Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 8 ~ Poughkeepsie, NY ~ Hudson River Valley

After a good night's rest we were ready to tackle some more historic houses! We started off at the FDR presidential library and his home (or his mother's home) Springwood.
The library was very interesting. It is the only one where a sitting president actually used it. His mother had saved the dresses he wore as a boy as well has the long blonde curls from his first haircut when he was five. Eleanor's diamonds were on display, too. Of course there was lots of stuff about WWII. Including a recreation of the secret map room FDR had in the basement of the White House. It was modeled after Churchill's War Cabinet bunker.
We toured Springwood, Roosevelt's home. His mother, Sarah, was alive during most of his marriage so until she died it was her home and Eleanor was pretty much a guest in it. Eventually she grew tired of living under her mother-n-law's thumb and she got FDR to agree to let her build a cottage on some of the land.
Val-Kill is the only home Eleanor ever owned. It started out as a cottage industry factory making furniture in the 1920's until during the depression. Then after it was forced to close she turned it in to a home. She and two friends lived there.
The home's contents were sold at auction immediately following her death. Luckily a curator from the library came and photographed ever inch of it before the auction. The National Park Service is now trying to recreate the interior from the photographs. Slowly artifacts are being found and purchased or donated back to the museum.
We had a yummy lunch in Foster's Tavern. We each had one of the specials. I had some yummy beef and Kurt had something good too! Of course we went in search of ice cream and candy after. We weren't disappointed.
After naps and some hot tubbing at the Marriott we headed for the waterfront area. We found a great restaurant called River Station at the foot of the Mid-Hudson Bridge. We sat on the patio people watching, drinking, gorging ourselves and watching the magnificent sunset.

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