Friday, June 19, 2015

Croton-on-Hudson, NY

We had a beautiful day cruising up the Hudson River from NYC and arrived at the Half Moon Bay Marina in Croton-on Hudson on Sunday, June 13.  This marina is what is called a dockominium and is situated in a beautiful, peaceful bay within a condo complex of attractive natural shingled condos.  It had been recommended to us by members of the cruising community for its easy access to many of the Hudson Valley attractions.  There were several loopers docked there and we missed, by just one day. a “docktail party” that had been organized by the dozen or so loopers staying there.

Croton half moon bay harbor

We were pleased to finally meet up with Joel and Sarah on Snow Goose.  They have a boat exactly like ours and we had met Joel in Florida when he first purchased and was fixing up his boat.   After multiple unsuccessful attempts to rendezvous earlier we finally caught up with each other.  Joel and Jonny had fun trying to solve all the little problems on our respective boats.  In fact, one of our main objectives in staying at Half Moon Bay was to pick up the parts of our head (toilet) that we had to replace.  Jonny was so excited to finally receive them after a 10 day wait.  When he went to pick up the package from the dockmaster, we were dismayed to see such a small box.  In fact, the company that placed the order failed to order the most important part!  So we are back to square one.  Our plan is to get it shipped to the next marina we stay at in Kingston, N.Y.  We are making do with one head and that one is not functioning  properly either.  But because that one is at least usable, we are waiting until we have one fully functioning head before we tackle number two!   Bummer!

One of the nicest things about Half Moon Bay is the park that Croton-on-Hudson and neighboring villages have created along the waterfront.  We walked and rode our bikes there several times during the two days we spent there.  It had gorgeous views of the Hudson and many peaceful spots to sit and reflect.  Additionally, it had a unique monument to victims of 9/11.  A huge sundial was constructed from one of the beams from the World Trade Center  with a moving statue of a woman next to it.  Each time we were there, we saw people of all ages enjoying the space each in their own way.

Croton park 1croton memorial 1croton memorial 2Croton park 2

That evening we joined Sarah, Joel and his cousins who live in the next town, for a great dinner in Croton-on-Hudson at a restaurant called Tagine.  They love living in this area and were telling us stories about how Croton was settled and grew with an an eclectic mix of immigrants, lefties, artists etc. It is now home to many commuters but it still retains a thriving artistic community and a rich heritage of cultural diversity that lends an eclectic vibe to this little village.

After exploring the village of Croton-on-Hudson, we rented a car for a day and explored the surrounding area.  First, we drove up to Cold Spring, a lovely town that we had visited years ago – it’s still as pretty as it ever was.  From there we stopped at the Boscobel house and gardens, a historic home that had been transported from its original location to a beautiful river setting.  Here, we “snuck in” and  strolled the grounds before anyone realized that we had not paid the fee! 

croton cold spring 1croton cold spring 3Croton cold spring 4Croton cold spring zenCroton boscobol

Our big plans for the day were to go to Hyde Park and have lunch at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). This has been on Lynn’s “bucket list” for awhile. We had reservations at Bocuse, the French restaurant, one of five from which one can choose.  The CIA is the world’s  premier culinary college with a beautiful campus on a stunning section of the Hudson River.  All those working in the restaurants are students and they must rotate through each of the roles in a restaurant before they graduate.  We had a  fabulous lunch and though we are not the type to take photos of our food, we decided to do so this time! 

Croton CIA signCroton CIA roosterCroton CIA campus

Croton CIA LC and JK - CopyCroton CIA food 1Croton CIA food 2

Croton CIA banner

From there, we visited Springwood, the FDR home and presidential library.  Since the last time we were there, Lynn had been on a Franklin and Eleanor kick and she wanted to revisit their homes.  It’s a fascinating place and theirs was such a unique contribution to world history. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to see everything we wanted to there, especially parts of the Presidential Library and the full guided tour of Val-Kill, Eleanor’s home on the grounds. 

Croton FDR libraryCroton Valkill 1Croton ValKill 2

On the day we were planning to leave Croton, we learned that the Clearwater Music Festival (the one started by Pete Seeger to raise money to clean up the Hudson River) was to be held the following weekend at the park at the other end of Half Moon Bay, the exact place where we were staying!   It would be two days of outdoor entertainment featuring scores of bands, many of them favorites of ours.  After EXTENSIVE deliberation, we decided to continue up river to our next destination – Kingston, NY.  If we had stayed, we would have run the risk of not reaching Montreal in time to meet our friends who are joining us there from California.  We also needed time to make those pesky repairs mentioned earlier.  And as we all know, everything always takes longer than we think it will! 

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