Posted by: yachtanomaly | September 29, 2011

Friday, 9/23- Soggy Sightseeing

Cloudy drizzle turning to pouring rain.

This morning, Jon and I had a plan to take the train to get an Enterprise car rental. The agent told him it was just a “couple of stops up”‘ but we discovered that he neglected to tell us it wasn’t even on this branch of the Long Island Railroad. By the time he transfers to the other branch it will be over an hour. We ended up taking a cab which proved entertaining. The driver was a young man whose family has been in the business for over 50 years. We learned all about the competing cab companies in Oyster Bay.

After a long wait for the car we were able to breeze by a Starbucks and then retrieve Tony and Nancy for our day of sightseeing. First stop, Old Westbury Mansion and Gardens, a legacy of the Phipps whose family fortunes were in steel (Carnegie steel partner) and shipping(Grace). We couldn’t have picked a worse day to visit, EXCEPT that we practically had the place to ourselves. The docents were really bored and we got a very nice custom tour of the house with only one other couple joining us. The house was elegant and luxurious but very comfortable feeling, and everyone agreed that it made the Breakers look gaudy and ostentatious.

As we were touring the house, it really started to pour. By the time we headed out into the garden it was coming down as hard as it could. Tony didn’t have an umbrella and gave up right away. Nancy hung in the a little longer but our pants and shoes were getting soaked and it was so comical that she soon retreated. Jon and I persevered and were treated to the beautiful walled garden. All the paths went off into long vistas on axis. The garden lived up to it’s claim of being possibly the best example of an English style garden in the US.

I found it interested that I can grow most of these plants, and I could have the same progression of color and height if it weren’t for the darn Napa deer sheering my plants on a regular basis. Hopefully, Jon sees the value of discretely fencing a larger area.

I had to buy the lavender decorated tray in the gift shop, then it was practically all the way back to Oyster Bay to see Sagamore Hill; a visit the main home of Teddy Roosevelt. The National Park service volunteer was an older fellow that seemed to know everything. We were especially impressed with how the many animal parts had been pressed into service. Hippo foot inkwells, elephant hoof trash cans, steer horn chair backs and numerous pelts on the floors. There were so many heads on the rugs, most with toothy snarls, that I wouldn’t want to try to navigate the house at night. Yet this was a home filled with children.

A sad note was 3 of the Roosevelt boys died in the World Wars. Quentin is the only WWI aviator to lie in the WWII cemetery in France alongside his two brothers there.

We dropped off Tony and Nancy to get some dinner supplies while we returned the car. Our driver back was another interesting young man who told us all about being at Tulane college during Hurricane Katrina. Everyone has hurricane parties to eat and drink up what is sure to spoil when the power goes out (you certainly can’t have warm beer), so they’re sleeping off the first several hours of the storm. Only, that storm didn’t just pass by.

Dinner on board Anomaly.

20110929-103915.jpgThe Walled Garden at Old Westbury Gardens

20110929-104012.jpgMy next Garden Shed?!

20110929-104038.jpgTR’s Sagamore Hill



  1. These photos are beautiful with rich saturation. You outdid yourself!

    • It’s not me, there’s an app for that!
      it’s the Happy setting in Photo Toaster-

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