Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On The Road with My Husband and His Other Sweetheart

Fall Trip 2011
Upstate New York - From Ithaca to Cooperstown

As the title to this post indicates, my husband brought his other sweetheart along on the trip we took this fall.  He insisted that he was not making the trip without her.  Since the trip was my idea, and since I love to take a road trip, and since I insisted that we could handle traveling unknown territories by taking roads we had never taken before, I had to give in when he insisted that the only way he was going along with my idea was if he could take along his other sweetheart.  

Yes, he has another sweetheart.  "She" is a GPS.  "She" tells my husband what to do, what way to go, when to turn, and even when to make a u-turn, and he listens.  He even talks to her.  He says, "Thanks sweetie."  "Ok, sweetheart, that is what I will do."  "She" is the bane of my existence.  I consider her constant direction giving a nuisance.  Needless to say, he and I do not agree on how one should take a trip.  I think maps work just fine, but since my husband really loves his little sweetheart, and likes to take her on our road trips,  I try to co-exist with her when we are all in the car together.

Somewhere between Ithaca and Cooperstown, my husband and I had to have a little talk.  I called it our "Come to Jesus Talk" about his other sweetheart.  You see, there had been some damage to roads between point A and point B due to flooding.  My husband's other sweetheart didn't seem to understand this situation, but he listened to her anyway.  I, on the other hand, kept consulting the map.  You see, I can read a map.  I am rational.  I can problem solve. I am not programed!  I finally said to my husband, "You must make a choice.  Either you listen to this sweetheart who is beside you with a map in hand, or you listen to the one you program, but you can't listen to both of us.  Make a choice."  

He chose me.  We made it to Cooperstown.  Unfortunately, we had to have this same conversation about his other sweetheart a few other times during the trip.  But, it all worked out.  He and I are still together, and his other sweetheart is somewhere upstairs in a drawer.

The landscapes we saw on this particular day were simply beautiful.  I kept thinking I was viewing scenes I had  admired as a child when I looked through a book we had of lithographs by Currier and Ives.  

We stopped in Bainbridge, New York to take some photos.   For some reason, when I saw this structure in the park in Bainbridge, I thought of my grandfather and how my grandmother described him as looking as if he "just stepped out of a bandbox."  I imagined attending a band concert in the park back in the 1890's.  I loved this cute little park that was surrounded by several churches and a cemetery that dated back to the Revolutionary War.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stop in every little town along our way.  We wanted to reach Cooperstown in time to visit a few attractions in that town before nightfall.

Cooperstown, New York

Cooperstown is really a beautiful little town.  As visitors to this town, we sometimes felt as if we were stepping back in time.  Many of the tree lined, clean swept streets are lined with beautiful Victorian houses.  The shops all seem to close when the National Baseball Hall of Fame closes.  The gas stations are not modernized because the city fathers want to keep things as "they were."  The town seemed to scream, "Americana" to me.  Patriotism and nostalgia are very much on display at every turn in the museums, the shops, the restaurants, and of course, especially at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Our first stop was the Fenimore Art Museum.  I had really looked forward to visiting this museum after reading so much about James Fenimore Cooper in David McCullough's The Greater Journey.  Perhaps because I never taught any American Literature classes when I was teaching, I hadn't thought much about the works of Cooper for many years until I read McCullough's book.  Then, a desire to see the area that inspired all of Cooper's great works was awakened in me.

The Fenimore Art Museum itself was a great disappointment to me.  Most of the walls were blank.  I even took photos, which I decided not to share here, of all the blank walls and the packing crates that were on display in place of piece of art.  It seems we visited between exhibits.  In fact, I had missed by a few weeks an exhibit called, Frida Kahlo:  Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray.  A fan of Frida Kahlo, I would have loved this exhibit and was disappointed to have missed it.  The museum has exhibits of interesting early American art works, and of course an exhibit that featured the portraits and memorabilia of the Cooper family which was quite interesting.

