Finally, after months of route-planning, car-hunting, stuff-packing, and notice-giving, we’ve done it! We drove off on the first beautiful day of spring, mostly on county roads and state routes, and it was perfect. I was reminded of Bilbo and the thirteen dwarves, setting off on their ponies in the May sunshine, except that we have a car instead of ponies, and no wizard other than Google Maps. Our first stop is Rhinebeck, NY, near Bard College, Will’s alma mater. And guys, the Hudson valley is seriously gorgeous. If you have some vacation days this May, or future Mays, I recommend it. If you have any interest in lying on a grassy hillside looking at mountains in the distance, it’s a great place to do that. Being from New Hampshire, I didn’t think things would look all that different here, except being a few weeks further along the muddy, frost-heaved road to spring, but I was not correct about that. There are no pine trees, for one, and (probably because there are no pine trees in the way), there are views you can see without climbing a mountain or tallish building. Also, the roads are winding as all get-out. Seriously, it’s like being on a rollercoaster, except without any tracks to make sure you don’t plummet to a gruesome, fiery needing-to-call-triple-A-because-your-car-is-in-a-two-foot-ditch. Also, there are bunnies. We’re staying in an air bnb with a minifridge, but no kitchen access, so we’ve been going out to eat a lot, supplemented by sandwiches. Naturally, Will has a roster of must-dines, and so far, we’ve been to the Red Hook Curry House, the Golden Wok, and the Burrito Stand, all of which were excellent. The Burrito Stand just opened for the season today, and we waited in a moderate line to mill around in a much less moderate crowd for our guacamole burritos (always worth it to pay extra). It’s been a great week so far, and I’m looking forward to more beautiful walks and delicious food before we head to our next destination–Mohegan Lake, NY.