ROAD TRIP !!!
We love to travel...and have a few overseas trips planned for the future. But, it has been a few years since we took a road trip and decided to visit New York State - Hyde Park and Bethel Woods. Here we go - come along !
A four hour drive from our home - with a stop for a diner lunch!- and we arrived in Hyde Park in the rain. First stop was the Vanderbilt mansion. We purchased a Senior Pass for National Parks. What a bargain - 20 dollars for one pass for the both of us. That got us into the mansion with no additional cost. We were able to use it for our trip to FDR's home and library - and the pass is good for an entire year, so more road trips are in the plans.
We checked into our hotel and made it for the last tour of the day...and JUST made it! Our hotel was a basic Quality Inn that we chose because 1) it was 1 mile away from the sites we wanted to visit, and 2) it was FREE with our Choice Rewards points! A basic hotel with breakfast was fine as we spent all our time exploring history!
Tickets are purchased in what was the "bachelor quarters" - a little house where single men stayed as it was not proper for male guests who were unmarried to stay in the mansion with single women guests.
Our Park Ranger tour guide was wonderful...he told us this was the smallest of the Vanderbilt mansions and was used only in the Spring and Fall...
and it was like walking into the Gilded Age on HBO! All of the rugs and furnishings are the originals.
Many treasures brought from Europe...this is a 15th century marriage chest from Italy.
It was so interesting to hear how a weekend in the country happened for the rich in that time. The rain stopped by the end of the tour but it was still too wet to visit the gardens. We will have to go back someday! After a quick dinner it was an early to bed night to be at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt site bright and early the next morning.
After purchasing our tickets in the Visitor Center - Free for the house and a reduced price for the library and museum. That ticket was 26 dollars per person, but just 6 dollars for us with our "Senior Pass"...LOL, it pays to get old!
The house was called Springwood. FDR was born there and moved there after his marriage to Eleanor...along with HIS mother, Sara.
All the photos on the piano are heads of state who visited there....Churchill, the King and Queen of England, etc.
The library...with FDR's wheelchair. There were ramps over the stairs for him to maneuver the stairs down to the library...which were removed when visitors came.
FDR got upstairs to his bedroom by using the large dumbwaiter that was used in the past for luggage. It was modified for him to fit and he pulled himself up and down by that rope.
Room where FDR was born...
His dog, Fala's leash.
Us, in the big mirror in the hallway !
Beautiful view and a cozy screened porch.
FDR, Eleanor, and his mother are buried in the rose garden.
After lunch in the visitor center canteen we moved on to the library and museum...
It was fascinating! My first thought was that he was SO wealthy that when he contracted polio he could have just said "that's it...I am going to take it easy" - and instead he was passionate about politics and really changed America. Some people hated him...others adored him. Our families have benefited from many of the New Deal programs.
Both of our fathers were in the CCCs - the Civilian Conservation Corp - in the 1930's.
Lots of interactive displays....you could sit at a 1930's kitchen table and listen to one of FDR's famous Fireside Chats.
Many displays about our role in WWII.
Thank goodness our ticket was good for two days...we read each display and the first day did not get to see the special exhibit about Civil Rights. We did that the next morning...
and then headed down the road to the Culinary Institute of America for lunch. DELICIOUS and a beautiful campus!
Love the chef in the crosswalk!
Caramel Apple Cheesecake for dessert!
Spent the afternoon at Val Kill - Eleanor's home after her husband's death. The room above is where she met with JFK before the election for him to gain her support. She was a wonderful woman and did so much to support human rights.
We made an early night and got up the next morning to head to Bethel Woods and the Woodstock Museum.
Another great museum...we spent about 5 hours there.
Lots of video displays and interactive things to explore.
Could not resist playing at Woodstock...
A mile or so down the road you can visit the actual site of the concert.
Can you see the peace sign in the grass...very cool.
After that we had a great drive home through the mountains...very remote and some beautiful lakes along the way. It was a great trip...and we are inspired to visit more Presidential Library and Museum sites. Have you been to any? Do you enjoy a good road trip? I would love to hear about your adventures - so please leave a comment below. Have a great week and a wonderful October !