The Fenimore Art Museum as a building is really beautiful.  It is located on the shores of Otsego Lake which was a prime piece of real estate when James Fenimore Cooper's father established Cooperstown. 
I kept wishing I had at least read The Pioneers as background reading before we took our trip.

I hope you enjoy a few of the photos we took as we toured the grounds of the museum.

The back view of the Fenimore Art Museum

Looking toward Otsego Lake from the ground of the Fenimore Art Museum

The Museum viewed from the shore of the lake.

A path that runs along the side of the lake.  Can't you just imagine how it must have been in the days when the Iroquois roamed this area?

Isn't this just an amazing place?

Lake Otsego
Fenimore Art Museum

A lakeside exhibit called, "Otsego: A Meeting Place."

The day we visited the Fenimore Art Museum and drank in the beauty of Lake Otsego was a perfect fall day.  There seemed to be no better way to capture the memories of a bright, colorful, golden day that my hubby and I spent together than to photograph this simple sunflower growing with great splendor along the shores of the beautiful Lake Otsego.

*  A Reading List Suggestion:  William Cooper's Town - Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic.  ~ Alan Taylor  

I am working my way through this Pulitzer Prize winner.  While it is not an entertaining book to read, it is certainly informative about the settlement of this area in the early days of the American frontier.  It is called a work of "biography, social history, and literary analysis."   


#1Nana said...

Wow, your photos are really well done. I want to go on a road trip!

We also have one of those girlfriends in a drawer, but she's mine not the spouse's. I'm the one who is unable to read a map and who gets lost every other block.

Kay said...

Oh what fun! I remember Cooperstown quite well since my husband and son are really into baseball.

Art is not quite so enamored of his GPS. He often doesn't agree with her and will resort to his maps instead. Then he'll ignore her. :-)

Arkansas Patti said...

What a beautiful place. Loved the band box and that split rail fence.
Got tickled about you competition. I share your husbands love. One thing she can do that you can't is get him in the right lane of a 6 lane highway, two miles ahead of time for a turn off. That is my favorite aspect.
Many times I have told my GPS that I "loved" it.

DJan said...

My niece loves her GPS guy, too. My brother uses the female British accent voice and I think my SIL is a little jealous of her, too.

The pictures are wonderful and it's a shame you missed the exhibit in the museum. However, that sunflower picture reminds me of you somehow, soaking up the rays and enjoying life. It's filled with promise... :-)

Teacher's Pet said...

What a great blog. I haven't traveled to the Northeast, and after reading your post and looking at your photos, I want to go! Jack has a GPS...and I smiled at each description of 'her.' Yep...been there...done that....including the U-turns. :)) It's interesting that before a trip, Jack will make sure that GPS is plugged into the computer as she gets the latest updates about each and every road/highway/restaurant, etc.
Your love of literature and history is wonderful. Your photography skills are equally as wonderful. Thank you for sharing!!!

Bossy Betty said...

I love my GPS lady AND I love these pictures! Makes me want to take a trip!

gigihawaii said...

Have never owned a GPS, but when I was in Tokyo, I was amazed that every single taxi cab driver had one that he used. (no voice, though)

Rita said...

Never even been in a car with a GPS. I don't appear to be missing anything. ;)

Lovely trip. Too bad you missed the exhibit, but the scenery was amazing. I often think of what it must have been like centuries ago, too.

Nezzy said...

I'm thrilled ya took YOUR other love with you...your camera. Girl, those pictures are magnificent!!!

God bless and have a splendid day sweetie!!! :o)

Joanne said...

My GPS ( I call her Maggie) have a love hate relationship. I love that I hardly ever get lost but I hate her constant interuptions!

"Yes Maggie I know I have to stay on this road for the next two miles...You said that already!"

The picture of the lake is inspiring! Too bad that there was no art work to see. what a bummer :O(

Olga said...

