Fall in the Hudson Valley

 

Fall is when the Hudson Valley shines!  Our trees are all decked out in their autumnal best

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Our villages/towns/cities join in the fall fun too!

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Even your local, independent insurance agency (aka us, Hudson Valley Agents) can’t resist celebrating Halloween & Fall.

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We decorate the outside of our homes,

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as well as the inside

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And we celebrate good times with friends and family,

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Fall, it is our favorite season in the Hudson Valley!  Our local Farmer’s Markets are chock full of gorgeous seasonal produce, the kids (and adults) are choosing Halloween costumes, and our backs are just a little achy from raking leaves.  When you’ve finished your fall clean up and prepping for another infamous Hudson Valley winter, it is time to reevaluate your insurance needs.  Filling in any coverage gaps in your homeowners insurance now that the springtime remodeling job is finished, taking a second look at your car insurance needs now that one of the kids has finally moved out, and bunding your motorcycle and snowmobile coverage for an added discount can all mean more money in your pocket for the upcoming holiday season.

Happy Fall Hudson Valley!  Shop local.  Eat local.  Insure local.

3 things you need to know about consumer fireworks

3 things fireworks

There are pop-up fireworks shops all over the Hudson Valley and everyone is making their July 4th plans.  There are 3 things you need to know before you purchase fireworks for your celebration –

1- Not every county in New York has the same allowances for fireworks.  Check with your county clerk before you buy anything.  Columbia and Delaware counties still do not allow the sale of fireworks.

2- Bottle rockets and firecrackers are NOT legal in NYS.

3- Sparklers must have wooden sticks, metal sticks are still not allowed.

Do your homework before you shop for consumer fireworks and remember to put safety first!

If you have questions about how fireworks could impact your car or homeowners insurance please contact us at 778-2141.  Be safe Hudson Valley & remember to #insurelocal with Hudson Valley Agents.

We took a cruise on the Hudson river and so should you

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It was a phenomenal weekend for boating on the Hudson river wasn’t it?  The Bonne family took a ride on the Rip Van Winkle (Hudson River Cruises) and had a blast!

Did you know that there’s an old barge graveyard in Kingston?

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The Rondout Lighthouse

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Just look at this view!

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Taking a boat ride on the Hudson River is something that every Hudson Valley resident should experience at least once in their lifetime.  Just be prepared to be bitten by the boating bug because once you see the Hudson Valley from a boat, you’ll find yourself pondering a purchase or two, just ask Dave Jr!

Dave Sr and Dave Jr do not own any sailboats, power boats, or fishing boats yet (yet being the operative term), but they certainly know how to write insurance for them!  The Dave’s have been insuring the Hudson Valley’s boats and personal watercrafts for 25 years, and their rates are the best in the business.  Call Hudson Valley Agents (845-778-2141) today and they’ll find you the best boat insurance coverage on the Hudson River!  #insurelocal

Oh, and should you happen to call our Middletown office (845-673-5515) to speak to Dave Sr, please mention that included in this blog post is the photo he saw while on the Rip Van Winkle that he suggested we use in today’s blog post-

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Early signs of spring in the Hudson Valley

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The weather is warm and sunny all across the Hudson Valley today and tomorrow promises to be even more amazing!  I took advantage of my working from home status to wander around my neighborhood looking for early signs of spring.  When you live in Kingston the very best place to look for signs of spring is the Old Dutch Church.

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Springtime in Kingston means that the cemetary and grounds of the Old Dutch Church are surrounded by gorgeous bright red tulips!  So I set out to see if there were any early signs of tulips and I hit the jackpot!

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It certainly looks like spring is busting out all over doesn’t it?

One of the things that I love about working as a social media manager for Hudson Valley Agents is that I get to explore and share everything about the Hudson Valley!  HVA is Hudson Valley born and bred and this family owned, independent insurance agency is very well equiped to insure all of the Hudson Valley and beyond.

Get outside and explore the Hudson Valley while the sun is shinging and the weather is warm!  Share any early signs of Spring you find with us.  #insurelocal

What does the Grateful Dead have to do with Poughkeepsie?

things you might not know about cop

What does Scrabble, the Grateful Dead, bad B movies, and Nike have to do with the City of Poughkeepsie?  Read on and you’ll find out.

Alfred Mosher Butts was born in the City of Poughkeepsie on April 13, 1899 and he is the man who created the board game Scrabble!  He died in Rhinebeck in 1993.

Carolyn Garcia (aka Mountain Girl), ex-wife of Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia, was born in the City of Poughkeepsie on May 6, 1946.  She is also a graduate of FDR High School in Hyde Park, NY.

Low budget and sexploitation movie maker Ed Wood was born in the City of Poughkeepsie on October 10, 1924.  Johnny Depp played him the 1994 movie “Ed Wood“.

Last but not least –

Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, was born in the City of Poughkeepsie on October 21, 1955.

