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Welcome to www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at the Glenwood House in Pine Island, New York. The Glenwood House has been awarded a "best of ..." www.weloveourlife.com award.
Check out our 2000 visit to the Glenwood House.
Glenwood House has added an outdoor hot tub on a deck. They are constantly adding things, and Andrea told us they are now thinking about a multi-level deck and swimming pool. They had made the existing kitchen into another public room which contains a baby grand piano and a couple tables for breakfast (in addition to the main dining room). We are sure every time we return we will find another delightful surprise.
The breakfasts were as good as we remembered. Our first morning (Saturday), Andrea delivered breakfast to our suite (this is available in suites with dining tables for a fee). We felt bad because it was raining, but she cheerily brought us our first course of fruit and set a beautiful table. She asked if we wanted buttermilk or chocolate chip pancakes (we both chose buttermilk) and she returned several minutes with steaming heaps of pancakes made from scratch. You won’t go hungry after these breakfasts.
On Sunday morning, we had breakfast in the piano room. The first course was grapefruit, followed by a delicious dish that we presume was an Andrea original. There were tasty croissants laden in a fruit mixture of apples, apple sauce, and other goodies. It was delicious. Keith particularly enjoyed the fresh apple cider.
On our last morning (Monday), we had breakfast in the main dining room with other guests. The first course was again fruit. The main course was scrambled eggs, wonderfully grainy wheat toast (with an assortment of condiments), and a tasty mixture of finely chopped potatoes and peppers.
The breakfasts at Glenwood House are memorable, not only for the good food, but also for the lively conversation that accompanies the meals. Andrea always joins guests, sipping some coffee, and is a great conversationalist (and also very humorous). Note that wonderful cookies are always available to guests, and they seem to have unlimited carafes of coffee and tea.
This is a B&B and does not have a bar. Andrea is happy to accommodate requests for ice, ice buckets, glasses, etc.
We first went to this inn for its features and location, but knew we would return because of Andrea Colman. She works so hard, but always has a smile on her face. When we checked in, she gave us both hugs to welcome us back. Not once, but twice. As we remembered, there was a white board on the front porch welcoming all the guests by first name and stating their rooms. Ours had a special birthday message to Keith (we were there to celebrate a special birthday). So far, she is the best innkeeper we have met. She obviously loves what she does, and has found her true calling. Our guess is a lot of guests return.
Glenwood House is doing well, and rightfully so. Book your reservation here as soon as you can and enjoy every minute of it. And if you need something or have questions, just ask. When we first arrived, she was helping a newly-arrived couple with dinner reservations. We had already made a reservation for that evening and knew the lay of the land, so we grabbed a few local maps, she showed us the hot tub, and we parted for our suite with more hugs. This is not to say guests feel an overbearing presence – not in the least. You can have as much privacy as you want – or more socialization. Andrea very intelligently requests guests provide an hour time-frame when they will arrive so she can prepare accordingly and give each guest her loving attention. This woman sets the standard for what a good innkeeper should be. Not only that – she has instilled in her family how important this business is. Her children smiling help out. Even the family pets take to guests and are available for snuggling. Returning here felt like going home.
We went to New York for a very specific reason – to celebrate Keith’s birthday. We had planned a hot air balloon ride – just the two of us and the pilot – at sunset that Saturday. Alas, the weather did not cooperate; we got caught up in the remnants of a hurricane, and it rained for several days straight. We will be rescheduling our balloon ride for 2003. We scheduled the balloon ride through Above the Clouds, a recommendation from Andrea.
Another reason we go to the Hudson River Valley is to go to the wineries. On Friday, we went to Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery. We had visited here in 2000 and loved their Black Dirt Red wine. We picked up some of that, as well as their hard cider and some sparkling wine. Warwick Valley Winery has recently completed construction of a post and beam distillery and is New York’s first fruit micro-distillery. They will be coming out with a full line of raspberry, apple, and pear brandies and fusions in the future, and we look forward to visiting them again. They also have a pick-your-own orchard, live music every weekend, and a bakery with a pastry chef who trained at the Culinary Institute of America (which is not too far away). When we visited, the rain was coming down, and they were busily preparing for a wedding that evening. Yet they took time to let us taste some wines and we purchased several bottles.
On Saturday we headed to one of our favorites Baldwin Vineyards. We have been there multiple times and really don’t need a map anymore. We went away with our usual case of chardonnay and case of sparkling wine. These two Baldwin products are tasty, consistent, and very reasonably priced. We then went to Brimstone Hill Vineyard, which is located in the same town. Brimstone makes quite a selection of wines. The woman who directed our tasting was the same one we had a year earlier – she is friendly and incredibly knowledgeable. We bought several bottles of Brimstone’s Bourmont Sparkling Wine, some Seyval Blanc, Chardonnay, Vin Rouge, and the Foch (which is only made about every five years). With a trunk full of wine, we decided it was time for lunch. We ended up at the Cup and Saucer, a quaint retro diner in Pine Bush. The theme of the diner was UFOs and we quickly learned Pine Bush is somewhat of a hotbed for UFO sightings (who would have known)?
