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April Vacation 2011: We Went Here, Part 3

On the day that we visited the FDR property we just so happened to finish up there right around lunch time. My Rhinebeck peeps know that the Eveready Diner is practically right across the street from FDR’s house and Dale had never been there so of course I suggested it for lunch.

We were not disappointed. We both had sandwiches and they were good but it’s the dessert that was truly spectacular. I had lemon meringue pie that was definitely no ordinary lemon meringue pie. It had a regular pie crust (which was fantastic) and then a lot of delicious lemon filling and then – then! – it had cake. Yes, there was a layer of cake on top of the lemon filling. On top of the cake was the meringue and on the outside edges there were crushed nuts. It was such a great combination of flavors and textures and I really need to figure out how to make it.

Anyway. After lunch we headed across the street to the Vanderbilt Mansion. We almost skipped it as the afternoon was fading fast but we decided to visit to not only take advantage of the free admission thanks to the  National Park Service week deal but also to work off that fabulous pie.

I’m glad we didn’t skip it.

We live pretty close to Newport, RI and have visited the mansions there many times so it was really fun to see the Vanderbilts “country” home. It isn’t quite as large as the Breakers since apparently they didn’t do much entertaining there, or at least not entertaining on the scale of those grand summer parties in Newport. It’s still pretty opulent, though, and the guide regaled us with stories and tales of the Vanderbilts and their wealth.

The grounds are beautiful and have a view of the Hudson that’s spectacular.

Of course. Why would the Vanderbilts have a crappy view of the Hudson?

I know that money can’t buy happiness but I can’t help but thinking, when I see places like this, that maybe being unhappy in this sort of place might not be quite the same as being unhappy someplace else.

Just sayin’.


This Post Has 18 Comments

  1. Oh, I sure miss my co-op on the banks of the Hudson! It was only 650 sq ft, so not quite up to the same standards as the Vanderbilt Mansion, but I had just as good a view!

  2. Those Vanderbilts know how to do it right! Have you ever visited the Biltmore? Happy belated Mother’s Day.

  3. That Lemon Meringue pie is making me weak in the knees. My mom and I have developed a bad habit of indulging in a piece of lemon meringue on our Thursday lunches. It doesn’t compare to this! The area of the Hudson you visited is one I’ve often wanted to spend time investigating. It will have to go on my bucket list.

  4. I’d love the opportunity to check out that not buying happiness adage for myself. You know, just to see. I had a lemon meringue pie martini on Saturday night, with the edge dipped in sugar & graham cracker crumbs. Maybe not as satisfying as the pie … but it was goooood!

  5. If you had a mansion like that you’d just want a bigger one or another one some place else. I have the opposite feeling….oh my what a lot of work it is to keep a place that big, what with all the people you need to run it, to trust, to be at your beck and call…I wouldn’t call that happiness. But, that’s just me.

    The pie looks marvelous! Oh my, lemon, cake, meringue and nuts? You can’t go wrong!

  6. I went to the Vanderbilt Mansion years ago while Debbie was living in the area. It was very impressive. Hard to believe how those people lived!

  7. Loved this post. It reminded me of a conversation I’ve been told about between my FIL and his mother. His mother was wishing to live like rich people do. The FIL said that rich people can be miserable too. His mother replied “Well at least they’d be miserable in comfort!!”

    I loved that woman.

  8. “maybe being unhappy in this sort of place might not be quite the same as being unhappy someplace else” …word. for sure.

  9. Later this month I get to visit another Vanderbilt house – the Biltmore. I’ve wanted to see it for so long and your photos make me want to go even more. I can’t wait!!!

  10. I always had a Pemberley fantasy. Not that I could really live like that – too much guilt involved. But the fantasy is fun. Beautiful shots!

    Yowza! That’s some pie! Lemon- anything is always a favorite with me!

  11. That pie looks fabulous…and lemon meringue is my favorite! I have had computer trouble and just am able to get back to your blog…not sure why my other computer didnt want me to get here, but there you have it.

  12. Oh, and my husband and I are running a Bull and Oyster Roast on the 21st for upwards of 250 people as a fund raiser for the Boy Scout troop…you are so right about planning well in advance. I planned far enough in advance that I had no idea that we would be moving our office the next day…YIKES!

  13. Recently I read Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden, the great-great- (great?)-granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt. The title of the book stems from the fact that most of the family was certifiably nuts in one way or another. Of course, when you are as rich as the Vanderbilts (or the Burdens), you are referred to as eccentric, but nuts is really more accurate. You might enjoy reading that book after seeing one of their houses.

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