All photos taken by Merideth Morgan.
To kick off our first annual sisters treat, myself and four of my closest girlfriends chose to drive a short two hours from Manhattan to the beautiful quaint town of Mt. Temper, New York for our first ever destination. We wanted something tranquil, peaceful and visually inspiring since the foliage was at its peak and that is exactly what we got.
I found this little cottage on Airbnb that sat just far enough away from the main Inn to satisfy us with plenty of privacy. I was blown away when we arrived. It was serene and dreamy, the place had white floors (which I have a SERIOUS thing for), and the country decor reminded me of my childhood. The smell of the air the minute we opened our car doors was crisp and fresh, something we escaped the city for. We brought enough food so we could prepare every meal, we hung sipping cocktails next to the fireplace in our PJs, and spent the early mornings quietly reading out books.
Tim, the Inn and cottage owner was an incredible host and we learned of his true love and devotion for the property and felt his wife’s presence and got to know her through her decor because she was in NYC this weekend. With the option to use the Inn’s bar and lounge area (and huge fireplace), we chose to join Tim as he hosted us and the rest of the Inn’s guests for wine and cheese on Saturday evening. Soft jazz playing the background, dim lights, comfy velvet couches, and great conversation.
It was the perfect girls weekend until Sunday.
What I thought to be a brilliant idea, decided to go sour prettttty quickly. I thought it would be enjoyable to turn my fancy New York City friends into explorers and adventures like myself. I found this horse ranch online prior to our trip, read the decent reviews (they good enough to convince me to go) and a phone call to the owner, I thought “This would be FUN!” Man, was I wrong. The “ranch” was run down, his horses were unkempt, and nothing like I expected.
When we arrived, the owner came dashing out of his trailer home, dressed in a Confederate uniform and introduced himself as Colonel and demanded we call him that as well. After admitting to being legally blind, he walked us over to the tent that kept in the stench of horses, we exchanged monies and then asked if anyone of us wanted a shot. We politely declined, but it didn’t stop him from taking a couple himself. He reached behind the makeshift bar for his bottle that looked like it had been there for fifty years, and slugged his whiskey away. He then handed us all wet pens and asked us to sign the waivers where it stated in bold letters that we could not hold him or the horse liable if anyone got hurt. He left the tent and I looked at my girls and could feel the tension stiffen. I started to get anxious and checked in with everyone to see how they were feeling. Right then, I wanted to take my money back, get back in the car, and drive back to our cottage where we were safe. Miraculously, each of us mustered up the courage to get on a horse, including three out of the five who have never ridden before. I have been on horseback many of times, but this time did not feel safe. We all managed to walk our horses into the “warm up” area, a fenced in circle where we started to take laps, one behind the other, as we were trying to calm our nerves and get the hang of directing the 2,000lb animals. Just as our nerves (probably just mine) were calming, a scream let loose as one of the horses gave a swift kick to a neighboring horse that apparently got to close for his liking. At which point, we quickly called it quits, hopped off our horses, wished Colonel well and took off in our car. I had always wanted to visit a horse ranch so I was super disappointed when I saw it for the first time. It was a bad experience! However, some good did come out of it all. One of my friends who came on the trip has her own horses and she had been looking at recreational land for sale for a while now. She contacted a few real estate companies and a few days after we got home, she put a deposit down and bought a new piece of land! It’s safe to say I’ll be spending a lot of time on her ranch when everything’s up and running. How exciting!
On our drive back down the windy roads to safety, we recounted all of the hilarious (read scary) moments from the previous thirty minutes that we will never forget. Once we arrived back to our cabin, we started a fire, opened a bottle of wine, made a cheese plate, turned on some tunes and tried make believe we didn’t just experience what we had. We enjoyed another freshly cooked meal that evening and many more laughs about the days encounter. We packed up the next morning and headed back to real life.
If you don’t know what to pack to travel to the Catskills, check out what I wore here.