Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Road trip

This spring vacation, we decided to take a road trip. Our first stop was in Rhode Island where we spent a few lovely relaxing days. After that we were ready to hit the road and head to New York, where we would spend the night. Our hotel was right next to Ground Zero. We had a fantastic view from the room of all that was going on down there. Here's a view of the Freedom Tower under construction.
Also under construction is what will be two really beautiful reflecting pools at the foundation of both twin towers. In nine and a half years, the dust seems to have settled and the wound is a little less fresh.

We ate lunch aboard the Staten Island Ferry and viewed the Statue of Liberty from a distance. (see it between my head and Thomas's?) The ferry ride will not be forgotten by the children, as we were seated behind a group of characters using very colorful language to describe how to elude the police. Ah- New York!
Last week was spring vacation for the entire East Coast it seemed, and we were herded on and off the boat like cattle. Definitely worth it!
We did other touristy things before heading out of town on to our next stop- Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I have always been a big fan of New England. I love the history, the architecture, and the landscape. But after this trip, I think the Brandywine Valley gives New England a serious run for its money. A lush, green landscape, cris-crossed by sparkling rivers and creeks, stone walls, hills and fields with grazing horses, and beautiful old stone houses and barns. With this kind of beauty, it's no wonder this was the home of the artist colony founded by Howard Pyle, the Brandywine School. A student of Pyle's, and another great American illustrator living in the area, was N.C. Wyeth. His work can be seen at the Brandywine River Museum, along with the work of his son, Andrew, and grandson Jamie.
Tom and I visited a museum at the home of the woodworker/sculptor/artist Wharton Esherick, which was nearby. We didn't get any photos of the cool interior of his home, but I can tell you that it was filled with beautiful furniture and sculptures that he made. Here are a couple of photos of the exterior.

While in the area, the Longwood Gardens should not to be missed. Founded by Pierre duPont, these 1,077 acres of beautiful gardens are another highlight of the region. We estimated that southeastern Pennsylvania is about three weeks further into spring than northern Vermont. It was a real treat to enjoy the weather and the green.

Before our long trip home, we were treated to an Easter service at a chapel in the woods. The congregation was small, and some people arrived on horseback. Who should we see riding in via horse and carriage, but Jamie Wyeth himself.

The trip was wonderful, largely due to the hospitality of parents and cousins who hosted us.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend you add the Brandywine Valley as a stop to your next road trip.
ps: I wish a real photographer had been with us. . .

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Where one might find quicksand, I am not sure, but maybe that's why I'm worried about it.

I was sufficiently curious about where exactly to find quicksand to do some investigating. This is what I found out:

Quicksand is not quite the fearsome force of nature that you sometimes see on the big screen. In fact, quicksand is rarely deeper than a few feet. It can occur almost anywhere if the right conditions are present. Quicksand is basically just ordinary sand that has been so saturated with water that the friction between sand particles is reduced. The resulting sand is a mushy mixture of sand and water that can no longer support any weight.

If you step into quicksand, it won't suck you down. However, your movements will cause you to dig yourself deeper into it. In this article, you will learn just how quicksand forms, where it's found and how you can escape its clutches if you find yourself hip-deep in it.

Quicksand is typically not very dangerous, but it’s one of the last things you’d want to run into if you were sandboarding. Check out the sandboarding article, video and images at Discovery’s Fearless Planet to learn more.

So, remember, if caught in quicksand DO NOT STRUGGLE.

Here's a link to where I found this helpful info:

Monday, April 04, 2011

Freezing to Death

Somewhere along the way, someone warned me that if I was stuck outside in the cold, never to lie down and rest in a snow drift. The relative warmth of the snow would lull you into a sleep you wouldn't wake from. Seems like pretty good advice.

Friday, April 01, 2011


I didn't mention that I saw Wicked in New York. It was fantastic. The music, the set, the lighting, the characters and the acting were all awesome. The Broadway show is based on the book Wicked, by Gregory Maguire, which was based on the book the Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum, and tells the story behind the Wicked Witch of the West. I highly recommend both the book and the show!
Here's a little doodle I did today while thinking about Elphaba.


My trip to the city was filled with exciting things. Luckily, falling down a manhole wasn't one of them. I wandered mostly in Soho, checked out the R. Crumb exhibit at the Society of Illustrators, and independent children's bookstore, Books of Wonder. In New York, there's so much to do I don't see how you can even scratch the surface unless you live there.


Sometimes something is so weird looking it is cute. Take a pug, for example. . .