Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Uh Where Did That Come From?!

So much for posting yesterday as I'd mentioned in the last post.......sat down at 7.00 after dinner and fell asleep, apart from a brief spell to get up and go to bed, until today.....looks like the jet lag and lack of sleep on the last day kind of crept up on me there......still, lets make up the balance now eh!

Saturday was the day of our presentation......to what turned out to be a packed house, 65 or so people had booked and I believe we topped out at 67 plus staff which was none too shabby considering the foul weather that we had (the storms that day were the ones that hit the UK badly early the following week). I was quite surprised by the crowd we had, some had driven for 3 hours to be there!! We had a stalwart of the Oxford food symposium with us and a fellow blogger too....nice to finally put a face to a visitor to the blog here! I think it went well, we certainly went on for long enough at least, still you'll have to check out the Hemyngton100's blog for an independent review.
After lunch Tony took us for a drive around the area, looking at other mill sites in the valley and giving us a taste of the local countryside, unfortunately this was curtailed a little because of the storm and a downed tree

fallen tree

Although it did give us an idea of what to do the next day, a genuine day off it appeared.

Sunday we visited the Winterthur estate, one time home of some of the Du Pont family (as it would seem most of this part of Delaware was at one time or another!) To have a look at the art collection......who knew it would turn into work and research as they have quite a nice collection of early 18th century ceramics which may well come in handy to know in a few years time!......It wasn't all laughs though as we felt honour bound to look at this whilst we were there

soup tureens!

phew it was a riot I can tell you!!

Monday came and it was time to leave Tony and the mill, a more gracious host we could not have had and as I mentioned before, I certainly came away from the Mill inspired by what Tony and the guys there have done and are doing.......outstanding.
A brief detour to Silver Spring outside of Washington DC to visit the Discovery Channel and have Thai for lunch with some old friends there, before driving back North to New York City.

I'm glad that we went, but I'd never recommend driving through the city.....ever!! Still we had to in order to get to the airport to drop off the car, phew, what a drive, well at least we managed to see all the sights, most of which we had never intended seeing (UN building, Brooklyn bridge etc. etc.). An interesting trip on the metro to Penn station and then a swift walk to our hotel, slap opposite Madison Square Gardens........perfect location, not such a perfect room, but a bed, TV, shower and toilet so it had all the important parts.

Tuesday was set aside to a brief chat at Bon Apetite magazine then a little sightseeing in New York. The weather was fantastically bright so we plumped for a trip to the Empire State building......and although I'd love to visit by night I think we picked the day to do it as our last day was distinctly overcast. Talk about a learning experience, the Empire State will show you just how good value a trip to most visitor attractions in the UK is. Designed for queuing that would put Disney to shame it was quite a shock to walk straight up to the ticket desk (via the now ubiquitous metal detectors and x-ray machines). $20 admission wasn't too bad, but all the way to the desk and all the way after it it is made very clear that unless you shell for the map you'll not know what you'll be seeing from the top, fair enough but I could have done without being told that my trip would be awful without the map.....and audio guide.....and photo opportunity....and so on. It's not out of the realms of possibility to give out a free map that pointed out the main views, with the souvenir map being much more detailed. Rant aside it was an absolutely fabulous visit (if somewhat great ape light!) with fantastic views of Manhattan, New Jersey and Long Island....check out the pictures at Flickr, like these:

view from the Empire State long way down!

view from the Empire State

including some panoramic shots I managed to put together (hopefully viewable at pretty much full size, sorry about some of the aberrations in the pic's but they were only snapshots put together!- click on the picture then go to all sizes to download the full size pictures) The view from the top puts New York into perspective and on reaching Terra Firma again (floor 86 to ground in about 2 minutes....including changing lifts!!) we went walking around taking pictures of several other notable landmarks like the Flat Iron building and the statue to James Gordon Bennett.
That evening we visited Times Square again (Bon Apetite is there so we'd been already that day) and the camera saw sterling action again

taxi in times square Taxi!

Wednesday was a colder, gloomier day that was spent in the Metropolitan Museum of Art....again loads of pictures, mainly for research and not a lot of interest to your good selves. That night we flew home, arriving fairly tired I must say the next morning, safe and sound in dear old Blighty......and that as they say, was that!! Fairly condensed, but in the long run it's probably a blessing for you all.

So Easter is just a few days away and if I can find where I put it I'll post the plans for the food tomorrow for you all (I better be able to find it or we'll be like a proverbial turkey at Christmas........stuffed!)

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