About Us &
Purpose Statement for
Explore Hudson Valley.com


This website comes to you out of a sincere passion for traveling, writing, and appreciating the great wonders of the world around us.

It’s our purpose here to share that wonder with you. To help you live a life of passionate pursuit and adventure in the Hudson Valley.

On this page we tell our story through our travels around the world. These experiences shaped us into the people we are today.

 Ana and I frolicking at a friends wedding



Europe

My dad bought my brother an '85 trans am for his college graduation. I asked for a plane ticket.

So, in 2007 Ana and I went to Europe and stayed with our friend Melinda in Austria.

We visited Vienna, Prague, Munich, and Salzburg - zipping along on trains, staying in hostels, and meeting great people along the way.

Along with trips to the Caribbean and Kenya when I was a teenager, this was the beginning of my world travel/education.



East Asia

It wasn’t long after returning home when we got bored at our jobs and started planning our next move - teaching English in South Korea. 

After several months of research and preparation, which included becoming certified in TESOL, we were off for a 12 month contract in Jinju, South Korea.

It was a big step for us and we grew a lot as a result. We learned the language to some extent, met lifelong friends, adopted a foreign culture as our own, and saved some good coin.

An amazing year of our life came to a close, and in April 2009, we returned to America.


Back Home in the Hudson Valley

After living in another country for a year, I actually experienced more culture shock when I returned to the United States. 

I gained a new appreciation for my home, family, and life in the Hudson Valley. My god, what a wonderful place I get to call home!

It turned out that getting away from our standard life for a year was a huge opportunity in itself. And knowing that made me smile...

So what do we do now?



Road Trip!

Before we started jobs again we decided to take a cross-country Road Trip. We’d never seen the American West, and got the idea while in a desert in Vietnam (yes, Vietnam has deserts!) 

Near Utah/Arizona Border

Over the next two months we traveled 13,000 miles, East-West, North-South, all over the United States. We mostly camped and stayed with friends where we could.

It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

I learned a great deal about living in a car, building fires in the rain, and the incredible value of an $80 1 year National Parks Pass!

After the road trip, for the rest of 2009 and through 2010 Ana and I worked hard at our respective careers, her as an engineer, and me a high school teacher. And in November '10 we moved to Sleepy Hollow from Yorktown NY.

But it wasn't long until opportunity knocked once more...




India

In August 2010 we were invited to attend Ana's friends wedding in India. It as here that I nervously proposed to her on a beach. 

Varkala, India


Our experience in India was very enlightening and grueling.

Maybe it was a little over ambitious for only a 2 week visit, but we met so many awesome people on the trains, buses, and planes as we zig zagged North-South-East and West.

In Madurai we stayed with our friend's family during their elaborate 3 day wedding ceremony and visited temples older than Christianity...

A wild monkey pick-pocketed our hiking snacks on our visit to Elephant Caves on an island near Mumbai...

On a gorgeous moonlit beach - miles from our bungalow - our motorcyle broke down, and we were helped by a friendly stranger...

The stories go on, and it's fun to jot them down, but anyway...

India is an impressive country. It's an unbroken link to the past and continues today as one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

I was fascinated to learn that they knew about the 9 planets (pluto is a planet!) thousands of years ago, and created the concept of zero.

Again, a life-changing experience!



A Hudson Valley Wedding

In June 2011, Ana and I celebrated our marriage at a barn right here in the Hudson Valley! 

The idea of having a barn wedding came up somehow, and it seemed right to us. 

We figured it would be different from the usual, and just plain fun to be out doors in a beautiful rustic setting.

Hitched!

Ana had searched out different venues for the big day and visited several of them.

(You might be surprised by all your options when seeking a barn wedding in the Hudson Valley!)

We found the perfect one at Shadow Lawn in High Falls, NY.

The ceremony was down by the rippling stream on the property nearest to the barn. Elegant old growth trees and the bare-foot grass lawn made the setting enchanting!

Our lunch and cocktail hour were up at the Main house.

During the day we set up badminton nets and other lawn games for our guests to enjoy the 3 acre property.

They ate a light lunch and played some sport while we were off taking pictures.

From what I heard, there were some upsets in the tender competitions and some families were a bit red in the face!

Somewhere into the action it started to rain, and because we didn't rent tents, our guests had to scurry somewhere. No need to worry though, we had full use the beautiful house!

The unique 19th century farm house has many rooms which make nice little nooks for your guests to mingle in. It was very nicely furnished and became another great space for the party!

Ahi Tuna Tacos....mmmm

Since our barn wedding was an all day event, most of the guests returned to their hotels and bed and breakfasts to relax before the cocktail hour and reception.

The cocktail hour started at the main house at 7 pm. When the guests returned they were greeted by the most delicious appetizers by the most amazing caterer! People were going nuts and raving about the food! Needless to say we were very pleased.

As the evening progressed, it was time to walk down to the barn where the real party was at. We greeted our guests as they stepped in to the decorated barn and which was now glowing with lights.

Cheers!

The rest of the night included the best wedding food ever, lots of dancing, merrymaking, and two very happy families joined as one!



Honeymoon

Soon after the wedding it was time to go on our honeymoon that we had been planning.


In our travels across the USA we fell in love with the American West, and during our stay at Yellowstone we vowed to return to Wyoming someday.


In July 2011, we spent a week in a private cabin in Jackson Hole, Wyoming - to explore the Grand Tetons!


The cabin was part of a bed and breakfast and each morning we got to spend time with the wonderful couple who ran the place and the other interesting guests.




Present Tense

Life has changed so much since starting this website back in 2011.... 

We bought our home in Tarrytown, New York, in August 2012 and have been happily living ever after! 

On June 11th, 2015, (our 4th wedding anniversary) the biggest change in our lives occurred. Our baby boy, Elias M. Lupo, was born at 2:30 PM, weighing 7 lbs. 3 oz.!!


As Explore-Hudson-Valley continues to grow, we aim to bring you the best of what life has to offer in the Hudson Valley. And, as we continue to travel the world, we'll keep you updates on that, too! (see below).


To the good life,




Michael Lupo

Chief Exploring Officer



Travel Updates: 


April 2013: Nicaragua...

Went here with students from my school. We spent a week camped out at a local school and helped build a small house for a sweet, young family. A great guy, Andrew Setiewan, made the video below, documenting our trip: 



July 2013: Europe (again!)

Ana, her family, and I had a little European adventure. We traveled to 4 countries, 7 cities: Berlin, Germany; Milan, Vernazza, and Venice, Italy; Vienna, Austria (again!); and Krakow and Poznan, Poland.



August 2014: Ecuador 

We hit the road again this summer and spent two incredible weeks in Ecuador, South America. The first leg of the trip we spent on the coast driving up and down the Ruta Del Sol. Then we toured the mountains and jungle on a motorcycle for 4 days. Finally, we finished up with six days in the capital, Quito. 


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