In the morning we left for Rhinebeck, a town lined by chalky, thin-boned Victorian houses and trees with mustard-colored leaves. It was a pretty drive--through Hyde Park and past the intimidating site of the Vanderbilt mansion (from the highway, only its tall gates are visible--tantalizing!) We spent the morning poking around in shops and ogling the oldest inn in America; then we got a soupy lunch at Gigi's and chatted with the owner of the town sweet shop. The store is nearing its sixteenth birthday, and we celebrated by buying champagne truffles and chocolates shaped like racecars. Ali also got an edible mustache whose primary ingredient was wax (?). Before we left for Poughkeepsie I picked up a pair of cozy socks in which to nestle, like the burrowing owl, all winter. It was the best escape.