Monday, October 31, 2005

11:57 AM Monday October 31, 2005


Beautiful weather here in New Jersey! We’re loving it this Halloween Day. After a whirlwind week (we’ve been north, south, west and east to the Atlantic), Phil and I will rest today and prepare the Pace for the next leg of our adventure as we head farther south to Maryland. This will be an interim stop on our way to the Williamsburg Virginia area. Actually, we visited Maryland back in August when we drove from Gettysburg PA to Baltimore and later went on a tour of Washington DC. So, we will have gone full circle in the past two months as we pass through Baltimore and circle around our nation’s capital again.
The dome,  Posted by Picasa
... the stained glass, Posted by Picasa
... the wood,  Posted by Picasa
... and the marble. Beautiful! Posted by Picasa
View of the gilt-domed capital (built in 1889) on the bank of the Delaware River in Trenton New Jersey scanned from a postcard by "Schellmark, Inc."  Posted by Picasa
State Capital building in Trenton New Jersey. Posted by Picasa
Tunnel just before arriving in Trenton NJ. Posted by Picasa
View from our front window at Maple Lake Campground in Jackson New Jersey Posted by Picasa
The Atlantic still boiling along the coast of New Jersey after remnants of Hurricane Rita collide with cold air from Canada to create what they called a "nor'easter."  Posted by Picasa
"Color" on our drive to New Jersey from Connecticut.  Posted by Picasa
Connecticut state captial in Hartford. We were there on a Sunday so the building was closed. Posted by Picasa
Canadian Geese taking a rest stop in the pond behind our motorhome at Canoe River in Mansfield MA. Posted by Picasa
Fine example of "color" in Massachusetts. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

10:14PM Wednesday October 26, 2005

With her permission, I'm going to reprint in my blog a condensed but very descriptive e-mail written by my dear friend Gloria describing one of our day trips into Providence Rhode Island. We had reunited a couple days earlier at Canoe River Campground in Mansfield, MA and enjoyed 10 great days together before parting company again. Gloria and Les are headed west now and Phil and I will continue our southbound trip.

Here's our trip in Gloria's words:

Yesterday Les, Phil and Joy and I went in to Providence, Rhode Island to visit the PROVIDENCE JEWELRY MUSEUM and it was quite an interesting experience. The owner and founder, Peter, gave us a fun, educational, one-hour tour. He's a very passionate Italian who draws you in with his enthusiasm and joy. He calls himself a "hunter-gatherer" who first became interested in preserving jewelry-making history when he was a young boy. He has examples of jewelry-making equipment - stampers - rollers - chain makers - casting equipment - plating - molds - everything to do with any process of making jewelry. He is just starting to have an interest in the products - the costume jewelry they produced. Probably the best thing I learned is that those jewelry makers were astute businessmen and knew that in order to stay in business they had to make and sell jewelry. Therefore, they had these various designs, dies/molds for jewelry and they used the same ones whether they used platinum, gold, silver or brass, whether they were making jewelry for Tiffanys, Sears or Woolworths. Peter says they knew their price-point and if someone wanted a piece of jewelry, they made it how ever they wanted it to be made and it was priced accordingly for the materials used. The specific workmanship was all the same. He says that is why costume jewelry is now "more expensive than fine jewelry." It's getting harder to find and the prices are going up. He had examples of jewelry that ranged from Victorian Hairwork to tin and plastic. Of course, I was in "jewelry heaven." This museum, however, is a little like the Smithsonian in that only a fraction of their holdings is on display because they don't have the room to do so. They are looking for a different building but Peter says there is no support for preserving this aspect of Rhode Island's history which I think is a very sad affair. The ANTIQUES ROADSHOW just filmed a segment at the museum which will air in January, 2006 and he is hoping that will generate some additional interest and support for his endeavors. His long-range plan is to have a complete museum, museum store where he intends to make and sell jewelry from all the vintage molds he has, and he will do a hands-on make your own jewelry display too. (He does that now but on a limited basis.) I'm not sure but I think he currently produces jewelry making equipment that he sends all over the world. While he was gathering all this stuff, he supported himself and his family by being a Pharmacist. Three years ago he devoted himself to the jewelry industry and the museum.

