Visiting Hyde Park, NY

How odd it is that we don’t visit our hometown and home state more like a tourist. There are so many museums and sights near us that I’ve never been to, I really want to make a habit of planning things with kids and seeing more of Connecticut and New York. Hudson Valley area though had been our favorite for years, even before we had kids hubs and I would escape Brooklyn and drive to the country. We loved Rhinebeck and the surrounding towns, the Gilded Age mansions, fascinating restaurants, all that antiquing, cute book stores and breath taking sights of Hudson River. When an old friend of mine came over for a visit, I used on of the 2 sunny days we had to take her up there.

Between my daughters school schedules we had just enough time to go up to Hyde Park and visit one of the mansions there. Vandebuilt was being renovated, so went to see FDR’s homestead. Franklin D. Roosevelt, our nation’s 32nd president (the only one to have stayed for 4 terms!) was born and grew up in Hyde Park, in Springwood mansion. His family owned the surrounding land as far as the eye can see and several homes and cottages on that property. Here’s the statue of FDR greeting visitors in his childhood home.

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Dining room:

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FDR’s mom Sara lived there her entire life and managed the property after husband’s death. There’s an initial S on the outside chimney. No wonder FDR’s wife Eleanor had her own house nearby. 🙂 Sara had Snuggery – a small little breakfast room with a fireplace, a few comfy chairs and a desk. I need a Snuggery! It needs to make a comeback.

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I loved the kids chairs by the massive fireplace, how cute are these? Loved all the panelling and molding detail on the ceiling also. Apparently FDR fancied himself a bit of an architect and designed this room while his mom oversaw the renovations.

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After walking the grounds and getting a bit of a chill we drove about 5 minutes to CIA – the Culinary Institute of America. I love the campus, the main building is gorgeous with a huge balcony and water fountains, pineapple motifs and all these people scurrying about in grey pants, white chef’s jackets and their knife cases. We walked around for a bit, peeked in on a lecture on mushrooms where the chef was peeling off bits of mushroom (huge – maybe portobello?) and handed these off to students in the hall, saw many culinary students prepping various meals through huge windows and had a lovely lunch at the Apple Cafe. Now, there are several great restaurants on the property, all staffed by students but since we didnt have much time, we grabbed a quick lunch at Apple Cafe which was ok BUT Apple Cafe has a most delicious looking dessert display that always lures me in. Like a moth to a flame.

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She had strawberries and cream cake and I had Modern Parisian something. Both beyond beautiful and delicious, if really sweet.

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And I ordered these raspberry brioche donuts for girls. They loved it, surprise, surprise!

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There’s also the world’s largest pedestrian bridge across Hudson nearby but we just didn’t have time and sort of felt some altitude sickness just imaging walking over it. But it did look cool and I bet the views are amazing. If you are in the area, give it a try!

x

-h

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