After a restful night in our luxurious accommodations (had I known in advance about the pool and the gym, I'd have packed accordingly....), the men were up bright and early for shacharis minyan and the ladies weren't far behind (if you're up before 7 am, can you still call it a vacation?).
The Shabbos House was once again ready and waiting for our arrival with a hot breakfast, offering up eggs, bagels, rolls, lox, whitefish, fruit platters, vegetable platters, cereals, yogurts and an assortment of danishes in quantities suitable for a small country. We had a sociable breakfast, which in itself is a vacation for people like myself, whose workday breakfast consists of a coffee alone at my desk at 10 am.... and then prepared our lunches for the road.
We set off, with a short detour through the verdant hillsides of Vermont, to the Clark Museum, which describes itself as housing "outstanding collections of European and American art in an intimate setting of profound natural beauty". They're not kidding. The lush gardens, open floor plan and wall to wall windows that let Hakodosh Boruch Hu's art juxtapose with the art of Renoir, Monet and Pissaro makes for a truly stunning experience. One of my personal favorites was this Renoir entitled, Studies of the Berard Children.
After viewing the collection, we had our lunch outdoors on their manicured grounds and headed off for the Norman Rockwell Museum. The museum displayed many of Rockwell's famous paintings, along with lesser known works and every Saturday Evening Post cover (over 300!) that he illustrated. It might be interesting to note that Norman Rockwell's art is a very accurate depiction of turbulent times, capturing both nostalgic elements along with the very real social issues of the time. Rockwell's studio has been transported and installed on the museum grounds as well and it is very interesting to see how the man who chronicled a time period lived and worked.
We were one short of a mincha minyan (since leaving Rabbi Rubin back at his home in Albany) and a fun discussion ensued as to which rest stop would likely have the most "tenth man" prospects. Our bus driver insisted that the New Baltimore rest area was a 'can't miss'. He wasn't off the bus for even 10 seconds before he saw an approaching tenth man... followed in short order by an eleventh and twelfth. An iPhone app for this can't be far behind.....
We stopped one more time for dinner and as the sun set on our mini vacation, we were in for a rare treat. During a brain storming session as to where our next trip would be headed, our driver decided to perform for us his ultimate destination. What a way to end the day.....
The Jnet users: This video can be accessed on KosherTube here.