wHaT’s tHiS? . . . . . . . . .pArT oNe. . .

1.  wHaT’s tHiS?

Who has seen an APPROVED AIr Force Bathing Area?

Who has seen an APPROVED AIr Force Bathing Area?

Pick one:

a.  Adding water would make this a little more meaningful.

b.  The Air Force should get out of the bathing sign business.

c.  This is a sign near our 4th Cliff one bedroom efficiency.

Answer:  All of the above.

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Overview-Since the beginning of July we’ve spent two weeks venturing our way from Alexandria to our present location, the U.S. Air Force’s “Fourth Cliff” military recreation area (an hour south of Boston). We were very fortunate to reserve a great one bedroom efficiency with panoramic ocean and river views. As we sit here writing this blog, we see these views from our efficiency-

Our view east from 4th Cliff

Our view east from 4th Cliff

Reverse view of North River to the west

Reverse view of North River to the west

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So. . .

. . .what is the- “What’s This” blog about?

As I was looking through our collection of travel photos, I thought it would be fun to pick a variety of pics from our ever growing library of photos to summarize the Alexandria to Fourth Cliff portion of our trip. Part One covers the first part of the trip to New London, CT.

Read on for more “wHaT’s tHiS?”

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2.  wHaT’s tHiS?

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Pick one:

a.  Smith’s snuck out to England to the Downton Abbey mansion.

b.  Smith’s in front of a Downton Abbey poster.

c.  Smith’s at Winterthur, Henry DuPont’s estate in Delaware.

 Answer: b and c

Overview: If you get the opportunity, take the Winterthur tour, it’s fantastic. We stopped there on our way to McGuire AFB in New Jersey. As an added bonus, if you are Downton Abbey fans as we are, you’ll enjoy the Downton Abbey costume exhibit (lasts through the summer). It depicts the actual costumes that all of the characters wore during their most memorable episodes.

This is a once in a lifetime exhibit! Unfortunately, due to copywright issues we didn’t display any of the pictures. . . .  . but check out this link for more info! http://www.winterthur.org/

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3.  wHaT’s tHiS?

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 Pick one:

a.  This is where the Jersey Shore Housewives were filmed featuring our favorite (lol) MTV star Snookie.

b.  This blog is getting pretty dumb.

Answer: a and b

Overview: By pure happenstance (ahh, you’ll never know the real truth), we stumbled into this “iconic” film location while we were driving through Seaside Heights on the Jersey shore. At a small cost, you can explore the set that Snookie, Pauly D, Jwow, Mike the Situation and the rest made famous.

OBTW: We did not take the tour!

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4. wHaT’s tHiS?

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Pick one:

a.  The left picture depicts the hangar (No 1), that the Z 129 Hindenburg used during years prior to the famous 1937 disaster and destruction of the airship.

b.  The right picture is the site of the Hindenburg’s disaster on May 6, 1937.

Answer:  a and b

Overview: For Navy buddies and military history buffs, on our way to the Jersey Shore we stopped at the first Navy base where I was stationed in 1973 (Lakehurst, NJ).  Hanger No 1, where the USS SHENANDOAH was built in 1923, is still there. In addition, other famous dirigibles used it, such as the USS MACON, AKRON, and LOS ANGELES .

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5.  wHaT’s tHiS?

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 Pick one:

a.  The Athenaeum Hotel at Chautauqua, New York.

b.  In 1996 it became the Executive Mansion. President Clinton spent a week preparing for his Presidential debate with Bob Dole.

c.  The second largest all wood hotel on the east coast.

d.  Thomas Edison frequented this hotel on a continual basis.

e.  Answer: A, b and d are allegedly correct. The Athenaeum may be the largest all wood hotel on the east coast.

OverviewOur cousins Russ and Pat invited us to visit them while they were vacationing at Chautauqua, New York. We had a great time catching up and enjoying the sites together. I can’t begin to express what Chautauqua is like. . . .but here goes!

The little city of Chautauqua and Chautauqua Institute (CI), are virtually synonymous. Located on the Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York (just east of Erie), the Chautauqua Institution is world renowned.  If you read the April, 2014 issue of the Smithsonian magazine, it names Chautauqua as the NUMBER ONE small town to visit in 2014. What an opportunity we stumbled into!

During a specific 9 week season, the town virtually becomes the Institute. Started in 1875, the Chautauqua Institute consists of a summer season where arts,  learning programs, cultural events, and “lively discussions” of all types are held. Religion and spirituality are also a major focus. Each week has a particular theme. I believe our week’s theme was something like privacy in the cyber age. To set the tone, guest speakers of the highest caliber are brought in to give daily seminars that parallel the specific weeks theme.

