The Cool House: vacation
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Backyard Color

Someone else's beautiful

bird-adorned backyard

on super relaxing, laid back, do nothing, summery Cape Cod.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Getting Away From It All

We changed our plans and extended the vacation another day so we could go out on the water

That proved to be a great idea

Because wherever we looked

To the right or the left

Up or down

It seemed the wildlife was out enjoying the sun, too

Saturday, July 17, 2010


The weather didn't necessarily cooperate every day but there was always something interesting to do in while recharging our batteries and regaining our sense of fun

Build-a-boat in Portland. ME

Spotting exotic animals

experiencing the town art

or admiring the town architecture - Belfast, ME

Monday, July 12, 2010

The smell of the ocean

"Each morning sees some task begun, each evening sees it close"
but we won't be there to experience it. While the floors are sanded and sealed, the baseboards & moldings stained, we will be here (clue in image) eating our way through bowls of smoked haddock chowder and other local delicacies. A break is good!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Guess Where I've Been: Part 1



Not Geneva - though there was a fountain

Maybe Tuscany for the Boar?


Not Venice - although there were gondolas...

All will be revealed in due course. Happy 4th!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Vacation Vistas VII

Leaving the Mainland
Long Island Sound

Vacation Vistas VI

Ominous Clouds
Mystic, Connecticut

Vacation Vistas V

Newport, Rhode Island

Vacation Vistas IV

Abandoned Rails
Newport, Rhode Island

Vacation Vistas III

Shady Arbor
Newport, Rhode Island

Vacation Vistas II

Scarecrow Convention
Newport, Rhode Island

Vacation Vistas

Porpoise Driven
Newport, Rhode Island

Sunday, September 28, 2008

YSL Retrospective

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Montreal was visiting the Musee des Beaux Arts to see the Yves St Laurent retrospective. The exhibition, which opened only a few days before YSL died, spanned forty years of innovative fashion design and was awe inspiring, not least because you could really get up close and examine the garments to see the work that the couturier put into each outfit.

It is only when you get within two feet of a dress that you can truly understand how they can cost thousand of dollars.

All the designer's work was represented from Le Smoking, via safari jackets and the yeti style jackets to the transparent blouses and glamorous evening gowns

Memorable designs were the lattice beadwork fringed tribal dresses and this tiny little black micro minidress on the right designed for Diane Von Furstenburg by Yves St Laurent in 1990. Exquisite.
The retrospective in Montreal has now closed but will open at the de Young Museum in San Francisco on November 1st. Go, and be inspired.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More Balls!

Feeding my fascination with Buckminster Fuller and geodesic structures, we visited the Biosphere Environmental Museum in Montreal. This fun, interactive museum is built inside the dome designed by Fuller for the 1967 World Expo. The original structure was protected from the elements by a transparent acrylic membrane that was destroyed when the sphere caught fire in 1976. Now the dome is completely uncovered, which is great for viewing the surrounding landscape and watching the these guys perform a little maintenance.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


"So you want to visit Chatsworth?" The Guy asks me as I explain about the Beyond Limits exhibition held in the park-like grounds of the stately home.
"And these sculptures are out in the yard?"
You know when you've lost your language when you refer to the 105 acre garden at Chatsworth House as a yard.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Schmap for iPhone

I got an email this morning from the folks at Schmap to let me know their guides are now available for iPhone and iPod touch and my photos are included. I played around a lot with the online version and I'm totally in love with it. Schmap and iPhone - perfect synergy.
I'm glad I could play with it online because that's the nearest I'll get to actually possessing my own iPhone. After all what is the point of having a state of the art, intuitive, beautifully designed, expensive phone if you live in a VILLAGE WITH NO CELLPHONE SERVICE?

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Summer White House

I did squeeze in one local culture experience on my vacation at home. On Thursday morning I visited Teddy Roosevelt's home Sagamore Hill at Oyster Bay Cove, 10 minutes from The Cool House.
I've taken visitors to the grounds many times before but this was the first time I'd toured the house and it was worth at least double the $5 fee. Firstly you get a NPS ranger as tour guide and they are always informative but our guide Robert Erhlich had so many stories about the house and the artifacts that we were there much longer than planned. There is the house itself, which is one of the best preserved Victorian Shingle-style homes in the US, with its gas lighted dining room, dark wood paneling, and exterior ice house. Everything in the house, with the exception of the rugs, some drapes and the back staircase, is original. Then there are the public rooms filled with the souvenirs of TR Roosevelt's life, as New York politician, explorer, Rough Rider and President. Elephant tusks (a gift from the King of Ethiopia, Polar and Grizzly bear rugs, the Presidential flag represent just part of the unique decor you'll find here. Even the room where Elinor Roosevelt stayed when her parents died is preserved as it was, complete with a signature quilt made by her closest friends.

