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Our Anniversary Weekend

This past weekend we reached our one year wedding anniversary.  To celebrate we returned to Mohonk where we got engaged, and stayed for the weekend in nearby Beacon, NY.  We rented a room there in the historic Chrystie House Bed and Breakfast (notable as death place of Founding Father, William Few). We arrived with zero expectations since neither of us had stayed at a bed and breakfast before, and the experience yielded a few charming surprises.

A portrait of Founding Father, William Few

First of all, if privacy is what you want, beds and breakfasts may not be for you.  That was our one minor complaint, but the rest of our stay was very positive.  When we arrived we met the owner, who at first gave us our space.  But when we left our room to explore the estate, we ran into him and discovered what a friendly, talkative man he is.  It turns out he is a Taiwanese born, very accomplished American artist and illustrator, with a passion for history.  His name is Yuan Lee and he has designed postage stamps, packaging, book covers, and has painted vast amounts of paintings in many styles and media.  In fact, the entire house was adorned with his collection of work.

and expressionist painting by Yuan Lee - found in the stairwell at Chrystie House

I'm not sure, but i'd like to think this is a self portrait from when he was younger

A gallery of realistic paintings by Yuan Lee in the library/sitting room

It started off as small talk, but his enthusiasm grew as he found out that I have a Fine Arts painting background, and that my mother is also from Taiwan.  He eagerly imparted upon us the wisdom of his past 20 years as an artist in NYC.  He told us about his experiences and what lead him to where he is now. The changing world around him (particularly post 9/11 NYC) and his desire to preserve history lead him to relocate in Beacon and purchase the Chrystie estate (which he still struggles to maintain as there are many politicians who would prefer to see it torn down for housing development).  It was so interesting to meet someone like him, and he encouraged me not to give up on my art.

our room

The lock and key for our room. Probably not very secure, but oh so charming.

My favorite room in the house

Of course we had our alone time too, but we only stayed one night so our stay was brief.  Most of our time was spent hiking and scrambling in Mohonk.  When we got engaged, we went to the Mohonk Preserve, but this time we decided to check out the trails around the Mohonk Mountain House.  This area was absolutely beautiful!  The house itself was like something out of a movie, and there were these adorable gazebos scattered along the trails.  The weather this day was as perfect as it has been this weekend for the past three years (our engagement weekend, wedding, and this weekend…how lucky!)  When we first arrived, we passed by a garden, and couldn’t resist detouring to explore it before our hike.

the Mohonk Mountain House Garden. There was a wedding taking place there that day.

Tons of huge dahlias which also happened to be our wedding flowers =)

More dahlias

The Mohonk Mountain House. We considered staying here, but its REALLY expensive

After we strolled the garden, we continued on to our hike.  We decided to do another scrambling trail.  Unlike our engagement hike, this trail was not 7 miles long, but the scrambling was significantly more challenging.

Our trail was called "the Labyrinth"

Here we go!

fun tunnel

My favorite part of the trail was the “Crevice.”  It was this very narrow rocky part where you had to climb these wooden ladders to get through.  SO FUN.  The end got so narrow that Joe had to take off his backpack to get through.

The Crevice from the top looking down into it

Almost reached the top!

At the top of the trail there’s this castle-like structure called The Skytop Tower.  Then you climb to the top you can see a great view of Mohonk Mountain House down below.

The Skytop Tower

Amazing view

This is me playing with my faux tilt shift setting on my camera

As tradition demands, when we arrived back in Queens at the end of the day, we ate the top of our wedding cake that had been frozen for the past year.  Except for the cake being a little on the dry side, it still tasted great!  If you think this is gross, you are not alone, Joe did too.

Unwrapping the year-old cake. To maintain freshness, I wrapped it in many alternating layers of seran wrap and aluminum foil


surprisingly, the frosting is only slightly dented after all this time

Orange blossom cake with lavendar frosting. Still delish!

Happy Anniversary Hunniee!! What have I learned after a year of marriage??  I’ve learned that the only thing that makes Joe more angry than being stuck in traffic is building new furniture. Love you! Oh, also, I have to constantly remember how God has given us everything that we have, and that we should never take each other for granted.  Its so easy to forget sometimes.  We are so blessed.

Joe says: I’ve learned there is a lot of give and take in marriage and a lot of learning with marriage about each other and yourself. I’ve also learned women shed a lot of hair

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