I remember my first Ma-Yi retreat, we were racing away from the city and from Hurricane Irene. But we learned that you can’t outrun mother nature.
Our third retreat was last weekend. Flashback to Friday: I had just flown back from Seattle the night before around midnight and here I was packing up again and getting into a van in midtown manhattan.
We were the second car so there were only about 7 of us, with Kimber at the helm. The early car (Hansol’s) went up earlier (surprise!) and the plan was to meet up in New Paltz for a group dinner.
Kimber is a rockstar of driving and she got us up to Stone Ridge in record time. When we arrived at the house, we all claimed our beds and then cracked open some beers and chatted at the dinner table.
The next day we after breakfast and reading through some pages, a few of us decided to go hiking – Mike, Nandita, Mrinalini, Hansol, Deepa, and myself.
After a few wrong turns and a change of plans due to there being no space at Mohonk preserve, we decided (thanks to Deepa’s suggestions) to go to the “rail trail at Rosendale” which is really fun to say.
Our first sight was these caves that when you walked by it you could feel a blast of cold air hugging your ankles. The deeper you went into the caves the colder it got. Mother nature is like, pretty amazing. Me and Dustin ventured further down into the caves but then I turned back because I did not have any confidence in the gripping strength of my shoes and also because I value my life in general.
The next sight was the Rosendale trestle, which is a fancy term for “bridge” I guess. Also because so many people walk on the trestle, it builds up a large amount of static electricity and totally shocks you when you touch the railing. Also the views from the trestle are stunning. I remember passing by the trestle on my many retreats with the 52nd street project and always wondered what it looked like from above. Now I know!
After crossing the trestle, we took a dirt path down to the creek the trestle spans over. Most of us took off our shoes and waded in the water. Hansol actually swam. Brave girl.
We finished our excursion with a trip to Stewart’s shop which is basically a combo gas station and ice cream shop. I had the “Happy Camper” which had a graham cracker base and it was delicious and appropriately named.
Upon returning to the house, I took a 15 minute nap and then it was time to prep dinner, and for me, that meant firing up the grill, because tonight is taco night!
While making fire, Hansol wanted to make her own fire, a fire pit to be more accurate. After telling her there was no place for a firepit, she decided to build one and started carrying big stones up from the nearby creek. I didn’t have the heart to tell her she was running a fool’s errand. Admittedly, her determination was adorable.
After bringing in the chicken, steak and fish from the grill, which turned out really well, Hansol started cutting it in the kitchen.
We wrapped up the night playing games. One group was at the dining table playing a game called Mysterium. The other group was in the sunroom playing Heads Up. Through some miracle, I got 10 or 12 (I can’t remember) answers correct which was like the highest of the night and then we got into a discussion about the Bodyguard and how I thought Frank (Kevin Costner) and Rachel (Whitney Houston) ended up together at the end, but everyone was like “no they totally broke up.” I insisted that #lovewins and took to Facebook to poll my friends and everyone said I was wrong. But how can I be wrong? Love is never wrong!
After reading some more pages, we set labbie goals for the year and then we cleaned up and headed back to the city. Another Ma-Yi retreat complete. And even though there were less participants this year versus the one before, it seemed much more fun and relaxed. And I continue to be grillmaster for the last three retreats. Oh how I miss grilling. Because, fire.
Another great retreat for the books. Til next time!