I was born and raised in Detroit and never spent much time in the great outdoors growing up. Once I came to NYC for college, my idea of nature was cutting across Central Park on my to the Metropolitan Museum of Art… and even that gave me allergies. As you can probably tell, I’m a city-slicker through and through. But over the past few years, I’ve started stepping out of my comfort zone and have actually come to love spending time in nature. Eric and I have tried our hands (and feet) at skiing, horseback riding, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, mountain climbing, and more, but I think the major turning point was our trip to Alaska last summer. We had so many WOW experiences during those 10 days that made us truly appreciate all that nature has to offer. Oh, and we also bought a TON of outdoor sports apparel that we now feel compelled to put to good use!
So to kick off the start of my birthday month – LIBRAS IN DA HOUSE! 😉 – we hopped aboard a Circle Line cruise ship leaving from Pier 81 in Manhattan and sailed up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain. The trip up was great as the ship was decked out for Oktoberfest, which meant a live band, heaps of bratwurst and plenty of beer. We had so much fun that the 2.5 hour ride seemed to just fly by, and we also learned some great facts about the city and surrounding area from our tour guide along the way.
Once we got to our destination, we made a beeline for Restaurant 1915 at Bear Mountain Inn for their famous Sunday brunch buffet. And once we had our fill of waffles and mimosas, we were off to begin exploring.
There are different trail options for all skill levels. We’ve been here a few times over the years and have the most strenuous hike that takes you to the mountain’s summit. It’s a doozy if you’re a beginner like me, but completely doable… and the views at the top are amazing and so well worth it. We decided to take the easy route this time around and just enjoy ourselves, stopping to take photos an venture off the beaten path along the way.
It rained pretty heavily the night before, and there was still quite a bit of drizzle on the way up so I opted for my trusty Hunter boots, and my Helly Hansen Kirkwall raincoat that’s held up bravely over many an adventure. And since the temps were a touch on the chilly side, I layered up with my packable Ultralight down vest that I knew I could easily roll up and stick inside my backpack in case it warmed up.
We were a tad on the early side for leaf-peeping, but this scene was still so beautiful, peaceful and serene. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.
Thanks so much for sharing in my little birthday adventure. October is offically Kendra’s Birthday Month, so I’ll be out and about all month long celebrating. Stay tuned for what comes next!