Monday, November 08, 2010

happy accident

We watched a documentary about Teddy Roosevelt a few days ago. I had heard the Roosevelt home in upstate New York was an interesting place to visit, so early Saturday I plugged it into my phone for directions and off we went for a fun day trip on our very first free weekend after five solid months of farmers' market commitments. Cold and sunny day, Stuff You Should Know podcast for all to enjoy.

It wasn't until we reached our "destination" that I realized we were in the wrong place. We were at the home of FRANKLIN D. Roosevelt, not Theodore! Hm. Well, we were there, so might as well check it out. Good thing we did, too, as it was an interesting tour in a beautiful location. We had watched a documentary about FDR and Eleanor a few months back and the kids remembered a lot of it, so that tied in nicely.

I loaned Eleanor my sock-in-progress on the way out because she was an avid knitter and her hands in this sculpture are totally positioned properly for knitting. I think the artist chose to skip the knitting in this portrayal, but from what I saw elsewhere, if she and FDR were hanging out like this, there would have been sticks and string in her hands.

It ends up that right up the road was a Vanderbilt mansion, where we had an outstanding tour with a funny and engaging guide. This included a stunningly beautiful view along the Hudson River as we walked around some of the expansive property.

Just a few miles in the opposite direction and we were at Eleanor Roosevelt's cottage, Val-Kill, a heavenly, humble cottage in the woods.

So then we looked up where Teddy Roosevelt's house is -- Long Island. Hey, no dog at home to worry about, no major commitments on the calendar for the next day, so let's go, I said, and off we went! Nope, we didn't have luggage or a plan, but it didn't matter. Spent the night in the area and visited Sagamore Hill on Sunday.

Took the ferry as a shortcut to home, during which time I knit, Scott watched football, and the kids had a blast exploring the boat.

A happy accident, for sure!


Blogger LaurieM said...

That's funny with your knitting in Elanor's hands! I thought it was part if the statute till you pointed it out.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous CTJen said...

That is so neat! We pass the FDR home and the Vanderbuilt estate every year on the way to Rhinebeck and I always say we should make plans to go there. I think this year we will. Did you get to check out the Presidential library? I'm going to have to make plans to go up there ASAP! I can't wait to go up and hand Mrs. Roosevelt my knitting. :-)

10:47 AM  
Blogger Rani said...

Well now, that is just plain cool and I wish I had been there. I LOVE those kinds of sights - trips. Isn't Mark Twain's house around those parts?

And now I have another reason to admire Eleanore - knitting! I LOVE that picture with your sock in her hands. HA HA HA! It looks so natural. It must have originally been intended for her to knit but that part of the sculpture broke. I'm sure of it.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Sandy said...

You are right about Eleanor's hands being in the knitting position. The sculpture has to be based in part on a photo of them that depicted a cozy home scene and was sent out as a Christmas card. I have seen the image here and there and she is knitting in it. She was an avid knitter and if you google image her name and knitting, you'll find many photos of her knitting everywhere, from on the beach to on an airplane.

4:21 PM  

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