I love my GPS, I'll admit it. Maps are okay, but kind of inconvenient if you are by yourself. And useless if, as the case with most of my family, you have no sense of direction.

LC said...

Beautiful shots. I have often wondered if there are no messy people in the Northeast, every thing was so neat and well-groomed on our road trip years ago. Maybe they banish them to my state.

Thisisme. said...

Hi Sally. Great post about your road trip, with some really lovely photos. Isn't that bandstand beautiful. Loved the lake and the sunflower, but it all looks wonderful. What a pity that you missed out on that art exhibition though :( I really love our GPS. I'm no good at reading maps, and I love it that I can just go anywhere without worrying about getting lost, and the lady has quite a nice voice!

MerCyn said...

My hub is also in love with his GPS. He is addicted to her and her Australian accent. Ironically I bought him his first GPS years ago - the best (or worst, depending how you look at it) gift I ever gave anybody, I think.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, Sally, your photos are gorgeous! What beautiful places you've been! And I loved the story of your husband's GPS, now relegated to an upstairs drawer!

rosaria said...

Thanks for a lovely road trip. How did our men manage before GPS? My man is just like yours.

Lynilu said...

What gorgeous pictures!

I have one of those sweethearts, too, but mine is a male with a lovely Australia accent! My friends call him my "man in a box"!! Sometimes I have purposely missed a turn must so my passengers can hear "Bugger, bugger, bugger. Flip a u-ie"!!! It usually results in a tirade of giggles in the car!

Here is a hint .... before a trip plug the GPS into your computer, go to the website of the manufacturer, and update the road maps. Mine is a Tom Tom, and the website gives the GPS the most current information, including repair areas to avoid, etc.

I Wonder Wye said...

Thanks for the virtual tour -- what a lovely place Cooperstown is...I LOVED 'The Last of the Mohicians' (sp)...have been meaning to read that McC book, glad to know you liked it...

Barb said...

That is one of the biggest and yellowest sunflowers I've ever seen - a perfect specimen! I also love the big old trees. Yes, my Husband also has a female "companion" on our road trips. Since I am busy gawking at possible photo opportunities, she has saved the day more than once. Also, I think maybe she has a more pleasant voice than I do, and she never seems to insist that we stop and ask for directions.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Thank goodness the other sweetheart sleeps in closed drawer at night. lol
Goodness you are a very patient woman but glad you did have the come to Jesus talk with the hubby.
What a awesome road trip! I think even with another sweetheart along it was worth it.
Would love to see these places one day

Mare said...

You are too funny about 'the other sweetheart' in the car!! What a wonderful trip with your husband!

becca said...

Wow, your photos are really well done. I want to go on a road trip!

Friko said...

The other woman in your husband's life really ought not to take centre stage; I am glad you put your foot down.

The outing appears to have a resounding success and very beautiful too.

Mary G said...

I just found your blog and am enjoying it thoroughly.
My husband has Effie so that when she is wrong, we can tell her to Effie Off.
He also has me and the map.
He needs both.
You take lovely photos.

My eyebrows are turning white and due to vanish any time soon. I recall my mother-in-law at that stage saying, as she wielded her pencil, "I am not going anywhere without my eyebrows."

From another ex English teacher.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post to say how beautiful it is.....we toured this area in the past year and really loved it, too!
Also, from your other post...I really identify with your issue with your husband's "other girlfriend" the GPS. We have the same issue although now, the minute I get in the car LM knows to turn it off. I have a strong aversion to noise and he has an addiction to it. We also have a police scanner and the radio going! Ah, love...

KleinsteMotte said...

I sure love that sunflower pic! Your trip must have been so lovely. Beautiful memories.

Jeanie said...

Otsego Lake in New York looks just about as beautiful as my Otsego Lake in Michigan! What wonderful photos -- that sunflower dazzles. And I loved traveling with you and hearing a little more on the sites you were visiting!