I stayed at Caldwell House in Salisbury Mills, NY. It was a perfect get-away. I love the city, but only because, occasionally, I get away to the country too.
See, it was the night before I was about to host a writing weekend at Kirkwood House in Cornwall-on-Hudson (and there will be another — in June — check it out at boot camp for writers upcoming stuff), and I was nervous.
But spending one night in this charming B&B made me feel like everything was going to be all right. (Yes, cue the Bob Marley music — “Don’t worry ’bout a thing.”)
Every cozy bedroom room was stocked with a comfy robe and an iPad! What!
On the Thursday night, at the suggestion of the innkeepers’ daughter, I walked through the backyard of Caldwell House, rounded a corner and there I was at an Irish pub, Loughran’s. I sang Irish songs along with the locals. And the songs made me laugh and brought a tear to me eye. And so I needed the beer to chase it all down — to make me forget me troubles. Or, me ole anxiety about how me weekend would go.
One patron at the bar noticed me eyeing her IPA (I’d never tried one) — and so this older gal pushed her frothy mug over to me and told me, “Try it!” Thank you!
What! People are like that when you leave NYC. Strangers tell you to try their drinks and they don’t want anything from you but a bit of conversation and a laugh. (Kids, don’t do that. Only adults can drink from strangers’ mugs.)
The hosts of Caldwell House, John and Dena Finneran, are super nice and smart. John totally encouraged me to have confidence about my venture of writing weekends. He’s a corporate marketing dude from California who, with his lovely partner, moved back east to run this family biz. He gave me some needed advice on how to use social media — like use it regularly and use Google+.
The breakfast was lovely and abundant and my room was pretty and comfy. I felt refreshed to offer my own hospitality at Kirkwood House in Cornwall-on-Hudson, the next town over.
Part of the reason I want to host another writing weekend at Kirkwood House is so that I can stay again at Caldwell House on the Thursday night and sing along with the locals and snuggle into a big comfy bed and go for a walk in the country.
You know, when I see tourists dragging a suitcase from a Manhattan hotel to an airport bus, I say – to whomever I’m with – or inside my head, if I’m not with anyone, “Those poor people have to leave New York City. And I get to stay.” Maybe I shouldn’t be smug about NYC. Because one reason I love NYC so well is because I get to leave it. Regularly. And there are so many beautiful places and people to visit nearby. And Caldwell House is one such place.