Last Weekend: A fair adventure in Hudson, NY

When I left for Hudson, I didn’t really know what to expect. All the information I had on it was an address for my friends house. I didn’t know I was in for one heck of a great weekend.

Before I left Massachusetts, I headed into Boston to meet Mel and Kelly at the best lobster roll place in the city, Alive and Kicking. The lobster sandwich there is fantastic and I couldn’t bear to be that close to Boston and not stop there.

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They technically have the best “lobster sandwich,” but still, it was everything I want in a lobster roll.

After a casual lunch, I punched in the address in Hudson and let Google’s robotic voice guide me there. Once I left the city, the scenery just became more and more gorgeous. The road twisted through some mountains and led me past farms that are hundreds of years old and still standing strong. There were aging tractors of all types in the yards and barns that looked as if they should be on a post card. It was an amazing drive.

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Once I pulled into the neighborhood, I had a little trouble finding the house. Google’s directions led me to believe it was further down the street than it was. When I realized my mistake, I turned around and some Rick flagging me down in the middle of the field behind his house. After I pulled into the driveway, he explained that he had been combatting the huge amount of poison ivy that had overtaken the field over time. In other words, no shaking hands.

Sadly, I didn’t get any photos of their house, though I wish I had. In the short time they have been there, Ada and Rick have transformed the backyard by clearing out dead trees, mowing the grass, and gardening. They even had a hammock perfectly positioned under a big tree. The inside of the house was also being transformed, but even in its “construction” state, it still was good looking and remarkably cozy. Their plans to improve are pretty big and the next time I see it, I may not even recognize some of the rooms.

It turns out there was a fair happening not too far away, so we headed over for some evening shenanigans. We arrived to a sea of cars in the parking lot and, to my surprise, to a very large fair. There were all sorts of crazy rides, vendors, carnival food, award-wining animals, award-winning crops, and a pretty large crowd of people.

We got our tickets and headed in… to realize we needed to buy a different set of tickets. We wanted ride tickets! You can buy them in quantities of six or 22. Most of the rides are five tickets. It was at that point we realized that the entire thing was well designed to relieve us of our cash.

After getting 44 tickets, we got in line for the giant sky swing, Vertigo. Ada and Rick had no problem with it, but for some reason I felt it was swing maybe a bit too fast. That’s pretty unusual for me, but I think it had something to do with the vertical movement along with the spinning. Fifteen tickets down, 29 to go.

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We look at one called Chaos Klaus with was this huge swinging arm with a claw at the end where people ride it. The claw spins a bunch and the arm goes upside down to shake all the change loose from their pockets. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your perspective) it looked like it decided to break down in front of us when we were looking at riding it. Pass.

We then headed for what we thought would be the main event as far as rides go: the ferris wheel. Again, it was five tickets per person, but also had a line that took us about 45 minutes to get through. Once we finally got on, we had some decent views, but got off the ride looking just as bored as the people we saw riding it earlier. Okay. So we made a mistake there. Another 15 tickets down with just 14 left.

We stopped to go eat some really terrible (in the good way) sandwiches. On the way, we saw these glowing LED shoes that several of the carnival workers were wearing. I asked where I could find them and the guy point in a vague direction. We spent the next half hour or so on the quest to find me these shoes of the future, though I think Rick was looking for his tractor of the future. On the way, we stumbled through several massive vendor tents and even into a pig race. After the race was over, we spotted more people with glowing shoes! We must be close! I asked them for directions and found out we weren’t far from victory. Rounding on more corner, I saw the tent with all sorts of glowing footwear! YESSS! I was probably the easiest sale they had all night and was in and out in five minutes. Time to find the next ride!

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This is a pig race. And it was highly entertaining.

New kicks.

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We had just 14 tickets left. Well, what can we all ride for 14 tickets when pretty much everything costs five tickets per person? After wandering around a bit, we jokingly headed toward the big pirate ship swing that no carnival is complete without. As luck would have it, it was only three tickets per person. Perfect! We immediately hopped on. I got on one end, and they got on the other so were facing each other. It ended up being absolutely a blast. When I was up in the air, they got to watch me gleefully laugh and yell and when they were in the air, I got to do the same. It was by far the best ride of the night. Definitely give the pirate ship a try the next time you have the chance.

Before we headed out, we wandered over to check out the winning crops and animals. The crops had all been sitting out for some time so it was somewhat surreal to see a rotten pumpkin with a blue ribbon or a dead sunflower with a blue ribbon. The award-winning hay still looked pretty good, though!

The animal pens were absolutely a blast to wander through. The cows were, well, cows and doing their cow thing of eating and pooping. I wasn’t too interested in them, but they were on the way to the best section: GOATS! There were all sorts of goats with wild haircuts, different types of ears, and various postures. Some were doing their best to sleep. Others were causing terror and trying to eat anything they could including hammocks and the wooden railing.

On Sunday, we headed into town for breakfast. We went to a little coffee shop and ordered breakfast along with some pretty dang delicious sweet rolls. Afterward they showed me around town.

On the way back, we headed to The Fields at Omi, which is a large outdoor sculpture park. It was a fun place to wander around with some incredible artwork.

After stopping at a local farm to get a fresh chicken for dinner, we headed back to enjoy the evening. We had beer can chicken and a gigantic cucumber. It was way better than it looked and it looked pretty good.

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On Monday, after coworking in the morning, Rick and I headed into town where I had a lunch and a milkshake before I headed off.

I had a pretty great impromptu weekend. Thanks for the hospitality, Rick and Ada! I definitely want to stop by again.

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