Sunday, September 30, 2012

Saturday, Sep 29th, Nevada County Fairgrounds


We're listening to the Elders play the closing gig tonight on the main stage at the KVMR Radio Celtic Festival.  Like every band today, they gave a great performance.  The Nevada County Fairgrounds was the venue earlier this year for the California Worldfest, a larger three-day extravaganza filled with talented musicians from around the world.  Lacking a local celtic festival with the demise of Sebastopol's epic event, we chose to attend this one when we heard of it this summer.  It hasn't disappointed us, and we're eager to see what tomorrow's performances bring.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on: Sep 29th, KMVR Celtic Festival.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11th, Santa Rosa


We made it home, and are reading our local newspaper in bed on Wednesday morning.  Yesterday, we went to breakfast at The Ramp, a Kennebunkport favorite spot which features the owner's sports and political memorabilia collection on the ceiling.  Earlier, we stopped by St Anne's Church, which you've seen so much in my sunset photos.  It was restored in 2007 by the Bush family, and is accompanied by a retreat house which has to be the plum assignment for Epicopal ministers.

We had a great time on this trip.  It achieved our family research goals, and provided us with a richer understanding of Great Britain and New England.  The time we spent with Kitty, Jonathan, and Zabella was priceless, and we made some new friends of the DiSalvos.

In late January, we'll be off to Machu Picchu, Galapagos, Peru, and the Amazon.

Here is a link to the photos taken yesterday: Tuesday, September 11th, Santa Rosa


Monday, September 10, 2012

Sunday, September 9th, Kennebunkport


Our explorations were confined to the neighborhood yesterday, and we did get a chance to set up the tent we bought Kitty at L.L. Bean in Freeport on Saturday.  It's so much easier to assemble, as the fabric clips to the structural rods on the outside.  My aunt is amazing to me, and I want to support her adventures in every way I can. Moving from her condo in Lowell last year to a house  in Hudson her son Austin owns, and then enduring a year-long, sweat equity remodel by her other son, Jonathan, is pretty spectacular Mom's duty.  She's thinking of resuming her camping travel done long ago, and wanted a tent she could stand up in.

We're going to have another relaxing day around here today, and are excited about coming home tomorrow.  The trip has exceeded our hopes once again, and the time we've spent with Kitty, Jonathan, and Zaballa has been just wonderful.

See you all soon.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saturday, September 8th, Kennebunkport


Today was probably the last day of ancestral research, and I wish I could say it was a successful one.  There are still key questions that will need lots of followup.  And photos of gravestones, and confirmations of facts, that will need pursuing.   The most interesting sight of the day was watching the local races of the American Model Yachting Association racing at Redd's Pond in Lynn.

But Pat and Kitty were relieved when I said that tomorrow and Monday were totally free of cemeteries, old family houses, and historical societies.  We're going to a local crafts fair, on another drive through streets of big old homes, and to more excellent restaurants.  Tonight, the whole lot of us went to Arundel Wharf, located on a dock near here.  Crab, and glazed salmon, and swordfish, and shrimp/scallops.  And good New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc.

Here is a link to the photos taken today: Saturday, September 8th, Kennebunkport


Friday, September 7th, Kennebunkport


It's Saturday morning, and we may go down to Lynn, Massachusetts, to see if we can find more Anthoine, Hawkes, Cushman, and Allerton ancestors.  But then, we may just hang out in this area and be a late summer resident.  The home we're in is one of the few on the coast (besides George Bush Senior) who have real plumbing.  These were summer Victorian homes, not built to withstand living in during the cold New England winters, and some have there water supply provided with a hose across the lawn.  This one was the only one razed (by a previous owner) in 1971 and rebuilt.  The Disalvos have done a wonderful job on it, and we're loving staying here.  I'm including some more photos from their front porch, and one of the Bush compound around the bend from us.

Here is a link to the photos we took yesterday: Friday, September 7th, Kennebunkport


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday, September 5th, Kennebunkport


Pat, my Aunt Kitty, and I drove over to Kennebunkport from Hudson, New York today.  We stopped in Lowell, Massachusetts, where she lived until last year.  She took us on a walking tour of her favorite downtown places, and we had a great lunch at a Thai/Vietnamese restaurant she used to frequent.  A big pat of Lowell is the National Park Service's Historic Park, which highlights the town's role in the development of the industrial revolution as a planned manufacturing center for textiles.

From Wikipedia, "Irish canal construction workers fleeing potato famines, and English farm girls working in hydro-powered mills, drove the town's economy. By the 1850s, Lowell had the largest industrial complex in the United States. The textile industry wove cotton produced in the South. In 1860, there were more cotton spindles in Lowell than in all eleven states combined that would form the Confederate States of AmericaThe city continued to thrive as a major industrial center during the 19th century, attracting more migrant workers and immigrants to its mills. Next were the Catholic Germans, then a large influx of French Canadians during the 1870s and 1880s. Later waves of immigrants included Portuguese, Polish, Lithuanians Swedish, and eastern European. They came to work in Lowell and settled in ethnic neighborhoods, with the city's population reaching almost 50% foreign-born by 1900. By the time World War I broke out in Europe, the city had reached its economic and population peak of over 110,000 people."

