Postcards from Pennsylvania

by chuckofish

…and Delaware and Maryland.

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Here we are after daughter #1 crossed the finish line at the Rock n Roll half marathon. Daughter #2 and I carried our signs all the way from College Park on the D.C. metro and waved them at the halfway point in Columbia Heights. The “praise hands” sign was a big hit with a lot of the runners who made “praise hands” gestures as they ran by. Daughter #2 is so hip. Anyway, our own “Mary” (as well as several other Marys) saw us as she flew by. We trucked on over to the finish line via metro (we even had to transfer) in time to see her cross the finish line. We ubered to our brunch location and then metroed home.

Following a much-needed nap, we all converged in Silver Spring at daughter #2 and Nate’s favorite watering hole for cocktails.

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We toasted the marathoner and also our newest Ph.D–Dr. Underland, who defended his dissertation last week.

On Sunday we headed out into the rain for Pennsylvania. The weather did not improve for the two days we were there. In fact, it got worse, but, oh well. C’est la vie.

We made it to Chadds Ford and our hotel. It is a really lovely part of the country. Unfortunately, the Brandywine River Museum, which was my main reason for going, is undergoing renovations so there were only two galleries open and no N.C. Wyeth at all on view!

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There was a lot of banging and hammering going on just to the right of daughter #1…and the weather…gloomy enough for you?

This was deeply disappointing, but being the troupers that we are, we forged on to the Hagley Museum in nearby Delaware. This Smithsonian affiliate includes the historic DuPont powder yards on the banks of the Brandywine River and a really lovely DuPont home.

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It was all right up my alley. There was also this:

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On the way back to the hotel we stopped at the Baldwin Book Barn–a five-story barn filled to the brim with used books. We all found books–typical–to tote home. We also slammed on the brakes for an antique mall. Duh.

The next day we headed over to Winterthur, the fabulous home of Henry Francis DuPont. I have always wanted to go there and it did not disappoint. Since it was cold and rainy, we were practically the only people there when it opened at 10 a.m. so we got a private tour on the tram through the beautiful gardens and a private tour through the house. DuPont was a rich guy after my own heart–he collected American furniture and decorative arts and built a house for them. Then he opened it up for the world to enjoy. He was also a master gardener and farmer.

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Oh, the export china! I was in heaven.

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After lunch we headed home to College Park in the rain.

Of course, the sun came out on the day I left. Despite the blue skies in Baltimore, the fog in Ft. Myers meant the flight was delayed. Then the check engine light came on and the plane had to be…checked. So we sat on the tarmac for two hours before they decided the plane was un-flyable. Back to the terminal. Much gnashing of teeth. I have to say though that all the passengers on my packed-to-capacity flight were friendly and unflappable and orderly. And the drinks were free when we finally got off the ground.

Well, it is always nice to get home, isn’t it?