Opinion

The Relaxing Side of North Salem New York

Like many parents, I had a period between the end of camp and the start of school that entailed carefully balancing parenting, working, entertaining the kids, writing, doing laundry, and staying sane. To say the dishes piled up and the family room went from looking like a stunning Pinterest photo to an understaffed playschool is an understatement.

A typical day would go like this: Wake up: make breakfast, work a little, and get interrupted by a child with a problem. Stop to help the child and then forgot what I was doing. Then, start work again and get interrupted by another child. Then, get a phone call. Next, sort laundry, get the mail, break up a fight, make lunch, trip on a toy, work some more, cry in the bathroom, and then watch an episode of Bluey. And so on.

We set up some play dates, ran the sprinkler outside so the kids could play in it (and I could buy some time to work), and watched almost all 50 years of Disney to pass the time. By the start of week three, my kids and I were growing a little tired of the routine (and possibly each other.) Even our cat began to hide from us and engage in her own outside activities. Who can blame her? You can only play "Catosaurus" with a 7-year-old so many times before you lose your motivation.

That's when I reminded myself that North Salem has a relaxing, dare I say, indulgent side to it.

First up was the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden, where my youngest and I enjoyed some art, nature, and quiet. At one point, we were outside on a bench. It was a perfect day, with a gentle breeze and not too hot. He was talking to me non-stop about SpongeBob when I politely asked him to have a "quiet mouth" and just listen to sounds around him for a bit. It was downright glorious when we heard the wind, the trees, and the birds. It was honestly the first time I heard silence in close to a month.

Next on the list was Derma Glow Spa and Boutique. It was one of the few days I was fortunate to have my husband working from home, so I snuck in a pedicure. You know it's time to get a pedicure when you can exfoliate one foot with the other one—just saying. So it was a treat to have some "me time," soak my feet and relax. And while I may not always shave my legs for my husband, I'll happily do it anytime for Derma Glow Spa staff. As a result, my feet are back to flip-flop worthy, and I feel human again.

Lastly, I took my sons to Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard for lunch the day before Labor Day weekend. It was another beautiful day, and we sat outside, ate our food, and talked about the new school year. Afterward, we visited some of the animals. While the kids were focused on some of the chickens and roosters, I spotted a whole mating ritual with goats. The male goat was persistent and ready to serve some red wine and play some Barry White to do whatever it took to, well… get his "goat on." Unfortunately, the female goat was not having any of it. After walking away, pushing him off, and hiding, she eventually pooped on him. That finally did the trick, and he walked off dejected. While I admire her commitment to such a strong rejection, sticking to "I have a headache" still seems a better go-to.

Mind you – none of these places asked me to write about them, and none of the above is meant as a review. Instead, it's intended more as a reminder (more for myself than anyone else, quite frankly) that we live in a wonderful town that offers something for everyone. So if you can find a moment to go for a hike, have a nice meal, or get a massage, go for it. And if you see the goats, just be aware that it’s rated PG-13.

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