Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Hudson Valley

We had a great time vacationing during the fall this year!  As a teacher, I was never able to do this, so when Wonderful Hubby asked what the vacation destination was going to be this year, I told him I'd love to go to New England in the Fall.  We have cousins who live in Hyde Park, NY so they would be our first destination!

We made it to Indianapolis the first night .... just in time to dine at our favorite Indy restaurant, The Rathskeller.  It has Bavarian cuisine that is fabulous!  Jerry enjoyed the J√§egerschnitzel (which really was as delicious as it was in Zell, Germany!!)

and I had the Reuben Sandwich with their warm German potato salad (YUMMM!!) 

(This is for you, Lori!)  

It rained on us driving through most of Pennsylvania.  In fact, we had planned to go to the Pirates game on our second evening out but it was still sprinkling when we drove by the stadium and were afraid they might call the game off.  We  decided to watch it on television.

The rain let up on our third day and made driving into the eastern part of New York more enjoyable.  We made it to our cousins' home and they had dinner waiting.  We enjoyed a delicious meal, catching up with Sarah and Mark and planning our visit. 

The next morning, Wonderful Hubby and I toured the Culinary Institute of America. 

These students are SERIOUS foodies!  They have a very intense curriculum but seem to thrive and love the challenges.  We ate another fabulous meal here before heading off to our next adventure.  We weren't able to take photos inside the school but I did get a shot of the 'edible landscaping.'  Isn't this amazing??   Lavender, spinach, Swiss chard ... oh, my!!

Sarah and Mark joined us on our tour of FDR's Home, Springwood.  We had a very entertaining tour guide.  Here are a few photos.
The Library
This table was set as Franklin's mother, Sara, would enjoy her breakfast.
Franklin's Room
Mommy Sara's Room
Wife Eleanor's Room
(It's a bit small, don't you think?  Can you understand why she ended up having her own house built on the other end of the farm??? 
I have to digress here.  Our humorous tour guided had read several books on the family dynamics of the Roosevelts and put forth the concept that  Sara might not have been as domineering a person as she is typically portrayed.  Apparently, Franklin never really learned to handle money (he had quite a few collections such as model ships  (like over 100), art (the collection in the basement was extensive), rare books, coins and stamps.  According to our guide, Sara paid for everything.  No wonder he never crossed her.  Instead of making a new home with Eleanor when they were married, he just brought her to Mommy's house.  What woman would give up HER home to her new daughter-in-law and move out?  Hmmm?
Well, this certainly made for lively discussions during our tour!!
I loved this next room

It was called the "Queen Room" because this is the room Queen Elizabeth stayed in when she visited.  Can you believe they had her sleep in a twin bed?  Not even a QUEEN SIZE bed???  LOL!
It is pretty, though.

FDR and Eleanor are buried on the grounds in the beautiful gardens.  I didn't take a picture of their graves but here are some of the gardens.

The next day we visited the Vanderbilt Mansion.  We were thrilled to discover our tour guide was none other than our guide from FDR's home!!  (Ha!)
 This home was built by Fredrick and Louise Vanderbilt, Fredrick being one of Col. William Henry Vanderbilt's 8 children.  The Col. made his fortune in railroads and according to our guide, this 'seasonal home' was the smallest of all the Vanderbilt children's many homes.  Ah, to be rich during the Gilded Age!! 
This place actually 'topped' FDR's home, in my opinion.  For example, just look at the ceilings....


What incredible detail!!
Here's part of the dining room.  I couldn't get the whole room in the frame even though I was standing out in the hallway.
Although the couple didn't have children, it was fun to wonder if the little ones would complain about having to sit at THIS kiddie table?  (Yes, the big table is to the left.)
Fredrick and Louise had very different decorating taste.
For example,
The Man-Cave
The Ladies' Parlor
His bedroom
Her bedroom
(Yes, that's a railing around her bed.)
The view of the gorgeous Hudson River Valley from the backyard!  The colors were just beginning to turn in this part of New York.

Our cousin, Mark, decided to take the day off and met us after we finished the Vanderbilt Mansion.  He drove us north of Hyde Park to Olana, home of Hudson Valley Artist, Fredrick Church.  This home was completely different than the previous two we'd just toured.  The Persian architecture is unusual yet beautiful!
We weren't allowed to take photographs inside the home but OMG was it neat!  Wonderful Hubby and I were interested in seeing this home since we had attended an auction in St. Louis  several years ago when one of Fredrick Church's paintings (The Old Mill) sold for over $2.5 million.  (We NEVER go to those kinds of auctions and it made quite an impression!!!) 
This home was full of his paintings and paintings of several other artists, mostly of the Hudson Valley School-style. 
The Churches were world travelers, devout Christians and devoted to their family.  Many items in their home reflected each of these attributes and I wish I could have taken some photos of the really beautiful and unusual pieces they collected.  Of the three homes we visited during our time in the Hudson Valley, I have to say Olana was my favorite!!
I'll have another update soon.  I've been a bit busy since returning several days ago.  The weatherman says things may change on Tuesday and I have quite a few garden/yard projects to finish before then.
Have a great week!!


My Garden Diaries said...

Such beautiful things in this post!!! First off I am so glad that you were able to take a trip out east!! The shots of FDR's home are amazing!!! The library about knocked me off the chair! And the gardens...oh my!!!! I can not wait to see more! Gorgeous photography friend!!!

Tammy said...

Fantastic photography and great subject matter. I love the ornateness of the Vanderbilt mansion, but really loved the architecture of Olana. I wish you could have taken photos inside because I would have loved to have seen them.

Tammy said...
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Candy S said...

Your pictures are beautiful. The Vanderbilt mansion reminds me of the Biltmore Hose in Asheville, NC. Perhaps the same designer? Both are so ornate.

Patti Laffoon said...

Loved seeing and reading about your trip!! The Hudson River Valley has always fascinated me. I would love to see it some day.

Miss Jane said...

Beautiful photos, I can't stop looking at the Ladies Parlor and Her Bedroom - they're just so gorgeous.