Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Odds and Ends from a weekend with GFJ

Olana State Historic Site.  If you're traveling in the Hudson Valley, this gem of a house should not be missed.  GFJ and I saw this beautiful building and landscape this weekend, and were both "Wowed" by its artistic composition.  Its former resident, Frederic Edwin Church, was known for being one of the most successful of the Hudson River School of artists. And his home is a 3 dimensional work of art, both inside and outside the building. My pictures can't do this site justice, and I strongly suggest you visit this place on a clear, cool, sunny day.

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Friday night, I went up to GFJ's and had a quiet night.  However, I was very glad that I didn't take Lili to her surgeon,  as I'd have had to fight holiday traffic on the way back home. The surgeon read her the riot act for going out and about - even with someone else doing the driving. Lili found that there still is a risk of infection while drainage ports are in her, and her movements caused one of them to disconnect. No wonder why the surgeon was upset!

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The next day, we proceeded to get up and out early, so that we could get to see Olana.  GFJ made the wise decision to call and reserve tickets early.  Like last week at Sagamore Hill, Olana's web site recommended that people make reservations for the tours early in the day, as there are frequent sell outs. And this was proven true on our visit as well, as there were no earlier spots available on the 2 pm and 2:30 pm tours. We were on the last posted tour of the day (3 pm) and it was crowded, given the size of the house.

Although the house was large and covered with art, much of which would command 7+ figure prices, most of it was not Church's art.  Other than his "work" sketches, the art in this house was that of other painters. Church made his living from selling his art, and you can find his work at many of the world's great museums and private collections.  However, the painting of Petra (middle above painting) was made for his wife, as she didn't accompany him to the site.  And since this was not of the types of work from which he made money, it remained in the house when its entire contents were purchased for use as a museum.

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Sunday came, and the weather wasn't that great.  So we stayed inside most of the day, then drove to Woodstock to see "Let the Sunshine In".  Neither of us were prepared for a French film with subtitles.  Both of us were a little tired, and it required more attention than usual to watch the film.  The film was forgettable, with few characters that appealed to me - except for a scene with Gerard Depardieu at the film's end.  On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate it as a 4. If Depardieu's character played a greater role in the film, it could have been a 7-8.  Sadly, the film lacked a good script.

After the film, we could have easily gone to The Little Bear.  But neither of us had a craving for Chinese, so we went to the diner in Kingston to eat.  Although our hungers were sated, it didn't stop us from craving something later on.  Luckily, dinner came with dessert - and we took that back home to eat.

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Memorial day came, and it was a nice day.  So we ended up taking a walk along a nearby rail trail, and caught the above shot from the Rosendale trestle.  If you were to look very closely at this picture, you'd see some kayakers making their way down the river - something GFJ had never seen here before.

After we were done with our walk, she drove over to Williams Lake.  About 33 years ago, my late wife and I spent our wedding night at this (then) resort.  The gate was open, so we drove in a little and explored from the comfort of our car. (All the buildings had already been torn down, so there was nothing much to see.)   I was a little worried about the electric gate, as it could close with us inside the compound. So we left, and took a drive along the back roads of her region. 

Arriving back home, it was a meal of leftovers and a fresh carrot cake.  Yum!   I checked my mail, and responded to a message from the Cat Lady (TCL).  Seems as if her last cat is getting sick, and the Vet wants to do a workup on the cat.  TCL doesn't have much more money to spend on the cat, so I hope that she makes a wise decision here.  (I do not criticize her decisions regarding her other two cats which passed away. TCL has put in her retirement papers, and won't have "excess" money coming in anymore.)

By the time the news came on the TV, we were ready to go to sleep - and that was the end of our day....

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