Well hello there friends and relatives. You will all be shocked to hear that Noel and I managed to leave Australia without any lost passport issues, explosives swabs or cavity searches. Our flight with Delta to the US was really great. A bit bumpy in parts but not bad. The best bit for Noel was the leg room and for me it was the 3, not 2, but 3 meals they served and the fact that we didn't end up in the Pacific!
We had a day stay at the Travelodge LAX, which I would have to say is not the best looking motel in town, but when you only want a sleep and a shower it served it's purpose. We jumped on the "red eye" to New Jersey where we picked up a car for the 2 and a half hour drive up to Woodbridge. Here was our first problem. We couldn't get the GPS to work properly but we somehow managed to fluke our way to the right part of the country, thanks to my brilliance, as I had printed Google Map directions. Still managed to get a bit lost on all the criss cross highways however we
arrived only a little late, after taking a left one street short of where we should have, at the very end of our 2 and a half hour trip, and guess where we were headed? Yep...BACK to New York. We arrived on my Australian birthday and our hosts took us out for a 'get to know each other' dinner. We went to a lovely restaurant near Yale University in New Haven and would you believe there was a group of young men from a local school singing acapella for the diners. I got all teary as the first song they sang was Noel's and my wedding waltz Elvis' "Can't Help Falling In Love With You". Just before dessert they came back and surrounded our table and sang me Happy Birthday. It was such a special moment that I will always remember.
What can I say about our stay here? Magnificent house, wonderful and generous hosts, best dog ever. He never, and I mean never, barks. Beau just wanders between Noel and me all day and when he is happy and knows where we are he chooses one of us and sleeps on his mat next to his friend of
the moment. We have had a great week catching up on our sleep, going for long doggie walks, visited Yale University (it's like being in a Harry Potter movie), drove to Madison to look at seaside houses, climbed the trail next to Kent Falls, went to West Rock lookout and walked the streets of New Haven. This area is so pretty. The trees are all beautiful colours. There are lots of tulips around, The houses are all painted bright colours but they all look so lovely, not gaudy at all. There are mansions everywhere with huge manicured lawns. It is just beautiful. Even the weather has been kind to us with only one rainy day.
Yesterday Noel and I decided we should indulge in some culture, so we visited the British Art Gallery and the Yale Art Gallery. I have to say it. I don't like a lot of art. Too modern/weird is not my style at all and I really don't "get" why some painters are called masters. But there were also hundreds of magnificent paintings that were so good it is hard to put into words how wonderful it is to see such excellence. You would swear
some of them were photographs. I did however have some "WOW" moments. There were paintings that looked so new and yet they were painted hundreds of years before Australia was even settled. The painting of Jesus on the Cross was done in 1546. We saw a small statue from Egypt that is 4,500 years old!!!! How is it even still a statue and not a pile of dust? Crazy! And get this..... we got talking to a guard and mentioned that we were surprised that the art was not in sealed cabinets or roped off and that you can actually walk right up to a painting and breathe on it while studying it. He casually says "I've got the most expensive painting in the whole gallery in my section". Would you believe, it was a Van Gogh called The Night Café and I had just said to him that I didn't like that style of painting as it's a bit "ordinary, like any old Joe could have painted it". His reply? "It's worth $200,000,000" That's two hundred million buckaroos people. I couldn't believe I was 2 inches away from something worth that much money. It was another WOW moment.
We are heading up to Boston tomorrow for 4 nights followed by New York for 3. I hope the next leg of our trip is just as wonderful as our stay in Woodbridge. Here are some favourite photos.
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