Sunday, November 23, 2008

Road Trip New England: More??? (Yes, but we're almost done)

Bonjour mes amis. Ce matin, nous commencont dans le sud de France. Well, it used to be French anyway. Now it's bona fide Americain. (is that French correct anyway? high school French was a loooong time ago...)
I read in some airline magazine (on an unusual solo flight) about a great re-enactment of the French and Indian War that is not-to-be-missed at Fort Ticonderoga in New York in June. Well, I had never heard of Fort Ticonderoga before (strange, since I took AP US history in high school. All I remember from that class is learning to write essays. You would think I remembered learning to write in English class, but no, all I remember from my junior year of English is my friend Heather opening the door from the hall just wide enough to quote an Adam Sandler movie and then sneak into the classroom across the hall, so she wouldn't get caught. Mrs. Atkins loved that.). So anyway, it made me curious, and since we were going to be passing by, we added it to our itinerary.
So, here's the deal. It used to be called Fort Carillon and it was French. Eventually the British came over and tried to attack it. They lost the battle. Then, a year later, they tried again and won. I think this is when it was renamed Fort Ticonderoga. After several years, during the American Revolution, the sneaky Green Mountain Boys from Vermont came and took it over without a shot. Then the British came down from Canada and took it back, and eventually it was abandoned (I'm guessing with the British resolve to keep control over those stubborn colonies).
It was a really interesting reminder that the world didn't begin when I was born (sometimes I wonder), and it was especially cool to see the fancy, French-looking architecture. Oh, and it has a beautiful view - at the edge of the Adirondack Park Preserve on Lake Champlain.
It ended up being one of Dave's favorite stops on the trip. Low key, a little educational, and the kids could run around and climb all over canons from England and France (and Spain too, but I don't remember how those ones got there).
We continued on our trip south along the scenic eastern border of New York, eventually arriving in the Hudson River valley, and at the home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. My friend had written about visiting this place on a trip to New York, otherwise I probably would have passed right by it (see above note on US History) (thanks, Kristen).
We had a delicious lunch in Mrs. Nesbitt's Cafe, named after Henrietta Nesbitt, the Roosevelt's housekeeper at the white House, then toured the home. We had a great tour guide, and learned a lot about the President while we got a glimpse into what his home life was like. My imagination loves things like that.
This is the driveway (with my blurry children) to the front of the home - important, our tour guide pointed out, because after FDR contracted polio, he was told that he wouldn't walk again, but he worked tirelessly to regain the use of his legs, and eventually came outside with his sons to walk the length of the driveway. He fell many times, but each time got up and kept going. He told them that if he could at least walk to the end of the driveway, then he knew he would be okay.
After touring the home, it was getting late, so we took a quick walk through the museum.
This is his blue Ford, made so that he could drive it with just his hands.
"Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight."
There was a whole wing dedicated to Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a pretty impressive lady. You know, it could be that the museum and the guides were a little biased, but I really got the feeling that the Roosevelts were good people. Dave and I really enjoyed this stop on our trip.
And we really really enjoyed the next one too.
This is the CIA. No, not that CIA, silly. It's the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Actually, it's the back of it. The front has all these fountains and gazebos and stuff. I didn't want to take my camera inside, so you get this picture from inside my dirty windshield. Your welcome.
You have to eat here. It's a must. You are welcome to spend the big bucks and eat at one of their "nicer" student run restaurants with reservations and a dress code, but we just ate at the casual "wait in line to order your food" student run Apple Pie Bakery Cafe, and it was phenomenal. We ordered the Crisp Fried Goat Cheese Salad (to die for), the Oven Roasted Turkey Sandwich (with gruyere cheese and chipotle mayonnaise, to die for), and Macaroni and Cheese (also with gruyere, also to die for). From the bakery, we tried a lemon pastry thing (the best way I can think to describe it is like pain au chocolat only with lemon instead of chocolate, or like a lemon croissant, only better - to die for), and also the cutest fruit brioche you have ever seen (to. die. for.). You must eat there. You. Must.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Oh man! We were going to go to the Culinary Institute, but didn't have enough time. I guess we missed out! You're trip sounds like it was a lot of fun. I'm jealous.