Monthly Archives: October 2014

On the road to Washington DC from Philadelphia, we drove through a landscape of wildlife refuges along Delaware Bay towards Dover, the capital city of Delaware.

Delaware wetlands 2Delaware wetlands

This is Reedy Island Rear Range Lighthouse

Old lighthouse

Emergency sirens also grace this beautiful landscape.

Reedy Island

The birdlife is plentiful in and around the refuges that share the territory with crop farms.

Blue heronBuzzard?

We avoided the fast food franchises for lunch and landed in a family run restaurant in Sudlersville, Maryland. Thus far, this establishment wins the prize for the most condiment and cracker-laden table settings.

Parkside Family Restaurant, Sudlersville DE

I’d love to tell you that I ran up this steps towards the Philadelphia Art Museum then turned around and triumphantly punched the air and raised my arms as I looked down Benjamin Franklin Parkway towards the city.

Steps - Philadelphia Museum of Art

View down Ben Franklin Pkwy

I did, however, have a solo visit to the art museum this morning where I gravitated towards favourites such as Gustav Klimt and Paul Cezanne, and found some new objects and paintings to enjoy. The ceramic piece is called White Granite Bay by Wayne Higby and the paintings are by Thomas Eakins, a realist artist previously unknown to me.

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Portrait of a Woman - Gustav KlimtThe Large Bathers - Paul CezanneWhite Granite Bay - Wayne HigbyBetween Rounds - Thomas EakinsThe Agnew Clinic - Thomas EakinsThe Pair-Oared Shell - Thomas Eakins

The museum ticket price included entry to the Rodin Museum a few blocks away.

The Thinker - Rodin Museum

We caught a late lunch in the 9th Street / Italian Market precinct. Let it be said, there are few taste combinations as good as lamb, roasted fennel and tomato, sun-dried cherries, gorgonzola and rocket (or arugula as they call it here in the US).

Italian Market 1Italian Market 2Mural - Philadelphia

Sandwich - Paesano's South StPaseano - Italian Market

We rounded off the afternoon with a visit to the National Constitution Centre (no photos please). The rain began to fall just as we arrived back to our hotel.

Tomorrow it’s a short hop down the road to Washington DC.


This is Benjamin Franklin’s town. In the old city, it’s all cobblestones and narrow streets. Along the Delaware River, it’s concession stands closed for the summer season and old vessels with stories to tell.

Franklin has his very own interactive Museum, underneath the site of his last house which is ghosted in steel within Franklin Court. His inventions and business enterprises are featured in the Museum, though I saw no mention of his propensity for what he called ‘air baths’.

He’s in Independence Hall where he was present for the creation of the Constitution, not to mention the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and an ice-cream store called The Franklin Fountain.

Today was a 26 degree day (78F) and we made the most of it.

Assembly Room Independence HallSmith Premier Typewriter advertisementold frontages - PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia clockFranklin Fountain buildingInside the Bourse BuildingIndependence Hall et al

Assembly in Independence HallRemember the ladiesPenn's Landing signOlympia and Becunaclosed for the season - Philadelphia waterfrontLiberation of Jane JohnsonPhiladelphia Row HousesBenjamin Franklin - bifocalsBenjamin Franklin Bridge

The Franklin Fountain

On the road to Philadelphia today we took two detours. One into Hartford, Connecticut to visit the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain). Another for a visit in New Jersey. Then on, skirting around New York City and the rising Freedom Tower, gazing at geese in their hundreds on their migration path, watching the sun going down on the concrete sculpture that is the New Jersey Turnpike, and then across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia into the forecast of a warm sunny day tomorrow.

Hartford CTMark Twain House and Museum - Hartford CTMaude and friendsFreedom Tower NYCGeeseNew Jersey Turnpike - late afternoonBenjamin Franklin Bridge into PhiladelphiaBF Bridge into Philadelphia

We started our Sunday with a visit to the house of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Back in 1775-1776, George Washington used the house as his headquarters during the Siege of Boston in the American Revolutionary War. The house is largely as the Longfellow family lived in it.

