Binghamton, Catskills, cupcake festival, cupcakes, Farmers Market, Fitzie's Irish Pub, flea market, Gardiner Cupcake Festival, Highland, Kingston, New York, Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Spring Fest, Spring Sidewalk Sale, the anchor, Tolkien reads the Lord of the Rings, Tolkien vinyl box set, Woodstock
Two weekends back we had a couple odd shows but a really fun time exploring around the Catskills area. We’d booked a short weekend-long tour over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 16th through the 18th. But some miscommunication with our Saturday night show lead to a double booking and ultimately, a canceled show. So we ended up with a Friday show and a Sunday show, with a completely free day right in the middle, and just far enough away from home to make it weird if we drove home and then back again. Eric was up for the extra 8 hours of driving, but I figured, why not make the weekend into an adventurous event? So I did a bunch of research, pouring over online event calendars searching for free things to do in the Catskills area over the weekend. It turned out super fun.
So, on Friday May 16 we drove up to Binghamton, NY for another show at Fitzie’s. Not awesome. Actually, both shows this weekend turned out to be really bad. Hardly anyone even acknowledged that we were even performing shows, and I was seriously doubtful at both shows that the painting would sell (but both did). Just really crummy. If these shows had happened during a longer tour, I think it would have really hurt our morale. But since we were so close to home, we’d planned out a really fun weekend of exploring, and both venues gave up fairly good guarantees, we didn’t let it get to us. After that show we began driving toward the New Paltz area. We were a little over an hour away sometime near midnight when we pulled over at a rest stop to spend the night, and realized that we’d accidentally left our suitcase full of merch at Fitzie’s. Exhausted and irritated with ourselves, we went to sleep with plans of backtracking early the next morning. So, Saturday morning we got on the highway headed around back to Binghamton. Our day way booked full of fun weekend plans and festivals, but those would all have to wait until we could get our merch back. Neither of us had very high hopes, assuming there was no way the bar would be open this early. But, amazingly, someone just happened to be in there when we pulled up, and let us grab the suitcase! We were back on our way toward New Paltz again within a few minutes! I had carefully planned and mapped out our adventures, and now that the headache of getting our merch back was over, we were able to really enjoy the day. The sun was bright and warm, and we were happy. After we quick stop to take in the Catskills view along the winding highway, we found ourselves at the Gardiner Cupcake Festival. It was a massive event set up on a farm on a hill, with cupcake vendors everywhere. And lots of cider and distillery booths passing out free samples… It was pretty amazing. Once we’d had our fill of cupcakes and had see all of the festival that we wanted to, we continued on our way to Highland and their 3rd Annual Spring Fest. We missed the bed race, but caught the fairly grotesque traditional hot dog eating contest, then enjoyed some beers in their mini outdoor beer garden (drinking in a beer garden on a sunny day is one of my favorite things). After sobering up we headed to the St Peter’s Annual Spring Flea Market in Rosendale, only to discover that the sale was over and they were already cleaning up. Standing by the car, trying to decide what to do next, we looked over and saw this amazing rock face not too far into the woods. We left our car in the church parking lot and hiked in to what appeared to be a massive, maybe 4 story tall, rock that had cracked and slid off of a cliff a hundred or more years ago. The cracks had created these skinny trails up the cliff and trees were growing in them. It was really completely amazing.
After our mini hike we decided to head out of the woods and more in to Kingston, but not before stopping at what turned out to be an amazing record store and picking up a 4-vinyl box set of Tolkien reading from the Lord of the Rings (WHAT?) (We got our’s way cheaper than this listed prince too). Eric didn’t want to sleep in the car again, and was trying to convince me to be ok with using the money we’d made at Fitzie’s to get a hotel, since this was more of a fun weekend than anything else. I felt weird getting a hotel though, since we were so close to home still… We settled instead on sleeping in the car at Walmart, but having a date night beforehand. We got some delicious sushi (sushi is one of my all time favorite foods) and then saw the new Godzilla movie at a nearby theater. The movie turned out to be much better than I was expecting. All in all, a super fun day off.
Sunday, May 18, was cooler than Saturday. We got a nice breakfast at a Panera Bread near the Walmart, using up an older gift card Eric had. Then we drove up to Rhinebeck to check out the Spring Sidewalk Sale. The sidewalk sale turned out to be fairly uninteresting, but the Rhinebeck Sunday Farmer’s Market was spectacular! One of the best farmer’s markets I’d ever been too. So many homemade cheese booths, veggies, bakeries, distilleries (shot samples at 10 AM), and plants. It took us over an hour just to wander through it all. We still had a lot of time to kill before our show that evening, so our final adventure was up to Woodstock to check out their Spring Sidewalk Sale and to poke through their flea market. It’s a cute area, and it took us about an hour of wandering and observing the tons of classic rock paraphernalia before we realized that it was that Woodstock.
The rest of the afternoon we sat around in a Barnes and Nobel before heading over to the Anchor for a free meal and to play a few card games while we waited for our show to start. The place was fairly dead, just like Fitzie’s, and the opening band never showed up. We played, surprisingly sold the panting, got our guarantee, and left. We drove late into the night to be able to make it home and sleep in our own comfy bed. So, like I said, not the greatest show. But it sure was a fun weekend anyway. Besides, after so much stress recently, it was nice to almost be forced into relaxing a bit.