We love exploring in the mountains in the snow--we really do. We get to see views like this!
But we also really like big comfy beds in gorgeous 19th Century mansions like this!
So this past weekend, we and our partner at Upstate Adventure Guides decided to treat ourselves to the best of both worlds--2 days of exploring the Winter Wonderland of the Catskills, while staying in a restored mansion and enjoying gourmet meals & roaring fires, indoors and out!
After (just barely) escaping the Blizzard on Saturday morning we arrived in the Catskills and checked in at our accommodations. Originally built in the 1880s as one of 5 "summer homes" for the Fleishmann's family, The Spillian is a beautifully restored mansion on an extensive (and lovely) property in the heart of the Catskills.
We left to enjoy a gentle 3 mile hike through nearby Kelly Hollow, where columns of Norway Spruce made us feel like we were in a fairy tale! While we didn't find a house made of candy, we did find a lean-to well stocked with wood, so we kindled a fire and enjoyed a hearty hot lunch of chicken noodle & meatball soup with pecorino romano croutons. And Mountain, Mocha, of course!
We returned to the Spillian for a gourmet, grown-up version of your favorite "snow day" meal as a kid--4 cheese baked pasta, bratwurst, a tomato soup with blistered peppers & onions. All served in this dining room!
We finished off our evening with indoor s'mores and wine around the roaring fireplace before heading to our comfortable beds in our gorgeous rooms!
We started Sunday with a hearty breakfast of Will's famous scracth buttermilk pancakes with all the fixings and then we headed off to the Blackhead Range to climb some mountains!
The Blackhead Range never disappoints and the trinity of Blackhead, Blackdome & Thomas Cole Mountains were as gorgeous as ever on Sunday! Crystal clear skies and a recent snowfall made for beautiful landscapes both near and far! These steep and rugged mountain are always a challenge and especially so in winter, but we all climbed Blackdome and some of us even climbed all 3 peaks!
We enjoyed another delicious soup (cream of mushroom with cheese tortellini,) more Mountain Mocha and a toasty fire before descending to Big Blue and heading back to the snowy city!