Five feet two inches. That’s how much snow was dumped on the good old Queen City of Poughkeepsie last winter. That’s an awful lot of the white stuff; in fact, it is more than 36 percent above average. Remember those back-to-back blizzards in early February? Let me jog your memory — the second one, on the 13th, deposited 21 inches of snow in one shot. Yep — it’s the winter where the term Polar Vortex became even more popular than Kim Kardashian. But that’s in the past — we’re well into the winter of 2014-2015. And while we don’t know exactly what the weather situation will be, we do know one thing: We plan to not only survive this season, but to thrive.
If you’d like to join us in making the most of the winter, check out our Winter Survival Guide. Here, we outline dozens of ways to enjoy snuggling up inside, as well as getting outside and playing in the white stuff. Sitting by a roaring fire is one of the purest pleasures of winter, and, if you can add in a world-class meal, all the better. Lots of Valley restaurants have fireplaces (many have multiple fireplaces!); we introduce you to some of our favorites here. We also highlight five warming spa treatments that should really get you glowing. When I go to a spa, I tend to focus on one thing: a good massage. But after reading about the warm-milk-and-honey wrap at Haven Spa in Rhinebeck, I think I may have to expand my spa repertoire.
Of course, many of you welcome the white stuff — so you can get outside and play. One thing I plan to do this winter is to take my five-year-old ice skating at an outdoor rink. She hasn’t been yet, and I think the time is right. When I was growing up, we skated only at an indoor rink. I can still remember exactly the way it smelled and the sound of the Zamboni machine periodically cleaning the ice. I never had the opportunity to skate outside, but, last year for the very first time, I went to the Bear Mountain Ice Skating Rink. Skating outside is more fun. Period. The views at Bear Mountain are legendary and the whole experience is elevated by the fresh air. I was also thrilled to learn that Bowdoin Park, the crown jewel of the Dutchess County park system, added a portable ice-skating rink last winter. Bowdoin is a favorite destination for my family, mostly in spring, summer, and fall. But, they now allow sledding on the big hill at Bowdoin, too, so it seems that winter may now be just as much fun as the other seasons at this stunning park.
There are lots of other fun things in this issue, too. While we’ve already mentioned fireside dining, we realize that you may also want to enjoy a cozy fire at home. Click here to get the lowdown on all the different kinds of fireplaces that you can choose. A pellet stove? electric? Not sure know which one you want? No worries — we help you sort it out. And talking about choices, I can’t be the only one who gets completely overwhelmed when I go the store to pick a paint color for my home. Here, we talk with a local color expert who shares some tips on selecting the perfect hue for every room.
Enjoy the issue.
Happy New Year.
Olivia J. Abel