To cap off the day, wonderful evening symphonies in a 5,000 seat amphitheater are the standard. Check out the link below to find out more about Chautauqua!

comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages—all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. – See more at: http://www.ciweb.org/#sthash.ogIFxMt9.dpuf
comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages—all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. – See more at: http://www.ciweb.org/#sthash.ogIFxMt9.dpuf
comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 visitors will stay at Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages—all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. – See more at: http://www.ciweb.org/#sthash.ogIFxMt9.dpuf

http://www.ciweb.org/.

Below are additional pictures:

Typical Chautauqua architecture!

Typical Chautauqua architecture!

More Chautauqua architecture.

More Chautauqua architecture.

 

More turn of the century architecture.

More turn of the century architecture.

 

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6. wHaT’s tHiS?

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Pick one:

a. This is the new Atlanta Braves satin jersey.

b.  This was a short lived satin jersey belonging to the Boston Braves.

c.  This jersey was used specifically to provide better visibility during night games in 1946.

Answer: b and c

Overview: After a great time at Chautaqua we settled in for one night in Albany, NY on our way to West Point. This allowed us a whole day to visit the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and museum.

Our plan on this trip is to visit all of the Hall of Fame museums (MLB, NFL and NBA), and this is was our first Hall of Fame experience.  There was so much to do and see there. . .and the city of Cooperstown is definitely a destination point in it’s own right. . . . . . . irrespective of the museum.

This jersey caught my eye. According to the display, this satin jersey was worn in 1946 to provide better visibility under artificial lighting. My assumption was that it was for the Atlanta Braves, but in researching this blog, apparently it was manager Billy Southworth’s jersey of the Boston Braves!

Visit Cooperstown!

Visit Cooperstown!

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7.  wHaT’s tHiS?

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Pick one:

a. This pipe organ housed in the Cadet Chapel at West Point  has 2,350 pipes.

b.  The organ is the 5th largest in the world within a house of worship.

c.  The Smith’s MISSED hearing this play as they quickly vacated to their next destination due to a huge storm!

Answer: C is correct! According to the official Army.mil website, this organ is THE largest pipe organ in the world within a house of worship and has over 23,500 pipes. The link below gives a great overview of the organ and shows a beautiful picture of West Point near the end of the story.

http://www.westpointforusall.org/cmsdocuments/FINALChapelOrganMarketing.pdf

Overview: Our stay at West Point was marvelous. We thought it would not only be a great place to visit, but would be a great place to stay for a few days to facilitate visits to various sites on the Hudson such as FDR’s Hyde park, the Vanderbilt mansion, and Woodstock.

In 1802 Thomas Jefferson established the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point. Located close to New York City at the base of the Hudson River Valley, the military importance of West Point was considered an extremely important strategic location by George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

The academy is beautiful and also possesses a superb military museum. Famous alumni include Generals Robert E. Lee, Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, George Patton and Omar Bradley.  If you go, visit the Thayer Hotel and relax on the rooftop at the “Zulu” grille during sunset overlooking the Hudson 🙂

Link: http://www.usma.edu/wphistory/SitePages/Home.aspx

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8.  wHaT’s tHiS?

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Pick one:

a. The 1822 FDR mansion “Springwood” .

b. The FDR mansion is the location of the third of 13 designated presidential libraries and museums.

b.  The movie “Hyde Park on the Hudson” was filmed here.

Answer: The correct answer is a. The mansion is the first of all presidential libraries and the movie Hyde Park on the Hudson was filmed in the U.K.!

Overview: Well, we never did make it to Woodstock, but we did visit FDR’s mansion in Hyde Park and the Vanderbilt mansion. You can visit both in the same day as they are virtually “neighbors” in the same location.

Hint: Park at the Poughkeepsie train station and take the free National park trolley at 10:45 to Hyde Park. There are several sites to see, including the Vanderbilt mansion and the trolley will take you to all of them.

It was a fantastic day. The mansion isn’t of the caliber of a Newport, Vanderbilt or DuPont mansion, but it is loaded with great history. It also is unique in that it was FDR’s birthplace, where he grew up, and where he lived or visited throughout his life. Below is a link and some pictures.

http://www.nps.gov/hofr/index.htm

FDR's Horse Stables

FDR’s Horse Stables

Above is a picture of the very unique horse stables.

This satirical representation of FDR below was featured at the 1939 Gridiron Club dinner. The sculpture was tied into FDR’s long delay on deciding to run for a third term in 1940. The Gridiron Club was the organization of White House press correspondents.

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FDR Sphinx Statue
FDR Sphinx Statue

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Farewell Eleanor and FDR!

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