Monday, September 10, 2012

Guest Blogger: Evan- We Hated To Leave!!

In my last blog, I left you folks where I was sleeping soundly at The Henderson Castle after a wonderful day filled with travel, learning, and exploring a castle!

I even had a bit of a mystery! No explanation for the sudden smokey mist that surrounded me- though I think it was a friendly ghost, saying "Hello"!

Nonna (Grandma) Marcy woke early the next day. (I was still sound asleep!) No one in the castle was awake, so she wandered outside for a while, enjoying the morning in the castle gardens.

There are many such statues on the grounds. They are very old, and very cool! This one sits near the porch at the front of the castle.

The castle  has 8 guest rooms, plus a carriage house that has two more guest rooms. The carriage house also has it's own little back yard and hot tub!

                                                                                                                                                 Francois (pronounced Frah-n-zwah) told us that most of the vegetables served in the meals come from his garden. He uses only organic foods, and what he doesn't grow he buys locally. He even has a little vineyard! Nonna had asked if they were going to make homemade wine, and Josh (our evening server) said he thought so. That's awesome, to grow what you serve!

Nonna Marcy LOVES her morning coffee, so when she saw Francois she told him she was dying for some. She said he quickly got some for her, and it was wonderful!

She sat on the front porch, where all the little tables are, and enjoyed all the birds and butterflies. I was still asleep! Nonna Marcy woke me up about 8:00 and told me I needed to get dressed for breakfast. She didn't have to call me twice. I got right up, ready to do a bit more exploring. We had about an hour before we were scheduled for breakfast, and I was anxious to look around some more! This place has all sorts of nooks and little side rooms. We wanted to see as much as we could!
We wanted to got to the roof again, but the third floor was closed for a massage/spa session. As we wandered around, we noticed an elevator behind one of the doors!! I wanted to ride in it, but Nonna said we'd better ask first.

So we wandered outside. I wanted to go to the "sacred garden"- where we had experienced taking the "ghost" picture. I asked Nonna to take another picture, to see how this one would turn out.

We decided that with the sun so bright, we wouldn't be able to see the mysterious mist, even if it was there.
It was time for breakfast. We wandered around the kitchen area. Nonna Marcy loves old kitchens with their ceiling to floor cupboards and butler pantries! We took pictures of a couple of really cool old chandeliers! Beautiful!

Francois seated us in a smaller dinning room. We had a private sitting, which I thought was very cool!

He was the one not only cooking, but serving us as well! He brought to the table pitchers of water and orange juice, and coffee for Nonna. Then came a wonderful plate of fruit! (Fresh strawberries and watermelon)  Yogurt and warm fresh homemade orange bread were added! It was so good!

You can tell we already are some! Yummy!!
Francois told us he could make us eggs, but since he came from France, French toast was his specialty! Of course, we chose the french toast! When it came it was sprinkled with blueberries and a tiny bit of syrup, topped with a sprig of mint!. Nonna called it "superb", and I had to agree! It was the best breakfast I've ever had! It was served with a side of heavy cream, though I didn't use the cream. The plate was a master piece, but we forgot to take a picture, we were too busy eating!
Oh- about the elevator! I asked Francois if I could ride in it. He said someone got stuck in it about 12 years ago, so no one uses it. He said he checked to see how much it would cost to replace it, and was told it would be $100,000!  (He said he told them he didn't want them to build him a house, just replace the elevator!) Man- that's not right! I hope he can find someone that will give him a good price! I think having an elevator to ride would be so cool!

We hated to leave! After breakfast we went back to our room to pack. I played my IPod for a bit. Nonna's rule is that I only use it one hour a day while we're on an adventure, because otherwise I'll miss out on the neat stuff we might get to see!

Francois gave us a ride back to the train station! Nonna and I want to thank Francois for a wonderful stay at his castle! As Nonna Marcy said, "We had a gracious Host, a wonderful staff, and an intriguing house. The food was outstanding, the viola music a superb surprise, and the little ghost mystery a wonderful addition to our adventure!"
I asked Nonna if we could come back, and she said "Yes! And maybe next time for more than one night! AND next time we'll bring our swim suits, so we can use the hot tub on the roof!" YES! I can't wait to go back there! And I hope we take the train again! Which brings me to our trip home.

I again wanted to stand outside and watch for the train to come. When we got on the train there were no two seats together in our business class, so decided to sit in the snack car instead.

That was fine with me. It's my favorite seat anyway!

The server on our return trip was Cynthia- who was really nice to us.

The Conductor on this trip was Michael Thomas. He was pretty busy, so we didn't have much of a chance to talk to him. He was very friendly though.

I sat on the other side of the train going back, and was surprised that it was all farm land or industry on this side, hardly any houses!

Since it was close to noon, Nonna and I shared some pretzels. I had a root beer, and Nonna had her coffee. We talked about the adventures we've had this summer, and the adventures we will have in the future!

I've had the most cool summer! I've had wonderful trips, not only with Nonna, but with my parents as well! I have to say, I am one lucky kid!

(From Marcy: I have so enjoyed my time with Evan! And I'm very proud and pleased to say that he has been, in every way, a wonderful little gentleman! Of course, Evan is nine years old, and from time to time the nine year old MUST come out and do something that all nine year old boys would understand!)

Evan spent a LONG time trying to get that last drop of root beer !
Thank you, Evan, for your blogs and wonderful company!
Of all the gifts a grandparent can give, I think "Wonderful Memories" are the priceless gems that can't be lost, stolen, or discarded! And I know that years from now, Evan will remember his first train ride and night at a wonderful castle with his Nonna. And hearing and seeing his adventures from HIS perspective is his gift to me.

To Francois Moyet, owner of the Henderson Castle: Thank You for your wonderful hospitality! Evan and I are looking forward to returning! You were a gracious and kind host, a marvelous cook, and helpful in every way!

More adventures await us, Evan!  Life is an adventure, even when it's a bumpy ride!!

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