Heading east to the coast, we stopped at Newbury, to see if we could find the grave of a relative born there in 1644.  Found the cemetery, but not the grave.  I'll contact the church officials by email to see if they have more info.  On the way up the coast, we found some surfers enjoying cold, three-foot waves on a sunny day.

In Kennebunkport, we're staying at the home of  Cindy and Dominic DeSalvo, good friends of Kitty's, whose oceanfront residence is what we all dream of.  I'm including a photo of the sunset tonight from their front deck.   They've agreed to let  us stay in the guest cottage for a few days while we explore more of Maine.

Tomorrow, we're driving up into central Maine to visit Sherbourne, Gilead, and several other towns which were home to the Larys.

Here is a link to the few photos taken today: Wednesday, September 5th, Kennebunkport.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 4th, Hudson


Hudson is a town to watch.  With only 6,000 residents, amidst a county (Columbia) of 70,000, there sure is a lot of cultural resources, good restaurants, remodeled store front buildings, and antique stores.  Several old buildings in downtown have been bought recently, and investments are flowing.  It would be a town to keep an eye on.

We did drive out to see Olana this afternoon.  It's the home (and a very impressive one at that) of Frederic Edwin Church, a noted American Painter in the 1880's.  The visit is well worth it to see how someone can design a house incorporating the best of the world's architecture into a working family house.

The clothes are washed, and we've a plan for the next week.  We'll be driving straight to Kennebunkport, Maine tomorrow, where we will be staying at the home of a friend of Kitty's.  Thursday will be the day that we head up into the Maine towns of Sherbourne, Gilead, and back south to Windham to see the graves of about a dozen of our relatives.

Friday to Sunday mid-day, we'll explore the coast around Kennebunkport, and then head to the area south of Boston.  Monday, we'll drive to Lynn, Massachusetts, and to Plymouth - where it all began with the Mayflower.  Tuesday, we fly from Boston to SF.

I'll try to take some photos, but how photogenic are gravestones?

Here is a link to the photos taken today: Tuesday, September 4th, Hudson


Tuesday, September 4th, Hudson


The next part of our adventure begins today.  We flew from London yesterday, and were  met at the Newark Airport by my cousin Jonathan and his lady Zabella Hassan.  What a great couple!  The drive up to my aunt Kitty's house in Hudson was loads of fun, and we got to share life stories and future ambitions.

Today, we're hanging out in Hudson, doing laundry, and taking a tour of the town with Kitty.  J and Z are headed back to NYC to work, and we hope to see lots more of them in the future.

Plans will be made also for the next week, and stay tuned for a New England family adventure.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Monday, September 2nd, London


Our visit today to Kew Gardens was a terrific way to end our stay in England.  Though it as our longest Underground ride, Pat and I agreed afterward that it had more than filled our quota of people-watching.  And once at the Gardens, we were amazed at the variety and volume of plants and trees there.  In particular, the Princess of Wales Conservatory rises beyond anything we've seen for its presentation of varied climate spaces and plants that survive in each.  The indoor lily and lotus ponds, as well as the ferns, displayed such color and shapeliness.

We were also surprised to see the flowering of one plant which Pat said she didn't think she would ever see.  The specialists among you will recognize it by name, though I forgot to note it at the time.  Here is a shot of it.  It had been open only for 48 hours, and we were very fortunate to see it before it died.

Tonight, we're packing, and watching a special on Darwin in our hotel room.  It's appropriate, as we saw his burial tomb in Westminster, next to Newton.   And we're headed to the Galapagos in February.

Here is a link to the photos taken today: Monday, September 2nd, London.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday, September 1st, London


We woke up this morning, and it did not look like the sunny day that was predicted.  At breakfast, we decided to take the train to Oxford instead of the Underground to Kew Gardens.  Two underground tube trains later, we were in the Paddington Station, and got there just in time to board the east-bound to Oxford.

I know Pat preferred to go to Cambridge, but she demurred to my preference for Oxford.  The area holds lots of history for members of the Lary family, and I wanted to walk the same University grounds that some of them walked.  And then there's the Harry Potter thing.

Those of you who have seen the trilogy will remember many scenes in banquet halls, and on stairways.    When we got to Christ Church College, it was apparent that filming a popular movie in sets based on your college hasn't been lost on their marketing staff.  The queue through the dining hall was five deep in teens and wound down the stairs and out main door.  On the walls were portraits of alumni, including Lewis Caroll and several prime ministers.  None of them moved as we passed by them.

We visited several other colleges.  One of them had a chapel with a 16th century reproduction of Da Vinci's Christ's Last Supper on the wall.  Except for the bounty of Henry VIII paintings, I couldn't find any sign of Lary ancestors.  There is a nature preserve (Wytham Woods) nearby where my Norrey ancestors lived in Henry VIII's time.

And for those of you with plans to be in London, we recommend two restaurants within a block of each other (obviously, this is the restaurant place to be).  One is Pera, serving excellent Turkish food and entertainment, and the other is Thai and Co, whose service and selections couldn't be better.  Both within walking distance of our hotel, in the Woodside Park neighborhood.

Here is a link to the photos taken today: Saturday, September 1st, London

Tomorrow's our last day here in London, and I'm pretty sure we'll be heading to the Kew Gardens.