20 September 2015


49 - did you know that it is the square root of the number 7? (I actually did know that, I promise.)
49 - did you that it is the atomic number of indium? (I don't even know what those words mean.)
49 - did you know that Arsenal had a 49 game unbeaten run between May 2003 and October 2004 until they lost to Manchester United?

All fascinating, no? But what's important here, and I say this sans ego, is that today is my 49th birthday. Given that the life expectancy for American males born in 1966 is 73.9 years, I am well-past middle age. I'm 2/3rds dead. My life is, at least on paper, 66% done. If I get myself no other gift today, it's that I'm not buying that garbage. It feels like yet another phase of life is just beginning.

Given that today will be spent getting religion, the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I really got our celebration on yesterday. We decided to break free of the stern icy fist that Martha Stewart wields over Connecticutistan and we went over to the Hudson Valley in New York. We started our day in White Plains (Calm down, Mittites, it was not to see if Bill and Hillary were in town!) to go to the eastern-most outpost of our favorite pancake joint, the Original Pancake House. It was only appropriate to go there so I could indulge on my favorite, and most appropriately named pancake, the 49er.

The aforementioned 49 year old with the 49er
Let me just go on record and say that this is one, well three if I'm being honest, delicious pancake. After scarfing it down in a state of near nirvana, we began our trek into the Hudson Valley. We took the Taconic State Parkway and I've got to say that as far as parkways go, this one is a beaut. High praise from someone who considers driving a long distance is the 15 minute trip to the grocery/surly service/rotten produce store. We were in the Yukon-asarus which made for some interesting passing moves as we made our way to Poughkeepsie. Yes, Poughkeepsie. On purpose. Why?

For this:

That's looking south on the Hudson River from the Walkway Over The Hudson. Fashioned out of what was once a railway crossing over the Hudson between the glamour that is Poughkeepsie and Highland, New York, this is a 1.3 mile span that affords some just boss views of this amazing river. The weather was nigh unto perfect yesterday so we enjoyed the walk enormously. We wanted to capture the moment and fortunately two girls from Marist College marched right up to us and asked if we needed our picture taken. In about ten seconds, they had taken nearly a dozen pictures of us. Here's one of the better ones:

 While we were on the bridge, I discovered that the freaking Culinary Institute of America was within spitting distance in Hyde Park. It was off to the CIA. We were bummed to learned that it was mostly closed (it was Saturday after all) but being there at Food Nirvana was a borderline religious experience. I can't even speak of it without getting emotional....
Hallowed Ground
We capped the afternoon in Hyde Park at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum. This was straight up fascinating! The curators have been meticulous in capturing the life of FDR and in particular, his years as President. The "Four Freedoms" speech, from January 1941, exhibition is particularly moving and worth another post, which will probably come the next time everyone's favorite megalomaniac, Donald Trump, spews something inane. Obviously we won't be waiting long. As one of the docents showed us FDR's fully preserved study, I got the chills thinking about what had been discussed 80 years ago as the President struggled to rescue the nation from economic oblivion. If only those walls could talk...

What a great day and what a great way to enter the last year before the mid-century mark! Spending with the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML...priceless. Time with her is the best gift I could have asked for.

No comments: