On the Move

I passed this little guy on the road. He was heading south. I was going north. But I stopped the car in the middle of the road to say "hi". But he had no time for conversation. He just glanced at me, and all I heard was the scritch-scratch of his sharp nails on the road.

Well, in case you were wondering like I was, porcupine do not hibernate. And there's the proof of it!

Sleigh Ride

A couple weeks ago, we headed north to the White Mountains for a sleigh ride! A sleigh ride is one of winter's greatest delights, in my book! We went to this farm and B&B, which has been in the same family since before the Revolutionary War, when the King of England granted them the land. (I think the date on the sign must relate to the building of the barn or farmhouse, not the granting of the land.) That sort of family continuity is rare, even in New England, and made me so appreciative that the land is still in use and is cherished by the family.

Here comes the sleigh!...and it's whiskered driver! Don't you love it?

We shared the large sleigh with two other families, both of whom had small children. The first part of our half-hour ride had us descending down a hill. I loved hearing the heavy clop-clopping of the horses' hooves and the skidding sound of the sleigh runners on the frozen ground.

Then we leveled out and cut across farmland used for growing corn and hay, before entering those woods. A river ran along one side of the wood, and our party spotted a bald eagle flying quickly upriver!

On the way home, we stopped in at the Mount Washington Hotel to enjoy their views and for cups of coffee and hot cocoa by the fire.

Now imagine yourself standing on that lovely rounded part of the porch...

...and if you were standing there, this would be your view of Mount Washington, with the tip-top shrouded in clouds and the cog railway line highlighted in snow. So pretty!

I can never decide if enjoying the view from the porch is best...or warming oneself by the fire.

Got to love that moose!

Last Day in the Big Apple

Aside from our visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, our last day in New York City was our favorite time there! No grand plans this day...just small and quiet enjoyments throughout the day...mostly of the food variety.

We started the day by a quick venture into the fabric district, where I stocked up on velvet ribbons and rayon bias tape (perfect for tying up all sorts of things).

Then we reboarded the subway and journeyed down to SoHo to go to Laduree. We had long anticipated going to this Paris-based bakery's NYC location, so we were thrilled to be here!

The beauty of their pastries just took our breath away!

We ordered a late breakfast of fruit, pastries with orange marmalade, freshly-squeezed orange juice, a chocolate pastry, and hot chocolate. So delicious! The service was most genteel, and many of the patrons seated about us were speaking softly in French. We felt positively transported to Paris!

Then we moved back uptown to see the Flat Iron Building.

Selfie with the Empire State Building in the background.

Time for a little shopping now! Colette visited the Brooks Brothers Shop. And while she was there, I visited Beecher's Handmade Cheese just across the street and picked up some little items to take to our hostess and to the guys back home.

Then we went further uptown to Ralph Lauren's new coffee shop, Ralph's, where we enjoyed our second cups of hot cocoa of the day (no, neither of us are coffee drinkers).

Then we went from there to Ralph Lauren's gorgeous Madison Avenue store...four stories of exquisitely designed items! And the marble staircase is pretty fine too!

We had such a great time, and are so grateful to my dear friend for hosting us and making some great memories possible!

First Visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art had been a dream for quite some time! Even though we'd visited New York City on other occasions, there was really never enough time on those visits to devote to a day at The Met. But this was top of our list on this trip!

First of all, before we even entered, we could tell that it was enormous, and there was no way possible that we could see it all. 

The Met has an outstanding collection of historic costumes at the Costume Institute. Due to the fragile nature of textiles, it is not on permanent display, but special exhibits are held a couple times a year. We headed to the current exhibit, celebrating fashion icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, as our first stop of the day. 

Some of her beautiful gowns. This beaded one in the foreground was just exquisite.

But it was this sleek and elegant piece that captivated me. It is a masterpiece of construction, as I believe the entire dress is made from just two cuts of fabric. Simply amazing!

Then we moved on to the art of ancient Egypt.

I couldn't resist.

The architecture of The Met itself is a work of art! I emerged through this doorway, trailing in the distance behind Colette, and she turned around and said, "Wow! Don't move! I have to take your picture here. It's amazing!" And after the photograph, I joined her and turned around to see what was so spectacular. "Oh," I said, "It's Pemberley!" Actually, it's the facade of the American Bank building rebuilt onto one wall of the American art wing of The Met, but I felt like I was at Pemberley!

Won't you join me for dinner? Wouldn't it be fun to say that!

Another beautiful gallery. We didn't visit this one, but I was glad to get a peek at it from an upstairs window.

After giving our feet a little rest and consulting our maps as to where we wanted to go next, we moved on to the medieval weaponry galleries. We had California neighbors who came back from a trip to New York raving about the medieval weapons, so we were most excited to see them!

But first, I paused to admire this lovely bronze by Auguste Saint-Gaudens. He had a home and garden in New Hampshire, and now I'm quite sure I need to visit there someday. 

The suits of armor are not only astounding in their construction, but many are so beautifully intricate in their embellishments. Just look at all the little figures etched into this one.

I would love to hear the sounds these made as they clattered along a dirt road, wouldn't you?

This is an ornamental, rare, Renaissance-era helmet. It would have fitted over a standard metal helmet. Just fascinating!

And the rest of the pictures are of my favorite paintings from the day. Enjoy!

This one really resonated with me. Ahh...this is me...in January. Resting. Restoring. Bliss.

NYC - Pastries, Architecture, and Window Displays

We started our next day in New York City by visiting a French pastry shop, Maison Kayser, for breakfast and then attending church.

Colette by the bakery cases. So many tempting choices! In the end we both had chocolate-almond croissants and freshly squeezed orange juice.

In all our wanderings, we admired the historic architecture! I love the attention to beauty and detail that went into buildings in the past.

A walk across Central Park.

Quite possibly one of my favorite photos from the trip. She didn't realize how funny this was until I pointed out the sign she'd been standing beneath.

Then we spent about the next four hours touring the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That is a whole posting in and of itself, and was one of our two favorite spots on the whole trip. Can't wait to share that with you!

Afterwards, we took a taxi over to meet my friend for a delicious meal at the Tavern on the Green, and enjoyed the beautiful Christmas lights in their courtyard.

The evening we spent viewing the amazing window displays at Bergdorf Goodman and other shops. They are eye-popping displays that gather crowds of people!

I thought the window at Dior was really fun!

And Colette loved the animated, parcel-carrying soldiers at Burberry.

And a few more of the pretty Christmas lights before we headed back to my friend's apartment for the night.

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