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. . .