Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gillette Castle

Yesterday Andrew and I went out to  East Haddam to see Gillette Castle.  The castle was owned by William Gillette, the actor who played Sherlock Holmes.  He modeled the castle after a castle he saw and liked in upstate New York.  He designed all of the furniture, doors, windows, and light switches.  They are very unique, as is evidenced by the pictures below.  We spent the afternoon touring the castle and seeing the grounds.  The views are amazing.  The castle was fascinating as well.  The furniture is built in.  We also learned that William Gillette was quite the jokester, and that he did not like people to "just drop by."  It was a very enjoyable afternoon and I would definitely recommend seeing the castle and taking the tour.

us in front of the Castle

nice view

there is a mama deer and her fawn that you can barely see

the mama deer and her fawn

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle

Gillette Castle

Grand Central Station

view of the river

view of the river

Gillette Castle

light switch

door to secret passageway

the Great Room

fireplace in the Great Room

fountain in the Conservatory


kitchen sink

fireplace in the lounge

door with intricate latch system

desk in the study - chair is on a track system

window with latch system designed by William Gillette

bar in the lounge designed by William Gillette

view out the window

latch system for window

fire extinguishing system


"Aunt Polly" was the name of his houseboat

light switch

the Green Room

dresser and mirror in the green room

light switch for light over Gillette's bed

bureau designed by Gillette in his bedroom

Gillette's things on his bed

beautiful light in the stairway

the Library

the library

nook on the third floor

Gillette Castle

gorgeous view

gorgeous view

top of Gillette Castle

Top of Gillette Castle

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Daddy Daughter Dates

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday and tonight I was thinking about my Dad.  We used to go on Daddy Daughter dates.  I LOVED them!  My dad and I just have this special connection and I always love getting to spend a few one-on-one moments with him.  He is a typical working class dad - always busy - so it was really nice when he made extra time just for me, and he did it frequently.
I imagine these "special dates" (or sometimes moments) started long before I can remember.  The first one could have been when I superglued my mouth shut because I so desperately wanted to be outside where he was, or it could have been the time when we were enjoying popsicles on the front porch (one in each hand) after he finished mowing the lawn.
These dates certainly included the million times he tucked me in (yes, every night, all the way through my senior year of high school) and frequently had brief (and sometimes not-so-brief) conversations with me and Big Doggie (because, after all, Christmas was just around the corner).  They included walks around the block after dinner and talks in the evening on the big swing about everything and nothing.  They included going with him to his office and playing secretary one Saturday morning while he worked.  They included riding in his Honda Del Sol with the top down and the heater blasting (because it was winter) on our way to Captain Billy Whizzbang's for hamburgers.  They included walking to Waco High School to pick up the car and go get mom for lunch.  They included walking to Fuddruckers for lunch during Christmas Break my senior year of high school, and going to Trujillos for lunch for my 18th birthday.  They included sleeping in the living room with me during the "tornado", and on my bed with me when I was too scared to sleep in it by myself (after the giant cockroach - major ick factor!).  They included helping me with Science Fair (because science is so not my thing).
I'd say they even included walking me down the aisle on my wedding day, and the brief moments we shared beforehand.  I'd go so far as to say they included the notes I, more often than not, found in my lunchbox in elementary school from him - all of which I still have.  And, of course there were the more obvious ones that we officially called Daddy Daughter Dates, like our dinner date at Fuddruckers one night.  Every single one of those moments spent with my Daddy are precious to me and I look forward to having many more.


I miss you terribly.  Texas and Connecticut are separated by way too many states.  I look forward to the day when we live closer together again and can have more Daddy Daughter Dates . . . and perhaps eventually, some Grandaddy Granddaughter dates too.  I love you more than words can say.  Thank you so much for all of the wonderful memories you've given me.

I'll love you forever and always,


Here are a few of my favorite recent pics of me and my Daddy:

I love this man.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

6th Anniversary in NYC

On June 4, 2005 (6 years ago), Andrew and I were married.  We had a lovely wedding in Waco, took a limo to Dallas and spent the night, and then flew to NYC for our honeymoon on June 5.  We had the most amazing time, and ever since then, NYC has been one of my favorite places.  I LOVE being in the city.  It has such a great energy, and there's so much to do.  Andrew and I have been many times now, since we live so close (one BIG bonus of living up here) and every time we go, it's exciting and wonderful and different and it never disappoints.  Yesterday was no exception (except for this delightful bakery that was closed before we could get there to enjoy the yumminess that is cupcakes . . . that was definitely disappointing).  Anyway, we got there in time for a late lunch at 'Wichcraft, a tasty sandwich place located all over the city - we ate at the one in Bryant Park, a nice outdoor venue.  Then we hiked over to the subway and caught a train to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Because it was the first full weekend of the month, and we are Bank of America cardholders, we got in for FREE!  We strolled around looking at several of the exhibits for 3.5 - 4 hours.  By the end, our feet were VERY tired.  We left the museum and walked over to a quaint Italian restaurant - Bello Giardino.  Very good, but a wee bit overpriced.  We thought we had left ourselves plenty of time to make it back to Grand Central Station and the bakery - Crumbs - located just around the corner.  Sadly, we did not.  We waited for a subway that took it's sweet time coming and just missed getting to eat dessert there.  Not surprisingly, I was a bit of a baby about it (I do love cupcakes and I had really been looking forward to eating one from Crumbs for at least a week) and I may have shed some tears.  I know it's stupid, and I am ashamed of myself for ending such a wonderful day on such a sour note.  But, all in all, it was still a really great day spent with my love and we had fun together.

First exhibit we looked at - Egypt:

Then, we looked at Arms and Armor:

this one was made for a 5 year old!!

After that, we looked at the Sculptures:




We went up to the rooftop garden for a bit (it was cold!):

Finally, we looked at the Impressionist's Paintings:

Van Gogh - Wheat Field and Cypress Tree

Cezanne - The House with Cracked Walls
Degas - Dancers Practicing at the Bar
don't remember the painter, but the colors were gorgeous and I liked the technique

on the steps of the museum