We asked Peter where to go for lunch and he said to Twin Oaks, just a couple blocks away. He said just "wind around" until you find it so we did. He said this restaurant was "QUINTESSENTIAL RHODE ISLAND." We were anxious to see what that meant and we were not disappointed! What a fabulous lunch we had - no it was a dining experience. The menu was interesting, varied and priced just right. They had quite a few things we'd never heard of before. Our waiters wore white shirts and black bow ties while serving people dressed in everything from glamour to sweats. Les and Phil had the fried fish which arrived with "just" the fish on the plate, filling the plate, overflowing the plate. We've never seen anything like that! They then brought their side dishes actually "on the side." Joy had a perfect steak. I had delicious chicken soup that I'd love to have the recipe for. Joy and Les ordered this huge chocolate cake that they said is "to die for." Phil doesn't like chocolate but even took two bites of Joy's. We lingered and enjoyed ourselves immensely, eating our lunch AND watching what everyone else was eating - like these enormous chicken salad sandwiches...

After lunch we went to Wolf Myrows, an indescribable wholesale house for costume jewelry components. It's located in a very old warehouse in what seemed to be not a very good place in town. On our way there, we saw lots of rundown apartments in the process of being renovated and lots of graffiti on the walls and quite a lot of debris on the streets. Joy was a little nervous and said she'd wait outside with the puppies so they didn't get stolen but did come in after all. We all wandered around, minds boggled, just skipping over the tops of all these boxes and boxes of stuff ... floor to ceiling ... every kind of bead, stone, chain, etc. one can imagine. Tho I had every intention of buying some, it was simply too overwhelming to me to even decide what I wanted so didn't spend a dime. They sell things "by the gross" not the piece. The prices were c-h-e-a-p IF you wanted to buy for making jewelry or if I was in the business of repairing jewelry. Since my needs are just for a stone here and there there wasn't any real need for me to do any shopping there. Anyway it was also a fun experience. And a great adventure for me. I always like a little bit of "safe risk." Since both places were very hard to find, we did get lost but that's what made it fun because we got to go into neighborhoods and see things we might not have seen otherwise. But I did feel bad for Les who had the job of finding the places and getting us back out of there and home safely. But he did it! As he ALWAYS does. He is amazing at finding his way around places. AND he h-a-t-e-s big cities and driving in them.
Gloria's dream stop on her trip to the east coast. Very interesting. Posted by Picasa
The curator Peter and Gloria. Posted by Picasa
Ancient jewelry inside the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence. Posted by Picasa
Taking a load off during our tour of the state capital building in Providence RI. Posted by Picasa
Gloria and Les taking a break in the Governor's official state reception room.  Posted by Picasa
Rising 149 feet above the rotunda floor, Rhode Island's capital building dome is the fourth largest unsupported marble dome in the world. The third largest is the Taj Mahal in India, the second largest is the Minnesota State Capital dome in St. Paul and the largest is St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Posted by Picasa
Beautiful front entrance of the State Capital building in Providence RI. That tiny (ha!) red speck in the middle is me. Posted by Picasa
Phil doing his favorite thing ... fishing in the lake right behind our motorhome. Posted by Picasa
Lester wetting a little line in the Canoe River pond. Yes, the fish were biting (the little ones anyway). Posted by Picasa
Check out this incredible draw bridge at the web site below. Posted by Picasa
Beautiful shirtsleeve weather along the coast of MA.  Posted by Picasa
On one trip up the coast from Sandwich, we stopped at Plymouth MA and revisited the famous "rock". Someone dropped a dollar bill inside the enclosure and it's a great reference for the size.  Posted by Picasa