Our final New York adventure: glamping and Watkins Glen

Last week we had a crash course in minimalist living. There are a few things moving does for you in this regard. As my husband stated “we have no extra junk.” It felt soooooo good to pare down and get rid of excess. If you don’t think you could prepare your household to move to Poland, you can. Its easy. All you have to do is consider every item in your house Marie Kondo-style. Recognize your stuff is just stuff. Detach emotion. Keep/toss/donate/sell with reckless abandon. Entrust it to the care of a moving company (or three), and cross your fingers that it arrives in one piece on the other side of the ocean. As I said, its a simple process.

The movers took the remainder of our household goods away and we were left with: three camp chairs, a borrowed air mattress, a pack-n-play, a toddler cot, a borrowed saucepan, a borrowed knife, paper plates, plastic wear, six suitcases and a coffee pot. Oh, and lets not forget the cleaning supplies. Many questioned why we didn’t check in to a hotel. And miss out this incredibly bonding family experience!!? But in all seriousness, it wasn’t so bad. My kids were just as happy playing with a stack of Solo cups and reading their borrowed library books. I actually enjoyed the challenge of cooking with my one pot and paper plate cutting board. But I like to cook, so I realize this might sound like the worst time to you. It was like my own little episode of Chopped every night. Sure, we could have eaten out, but my waistline can’t handle that. Plus, what we didn’t spend on a hotel and restaurants can go right in to our European travel fund.

Its such a weird thing, moving. We lived in our home for just a month shy of three years. Its the longest we’ve spent in one home in our adult lives. We arrived as new parents and are leaving as seasoned veterans, still with so much to learn. There were highs, there were lows. We got to know our neighbors and the decent restaurants in town. We learned where to step to avoid creaks in the floorboards outside the baby’s room. We watched our yard change with the seasons. If you follow my Instagram account you might have held on to hope with me that my peonies would bloom before we left. They didn’t, thanks to this dang cold spring. I bet we missed them by a day. We’ll take our memories and each other, leave the house and make our home elsewhere. Its just a house, after all.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity we have had to get to know a region we would have otherwise likely skipped right over. I think knowing our time in Northern New York was limited, created a sense of urgency to really dig in and explore. Same as everywhere we’ve lived. I like that we aren’t able to feel settled enough to take anything we might want to see for granted. One last thing I wanted to do before we left New York was visit Watkins Glen State Park and we squeezed it in just in the nick of time yesterday afternoon.

What surprised me as we approached the glen, was that its in the middle of the town of Watkins Glen, NY. Cross a busy main street, walk up about 200 yards, and you’re in another world entirely. Watkins Glen is stunning. Even with the crowds jostling around, it is jaw dropping. It was crowded, the main trail is only 1.5 miles long, and I can’t blame everyone and their mom, aunt, uncle, cousin and high school bestie for wanting to go see the gorge and its waterfalls, but there were a lot of people packed in there. After the first mile, the amount of people thinned out significantly and we enjoyed the last half mile almost to ourselves. The trail is a series of steps, bridges and pathways (built by the CCC way back when) that brings you through the gorge. There are 19 waterfalls, some of which you pass under so close you can reach out and touch. At the top of the trail we made use of the playground, you know by now that we can’t pass up a playground! before making our return trip along the Indian Trail, which took us along the top of the gorge.

We’re in the States for a few more weeks before our big move. While I don’t feel like I’m missing our stuff, as we temporarily live out of suitcases, I would have really felt I had missed the opportunity to see Watkins Glen, while living so close. We heart NY.

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So, where would you visit if you were only going to live where you do for a limited time? Whats on your local, or regional, bucket list? I want to know! Add it to your summer list of things to do!

@exploremore.co

 

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