Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's Fall! Time to go Upstate ('FABULOUS' NY that is)...

At the end of September, we embark on our semi-annual trip to the Cooperstown area of upstate NY.  The long weekend includes seeing old friends, meeting new friends, baseball, relaxation and lots of great food and drink!  

We took the boys to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in the spring of 2010 and stayed at this beautiful inn we found online, The Meadowlark Inn in East Springfield, NY.  We liked it so much that we decided to go back in the fall to see the foliage.  A friendship developed with the innkeepers George and Tina and we have been going back every year for a long weekend each June and September.  

In the process, we have discovered the town of Sharon Springs, a thriving town in the 1900's where spas featuring sulfur springs drew New York City socialites to vacation and pamper themselves.  As travel became more advanced and vacationers had more options, the number of visitors dwindled.  The hotels became dilapidated and eventually abandoned, and the town became a virtual ghost town with only several hundred residents.  

However, in 2008, a reality TV show The Fabulous Beekman Boys debuted on Planet Green featuring Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell.  Brent & Josh are two city boys who decided to buy a farm in Sharon Springs.  In a few short years, they have begun to revitalize the town, saving the post office and drawing new residents and businesses.  At the same time, they opened a store in town offering their line of products including goat milk soap, cheese and a host of other delicious and functional products.  Brent works the farm full-time, but Josh is still working in New York.  The Fabulous Beekman Boys reality show chronicles their hard work and determination to make a success of their business so Josh can move to the farm full time.  The cooking channel is running the 2nd season on Thursdays at 10pm and if there are enough viewers, they will begin filming a new season!

Check out The Beekman Boys products here:  Beekman 1802
(I especially like the goat milk soaps and their new lemon honey is delicious!)

When visiting last weekend, we stopped at the 204 Main Bar & Bistro in Sharon Springs to make reservations for dinner on Saturday.  The Beekman's CEO Megan was there and we spoke with her for a while, along with Jim, one of the Bistro's owners.  Megan invited us to a party at her home for the kickoff of The Amazing Race reality show.  Josh & Brent are competing against 9 other teams to win the grand prize of $1,000,000.00.   Armed with a gallon jug of lemon drops (recipe is in a previous blog entry!), we watched the premiere of this season's Amazing Race with a brief Skype visit by Josh & Brent.  We will be watching every week now to cheer the boys on!  

Some places to visit in the Sharon Springs/Cooperstown area:

Take a virtual tour of the Meadowlark Inn 

The boys love to play chess in the lobby

The view from our window
The Meadowlark Inn has 12 rooms, a warm and welcoming lobby, and friendly, attentive hosts, George & Tina.  They make delicious belgium waffles along with a breakfast buffet featuring oatmeal, cereal, fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, pastries, coffee, tea and juice.  The back yard has a barbecue area, baseball field, a volleyball net, and plenty of chairs and benches to enjoy!  

Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY
The Farmers' Museum is great for all ages! 
Between the Meadowlark Inn and Sharon Springs is Cherry Valley.  The Rose & Kettle Restaurant is one of our favorites.  Their Crabcake appetizer and Lemon Sage Risotto entree are to die for.


Lemon Sage Risotto
On a visit to Sharon Springs, the walking tour around the village is a must do.  There are photos and information about the history of the town.  

The vacant and dilapidated Adler Hotel - was recently purchased by a Korean company.  

The Black Cat Bakery & Cafe is a great stop for breakfast or lunch.  The Tuscan Chicken sandwich, sliced chicken with pesto, lettuce and artichoke hearts on ciabatta is my favorite.  Desert lovers will relish the fresh baked coconut cake, carrot cake and cappucchino torte.  

The Black Cat - Sharon Springs, NY
Tuscan Chicken Sandwich - The Black Cat
Cobbler & Co is one of the neatest gift shoppes I have ever been in.  The proprietor, Maureen, has rooms full of interesting items.  I found a really neat stemless martini glass set and a beautiful dragonfly lamp which I purchased as Christmas gifts.  Be prepared to spend time there, there are so many interesting items to discover!  

Stop at the 204 Main Bar & Bistro for a mouth-watering dinner.  Fresh tomato soup, beet and goat cheese salad, cheese tray, braised beef ribs, and chicken pot pie are a few of our favorites. 

Tomato Soup
Check out The Amazing Race on Sunday nights at 8:00 p.m. and cheer on our favorite goat farmers, Josh & Brent!  Do you think you'll get to the Cooperstown area?  If you do, be sure to plan a side trip to Sharon Springs.  We can't wait to get back there in June!

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