Sydney and I had nine days recently for our final vacation of the pandemic summer of 2020.
We spent all nine days in New York due to travel and quarantine restrictions and I have quite enjoyed learning about our new home state – something we would never have done otherwise this summer. I spent the time to come up with three distinct vacations packaged into eight nights and nine days.
Winter Clove Inn
We spent the first three nights at the all-inclusive Winter Clove Inn in the Catskill Mountains. I managed to get a comped room in return for promoting the inn to the Zephyr Adventures audience. It was really nice having three meals included each day and we loved the outdoor activities including a pool, tennis court, onsite hiking trails, and playground. The inn had its act together with COVID-19 restrictions and we felt very safe.
Caroga Lake State Campground
We spent two nights at Caroga Lake State Campground, the first on our own and the second joined by our Sea Cliff friends Katharina, Jordi, Oriel, and Oviti with whom we went camping previously. Sydney and I hiked up to our third firetower of the summer, we swam in the lake, and biked throughout the campground. I loved that we could safely send Oriel and Sydney off on their own to wander the campground.
1000 Acres Ranch
We had just been to the 1000 Acres Ranch a month earlier but this time I recruited four other families – 15 people – to join us. And got a comped room for my efforts. Not all of these families were in our “bubble” but I was comfortable with the group given almost everything takes place outside. I even asked for our meals to be outside, although the ranch was not really staffed well enough to handle that effectively, which means we ended up with some less-than-satisfactory meals and ultimately started to eat more indoors. Sydney very much enjoyed the horseback riding and we worked up to doing a ride that included trotting on our final morning.
I asked Sydney to rank the three parts of the vacation and was surprised to hear she ranked the Winter Clove Inn first, followed by the 1000 Acres Ranch and the camping. I thought for sure she would enjoy having some of her friends with her at the ranch but she said she actually enjoyed the Winter Clove Inn because she got to meet new people. She ranked the ranch second because of the horseback riding.
In the end, it was a really nice vacation with lots of activities, some good social interaction, and not too much driving.