After our lunch, we confirmed via call phone that our balloon trip was cancelled, so we headed up to Rivendell Winery. Rivendell is a Vintage New York outlet, which means that have wines available that are made from all over New York. Rivendell is the sort of place the encourages the visitor to spend a little time. They have a multitude of wines available – both for tasting and for purchasing. It was crowded when we visited (which was not surprising, since it was a holiday Saturday in the fall and the nasty weather encouraged indoor activities) so we wandered about looking for some old favorites. We found what we were looking for, and also bought a bottle of New York-produced grappa for Keith. Rivendell has a large indoor room with tables where people can sip their wine. They also have a nice shop with wine accessories and snacks, as well as a large refrigerated case with cold wines and refrigerated accompaniments such as cheese and meats.
Next we headed to Adair Vineyard. We had never made it to Adair before and we were glad we did. The tasting room is located on the top floor of a 200-plus year old barn. The tasting room was set up well, with an area for tasting, a pot belly stove in one corner which provided welcome heat on a rainy day, different areas with wine accessories (we bought a couple shirts and a magnet – Adair uses a beautiful graphic). Two young women with big smiles conducted the tasting, we wandered about for a little, and when we returned to the cash register, our wine purchases were boxed and waiting and were rung up by another smiling relative (we believe an older brother, father, or uncle). It is a clean, well-run, serene place with a very interesting selection of wines and we recommend it. We only wish the weather had been nicer so we could have lingered outside!
We had visited the village of Sugar Loaf when we were in the area two years earlier. Sugar Loaf is a village that is mostly an artist colony, containing good shopping and a few restaurants. Sugar Loaf is located in Orange County, New York, just a few miles from Warwick. The village's website has a great walking map of the village. Going to Sugar Loaf is like walking into a commune in the late 1960s, except there is a commercial side, because these people have to make a living. It is a charming village that attracts those from New York City on the weekend. You may see a lot of “different” things – we were smiling at a woman who was wearing wings. The weekend we were there was a lively one, for it was the Annual Fall Art and Crafts Festival. There was live new age music outside (well, they were under a tent because of the threatening skies), a lot of good-smelling food available at roadside stands, and many were displaying their wares outside. This is a great place to look for gifts. We bought some heavenly bath oil made locally. We spent quite a bit of time at The Exposures Gallery, gazing at the wonderful photographs of Nick Zungoli, who photographs nature in the surrounding region and Italy. His work was stunning, and we bought a beautiful fall shot of the Delaware Water Gap (which we picked up after we were finished shopping). You can visit his website at www.theexposuresgallery.com. Take a look at his work – the pictures stay with you.
El Ballroom - 22B Railroad Avenue, Warwick, NY 10990 845-986-1801
Ten Railroad Avenue - 10 Railroad Avenue, Warwick, NY 10990 845-986-1509
Ye Jolly Onion - County Route 1, Pine Island, NY, 10969 845-258-4277
Yesterdays - 29 Main Street, Warwick, NY 10990 845-986-2369
Nightlife is available if you want it – there are bars. But Orange County is a place to go to get away from it all, which is what we focused on.
October is generally a good time to visit Orange County, New York and the surrounding area. Daytime temperatures are usually mild – in the 60s, and at nights the temperature drops and there can be a frost. It is usually a dry month as well, which is why we chose this trip to try the hot air balloon ride. Unfortunately, we caught the back end of a tropical storm and rained fairly steadily most of the three-day weekend, which is fairly unusual for this region and this time of year. The temperature was nice during the day (but we wore jeans and sweatshirts) and it got chilly at night – which is why it was great to have a gas stove in our suite. The rule for fall in this area is layers – take shirts, sweaters, jackets.
If you plan to do some of the things we did, make sure you have comfortable walking shoes. We wore jeans and sneakers during the day. Most places in this region are casual, but we felt it was appropriate to dress up just a little our first night there, as we were having dinner at a gourmet restaurant. You can wear jeans nearly everywhere, but there are some restaurants that will not allow patrons in who are wearing jeans, so it might be a good idea to take something a little nicer just in case. If you are visiting wineries and plan to buy something cold (which is a possibility at some – not all – wineries) or simply want to chill something for later, take a cooler and ice. And don’t forget a corkscrew! Some other suggestions for this region in the fall are hiking and picking your own apples at the area farms that allow this sort of thing. Fresh apple cider is also plentiful. Watch the route numbers on the roads – sometimes there are two roads near each other with the same route number – look at the signs to determine whether you should be looking for a county route or a state route. It is a diverse area with a lot to offer and you won’t be bored unless you want to be. It is why we have gone to this area every fall for the past three years (and also to pick up some of our favorite wine!).