well, hello there!

If you’re reading this, you are actually reading it and not hallucinating. This is the longest blogging break I have ever taken, clocking in at well over a year, but life happened. I feel badly for neglecting this space, but to be honest, I had to prioritize.

So much has changed since my last post. Basically, everything in my life has changed since my last post. We moved…to Kansas City and we’ve almost been here a year, if you can believe that. I had to buy a car, and I got a new job in an entirely different field. We bought a house…online (more on that to come later). There has been a lot of change, which is something that I’m not the best at. If I’m being honest, which I am around here, I am terrible at it.

nelson atkins museum kansas city

I have missed this community more than anything and hope you all will still have me. I plan on being the same blogger I was before, only now with a complete home renovation on deck and home base in the Midwest.

world’s (second) largest garden gnome

I really hate to discount the grounds of the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park but you guys, I “met” the world’s (second) largest garden gnome! Okay, apparently since this gnome was erected, a larger one hopped onto the scene but this is the world’s largest in New York, so whatever. And yes, I have a thing for garden gnomes, because I’m weird. Deal with it.

Moving along, after we went to the Vanderbilt Mansion we had burgers because that is my favorite food and because it was my birthday the day before. I do what I want. Then we drove around, like all over the place. This is what happens when you live in a city without a car, someone hands you car keys and you go exploring like Lewis & Clark, but without all the non-amenities. While looking for things to do around Sundown mountain, I stumbled upon this. So my boif promptly pulled into the nearest gas station for hydration and directions. Needless to say, Chomsky and I were fast friends. He said he’d text me, but I’m not holding my breath. He was a little stoned…(ha).

So we saw the country house, ate, drove around, saw my new bff Choms, and went to dinner at the CIA. When I promptly doubted every decision I’ve made up until then.





me and the second largest garden gnome

I was SO excited! Couldn’t even help myself. Yes, I’m wearing birks, no I don’t care. DEAL WITH IT.

hudson valley ny

FDR Bridge NY

culinary institute of america hyde park ny

Lest you thought this was the end of the Hyde Park posts, you thought wrong! I have more, guys. Just for you. Apparently I should go away every week and only work two days because then I’ll have a ton of blog content. Did you miss some posts? Don’t worry! Check out parts one & two.

what I’m wearing: tee (on sale!) // pants (on sale!) // sandals // sunglasses

Vanderbilt Mansion – Hyde Park NY (part deux)

This posting twice in one week is feeling quite foreign to me, so please be nice. I just had to spell foreign about 12 times before I got it right. Good thing I got a degree in Journalism… While editing the photos for this post, and the one before, I realized that I took a ton and I would annoy the crap out of each and every one of you if I posted them all in two posts. You can thank me later for being so kind. I do accept gifts.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again: the home has all of the original furnishings which is huge and awesome. Actually awesome, not like “totally awesome, dude”. Also, this was only a country house, just a small ole country house for the weekends. Guests arrived on Friday and were expected to get the hell out on Sunday. Seems like the Vanderbilt’s and I would have got along great.

Without further ado, let us get down to brass tacks. The photos. I was really obsessed with the staircase so you’re going to have to see another photo of them. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

vanderbilt mansion hyde park staircase

vanderbilt mansion hyde park skylight

vanderbilt mansion hyde park bathroom

vanderbilt mansion hyde park ny dressing room


vanderbilt mansion hyde park bedroom

vanderbilt mansion hyde park ny servants staircase


I really wish my bathroom looked like their guest bath on the first floor. Instead of using some heinous grey-green subway tiles, I would have been very pleased with all white and soft peach walls but you can’t win them all, right?

Mrs. Vanderbilt’s sitting/dressing and bedroom was out of this world. The lady liked French and French she got. Apparently she saw Marie Antoinette’s room and was like “gentlemen, put me down for one to these”. You can’t blame her, can you? I can’t. I can’t say I love the cherubs, but hey, I think I could make do.

Funny story about the last photo. The Park ranger said “Anyone with a camera should get a shot of the staircase, it’s a really great photo” and of course, I pushed aside two senior citizens (because MOVE) and snapped away like a freak. Another gentleman with the group tried to take the same photo and said “can’t get a good shot, it’s too light up there” and I said “you’re doing it wrong” out loud…instead of to myself. Apparently I am not older and wiser. But hey, I taught him how to take his camera off auto and actually use it so I consider that a good deed!

Part three, which will mostly be amazing photos of the grounds and a special surprise will be coming right up. Here is part one, if you missed it.

If you’d like to visit the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, NY you can check out the following:

Go: Vanderbilt Mansion – from NYC you can take the Metro-North Hudson line to Poughkeepsie (hometown of Snookie) and rent a car and make the short drive north.

Stay: Journey Inn – right across the street!

Eat: CIA & Matchbox Cafe (get a burger and ANY of the desserts)

vanderbilt mansion – hyde park ny

Last Wednesday, I turned the “big 3-0” and I’m going to drop an honesty bomb on you, because I love doing that so, I wasn’t into it. At all. Despite my crap attitude, it turned out to be one of the best birthdays ever. Look at life, surprising me.

The boif (pronounced boy-fff) and I went up to Hyde Park (what people from NYC call ‘upstate’) for the duration of the week and it was outstanding. I highly recommend it. Minus me having a huge near-meltdown on my actual birthday whilst trying to get my act together to catch a train (spoiler alert: we missed that train), the rest of the day was great; including that train ride. If you haven’t taken the Metro-North up the Hudson, I suggest you do so.

We wanted to see a few things, but not completely exhaust ourselves so Thursday morning after breakfast we headed across the street to the Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park for a quick tour. The tour was only an hour, which was perfect and the Park ranger was super knowledgeable.

From the outside I was like “meh, I’ve seen better in my parent’s neighborhood” but inside it is breathtaking. Frederick Vanderbilt’s niece donated it to the Park’s service with ALL of the original furnishings. I was taking pictures like crazy and the older couple on the tour with us thought I was some sort of crazy person but one does not merely pass by a velvet upholstered sofa with tufting and tassels without documenting it thoroughly.

vanderbilt mansion foyer

vanderbilt mansion hyde park sitting roomvanderbilt mansion hyde park ceiling detail

vanderbilt mansion hyde park dining room

vanderbilt mansion hyde park dining room

vanderbilt mansion hyde park staircaseAre you obsessed? I was so into that green velvet fabric that I wanted to take it back with me, so incredibly rich and lovely. Or the red velvet used in the dining room on the curtains and the chairs. You know, I used to hate that, matching curtains and furniture but now I think I’ll need to do it. Because, Vanderbilt’s guys. The ceilings? I used to think the ceilings in our apartment were so pretty and now they’re the red headed stepchild of ceilings.

Also to note, I want this place to be more about original content and photography so you’ll be seeing more of that, okay? I think it will make things much more interesting for all of us.

Part 2 of our visit to the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park NY is coming up later this week!