they serve as a side with it? Cheddar-mash; the most divine preparation the common potato will ever know. Cheddar cheese mixed with sublimly mashed potatoes that I’d happily slather all over my body it was so good. No really, I mean that! Plus the Cajun fries that came with my cohorts meal – Mmmm-mmmm! If you ever feel the need to travel to culinary heaven and back, visit the Nyack Pour House on Main Street in Nyack, NY! And don’t forget a slice of the chocolate fondant cake for dessert. The atmosphere was great, the staff super friendly, and the food – out of this world! (Plus I scored a Pour House tank top ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So how’d we end up on the streets of Nyack like roaming orphans??? Yeah, that’s what the cops asked us too! Nah, not really – though there was a fair gathering of them right where we parked. They seemed to be… uhh, well… that’s all I’ve got. But they seemed like nice guys, the entire bunch. ๐Ÿ˜‰

sleepyhollowBack to how we got there! We had just crossed the Tappan Zee Bridge after a few hours of hard-hoofin’ it though Sleepy Hollow Cemetery when the undeniable hankerin’ for food struck. Sleepy Hollow was as fabulous as ever – and I had the chance to introduce a new soon-to-be-regular interloper to my world. I dragged him from one end to the other and back again. Doing two hours of exercise a day – mostly cardio – has apparently made me much more tolerant to the effort needed to see 93 acres of cemetery in about 2 and a half hours than my (now dragging-ass) companion. But it was cool. We had a good time, got locked in 5 minutes after the gate closed, and saw some of the awesome statuary and monuments that adorn the grounds. He still has much to see, but it was a good start.

We ended up at Sleepy Hollow after visiting Lyndhurst Castle, in Tarrytown, NY.

Overlooking the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York, is Lyndhurst, one of Americaโ€™s finest Gothic Revival mansions. The architectural brilliance of the residence, designed in 1838 by Alexander Jackson Davis, is complemented byย the park-like landscape of the estate and a comprehensive collection of original decorative arts. Its noteworthy occupants included: former New York City mayor William Paulding (for whom it was built as a summer cottage), merchant George Merritt and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.
(To read more, check out this link, or hit Google!)

Lyndhurst is a nice place to walk around, tour the home if you like that sort of thing, and wander the grassy grounds and paved trails for a few hours. It’s a pleasant way to start touring the lower Hudson Valley, and grab a feel for the larger estates you’ll encounter as you head north.

So that was my holiday! I spent it casually meandering, foot-pounding it through a cemetery, snarfing down some grub in a smaller version of Hoboken, visiting an urban park, making a new pint sized friend, and even traveling down the road a bit to gander at the Victorian inspired homes that overlook the Hudson. All-in-all, it was a dolphin & happy-face sticker day!

For now, still here just crunching on the shells… ๐Ÿ˜‰