Monday, March 19, 2018

Upstate New York is Breathtaking

I want to start off by saying, this post will be lengthy to say the least. Our most recent visit to NY (December 24th, 2017 - January 6th, 2018) was a two week trip so there is many photos and memories to share. 
For those that do not know, Dominic was born and raised in Upstate New York. Both of his grandparents reside in Germantown, NY, which is where majority of the photos are from. I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to not only experience the beauty that Upstate NY has to offer, but also for the time to grow closer with his incredible family. 

This view is outside the home of Dominic's grandmother, Toni, also known as the beautiful and brilliant, Nana. She's a life-long blogger and poet. Show her some love & check out her blog here

The church up on the hill in the first photo is the church Dominic's grandfather goes to (front view directly above) and I actually did a post specifically about my love for this church from an architectural standpoint; feel free to check that out here.

It's a two day trip to New York from Texas, 26 hours without stops to be exact. We stopped in Tennessee as our halfway point both going there and heading back. It was definitely a long trip, but we both got to go through states we had never traveled through before, so that made it pretty exciting for the both of us. 

     This is a picture from Dominic's grandfather's driveway facing the road. As a Texas girl, seeing this much snow was something so new to me so I took pictures of just about everything! Haha. Here are a few more pictures we took our first full day there on his grandfather's property. 

The views, especially the sunsets from Dominic's grandfather's porch were beautiful, especially this time of year. I took so many photos off of this porch during the time we were there, but this one was my favorite!

The main reason we actually visited during this time of year was to surprise Dominic's grandmother for her 80th birthday (as well as spending his grandfather's birthday with him too). Dominic's mom (Elena) was already there and told Nana that a maintenance employee was coming into the apartment, but when she turned around, she saw Dominic. This was one of the most rewarding moments of the trip. The fact that we somehow kept that a surprise was truly incredible and nothing can replace that moment. Later on in the week we were also able to successfully surprise her with a party for her birthday. The look on her face was priceless! 
It was a great party to say the least. Nana, you are beautiful inside & out. 
Dominic is super close with his Nana, definitely his favorite person without a doubt. How cute are they?! This was actually the last day we were there, but these were my favorite photos of them, decked out in all that Yankee glory. Shout out to Dominic & his sister, Jessica for picking the perfect blanket for their Nana. 

One day while we were there, we went with his grandfather to go check on a friend's house while they were out of town. I didn't take any pictures inside the home out of respect, but it was over 100 years old and I fell in love with the charm that house had. Towards the back, there was a beautiful open living area that had tall ceilings and two loft areas on either end overlooking the room with a huge fireplace in the middle. It was filled with so many books and so much character. Felt like I was in another world. Anyway, we were able to walk along the back of the property a little bit to get the following photos. It was truly gorgeous. 

During this trip, Dominic's sister, & her husband, were able to cross something off my bucket list - SNOWMOBILE RIDING

Such a blast! 

 Another one of my favorite days while we were there was when we got to see Nikki again. She was able to take us to Bash Bish Falls and Olana State Park that overlooks the Hudson River! 

Bash Bish Falls has a hiking trail that leads up to a beautiful waterfall. You can go up further past the waterfall, but unfortunately during this time of year, it was just too icy to do that. But the views were nothing short of spectacular. 

Along the trail, you can cross state lines. In this picture, I was wearing two jackets, two pairs of pants, two pairs of socks, all while being in two states at once! Haha.

The view was truly breathtaking. 
I love this picture of Dominic & Nikki - came out so beautifully.

After we left Bash Bish Falls, Nikki took us to Olana State Park. We were not able to tour the historic home at this time, but I certainly hope to one day in the future. The views were still gorgeous this time of year though! 

Isn't this view gorgeous?!
Shout out to Nikki for taking us here and for really making this trip extra memorable for us. 

This photo is from Dominic's Aunt Phyllis' yard. If you can't tell, I was obsessed with taking pictures everywhere! The snow made everything so beautiful - this Texas girl was in awe literally the whole trip.

Here are a few of the family photos taken throughout the trip!

Dominic's Uncle Lou, his mom, Elena, & Dominic
(Left to right)

Dominic's Father, Robert, his wife Sabrina, Dom's Uncle Lou, his wife, Betty, Dominic's Grandfather, Nick, his wife, Betty, me, & Dom.
Uncle Lou, Nana, Dominic, Elena, Betty, Aunt Phyllis
Dominic's Aunt Louise, her husband Bob, & Dom

For those that we did not get pictures with - please know we cherished each moment with y'all as well. Such a big family, full of so much love! We miss all of you more than you know! 

Between visiting Dominic's family as much as we could, we took a moment to come to this spot along the Hudson River. 
 When Dominic first brought me to New York to meet his family back in 2013, he took a picture of me here without me knowing (shown below), and we decided to recreate that moment in a completely different season. Although they aren't completely the same view, this was still something I found really special. 

Summer of 2013.
Winter of 2017.

Overall, this was one of the best vacations I've ever had. It was nice to celebrate birthdays with Dominic's grandparents, see his mom, & as many people from his family as we could, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery that Upstate New York has to offer. Thank you to each and every one of you in Dominic's family for truly making this trip a memory to last a lifetime.

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