This weekend Andrew and I headed “upstate” with our friends Tori and Gabe for a weekend in the Catskills.
Being from Rochester, I am very passionate about differentiating between “true” Upstate (also known as Western New York) and the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. I know it’s all technically upstate from Manhattan, but anything before Albany just cannot be considered Upstate, I’m sorry.
We booked our trip pretty last minute, but the house we ended up in way perfect 100 times over. The Little Blue House on Airbnb looked sweet in the pictures, and the price was right, but we truly didn’t know what to expect until we got there. It was ADORABLE. The owner’s style was truly perfect. A little mid-century modern, plus she kept most of the original colonial charm of the house. I took so many photos because I want to replicate it in my own place.
The house has 3 bedrooms, one downstairs and two upstairs, although the second room upstairs was quite small. We called it “the baby room.” But would have been perfect for a single person. There is one full bathroom in the downstairs, a kitchen, dining room, and living room, and the living room has a fireplace. There is also a grill and fire pit outside. We didn’t get around to grilling, but we did have a wonderful fire outside. I’d love to come back in the winter too and build a fire in the fireplace.
The game of the trip was hands down Quiplash. Andrew purchased it for his Xbox, and we played CONSTANTLY. Basically, the TV is the central control for the game, and then everyone logs into the specific game group from their phones. Then, on your phone you get two questions to answer, like, “What is the official medical term for belly button lint?” or “A better name for France.”
After everyone has answered, the TV goes through the questions, and the 2 answers compete against each other. Then the remaining players vote on the funniest answer to win. It is hilarious and addicting. Here’s a video of the game in action, so you get a better sense of how it’s played. I’d describe it as Cards Against Humanity, but you get to make up your own answers and the group votes on the winner.
On Saturday, we drove to Kaaterskill Falls for a hike. I have been on very few hikes in my life, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, although there are very few things I won’t do for a good view. This hike was perfect. It’s 3 miles round trip, but didn’t feel like too much. There’s definitely a lot of steep steps, but there’s a few areas where it plateaus and you can rest and enjoy the waterfalls. Plus, there were SO MANY GOOD DOGS out enjoying the hike as well, which helped.
The first place where the hike plateaus is the mid-falls. There’s a swimming hole there, as well as plenty of rocks to hang out on. We didn’t swim, but if it had been hotter, I definitely would have.
The second “resting” place is at the top of the falls. There’s a platform for taking in the views, which are absolutely spectacular. Not only is the waterfall amazing, but the rolling mountains in the distance are awesome.
After the hike, we were sufficiently starving. Every blog post or Catskills guide RAVES about the Phoenecia Diner, so we headed that way to refuel.
I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best meal of my life. I might have just been starving, but the turkey club was the best sandwich I have eaten. It was also ENORMOUS. We also split a side of mac and cheese between the four of us, and it was so good. The Diner truly lived up to the hype.
So much so, that we returned for brunch on Sunday. While we rolled in for a late lunch on Saturday around 4 and there was no wait, on Sunday at noon, we had about a 30 minute wait. The good news is that there’s a ton of outdoor seating (they call this area The Lot) and we played a game of Sorry! While we waited for a table.
Not only was the food at the Diner amazing, but the decor and style of the place was perfect as well. It looked like something straight out of the 1950’s, complete with green leather booths and tiled floors. We were obsessed.
After lunch on Saturday, we drove down the road about 2 minutes to Woodstock Brewing, which recently opened this summer. They had a decent selection of different beers, but what really shined was their outdoor space. There was cornhole, a fire pit, string lights, and stunning views of the mountains. We only stayed for one beer, but could have spent the whole day there.
I would 100% recommend not only this trip, but the Little Blue House as well. I will say, having a car was necessary (Tori and Gabe own one) but I could have also been content to just sit on the patio and read all day, versus spending time in town. Although, it would be hard to pass up the Diner.
Here’s to many more adventurous and refreshing weekends!