Roosevelt and his second wife Edith Kermit Carow moved into Sagamore Hill in 1887, eventually raising six children there, including Alice, from his first marriage. When Roosevelt became the youngest president in 1902 after the McKinley's assassination he re-named the Executive Mansion in Washington DC "The White House" and the installation of a telephone at Sagamore Hill that kept the President in touch with the Capital permitted the family to reside on Long Island during the summer months. Sagamore Hill became known as the Summer White House.
If you love old houses, taxidermy, history or good yarns and have an opportunity to visit Long Island, or if you live near here and didn't know about it, beg or borrow $5 and invest it in a tour. You won't be disappointed.
Sagamore Hill NHS 12 Sagamore Hill Road, Oyster Bay, NY 11771 is open to visitors from Wednesday through Sunday each week (closed Mondays & Tuesdays). House tours on the hour 10 AM-4 PM.

Vacation: not quite as planned

Monday was the start of a week long vacation. We packed in a fair amount and we had a list of things we wanted to do during the other five days. How do you think we did?
Well the rest of the vacation went something like this....
Tuesday: We're told the car has been repaired and we need to take to the auto body shop the cheque the insurance company sent us four weeks ago. Four weeks proves to be a long time to keep a cheque in a safe place. Too long. The search begins. Six and a half hours later we have missed our day-trip to Montauk but The Guy has a super-tidy office. Alas we do not have the cheque. We declare it lost and the insurance company agrees to issue a new cheque at the drive-in window of their offices (conveniently located half-way between The Cool House and the auto repair place.
Wednesday: The plan is to drive to insurance co. pick up cheque, drive to body shop and get car, then take loaner car back. Should take a couple of hours, giving us the rest of the day to do something exciting. We drive to get cheque, drive-in window actually a walk-in office. There are no free parking spaces. I wait in car, ready to move it if necessary while The Guy runs in to get cheque. He is gone 35 minutes. Cheque wasn't ready. Drive to car repair place. Car out on final road test. Should take 15 minutes. Car comes back. There are two problems: the registration ran out and the car needs a service before we can drive it. The first proves to be their error. Car is registered, they put the sticker on upside down when fixing the windshield. This is easily remedied but car has to go to the shop to be serviced. A different shop. In a different town. The Guy will drive there in our car and I will follow in loaner in case he breaks down. I leave The Guy to see to car service and come home. Many hours later he returns and we take back loaner car. Actual time taken: 6 hours.
Thursday: It started well enough but then there was this. The storms continued late into the evening. Another neighbor had the bark stripped off a maple tree by the lightning and there are branches down in lots of places but the Village is still preoccupied with the house fire.
I've had better vacations but at least I wasn't out on the water when this happened.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Beach Zen

There are lots of reasons I like to go and stay with our friends at the Jersey Shore but one I know Beach House readers will appreciate is Betty's garden. It's actually a series of vistas executed in a beachy zen way that is and, once she has planted it up each summer, very low maintenance.

There is no lawn to take care of, instead stepping stones embedded in swathes of pea gravel lead you from sitting area to pond, from shady tree to pergola and to the wide hammock beyond.

Each area has some sort of water feature: a pond, a waterfall, or fountains in stone and copper; and there's art to look at too: sculptures, driftwood, even a painting and a mirror almost hidden within the climbing plants.

On the upstairs deck outdoor curtains filter the light and keep the house cool.

It's an oasis of calm and beauty, the perfect getaway for stressed city types.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A beach, a bay and a river

In addition to the beach and the bay nature kicked up some huge waves and pretty soon we had us a river 2' deep and 10' across at Bay Head, NJ. Nowhere to sit and sunbathe on Saturday afternoon so we headed out to Brielle to have some Bloody Marys and watch the boats come in and unload their catch.

Sunset at Bay Head. Just perfect.