I had no idea that these people were born in the Hudson Valley, I guess that growing up in the Hudson Valley can lead to amazing things!  Remember to eat local, shop local, explore local, and insure local with Hudson Valley Agents.

Welcome to Walden NY!

WELCOME TO WALDEN

I find myself working from Hudson Valley Agent’s Walden office so I decided to use my social media privileges and wander around the village looking for things to photograph.

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Some of you may remember a certain WPDH disk jockey who used to make fun of this sleepy little place. Bob Wolf was his name and poking fun at Walden was part of his game. Now, to be completely honest, Walden’s iconic Thruway Market did not help the village’s reputation, they advertised “varmint guns” for crying out loud!

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All that seems to have changed and the village of Walden is thriving and surviving and thriving quite nicely. Walden is even the off-season home of the Big Apple Circus!  Stop by HVA for an insurance quote and then take the time to walk around Walden, you’ll be really happy you did!

Get to know the Orange County Speedway!

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I grew up in Orange county, Mount Hope to be specific (don’t blink or you’ll miss it), and one of my clearest young adolescent memories is watching my cousin Kathy getting ready to go to the races on Saturday nights. I think she went to every single race on that track from the 1970’s – 1990’s! The Orange County Speedway was a pretty big deal back then and for many people it still is.

The Orange County Speedway’s very first race happened on August 16, 1919 and was won by James Benedict. The track has undergone many changes since it first opened in 1857, back then they raced horses on the track. One man had a vision of racing cars on the dirt track instead of horses and we have him to thank for what the Orange County Speedway has become – George Martin. George went before the Orange county Fair’s board of directors every year for six years with his vision and was turned down six times. Thankfully the seventh time was the charm and we’ve had cars racing on the track ever since. You can find out all about the speedway’s history at victoryspeedway.net.

Back in the bad old 1980’s the Orange County Speedway was home to some of the best concerts the Hudson Valley has ever seen. Aerosmith, Huey Lewis and the News, 38 Special, Yes, I could go on and on. If you were a big name in the 80’s the chances are pretty good that you played a show or two at the speedway/fairgrounds. Stop in at HVA’s Walden office one of these days and ask Dave Jr about the time that lightning hit the stage while Aerosmith was singing “When Lightning Strikes”, he remembers it like it was yesterday!

The Orange County Speedway is a big part of the Hudson Valley’s history. It has the distinction of being the oldest operating dirt race track in the United States. Get outside and explore Orange county and the Orange County Speedway this weekend! Hudson Valley Agents can insure whatever you drive to the speedway, but they can’t “insure” that your driver will win.  Remember – Race local, shop local, eat local, and insure local with HVA!

Keeping it local with HVA

hva love to shop local

Have you taken a look at Hudson Valley Agent’s Partner Page lately? On it you will find local businesses that are either HVA clients or they are businesses that go the extra mile for their customer’s and deserve to be given added exposure. Today’s blog is all about these small businesses!

There are three restaurants/bars on our Partner Page, Ecce Terra, Naughty Monkey, and Touch Base Tavern.

Ecce Terra (Kingston) – EcceTerra is something pretty darn special and we think you will love this family run restaurant as much as we do! Stop by and meet Bridget and her family, enjoy a glass of prosseco and some of the best grilled halloumi you have ever tasted! (try their desserts & be prepared to not want to share)Ecce Terra

Naughty Monkey (Harriman) – You’ll go “bananas” for the cocktails! All punny aside, this place is known for its burgers and the 16 different beers they have on tap.

Touch Base (Chester) – This local favorite prides itself on being a place where fine craft beer meets well prepared food in an atmosphere of comfortable ease.

Looking for some help with your home? Our partner page has some great independent contractors!

RD’s Pavement – Located in Walden and serving the entire Hudson Valley! If you need paving done then this is the place to call first!

Hudson Valley Roofers – They are the 2013 & 2014 Times Herald Record Readers Choice for best Roofer!

Are you looking for a place for your new small business to call home? HVA’s Partner Page can help!

Kingston Opera House – Your business could be at Kingston’s best business address. Bill Oderkirk’s building is home to restaurants, retail shops, and more. Second and third floor office space is currently available.

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We love local businesses! Local, family owned, small businesses are the back bone of our Hudson Valley community and we should all do our best to support them. Are you a small business owner? Why not contact HVA about being added to our Partner Page? Hudson Valley Agents is the Hudson Valley’s best independent insurance agency simply because we understand the needs of the Hudson Valley small business owner. We’re all in this together so help us get the word out about all of the wonderful local businesses that we love! Remember to shop local, eat local, explore local, and insure local with HVA!

Dave Bonne Sr – insurance man, family man

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I would like to introduce you to the patriarch and founder of Hudson Valley Agents, David Bonne Sr. Dave Sr has made a lot of people happy during his 45 years in the insurance business and it makes us happy to point out to him just how long he’s been at it!

