Happy New Year! I hope you rang in 2013 with friends and family wherever you are in the world. David and I spent the evening in Manhattan listening to the Fab Faux, the excellent band who play Beatles music word for word and note for note, sticking faithfully to the sound, and the same instruments, without bothering to try to look like them. David has been wanting to see them for a long time, so this was our chance and they happened to be playing Rubber Soul, my favorite album.

We’re enjoying our time in NYC so much!

I’ve always wanted to visit legendary Woodstock, and so we did. Driving just over two hours north of New York City, you enter a large hilly region (the Catskills) covered in trees.

We used airbnb to book a charming guest house which turned out to be an old barn on a property which was formerly the home of Lee Marvin. There’s a lovely big old white clapboard house where the host and hostess live, and then there’s this:

Don’t you love it when you arrive at a destination and the place you’ve booked is even better than you’d imagined? Such is the case with Woodstock Guest House.

Bev, our hostess, loves antiques and is part of an antique business across the Hudson river in Rhinebeck. The cottage is decorated one part French chic and one part Americana.

Now let me take you on a little tour:

inside the front door –

bulbs in the window to make you feel like spring is just around the corner –

more greenery to lift the winter spirits –

The light is pretty cold in these photos. That’s because the days were gray until the last, when the sun came out and the weather was shining blue, gold and glorious. I’m a spoiled Los Angelean/Aucklander, and “cold” is not usually below 50 degrees Fahrenheit in my world. It wasn’t always the case, though, and this visit to Woodstock reminded me of my childhood in Christchurch, of my bike rides to school on frosty mornings along Riccarton Road.

Stepping out of this little cottage brought back those much tougher days and with a little, “you can do this, don’t be such a wimp”, I stepped outside and enjoyed myself. Truth be told, cold is invigorating as long as you’re wearing warm clothes.

Here’s Moira the resident Irish wolf hound who bounded over to greet us every morning –


I digress. We haven’t finished our tour of the interior.

This is the upstairs where the walls and floor are painted white. I do love this look. It’s so romantic, and I wasn’t surprised to hear that a couple became engaged there before we arrived. Perhaps I should mention the king size bed which is not quite in the picture because I was being my naughty holiday self and hadn’t made it yet…. it’s the most comfortable one I’ve even slept in.

The little writing nook should you choose to add to your diary –

The view out the windows is stunning.  Can you imagine what it’s like in summer when the trees are given back their greenery? That’s a bird feeder hanging from the pole outside the window. Bev told us the local bear likes to bother it.

We loved our stay here. Restaurants we enjoyed were Cucina, a cozy but elegant place situated in an old house, and The Bear Cafe, a Woodstock tradition located beside the creek. Bread Alone was a treat, too. They make the most divine walnut and fruit bread rolls which, with a bowl of turkey chili, solved my hunger problem when we arrived from the city having skipped lunch.

fence behind the shops –

This was Moira’s countenance as we left. Goodbye Moira, we’ll be back!

As I write this, David and I are planning to visit Woodstock again. We love it there.


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