We've been traveling with our friends Christa and Gordon for twenty years and, except for a few days in Paris or Rome on our way somewhere else, we haven't been to the same place twice. Until this year.
We decided to return to the Hudson River Valley in New York State because we missed too much on our first visit. Gordon didn't have enough time at the Franklin Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park; we never got to nearby Eleanor Roosevelt's home or the Vanderbilt Estate. As for me, I had to go back to the Culinary Institute of America because they served me just-baked gluten-free bread. We had been on bicycles for our last visit, so this time we wanted to hike along the Hudson River. We also wanted to revisit the outdoor sculpture garden at the Storm King Art Center.
We managed to do it all in four days (although this required leaving Gordon on his own at the Roosevelt library while we went off hiking).
The Culinary Institute of America: On a beautiful site overlooking the Hudson River, the campus includes three gourmet restaurants. Graduating students cook, serve and clean up under the supervision of their instructors. Many go on to become famous chefs. The head chef at McDonald's is a graduate.
Storm King: About a forty-minute drive south of Hyde Park on the other side of the Hudson, the Storm King Art Center is set on five hundred acres. The sculptures are by internationally-known masters. Maya Lin, whose Vietnam Memorial graces the Mall in Washington, DC, has a new installation called Waves, built on eleven acres that were formerly a gravel pit.
Any trip is even better when you share it with good friends. We like to travel with Gordon and Christa because we know them so well. We know that they usually sleep a bit later than we do. They always have coffee after dinner and we don't. If the rooms where we are staying are not equal, we flip a coin to decide who gets first choice. And wherever we go, we can count on Christa to find wild raspberries by the side of the road.
One great thing about being old is old friends.