Breakfast on the Porch II

A perfect late-summer morning at Mohonk Mountain House holds the promise of a day spent outside. While this image may be a sequel to last week’s post, I think this other angle reveals a far different view of the possibilities a day can hold when experiencing vacation.

Breakfast on the Porch II


Breakfast on the Porch I

Mohonk Mountain House remains a place nestled into both the rocks of the Shawangunk Mountains and a pre-digital era. Nonetheless, delightful new traditions manage to merge into the setting. Breakfast in the open air of the expansive front porch came about during the Covid era but has remained—a just delightful way to start the day.

This image also further exhibits the trend I explored in another recent image, showing both a view and a space for the viewer.

Breakfast on the Porch I

Charles Bridge

Prague’s Charles Bridge is centuries-old, covered in statues, and seemly perpetually mobbed. We visited during the off-season (November) and never saw the bridge without plenty of company. Perhaps the best part of the visit, though, was staying adjacent to the bridge in the Smetana Hotel, looking out over the Vltava (and crossing the bridge on many of our adventures around the city.)

Charles Bridge

From up close, the hotel is easier to find, but small triangle park across the street from the hotel is still not visible from this angle, making the the geometry of the ground floor and the street outside escheresque.

Smetana Hotel

Smetana Hotel

We were visiting Prague in the off-season—that’s what we heard from every cab driver and waiter. Though gentle spring breezes had been replaced with nascent winter gusts, there were numerous benefits; the relative sparsity of fellow tourists in Old Town made for easy access to the city’s sights. Two of the subtler benefits are captured in this image: (1) the bare branches opened new views of the skyline, and (2) the Smetana hotel (just across the river) where we stayed had a spectacular room overlooking the Vltava open for us.

Smetana Hotel

Hotel Services

Even the grandest of hotels have infrastructure that supports the guest experience. For a grand old hotel like Mohonk Mountain House, that infrastructure is charming enough to be interesting in its own right.

Hotel Services I

Those early-twentieth-century structures—boilers and exhaust stacks and hand-painted signs noting the protocols for refilling the massive fuel oil tanks.

Hotel Services II

Mohonk Reflections (I, II, and III)

Mid-March shift from my most photographically productive time on the West Coast (amazing sunsets, end of the rainy season, etc.) to my least in the East (dirty snow, still-bare trees, sandy roads). I’ve been trying to find more beauty in the pre- and post-winter “stick seasons,” examining the shapes revealed when leaves and snow can’t hide branches. Though I’m not yet convinced to do anything more than grudgingly accept its necessity, but it led to some pretty dramatic reflections at Mohonk Mountain House.

Mohonk Reflections I

Mohonk Reflections II

Mohonk Reflections III

Two Views of Mohonk

Mohonk Mountain House has grown like lichen across its mountaintop, but its oldest core shapes much of the structure’s identity. Tea time happens at 4:00 PM each day, and guests sit in the array of front porch rocking chairs with their tea during the warmer months.

Original Mountain House

Just around the corner, gazebos crusted with snow dot the cliffs.

Cliff Gazebo