Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hudson Valley Resort and Spa: 2015 NYAPRS conference

Hudson Valley Resort and Spa
NYAPRS Annual Conference
Sept.16-18th  2015


NYAPR;New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation held it's 33d annual Conference at The Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, NY and I was able to attend. The three day conference was themed around Recovery at the Crossroad; The Choices and Changes Ahead. The long and the short of it is this....NY is changing...treatment is changing...the way behavioral health is being addressed is changing. I believe for the good, but more specifically we as a State are seeing more PEER based services being introduced into recovery.
 The 12-step pioneers (Bill and Dr. Bob) have been saying it for YEARS...Help comes from those who have been there!!! Its not NEW....its simply evolving. Peer based services are and have been a true asset to the community and it is being seen as more valuable then ever. It makes complete sense to me. 
Although I am not about to make claim I am an expert; in fact I needed to google NYAPR to get the actual word, and I am not at all at liberty to make claim I could become a PEER, but I do know just from client exchange and discussion the significance of having a confidant in your corner when battling the beast of addiction and mental health. Sponsorship (based upon the AA model) is key to recovery, Community is key to recovery. 
This three day gala of knowledge and lots of fun too was all about that premise. In addition to the information I learned...we (my co-workers and I) had some pretty interesting times while in attendance, and although I am not going to speak much more about the conference in this blog...I am going to highlight the fun, laughs and good times I had with my fellow co-workers on this event. 

Kerhonkson NY is in the Heat of the Catskill Mountains, and in addition to the "resort" there is really not much else there. I found, after being convinced that I was just a mountain drive away from my old home town of Pine Bush NY....(which I was not) we were farther North and closer to New Paltz/Poukeepskie area. Still a drive...but in that area of NY.

As I stated....there is not a whole lot of anything in this area. Liberty, and the Ellenville areas are, from my memory of living in Pine Bush and traveling those same roads were once scattered with resort like cabin's and upscale hotels as a refuge from the City of NY.
Today, and from my own travels, it is now plagued with abandoned buildings, empty campgrounds and what seems to be a vacation spot for the Hisitic Jewish community.

 Once it was a grand destination for families like in the movie Dirty Dancing. Beautiful resorts nestled in the deep mountains, nature with all of the luxuries.

This hotel/resort...WAS quite possibly ONCE just that such a place. Let me STRESS the word ONCE!!! Now it reminded me of the hotel in the movie the Shining.....Can you innvision two little girls in blue dresses down at the end of this hall? "Come and play with us forever...and ever"


The whole place had this overwhelming CREEPY Feeling....there were some nice aspects...like the pool and the spa.
and of course the natural beauty that surrounded the place was astonishing.



Nicole and I took a walk around the resort grounds and found this adorable little row boat. I'm not sure how safe it would be or if I would dare bring it out on that murky water, but I love her NAME...I have a Peanut at home.
There were several of these statues that lined the entrance way to the resort. All I can say is interesting.

On our first evening there, Nicole (my co-worker and roomie) and I went off to find a place to eat dinner. She did some search's on her phone and found this adorable and quaint little place. But first we had to stop and get a god look at the mountain views..

The Grist Mill restaurant..
Highly recommended eats here. Super cute setting right along side a river. We had our dinner over a waterfall. I was impressed.
We had our dinner right on that porch.

This place was so cute and the meal was pretty good too. I have to admit, I didn't step to far out of my box, infact I stayed right in my eating comfort zone and had a burger. Nicole had duck!!! hats off to her adventure eating.
Water served in mason jars how fun.
Looking over the railing at dinner..
and after dinner a nice seat right next to the fire. So wonderful.
Upon returning to the resort we caught up with some co-workers and enjoyed the evening company.


The following morning we all ventured into town for a good old home cooked breakfast.



I had a mushroom/broccoli omelet with has-browns.Yummy!!
At the diner!!!!


Conferences ran throughout the day. There were multiple presentations to choose from. I tried to be selective in my choices and stayed to topics that peeked my interest. First two session I selected had a theme of Mental Health and Substance abuse. (I was also offered credit hours for my certification renewal-BONUS). SOON it was LUNCH time. The food served at this conference had to be the BEST. Despite the property being outdated and creepy...THE FOOD WAS AMAZING!!!! Good bye diet!!!

In addition to conference presentations there were spa treatments offered throughout the day. Annemarie and I signed up early (We fortunately got spots as they filled up quick). My first session was shiatsu....IT WAS AMAZING!! I never had it before but it was GREAT. Kind of like a deep tissue massage only REALLY DEEP. This women stretched my body out and rested on my back. Things cracked and creaked like crazy...but it felt so good. Later in the day I had a general massage, and I also got some acupuncture done.
The SPA was my favorite and totally renovated part of the resort. Included in the stay was the pool/hot tub/steam room and sauna. (no pictures as my team would have kicked my butt.)I simply loved the spa owner she was so sweet. Besides the natural beauty...the food...(the company of course)...having the SPA treatment was the BOMB!!
Diner in the diningroom. Good eats again that evening. There was also a cultural fashion show and DJ dance party. We had fun enjoying that before we all made off to the pool and spa and bed.
On the second day, some of the girls and I took a nice walk around the grounds before a Tia Chi session and breakfast.









 Between the food and the conference the rest of the day was FULL...as was my belly. That afternoon we snuck off to get a view of the WORLD BIGGEST GARDEN GNOME






and walk in the beautiful garden,

That evening we had a few conference related sessions as well as a Comedy Show!!!
On our last full day between conference sessions we took a scenic hike to what we were told via google was a waterfall. 

The trail started out well developed and an easy walk.
and we soon found ourselves walking next to a brisk stream.

we all could hear the waterfall but there was no easy access to view it. I walked out on some big rocks to catch the falls, Nicole and Brittany made the crazy rock climb to the top and walked behind the falls.





There goes our mountain hikers,,,,
The rest of us stayed down below.
This is what most of the trail looked like once we got into the woods.
a little better on the way out.

Just an FYI...LOL, I don't understand nor do I want to ...but hunters be forewarned,.LOL
After the hike, some clean up and an afternoon conference session, it was time for the infamous BBQ!! I can't begin to tell you how good the food was for this, I had heard previous attendee's rave about it! Music, food, dancing and so much fun! Plus I caught up with two friends from CNY services,...too!


Nicole and I attended some morning conference before we headed back towards central NY. I was scheduled for on call this week and needed to get back in time to gather up the on call equipment. I had such a good time. I will have to consider if I will be in attendance at the 34th annual conference. 
Good bye beautiful mountains.