Sunday, August 31, 2014

Vacation: BYU game (Day 6)

I sadly left the Catskills Friday morning and headed to Hartford, CT for a little tail gating before the BYU-UCONN game with friends from my congregation. I missed a turn which would have put me on the highway and GPS directed me to backroads the whole way. So glad I missed that turn. Couldn't stop to take pics, but another beautiful drive through the CT side of the Berkshires.

Tailgating with my friends--we all knew this Y was for BYU, but one of my CT friends pointed out this looked like Yale. No wonder we got some funny looks!
Decked out in my Cougar gear
In the tailgating area I saw an Ohio State flag, so went over to say hi. They are UCONN fans, but OSU fans most of all (note the OSU flag is ABOVE the UCONN flag). We reminisced about Ohio State,but didn't talk too much about BYU vs. UCONN. Very nice fans.
Inside the stadium--caught the last of the warm up.

 Here they come! 
 Their bench was in front of us
Some live-action shots. Didn't catch any of the 7 touchdowns though

Beautiful sunset!

BYU won 35-10. We went down to the bottom of the stands after the game and high fived all the players. Never done that before--it was fun!

Stayed in Hartford overnight and then headed home. Vacation was over, but it was such a great vacation. Saturday I unpacked, went shopping, went through a week's worth of mail and other ordinary, non-vacation sorts of things.

Catskills vacation: Day 5 (Thursday)

Went on a round-trip scenic train ride through the Catskills, from Arkville, NY to Roxbury, NY. It was about 45 minutes each way Loved it! The first part was the most relaxing part of the entire vacation.

About a 30 minute drive from where I was staying, and of course the scenery was breath-taking the entire way. Was there plenty early, so walked around and took some pictures before they were ready to board.


 Boarding area
And we're off! We followed the river and mountains the whole way. I saw a lot of eagles, hawks and blue herons, but wasn't quick enough to catch any on the camera. I even saw an eagle eating a fish. Pretty cool

 A little bit of fall color was starting to appear

 This is at the Roxbury depot. I love stone walls!


Lots of kids enjoying the day
Love red barns!

It was a beautiful day to go for a ride. A couple told me there are several fun scenic train rides in Massachusetts--I will definitely check it out. I have never been before, but always wanted to go.

Catskills vacation: Day 4 (Wednesday)

This was a hot and humid day, so I was glad I was able to stay inside with the AC and work on my thesis. I met my friend Donna for dinner in Saugerties. She lives in Albany, so this was about 1/2 way between Albany and Phoenicia.

We met at an old lighthouse on the Hudson River. It is a B&B now, so is generally not open to the public, but we could walk around it and there was a picnic area. 


To get there, we had to take about a 10 minute walk through tidal marsh. They had good trails, but during high tide, up to 6 inches or more of water covers the trail. I don't know that it every truly dries out. With the wet ground, lush greenery, and the heat and humidity, I felt like I was walking through a jungle.

 Hudson River--beautiful

Public picnic area with a little bell.
Because it was so hot, we ate at a diner. Not all that good. But great conversation with Donna. I can't believe I forgot to take her picture.

I was on backroads from Phoenicia to Saugerties and back. So beautiful. On the way there I saw 6 wild turkeys and on the way back I saw 5 or 6 deer, including little ones. No place to pull over and take pictures though.

Catskills vacation: Day 3 (Tuesday)

I love history and went to Historic Huguenot Street. The Huguenots were French Protestants in the 1500s and 1600s. France was very Catholic at the time and Protestants were persecuted and many were killed. They left France and some ended up in the British colonies.

A group of 5 families, consisting of 12 male heads of household, came to New York and settled in what is now New Paltz. Historic Huguenot Street is made up of a reconstructed church (based on the original) and 5 or so original stone buildings. Guided tours are available within each structure. I LOVED it!

To celebrate the French, Dutch, and American identities, each nation's flag is displayed in the parking lot. The French connection is obvious. After this group of Huguenots left France, they went to the Netherlands. The Dutch were very welcoming and accepting (the Puritans went there too for a while before coming to what would become Massachusetts in 1620). However, both the Huguenots and the Puritans were concerned about retaining their culture and wanted to settle in a new land, so both came to what would become America. The Huguenots settled in New Paltz in the 1670s. Although the land was officially controlled by the British, it had been Dutch before and the Dutch presence remained strong for the next 100 years or so.

The tours start at the reconstructed church. Isn't it beautiful?

 Interestingly, the pews don't face the pulpit, which is off to the side, but there are two rows that face each other.
 Ladder up to a loft
 Lots of natural light

 Don't think me preaching would have gone over too well with the Huguenots!

Of course there is a little cemetery outside, including the gravestones of some of the settlement's founders

The next house is my favorite. It is interpreted from events in the year 1755. It is baby Josiah's baptism day so everyone is very happy.

It is also the start of the French and Indian War. The settlement is on the frontier and while they have had continual peace with the Native Americans, they are always worried about a potential attack. The town is waiting for its leaders to decide what to do. Should they join with the French? They are French after all, but these French are Catholics and it is possible, maybe even likely, that the persecutions will start again if France wins the war. Should they fight with the British? Even though they have lived in a British-controlled land for 70+ years, they are not French. Should they remain neutral? The town leaders can't decide, so each family must decide what to do. Some join the French army, some join the British army, and some remain neutral. The next room is set 20 years later. Now baby Josiah is all grown up and he has to decide which side to fight for in the American Revolution. He is an American and fights with the Patriots. I love how the whole house interpretation is centered around themes of identity.

The next house is set in the 1920s. You can see the original stone house, but since it is the era of prosperity, the owners have added on. They have a maid, who shows us around.
The last house that I saw was set in the American Revolution as well--note the Betsy Ross flag.
the visitor's center used to be a fort.
Here is the front view
This is a side view
It is only one street, but it was absolutely beautiful. Lots of greenery, a few read leaves, and beautiful stone houses and a ton of history. So glad I went.