Thursday, July 31, 2008

Castles of Westchester




I went on a trip to Westchester last week with a group of other travel people organized by the Westchester County Office of Tourism . Besides going to see several hotels in the area (Renssaince, Marriott and the Rye Town Hilton), we visited Kykuit (the Rockefeller Estate) and Lyndhurst Country Estate. Both were incredible. Lyndhurst is bit more laid back and you can go through the home with a guide (ours was great) or on your own. The each room is furnished and reflect the decor of one of the former owner (The most recent being the Gould Family). I think the stories about the people who lived there are the most interesting. It give you a glimpse into the past, but a more intimate past. I also think it is fun to picture the rooms with the former inhabitants sitting and reading or talking and seeing how they are different and similar to how we are today. See an hisotric home is more fun if you can really picture what went on. It brings it to life.

Kykuit was just an amazing experience. Everything The history of the home, the Rockefeller, the art collection the gardens, the cars, the carriage are just astounding. At Kykuit you cannot go through the structures on your own, you have to go with one of their guides. The woman who led us knew a lot about the art work, the family and the actual house (there are several on the property but we only saw the main and I am not sure if any other are even open for touring except the Coach House). The Rockefeller really knew how to spend their money on things that were beautiful. The gardens are like a royal court and the art collection (including sculpture) is of museum quality. The main house was really like nothing I have ever seen before and I was really awe-struck. I can go on talk about them, but you really need to go there yourself. You will be glad you did.

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