Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making Memories in Hudson, New York

We mentioned last week that I was spending time in Hudson, New York. I'd been excited to make the trip since it would be my first time visiting Hudson and the first time I'd gotten to see the Hudson Etsy office. I was headed up for a Merchandising work retreat with my teammates and the entire experience was such a treat.


We decided to road-trip it up to Hudson from the Brooklyn offices early Monday morning. We piled into a van and made just one stop along the way when we saw the signs for this Ice Cream Castle:



It was a quick pitstop, but one that included getting carded in order to get to taste test one of their specialty flavors of wine ice cream — something none of us had heard of before, which is surprising since it's tough to find a topic that at someone in the group doesn't have a bit of history with. It's starting to get to the point where it's a good day if I get carded anymore, we certainly all had a good laugh and joked about the legend of "wine ice cream" for the rest of the trip:



It wasn't much further after the Ice Cream Castle before we rolled into the town of Hudson where they Etsy offices are housed. The space is housed in a rehabilitated 1800's brick warehouse:


The office itself is an echo of the Brooklyn offices in that all the renovations, installations and decor are reflective of sustainable materials with the stamp of local artisans. We worked together as a team in the offices each day and loved feeling like we had a home away from home:


This was the house we stayed in while in Hudson:


It was just blocks up the street from the Hudson office and was a stunning 4 story brick town home with so much history. The front courtyard was manicured and landscaped with fresh herbs — bursting with fresh lavender:


I so badly wanted to take a small cutting of the lavender home with me to try and propagate as a reminder from the trip, but was worried about how to transport it on the plane, so all the herbs stayed in place.

The inside of the house was amazing — it was full of old world charm and character, from the creaking hardwood floors, to all the eclectic decor:


One of the best secrets of this house? It had one of the most lush and bountiful backyard gardens I've ever seen. Here's the bird's eye view from my bedroom of the house:


It had an outdoor kitchen, seating, water pond and so many different varieties of fruits and vegetable plants in containers and raised beds.


Seeing all the different varieties of edible plants in such a small space was so inspiring to me and made me want to try even more in our own space now that we have more time and energy. I hadn't really considered the idea of having trees, like the little green apple tree they had almost vining up the fence in this back courtyard.

Here's the view up at the back of the house from down in the garden:


Each morning there was a fresh harvest of ripening vegetables waiting in the kitchen for us to snack on:


In the evenings we'd try different local restaurants, one being Helsinki Hudson:


Here's a group shot of all 7 of us at dinner:


This is such a special shot to me, since it's rare that all 7 of us are in the same space due to some of us working remotely.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was walking around downtown Hudson in our free time. We walked everywhere we went, including the office. There was so much old town charm and greenery everywhere we looked:

 

Hudson also turned out to be a super dog-friendly town:


On more than one occasion, we'd spot doggies in the windows. See that little head resting out the window next to the flag here:


Here's a closer look — the cuteness just kills me:



Can you spot the doggies in the windows below? It's a tough one:



Here's a closer look from the red brick building to the left of the white one above:


Adorable, yes?

One of the biggest highlights from the retreat was the surprise cakes our coworker, Emily, had commissioned for all of us to enjoy:

 

She'd had them made by one of our Hudson coworkers who specializes in cake making and had them personalized with our favorite flavors and the names of the editorial blog series we'd helped pioneer over 5 years ago. Mine was a red velvet cake with extra cream cheese frosting and the letters QYDJ, signifying the Quit Your Day Job series I helped create and write for:


Christine's was a carrot cake, paying homage to the Get The Look Decor series and the third was a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake celebrating the recent birthday of our coworker, Gaby.


We were thrilled to say the least and you better believe we all ate off the three cakes for the remainder of our time in Hudson. I will admit that I even ate a piece for breakfast one morning.

In our free time, we stopped in and out of many little boutiques, and had a great time sifting through this gift shop:


It had so many unusual plant/gardening offerings and carried lots of local artisanal home and gift ideas.


I would have loved to bring a live plant back with me as a souvenir from the trip, but was worried about it making the plane trip back. I ended up picking up this adorable little glass geometric bud vase as my souvenir from the trip:


I thought it would make for a great little glass container for the windowsill to keep the cuttings we're trying to propagate in.

There was also another local clothing and jewelry boutique we all fell in love with:


It was filled with handmade jewelry and clothing from local artisans and had really creative displays made of antlers, natural wood branches and plumbing pipes:


I was inspired by so many things in this shop and took pics in case we're able to recreate any of the decor elements in our own space. I especially loved the antler jewelry display and branch curtain rods above.

Given Tim and my affinity for urban and container gardening, I was particularly taken with the large planters lining the streets in front of nearly every storefront in downtown Hudson. There were whiskey barrels, galvanized bins, planters and urns all filled with large greenery, bushes and flowers spilling over and welcoming us:


On our last evening in Hudson, we decided to take the opportunity to take a short hike and had a blast walking the Bash Bish trail until we got to this beautiful waterfall up the mountain:

 

This hike was especially cool, because it crosses over the New York/Massachusetts border:


Here's Taylor and Gillian making a human "M" to signify a warm welcome into Massachusetts:


We ended up hanging out around the bottom of the falls, taking in the scenery and last bits of Hudson before heading back to pack up for our trip back to Brooklyn the next morning:

 

Before leaving Hudson, we also got a glimpse at one of most pristine rainbows I've ever seen:


After 3 days in Hudson and 1 full day in the Brooklyn Etsy office, it was time to hop back on the plane headed to good old Virginia.


I was sad to say goodbye to New York, but it's always a welcome treat to come home — especially when I get to see Tim, Stephanie and even Basil in tow waiting for me at the airport!

If you've hung in here this long, I hope you enjoyed seeing pics from the trip as much as I enjoyed my first visit to Hudson. I'd love to go back for a long weekend with Tim at some point — Hudson makes for such a welcome retreat!

Have you been to Hudson? What things/places/eats should we check out next time?

10 comments:

  1. I visited Hudson two years ago and loved it! We of course had to Visit Helsinki as we are from city of Helsinki.

    I recommend Swoon, where we had an excellent dinner.

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    1. Next time up Swoon is on the list! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  2. I loved these photos so much, Mary. From the gardens to the Etsy offices to the little shops downtown. What a wonderful retreat. Thanks so much for sharing.

    xo

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  3. To take cuttings on the plane, put them in an empty water bottle with a few drops of water and put the lid on. Voila.

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    1. Well there you go! I am going to start stowing away a little bottle on trips. Thanks so much for the tip!

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  4. Thank you for that sweet travelogue.

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  5. I totally think that looks like exactly how I imagine an Etsy office to look.


    Emily
    eageremily.blogspot.com

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    1. I quite agree. Thanks for taking a look and sharing your thoughts!

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