We were in Cambridge, so a short wander around the campus of Harvard University was called for. After brunch at Russell House Tavern, it was back on the Red Line into the city for some more wanderings. The voice of the woman with all her belongings in tow warmed the space in the train station.

Longfellow House MALongfellow house - sitting roomLongfellow's booksLongfellow's books 2

Mr Bartley's Burger CottageHarvard T - Red linesongstressSouth Station, BostonhydrangeaBoston skylineBoston Common



A little taste of Boston with more discoveries tomorrow.

the architectural splendour of I M Pei’s pavilion and building that is the John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; the house where Louisa May Alcott lived; Make Way for Ducklings; Trails of Freedom and Black Heritage; the Fugitive Slave Act; Paul Revere; John Adams and John Hancock; burial grounds and churches; meeting houses and legislatures; the affluent streets of Beacon Hill; parklands and commons; the Green and Red lines; weekend markets; autumn decorations and window boxes; and baristas who can make a good cup of coffee.

John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum 1gravestone - Boston  Public Park, Boston Green line train

Paul Revere House Boston houses 1 Old State House Boston Brattle Book Shop Make Way for Ducklings

20 Pinkney Street Paramount Theatre Boston

We began today travelling through Poland, Russia, Greenwich and Cambridge without leaving New York State. When it wasn’t raining, the clouds deepened the landscape colours.

landscapes 23 Oct 2014 - 1

It may have been just a brief sojourn into Vermont and the historic town of Bennington, but there were finds to be made.

The Robert Frost Stone House Museum is the house where Frost wrote this poem (via Once more, the weather added extra atmospherics to the evocative landscape surrounding the house.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.


Robert Frost, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” from The Poetry of Robert Frost, edited by Edward Connery Lathem. Copyright 1923, © 1969 by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., renewed 1951, by Robert Frost. Reprinted with the permission of Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Source: Collected Poems, Prose, & Plays (Library of America, 1995)

Robert Frost's Stone House Museum 2Robert Frost Stone House Museum 1

Covered bridge - Bennington VT

As well as the three covered bridges in Bennington, we (and some of those welcome bus loads of people) also visited The Apple Barn to try their apple cider donuts, apple dumpling and ….. apples.

Apple BarnHoneycrisp Apples

On to Williamstown, Massachusetts where The Clark Art Institute houses an extensive collection of impressionist art including paintings by Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Here are two works by Degas (Entrance of the Masked Dancers and Little Dancer Aged Fourteen). Camille Pissarro’s Apples resonated for some reason.

The Clark Art Institute

Entrance of the Masked Dancers - DegasLittle Dancer Aged Fourteen - DegasCamille Pissarro - ApplesAutumn hills surrounding The Clark Art Institute

Oh, and Lincoln Cathedral’s Magna Carta is on exhibition here too.



Interstate 90 held our wheels for most of today. We detoured into Geneva and the Finger Lakes region for lunch then paid a visit to Seneca Falls to learn how the city had honoured three particular women. When I wrote about Amelia Bloomer on my social history blog over four years ago, I did not imagine I would visit the town where she introduced Susan B Anthony to Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

We saw another sign of the times today – highway stops for texting.

Tonight we’re in Utica and plotting tomorrow’s path towards Boston via the southern Adirondacks. I can’t let today’s post go without noting a catch up we made in St Jacobs, Ontario yesterday for lunch. Thanks Jo for making that happen.

Wednesday 22 Oct 2014Fingerlakes district 1Text stop on Highway - NY StateSeneca FallsWhen Anthony Met Stanton plaqueWhen Anthony met Stanton 2Welcome to Utica

A short place marker of a post to note that we visited Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in the past couple of days. The Henry Ford story is a complex one. I’m still processing the impressions I took away from both places.

Notwithstanding the above, nearly 60 years ago, Rosa Parks rode in a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and made history. On this day I got to sit in that bus and soak up the spirit of her courage and the stand that she made that day.

Henry Ford Museum 2Rosa Parks bus - Henry Ford Museum