Family time and touring with adult siblings

30 05 2016

The third leg of the trip “abroad” was a visit to Pennsylvania where DH Pete’s sister lives and his brother works.

(For the first and second legs, please head back to rebekahstravels.wordpress.com for my travelogue.)

The siblings were born four years apart. Their parents planned it that way for the purpose of affording college tuition. The one other time they toured together as adults was in 2004, after both parents died in Winter 2003. We arrived to spread Dad’s remaining ashes on Memorial Day and went back to the geographical middle of the state and found the family farm of yore.

So last week’s reunion was a special occasion. Penny and Paul took time off from work, and Paul drove in from New Jersey. We were honored.

I am not going to bore you with the family dynamics because every family has them. Suffice it to say that everyone was on their best behavior, and we didn’t discuss religion or politics! 😉

We had fun touring several visitor attractions in the area. Here are the pictures.

The Wharton Escherick Studio in Malvern, PA, work place of the late artist, is open as a small museum showing his architecture, wood furniture, sculpture, and two-dimensional creations. Escherick was a master of free form design.

Stone, wood, and stucco comprise three sections of the artist's studio built in increments as they were needed.

Stone, wood, and stucco comprise three sections of the artist’s studio built in increments as they were needed.

 

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Color was mixed into the stucco for the tower. The fresco design represents sky, trees, and tree trunks. A free form deck emerges in the back and to the right.

 

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Workshop painted the color of the workers blue jeans, left, and the garage at right.

The boys were in heaven at the C. F. Martin & Co., Inc., factory in Nazareth, PA, where 250 new guitars are made every day. The fabrication, assembly, and finishing is done by human hands as well as by robots. But how does a Martin guitar sound? Visitors get a chance to play them.

Paul and Pete, two boys in a candy store, try out the Martins.

Paul and Pete, two boys in a candy store, try out the Martins.

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Winterthur is the mansion of the late Henry Francis du Pont. There he founded the premier museum of American decorative arts. Du Pont collected whole room interiors of period design and re-installed them in his own home. One time we visited at Yuletide, and the rooms were decorated as they would have been during the particular period. Very pretty! Only some floors are open for tours. There is just too much, impossible to see all of it. My favorite room was the Chinese Parlor where the wall covering was paper, hand painted in China.

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Longwood Gardens is the must-see for everyone, and particularly appreciated by horticulturists, landscape architects, and lay plant lovers. Beautiful! Everything at their prime. Like Winterthur, it’s impossible to see all the acreage. DH wanted to see the Italian water fountains, and I enjoyed the views of blooming rhododendrons along the way through Peirce’s Woods, named after the family who owned the land prior to Pierre du Pont, who maintained the designed of the “rooms,” as he called the gardens within a garden.

Plein air painters enjoy lots of subject matter

Plein air painters enjoy lots of subject matter.


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Italian Water Fountains

 

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Peirce’s Woods in bloom

 

Brother Paul treated us to a private tour of Philly Shipyard where he works. It is perhaps the largest builder of new commercial ships (like Matson container ships vs. military ships) in the US. Small pieces of steel are welded to larger pieces that are welded to even larger pieces, etc., until the vessel is finished and launched. They are humongous.

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I have to give a special shout out to Richard, Penny’s fiancé, who allowed us to ride with him in his pick-up to the Saturday-morning garage sales in Phoenixville and Collegeville. The hunt is his passion. Although the pickings were slim Memorial Day weekend, he found me a pair of brand-new Eddie Bauer shorts for a dollar. Just in time as Spring had turned to Summer in just a couple of days with temps reaching 90 degrees F.!

In between the visitor attractions we spent quality time catching up about our respective families (kids and grandkids) as well as seeing old and new friends. Hoagies, Thai food, and delicious home-cooked meals by Penny and Paul with ingredients from the fabulous Wegmans megastore…I have to mention those.

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Pete, Penny, and Paul

Pete, Penny, and Paul

Thanks Penny and Paul for your hospitality. We had a great time. Now I’m back in Kaaawa, Oahu. It’s great, too.

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