Dave Sr wasn’t always the insurance man, he holds an accounting degree from Pace University and believe it or only started with insurance as a way of working “until I could find a real job”. In his first year at Prudential he blew everyone away and that’s when a career in insurance started looking pretty darn good indeed!

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When Dave Sr isn’t working for HVA he’s busy building up his second business, Liberty Tax. (Save money on your insurance and your taxes all at the same place!) He regularly donates to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and is an avid poker player. He’s been married to his wife, Josephine, forever and has two children, Dave Jr and Keith. He’s a proud grandfather who spends as much time with his two grandson’s as he can. He’s also a big Tom Clancy fan.

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You can usually find Dave Sr at his desk in HVA’s Middletown office. Stop by and congratulate him on 25 years with Hudson Valley Agents and 45 years in the insurance business. Just don’t ask him if he ever plans on retiring because he’s simply having too much fun! Give him a call today at 673-5515 and let him put his years of insurance knowledge to work saving you money.

Explore Sullivan County

HVA sullivan county

Today we have a guest blogger – Cindy Roe!  Cindy is HVA’s go to guide on all things Sullivan county and we look forward to hearing from her again next month for more Sullivan county info!

If you’re hankering for an easy day trip, consider heading up across the Shawangunk Ridge into Sullivan County. Nestled on 997 square miles in the south-western corner of the Catskills, Sullivan County is an easy and gorgeous 45 minute ride from Kingston, New Paltz, or Woodbury, and is dotted with quaint villages, picturesque lakes, and an abundant array of wildlife. Ready to take a drive? Here’s some suggestions on what to do and see during your visit:

Bethel Woods Center for The Arts-Set on the grounds of the original ’69 Woodstock music fest is this jewel of a venue, where some unknown 1960’s musicians walked out onto a plywood stage held together by a little bit of prayer and a whole lotta duct tape, shook the sh*#@ out of the nearly half a million people who actually made it to Max Yazgur’s hay field, and walked off into mega-star status;  ever heard of Santana, Joe Cocker, or Richie Havens? They can all credit this place as a starting point to their multi-decade success. Today, a  large scale concert venue hosts a full summer schedule of a wide range of music, from such major headliners as Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Elton John, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, as well as the 3-day, nonstop electro-raver Mysteryland.  Bethel Woods brings top shelf musical acts and plunks them down on a carpet of the thickest, richest, gotta-walk-barefoot-in-it grass that’s right at your doorstep, just half an hour west of Middletown. The copper-lidded museum at the site’s entrance houses a permanent collection of original Woodstock memorabilia and exhibits that reflect the hip spirit of the Summer of Love generation, the largest counterculture in human history. Also, their late season Harvest Fests run on Sundays from August through the end of September, and features weekly themes such as a chili cook-off and wine tastings, in addition to a farmers market, professional artisans, a corn maze, hayrides, and of course, live music.

Theater- 3 amazing yet distinctly different theater experiences can be found in Sullivan County. Forestburgh Playhouse, located just 15 minutes south of Monticello off Route 42, is the oldest professional summer theater in New York State and offers such classics as Damn Yankees, Young Frankenstein, and Oliver!, in addition to cabarets and sumptuous food and cocktails at their own personal watering hole, The Forestburgh Tavern, right next door.

Also on the outskirts of Monticello, about 4 miles from Route 17 on Route 42 North, is the Sullivan County Dramatic Workshop, located on Main Street in South Fallsburg. Featuring a mix of drama, music, and comedy with their own cabaret, an early-fall Comedy Event, plus such hits as Godspell, Fiddler on the Roof, and Death of a Salesman, as well as their own in-house youth theater workshop.

Tucked a little further off the beaten path between Barryville and Bethel off Route 55 is Highland Lake, a pristine spring-fed lake that’s home to the NACL (North American Cultural Laboratory) Theater and actor’s retreat. This group of local and visiting professionals creates unique theatrical productions on such unchartered topics as life and death from a stroke victim’s point of view, climate change, aging in our modern world, and how God would handle a personal case of dementia.

 BashaKill Vineyards– a 2 minute ride on route 209 South from Route 17 gets you to Haven Road on the left. Follow that across the middle of the Basha Kill preserve, and turn right onto South Rd, where you will find Basha Kill Vineyards about 1 mile on the Left. Open weekends from May through October and Saturdays only in early spring and late fall, this rustic stunner offers free tastings of up to 4 of their homegrown wines. Pack a lunch and make a day of it; wine is offered for sale by the glass or by the bottle, and is the perfect companion to the weekly rotation of live music performers. Relax on their gorgeous, expansive patio amid the grapevines and pines, and take in the astounding  mountain and water views of this unique natural area that is home to bald eagles, ospreys, and multitudes of migratory birds.