Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Going by the Weyside

UPDATE: The Weyside did close after I wrote this post, but now it is back open, under new management.  Check its website for more information.

Another thing: my blog does not have a large readership, so I was surprised to see how high up it appears in a web search for "the Weyside." If you check my other posts, you will see that my blog is intended to be humorous.  Some of the Weyside's "handicaps" below (like the thin walls) have been exaggerated for that purpose.  However, my feelings about the Weyside's magic are sincere.

This past weekend, Jennifer and I celebrated our seventh anniversary by going here with Kyle:

This little oasis, nestled in New York's Catskill Moutains, is called The Weyside Inn and Cottages.  It's a charming place, with cottages along a small lake, and a few other rooms across the street (we always stay in the cottages).  I discovered this place through an internet search back in 2004, when Jennifer and I were looking for someplace peaceful to celebrate our first anniversary, and we have been going there for each anniversary since.  When you find a place you like, why change?  Unfortunately, this past weekend might have been our last trip there.  That's because the Weyside is for sale.

(Above: First Anniversary, 2004)
I've always felt there was something magical about the Weyside.  It somehow has a way of giving you a peaceful stay despite the fact the two pairs of lakeside cottages are each adjoined by walls so thin you could almost walk through them.  The cottages' furnishings are magical, too.  A couch in our favorite cottage has springs poking into the bottom of its cushions, and yet it's remarkably comfortable.  A pillow on it has an everlasting blue stain that has somehow survived for years, perhaps centuries.  Incredible.  From the couch, you can see the beauty of mountains through a window that magically attracts an unnatural amount of flies. 

Okay, the Weyside isn't exactly a luxurious resort, but at least its rates ($80 our first year!) have reflected that.  We figure the place was furnished in the 50's or 60's and hasn't been touched since, outside of a few improvements in the kitchen.  Still, the place is always clean, the sheets on the bed are fresh, and toilet still flushes.  Being able to sit out on the back deck facing the pond and stare at a gazillion stars on a clear, silent evening made up for the lack of room service.

(Above: Fourth Anniversary, 2007)
Jennifer and I are a bit heartbroken over the imminent loss of the Weyside.  We have a lot of fine memories there.  Life slowed down for us at the Weyside, and we would relish doing simple things, such as cooking on the grill, walking around the pristine lake, or scaring birds by throwing rocks into the river.  You can't scare a bird in the city, and a lot of the lakes here are often covered with a greenish goo.  As for grilling, I hardly ever get to do that in New York, as the smell of charcoal really stinks up an apartment. 

We associate a lot of important moments in our lives with this place.  Jennifer studied for the LSAT and many of her law school exams here.  I received a major promotion just before one of our weekends there and had to take part in a conference call on the way home (that was the only way I could use my cell phone, as there is practially no coverage in the area).  When work became difficult in the month before I had to leave the company, a weekend in the cottages provided a much-needed break.  In many ways, the Weyside has served as a brief sabbatical before a new, often tougher, part of our lives was about to begin.  And then came Kyle.

(Above: Fifth Anniversary, 2008)
Kyle was just three months old when he first visited the Weyside.  He immediately trashed the place with all his baby gear and incessant drooling.  Somehow we were not banned from coming back, and each year we've enjoyed seeing the little guy's excitement when we first enter our cottage.  This past weekend he discovered that the rooms have doors, and he spent much of his time practicing his opening and slamming skills.  He also ran around the Weyside's little playground and attempted to terrorize birds by throwing rocks into the water (he's his dad's son).  By the time the weekend was over, I think the little guy was ready to move here.

(Above: Seventh Anniversary, 2010)
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll be moving in at all.  I dug through my wallet and realized I was several dollars short of having the $800,000 asking price for the place.  The friendly owners of the Weyside believe anyone who does end up buying the cottages would shut them down and put something else there, like a music school, a McDonald's, or a monster truck arena.  It's simply not making money as a vacation rental spot.  We're not really surprised, either.  The Catskills aren't exactly booming, thanks in part to the sour economy.  Many places around the Weyside are for sale, and a restaurant near the place has been closed and on the market for at least five years.  It's a rough neighborhood these days, with squirrel and moose gangs taking over many of the streets.

So, on Monday, we packed our bags and said "good-bye," probably for the last time.  There's always a chance we'll be back, but I'm thinking we'll be spending our next anniversary at some other place.  That place might have fancy things like thicker walls, but I know we won't regard it with same kind of fondness we have for the Weyside.  Not yet, at least.  It just won't be able to compete with all the wonderful memories.


Anonymous said...

Hello Dave,

I myself have spent many of vacations in the same place as yourself. From the looks of the pic of you BBQ'ing you would be in Cabin #16. I hope this place can be saved.

Tom said...

I have many, many happy memories of the Weyside. I have been going over ten years starting with the previous owners Doris and Frank. The last several times were sad as each we did not know if it would be there the next. We left the last day they were open. So sad. Yes "magical" is the word I used to describe it. It will be missed and remembered fondly.

Dave said...

Good news - the Weyside is back open under new management.