Hometown attractions + doggy entertainment + rest of the holidays in New York

Hello hello, and happy new year! The turn of the new year feels surreal as it’s hard to believe we’re already in 2022 (say that 10x fast). I’m still in my hometown in Poughkeepsie, New York for a few more days, wrapping up 3 weeks total of relaxation and holiday festivities with my family.

After the Christmas festivities, the rest of my time here included being lazy around the house. My family turns into major home-bodies for the holidays, and we all like to hang out in the living room together, watching our shows, reading a book, doing crossword puzzles, etc.

Hanging out on the floor with the dog

My mom and I have been working on a massive puzzle, which is one of our holiday traditions. We finished a 1000-piece puzzle in a few days and now we’ve moved onto a 1500-piece. I look forward to the quality time with mom this way each year. ❤

Working on a puzzle

The weather has been mostly rainy and gray, but we managed to get out of the house on one of the nicer days. Poughkeepsie is full of beautiful, historic estates that attract tourists from all over (e.g. the homes of Franklin Roosevelt and the Vanderbilts, to name a few). Growing up here, I thought I had seen all of them, but when my mom mentioned Mills Mansion, I realized hadn’t visited before so we decided to check it out.

Mills Mansion Staatsburg, NY

The mansion was a 30-minute drive up north in Staatsburg where it gets more rural and there’s more small-town charm compared to Poughkeepsie – it’s one of my favorite parts of the Hudson Valley. 🙂 The estate itself was massive and included many hiking trails. We tried to figure out the historical significance of this estate but turns out it just belonged to another rich family. 😛 This was definitely an underrated gem as the property was HUGE and there weren’t many people around; it has become one of my favorite hometown spots.

Hiking in Mills Mansion

We took a path that led us to the Hudson River where there were gorgeous river views. It reminded me of the Pacific Northwest in the winter.

Hudson River views at Mills Mansion, New York
Hudson River views at Mills Mansion, New York
Hudson River views at Mills Mansion with the dog

If my siblings had an album cover, it would be this. 😉

Hudson River views at Mills Mansion, New York with siblings

It takes a village to clean Constantine. Corgis are so low to the ground that he gets dirty very easily.

Cleaning the dog

On another day, my mom braved the gloomy weather and got outside for a walk around the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), another one of Poughkeepsie’s attractions. The restaurants on campus are run by the student-chefs-in-training and are definitely worth a visit! In the summertime, the campus is gorgeous with greenery and gardens everywhere, but it has own charm in the winter too especially since we had the entire place to ourselves. We strolled around the campus and took in the calming views of the fog over the Hudson River.

Foggy views of the Hudson River
Walking around the Culinary Institute of America, NY

Other than that, most of our days were centered around Constantine. He is only 10 months old and is a huge source of entertainment during our family visits now. I can see why now my parents want grandchildren because these new family members are such a joy. ❤ He is in high demand as we’re all involved in giving him food, playing with him, and taking him outside.

Corgi on grass
Playing with jumping corgi
Playing with a corgi in our backyard

The good thing about the dog is that he forces us to get outside everyday, even in 25 degree F weather. 😛 It’s a good motivator to stay active in the winter.

Walking the dog
Walking the dog

We ate dumplings on new years day. My mom’s dumplings are the ultimate comfort food. She makes everything from scratch, including processing the vegetables/meat, making the dough, rolling out each skin by hand, and assembling each dumpling. It takes a total of 4 hours! I always look forward to my mom’s dumplings on special occasions.

Homemade dumplings
Eating dumplings on new years

What’s ahead? I’m bumming around my parent’s house for a few more days and transitioning back to work tomorrow. Then it’s back to San Francisco where the first thing I’ll do is give Joe a massive hug. It’s been 4 weeks since we’ve seen each other and I miss him like crazy! I hope your new year is off to a great start and you find joy this week!


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