Monday, September 3, 2012

Trip to Brandywine Valley 2012

I wanted to see the Sampler exhibit in West Chester, PA so Michael said lets go and make a weekend out of it.  Thus begins our  Labor day weekend 2012.   

We packed food for the road (we hate eating at service plazas) and off we went.   

We drove straight to Chester County Historical Society to see In Stitches exhibit which presented samplers done by West Town school girls.  The oldest sampler was 1809. They used the same motifs and colored threads however the arrangements were different.  They stitched quotes on them representing why they did these samplers:  they did them so their would be something for their family to have of them and they also stitched their family trees.   They also did demonstrations of darning.  One of the interesting stitched items were the globes that the school children stitched. 


After visiting the samplers, the museum had some interesting artifacts from the civil war such as the underground railroad items and even from the period of women's suffrage.  This poster was printed listing the reasons women should be given the vote.    

We ate at Harvest restaurant in Glen Mills, PA.  I ordered brick chicken with vegetables and it was excellent and even low calorie.  It was a organic, green, sustainable facility.  However, michael ordered sweet pea chicken tortellini and he was not as impressed.  He thought it was tasteless and it was BECAUSE they forgot to add the chicken.    Free dinner that night!

That evening, we went to Longwood Gardens.   What a beautiful venue.  
Blue Tango Plant
Bonsai Crepe Myrtle
Shrimp Plant
Michael relaxing near waterfall
Colleen in front of Water Lilies pond
In addition to the beautiful gardens, topiaries, conservatories, etc they  had a light show exhibition where they placed fairies lights in their meadows and forest and you walk through at night.  It looked like you were walking into a fairy tale book.  This was done by a british artist Brian Munro and hundreds of volunteers.  And if that was not enough stimulation, they had fireworks to music.  Swan Lake.  It was the best fireworks display we ever seen and synchronized to music perfectly.   
What a glorious night!  We would like to visit again during different seasons.   We stayed in a great room at the fairfield inn at Kenneth square

Next day , we ate at Hanks Place which is a local restaurant that only takes cash and had long waiting lines.  I ordered omelette and bacon and it was the best omelet ive had yet   Very creamy cheese inside .  Again Michael ordered badly.  He ordered eggs Benedict however it was more like the Navy's version of eggs benedict.  It was poached eggs with chipped beef sauce on it.   YUCK. He said his father would have loved it because his dad loved chipped beef being a navy man.  We would definitely go back. 

 After breakfast, we visited WInterthur which was Henry F. Dupont's estate. 
 It is also the venue for Woodlawn Exhibit which is the largest exhibition of needle art held every year however that is held in the spring.   We only did the general admission tour and took the tram through the forest because it was raining.   Mr dupont's intention was to not open his home to public but to create a museum for the public.  He bought wood from homes up and down the east coast and reinstalled them in this old Victoria. Home.  He tore down walls and staircases to do that and built additions just to accommodate this acquisitions.   So you didn't get to see what his life was like but you did see what he purchased.  He had a interior designer eye and purchased paintings and items to fit the room he was designing.  The rooms were beautiful but in my opinion a waste of money.  He should have used his millions to help people instead of showing off his wealth.  We tried to do some research on him on the web while we were at lunch but all that came up was that the DuPonts may have been part of a secret society and could have participated in creatyion of a New World Order.  When I was halfway thru the tour, I became disgusted with the wealth and his lack of sensitivity for others in need. FYI, He lived through the depression.  Some of Pittsburgh's wealthy did give back maybe not as much as they should but they did.  This guy did not.  Anyway, the items I thought were interesting are below.  Unfinished painting by Benjamin. West and a painting by John Trumball of George Washington.  They say this is the best likeness of GW done by a painter.  His dining room table with cigarettes offered like a side dish.



I would return though to see the gardens and the needlework exhibit next year


We ended this weekend with a picnic at the Chadds Ford Historical Society.  We did not have the time to visit it but we used their picnic table isntead  What a fun weekend and what a great husband I have.  Not many men will agree to be dragged on such a "chick weekend". 


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