Not every one gets to take slow and scenic trips with her sister.
But I do!
Our latest trip began in Pennsylvania and went to Poughkeepsie, New York, up and over to Stockbridge, Massachusetts and then further over to my sister’s home in New Hampshire. We took two days to travel as the spirit moved us.
We met up at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Pennsylvania airport. I drove there, and she flew there. We headed up I-81 to I-84 through the Poconos to the Hudson River and drove up to Poughkeepsie, New York.
Why Poughkeepsie? Well, I wanted to see Valkill, the Eleanor Roosevelt house I’d missed seeing five or six years ago because it wasn’t open for the season yet. And Poughkeepsie is just down the road from Hyde Park. BUT, long story short, Valkill changed its schedule and wasn’t open on the days we were there.
However, there’s plenty to see and do in that area, and we’d made reservations at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. We had dinner at the CIA in the American restaurant (they have three: American, Italian, and French). We both chose the prix fixe menu, a special one in honor of the last episode of Man Men, a three-course meal with a 1960s theme. Our meals were both excellent. I highly recommend a trip to the CIA for a meal prepared by the students. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The next day we went to the pedestrian bridge that is a former railroad bridge over the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. The Walkway Over the Hudson gave us a little exercise and a great view of the Hudson River and the surrounding area on a crisp, windy day.
From there we drove up to Hyde Park. I’d been to the Roosevelt house and presidential library and the Vanderbilt Mansion on my last trip, and since we didn’t have a lot of time we chose to stop only at the graveyard where several of the Roosevelts are buried behind the Episcopal church. It’s a pretty little cemetery with some significant and interesting graves.
From Hyde Park, we headed north along the Hudson to Rhinebeck. I’d read that it’s a pretty town, and it really is. We had a nice late lunch of rustic pizza there and got back on the road. We meandered over to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, a small town in the Berkshires, for the evening. We stayed at the Stevens House of the Red Lion Inn. The main building dates back to 1773, but we were in a “newer” building, which is itself an older house. We walked to the Lion’s Den in the main building for a pub dinner in a unique undergroundish setting.
The next morning we walked to the Elm Street Market and sat at the counter for a diner breakfast. A couple of locals were perched on their stools in what seemed to be their regular spots, so I made sure to say “y’all” a few times and engage the reticent cook in a little conversation. Very little 🙂 He wasn’t so crazy about tourists.
The Norman Rockwell Museum was our next destination. It’s just outside Stockbridge in the country. It’s not a big museum, but it’s really interesting and has a good assortment of Rockwell’s paintings and copies of all of the Saturday Evening Post covers. We heard a gallery talk and enjoyed the Rockwells as well as the Leyendecker exhibit. And we took a walk out to the Rockwell studio, which had been moved to the museum grounds from downtown Stockbridge where Rockwell worked through much of his career.
We also tried to visit Naumkeag, an estate with gardens, but it wasn’t open for the season quite yet. And it turns out that Chesterwood, the country home, studio, and gardens of Daniel Chester French, is just outside Stockbridge, too, but I decided I didn’t really have the energy to enjoy it as I’d like, so we left that for another trip. Instead we drove into Lenox for lunch. Lenox is the summer home of the Boston Pops and is a nice little Massachusetts town. Edith’s Warton’s country home, The Mount, is nearby, but since we’d been there years ago and still had a couple-hour drive to my sister’s house in New Hampshire, we got on the road and left Western Mass and the Berkshires.
That was the end of our motel and driving time. Our next excursions were day trips. And I’ll tell about those in my next post.
This is the Four Freedoms series. Freedom from Want, Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Fear