Being a compendium of thoughts as we drive and drive and....
over to georgia!
After a few lovely days, we left Raleigh and hit the road today. Drove to Atlanta – about 500 miles – with a stop in Charlotte to go to the Mint Museum. They had a wonderful traveling show of Picasso landscapes and a small show relating Romare Bearden’s work to Picasso’s. Both interesting and thought provoking. The Mint’s origins are as a craft museum and they did not disappoint there. Great works in many media – wood, glass, fiber, metal, etc. And a small but great show of fashions.
Still listening to The Worst Journey in the World and we found a map from the book online, which has made it easier to follow...but we’ll take a break on that and go to something lighter tomorrow. Maybe The Kid Stays in the Picture...
Currently watching the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize Award concert honoring Joni Mitchell. Our small connection to it is that our amazing niece Rebecca is the Deputy Director, Library Events Office at the Library and no, she couldn’t get us tickets. :-( But wait, she is also an author - check out her latest book: Untold Power, the story of Edith Wilson. https://tinyurl.com/5cc9bka3
around the triangle
Fun day in Chapel Hill. The UNC campus surrounds a green with amazing ancient trees. And we enjoyed the Ackland Museum and some of the art on campus, including a huge ear trumpet. Disappointed that the Morehead Planetarium is only open weekends…
Couldn’t leave NC without barbecue, so Hog Heaven for lunch. We worked off about 10% of that wandering around the Duke Homestead and learning about all things tobacco at the Tobacco Museum. Who knew that the “bullpen” got its name from the huge Durham Bulls sign over the area where the pitchers warmed up? Or that American Tobacco invented baseball cards? (Yesterday we learned that the Bulls name was inspired by the image on the Coleman’s mustard logo.)
Over to Raleigh tonight (needed to hit all sides of the triangle) for dinner with Lee and Liza. And celebrate Cecilia’s election as a senior class marshal! Art fans might want to check out Liza’s book, Art of The State - https://uncpress.org/book/9781469661247/art-of-the-state/
And, of course, the news out of NYC… :-)
Richmond to Chapel Hill
We didn’t post yesterday because our day ended with dinner at our friends Erica and David’s in Chapel Hill and there was too much catching up to do.
What we did was leave C’ville (as we learned to all it) and drive to Richmond. First coffee with Noël, a colleague Laura has been working with and never met IRL, in Shockhoe Slip, a restored industrial area. Then on to the much anticipated American Civil War Museum. The museum is a great accomplishment and has some amazing artifacts and very moving stories that personalize the war and its impact in an effective way. But we did not love it. The firm responsible (not naming and shaming) bills itself as… “Creating emotionally engaging, award-winning experiences for civic, corporate, and cultural destinations.” So perhaps not surprising that we found it over-designed and hard to follow.
The site – the old Tredegar Iron Works – is fascinating but disappointingly under-interpreted. Photos online include wayside signage which is gone. The NPS visitor center looked abandoned. If we hadn’t been hungry, we’d have explored more on our own. Instead we opted for a late lunch in Manchester, another restored industrial area, then on to Chapel Hill. Wish we had more time in Richmond!
We are lingering in Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill to spend time with friends and family. Today, Laura introduced Ed to the Museum of Durham History, one of her favorite clients, before lunch with our niece Abby. Then onto the Duke Gardens, which were at their spring best, and the Nasher Museum of Art.
More jefferson and jazz
A day that started out cold and overcast and ends with us sitting by the pool listening to live jazz. It’s Gin and Jazz at the Oakhurst Inn.
Laura left a five star review for the Blue Moon Diner before we got in the car. A fun, funky place with great straightforward breakfast food. The two people running things this morning might have been the owners - they were certainly committed to excellent service. If they move to Cambridge, we’d be regulars.
Spent most of the day at Monticello. Jefferson was truly an amazing polymath. Both the house and the exhibits are clear about the enslaved people of the estate and their role in creating and maintaining Jefferson’s world. They don’t stint on some difficult topics and the contradiction in J’s life between “all men are created equal” and the fact that he enslaved some 600 people in his lifetime.
And….Monticello provided the first spoonrest of the trip.
Then on to Eastwood, a local women-owned winery for some food and wine in the sunshine. Good wines, but overpriced, so we just enjoyed our tasting flights and moved on.
March 26 day two
While DC cherry blossoms get the press, Kenwood, a neighborhood in Bethesda near Steve’s, is lined with cherry trees. It was a beautiful morning and we took the two dogs (Steve’s and Rebecca’s) for a walk. It was fabulous but let’s just say NOT the serene contemplation of nature’s beauty that one might hope for with two dogs to control. Many folks were out walking, taking photos (from iPhone to professional rigs), some young women dolled up in blossom themes frocks, and one enterprising resident selling lemonade and other refreshments. Later in the day, I’m sure it was chaos.
Brunch with Steve then the drive to Charlottesville. Years ago Ed made Laura a mixed tape… that was our soundtrack for the drive.
Our inn is right off campus, so we walked over to admire Jefferson’s vision. And UVA’s sincere acknowledgment of the critical role of enslaved people in the university’s history.
Champagne and jazz and books in the Oakhurst Inn parlor before dinner…
The First Day
It was cold and grey as we left Cambridge and it only got worse - raining in Connecticut and New York. Luckily, by the time we got to Maryland, there was no rain and it had cleared a bit.
Our first stop was Harold’s Deli in Edison, NJ - home of the world’s largest pickle bar and huge sandwiches. The picture is of a “junior” size. The pickle bar lived up to its billing and the sandwich was enough for two meals.
Sound for the start of the trip was “The Worst Voyage in the World”, the story of Scott’s ill fated trip to Antarctica, told by one of the survivors. Perhaps not the best choice, so in New Jersey, we switched to Springsteen for the rest of the day.
Drove to Laura’s brother Steve’s house in Bethesda, where two enthused and affectionate dogs awaited us.
Tomorrow cherry blossoms, brunch, Charlottesville!
Starting in Eight days
The plan is to leave the morning of March 25th and travel until the end of May or boredom takes over or our marriage is threatened.
First stop - Washington, DC for the cherry blossoms!
Laura and Ed