Friday, June 30, 2017

Last Day of 4th Grade

I still love this tradition of capturing what Joseph is into at this moment in time, even though I'm a little late this year.  School's been out for over 2 weeks! 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fort Necessity

This was not originally part of our drive home from Fallingwater after the road trip to Pittsburgh, but our friends are history buffs and big into National Parks, so we stopped by Fort Necessity just because it was there.  The battle here in 1754, where George Washington suffered a massive defeat, was the opening action of the French and Indian War and is said to have set the stage for the Revolutionary War.

What was fascinating to all of us as Hamilton aficionados (AKA Hamilfans or Familtons LOL)is that this battle was referenced toward the end of Act I when Washington sang:

I was younger than you are now
When I was given my first command
I led my men straight into a massacre
I witnessed their deaths firsthand
I made every mistake
I felt the shame rise in me
And even now I lie awake
Knowing history has its eyes on me

I don't know how anyone could call this little circle of sticks a "fort," but warfare was pretty different back then.  The diorama depicted a pretty grisly scene.

And since we were there, the boys all got another Junior Ranger badge!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Finally now, on to the inspiration behind the whole trip to Pittsburgh, a visit to one of the most famous houses by one of the most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater.  Fallingwater is built into the rock right over a 30 foot waterfall, and is the only major Wright-designed house that is open to the public with all of its furnishings and artwork, intact.  Our friends booked a special in-depth tour months in advance that offers access to secondary spaces not available on the regular tour.

The picture above is what most people expect to see upon arriving at the house, but that spectacular view is actually from further away on the grounds.  The house was built not to face the waterfall but to be part of it.  This is the main entrance:

Some of the rooms on the in-depth tour, which allowed us to take photos.

One pretty spectacular terrace!

The corner windows disappear when opened, and that little opening in the trees is the spot where you get that amazing view of the house over the falls.

There's also a path to a guest house!

It is literally built into the mountain!

The only problem is that now I want to visit to see it in every season!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Andy Warhol Museum

Next thing I didn't know about Pittsburgh: it's the birthplace of pop-art icon Andy Warhol and home to a 7 story museum featuring a huge collection of his work.  Fun fact: it's the largest museum in the North America dedicated to a single artist.  I've been a fan since my college days!

The boys were not as thrilled with the paintings but had fun posing on the famous red couch from The Factory.  They thoroughly enjoyed playing in the Silver Cloud installation, and they couldn't have been more excited about the movie projected on the wall showing a guy wiggling his butt and then doing something around there with a pickle.  Oh, they'll remember that one for a long, long time.

Personally, cow 11 has always been one of my favorites.  I can't even remember how many years I had that poster hanging up in my dorm rooms and apartments, or how long I had a t-shirt with that image before it was worn to shreds.