The one thing last year taught us was to book summer weekends away.
Way back in March we felt incredibly well organised when we planned this little mid-August escape to the Catskill mountains just a few hours north of the city.
(And then, of course, this August has been unbelievably fresh and cool, barely rising above 25. Typical.)
It was still a treat to arrive in the cute, quirky and picturesque town of Phoenicia (pop. 309).
(How Twin Peaksy is that first photo? Love that view).
We stayed in an old motel that has been recently converted in a way which was most definitely designed to appeal to the Brooklyn weekend market (in fact we seemed to be the only Manhattanites staying!)
Think vintage sun loungers, exposed light bulbs, free Budweiser on arrival, 80s movies screened in the garden at night.
My favourite bit was the bonfire that was lit every night for people to gather round as they drifted back from dinner in town. S'mores ingredients were left out and we all toasted our own marshmallows (obviously we did not partake in the Hersheys chocolate element - yuk) and chatted by the fire.
The lovely grounds and pool could easily have kept us happy all weekend but we also explored a bit of the town, cycled all over on the free bikes provided by the hotel and went tubing on the river - essentially throwing ourselves down a river in a big rubber ring - exciting!
(The brake-free bikes took a bit of getting used to)
(Pancake stacks at Sweet Sues)
(The whole town turned out for Davy Crocket Day, including a beagle dressed as Davy)
(Best nap of the weekend)
(Watching Back to the Future in the fresh air with a glass of wine)
On Sunday morning before getting the bus back to the city we took one last cycle out to the Phoenicia Diner.
I am such a sucker for a diner. And this one was good.
Busy, bustling, pleasingly retro but with really good food.
This was followed by a short cycle on Sunday's quiet country roads, riding two-abreast and racing down the hills.
Such a perfect end to the trip.