I've already posted about my birthday, but there was so much more to the weekend. Linda, Tamara and I left early Thursday morning, drove up to Pt. Huron and across the bridge into Canada. The drive was just beautiful. It was a crisp, clear fall day. The further east we got, the more the landscape changed. Soon we were in the rolling hills, and they were covered in autumn's splendor of colors.
It was a very long drive, but I knit for several hours of it, thinking I might be able to actually finish my Rhinebeck sweater, but it wasn't to be. The chatter and laughter made the time fly by and before we knew it we were checking in to our hotel.
Frankie had arrived just before us. Frankie was a friend of ours, and was a member of our knitting group before she moved to NY a while back. She and Linda knew each other before they joined our knitting group. It was great to see her again!
We all had some dinner and caught up a bit with Frankie, then got some sleep.
On Friday we enjoyed the fall colors some more, and the big event of the day was visiting the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park. Click the link for lots of info, and photos of the interior.
I loved hearing the guide tell the all about the Vanderbilt family, and the history of the magnificent home that we were touring. (Magnificent, but the smallest of their many homes). We were not allowed to take photos inside, but I got some great shots (with my new camera) of the grounds, and the mansion from outside. Here is just one of them:
After the tour, we went into Red Hook to find some lunch. We ended up at Bread Alone Bakery. Yum. After that we visited a winery, and then the indulgence of the day, we found Taste Budds, which is all about chocolate. Here's what I ended up with. I told myself all along that I was not holding back this weekend. Whether it was food, or drink, or fiber...I was going for it!
Isn't it pretty? It was sooo good. It's called Life By Chocolate (better than Death By Chocolate, right?) Chocolate graham crust, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and chocolate glaze. Here's a peek at the inside. Mmmmm... And yes, I ate the whole thing.
When we were done poking around in Red Hook, we headed back to our hotel for a bit, then went back out, tried to find a Geocache but Tam's phone wasn't able to pinpoint close enough. In trying to find it, we did enjoy driving through a neighborhood with some beautiful old homes. The architecture in the area just oozes history. The girls decided to get a light dinner from Panera Bread, but I still was filled up with the above chocolately goodness. We went back to the hotel and knit in the lobby, watching TV, while they ate. Eventually I walked across the parking lot and grabbed some Taco Bell when I got hungry. There were several other knitters in the lobby. It was nice to just relax before the craziness was to begin.
I've already posted about most of my day on Saturday. Sunday was more of the same.... walking and browsing and fondling and desiring and deciding and buying and eating and spending time with friends and enjoying the animals, etc. I think a future post will highlight all of the purchases.
We were back on the road early Monday morning. We left the hotel at 7am, when it was 28 degrees and there was a thick layer of frost on everything. It was actually several hours later before we saw the last of the frost. It took a long time for the sun to warm things up enough to melt it off. Enjoyed the scenery all the way home, but it was very anti-climactic.... The excitement was gone, we were exhausted, the landscape became more and more flat as we left the mountains and rolling hills behind. Before we knew it we were sitting in a long line of cars to cross the bridge back into Michigan from Sarnia, Ontario.
I arrived back on my doorstep at 7pm, and fell into bed shortly afterwards. After a wonderful whirlwind birthday weekend, it was great to be back in my own bed.