Sunday, July 1, 2007 ;
We rented a car from Rent-a-Wreck, and it was really a wreck. haha. it was old and dirty, but it can still be used, so it's ok. It was really cheap, so...
We drove from New Jersey to Wappinger Falls in New York.
Met up with the President and Vice President of the Violin Society of America. Chatted a while in their house first, and had a tour of his workshop.Wow, what a dream workshop. I can see dh's eyes all glittery and glazed over, and knew that he was already planning in his heart to have this one day. :-)
There were high tech and traditional tools, machines and all kinds of gadgets.
There was a clean room and a dirty room for different kinds of woodwork. Ds1 was really having a great time exploring as well. All those tools are like toys for males, of all ages, indeed.
That's dh with them.
We looked at their grandkids' pictures and then went upstairs to explore too. Their house is huge and beautiful. Just the 2 of them too, how romantic. The view is simply gorgeous. I think this location is superb. They're just 45min away from NYC, where everything can be found, and you can do all the shopping you want. Then you retreat to this rustic countryside manor, where the birds were a-chirping, and trees are everywhere and you have the Hudson River too, and so many waterfalls. From their upper storey, you can look all around and see hills and trees and in winter, they say it is even better.
Then we saw their antique Steinway. Wow... It is any pianist's dream to own a Steinway. Well, since I can't own one, I tried to play any I could. So I did play on a Steinway in Austria before, in a showroom of course, and then when Robert Piano in Spore opened a Steinway showroom, I also went to play there. haha. And I did tinkle with the one SSO has, when I go to dh's rehearsals... Now this one, is an antique! I didn't dare to ask of course. But to my surprise, they asked me to play.
So I played Pachebel's Canon cos that's the only piece I can recall by heart. The simplified version though. Aaaaah, simply amazing. Such an old piano, but still so rich in tone. The keys were not entirely in tune, because the couple do not play the piano at all. It's a decor antique furniture for them. But it was still very good.
We then went to Olive Garden for lunch. It was their treat. They are very good conversationalists. The topics at lunch ranged from parenting, to music, to bowmaking, politics, art and science.
ds2 fussed quite a bit, so dh did most of the talking. ds2 was tired and ready for his nap then. But I was comfortable because they have grandkids and they know. I wasn't as comfy at the French bowmaker's house (the one in Boston). I described before right? Sigh, ds1 even spilled his juice, and the hostess's expensive tablecloth was stained. Such an awkward and embarrassing moment.
Anyway, after lunch, we drove on to Poughkeepsie, and toured the VSA's headquarters. It is housed in a lovely restored 4 storey building. The couple had bought it and restored it, then donated it to the VSA.
This is in one of the rooms where some bowmaking tools were kept. Very impressive high tech tools.
Time passed so fast, it was already 4.30pm. We had to head back. Initially they wanted to bring us for more sightseeing, as there were historic landmarks nearby along the Hudson River. But if we didn't make a move, we would reach our motel too late. Back then, we didn't rent GPS too, so we are not familiar with the roads too.
So we bade farewell, hugged all around and promised to keep in touch. Oh yes, along the way, I was surprised to see an "elk crossing" sign. I thought New York wouldn't have any wildlife at all, but certainly she does! The northern part of New York is actually very beautiful with lots of greenery. I think living there would be nice.
Unfortunately, my Google maps had some problem... We got lost on the way back. We were driving on roads that were totally out of my map's range. And so we were driving around New Jersey and not able to find our way back. I smsed law, i still rem, saying we are lost and in darkness. We were too hungry anyway so we stopped at this Chinese restaurant by a lake.
Oooh, so glad we got lost! It turned out to be such a great view, and sunset happened right then as we were seated. The lake was like a mirror, so calm and reflective. And the colors were so magical and romantic. Sorry to say though, the other couples seated all around us might have dismayed to see us bring 2 young kids in. Cos they were all couples alone, with candlelight and so on, enjoying their romantic dinner.
Fortunately the kids were engrossed with the changing colors on the lake and did not make too much noise.
The service and food were excellent too. It is really a pity we cannot remember the location or the name of the restaurant now! Because we weren't even sure which part of New Jersey we were in.
They learnt that we got lost, even drew a map for us, from their place back to our motel, and also gave us their cell phone numbers so we could call them if we couldn't find our way back!
They're from HK, and southern China.
They even gave us an appetizer as a treat, on the house! It's like roti prata (the boys call it that) but actually it is Taiwanese you cong bing.
We ordered kangkong, fish and so on. Had a really great and satisfying meal. Ahhh. We did wish that we lived there at that time.
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow