Days 7 & 8 were pretty big driving days for us. We had to wake up early both days and leave our hotel around 6am. From Bar Harbor, Maine we drove all the way to Sleepy Hollow, NY. We decided since we had already taken a family vacation a few years back to NYC that on this trip there wasn't a need to stop in the city again. On the outskirts lies Sleepy Hollow, the one from Washington Irving's famous book (and subsequent movies…my kids know it from Disney's Legend of Sleepy Hollow cartoon). When we were using our Roadtrippers app we saw that this would be about the right distance for us to stop for the night. It was about 7 hours of driving, which was all we wanted to do on one day.
A huge attraction in the city was Kykuit. This was/is the home for John D. Rockefeller and his family. My son is a huge history buff and when we read that they give private tours, he said he really wanted to take one. He was hoping to get an insider take on Mr. Rockefeller and the history of his vast empire in the early 1900s but instead we got a private 2 1/2 lesson on decorating mansions in the early 1900. Needless to say, he was a little disappointed however it was still a really neat tour. We had yet another great tour guide who took us into almost every nook and carny of this huge house and estate. No pictures were allowed inside the home or his private art gallery (which housed multiple Warhol's & Picasso's) but the outside was pretty darn amazing too. We also go to visit the horse stables & his private car collection. The Rockefeller family was actually having a reunion on the estate so we couldn't go where they were, but nothing else was off limits. People from the UN or who have been invited because of philanthropic causes still supported by the Rockefellers still stay on the top two floors of the main mansion. While we were walking around, we saw Madeline Albright having coffee and chatting with someone!
We stayed the night in the area then headed out early again on Day 8. We had another 7 hour driving day to reach our friends in Crozet, Virginia whom we were going to stay with. Their family owns a winery and we had been dying to visit. Veritas Winery in right in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Unfortunately the only days we had cloudy/rainy weather were the two days we were here. So the mountains were at times completely covered by clouds but it somehow made it even more beautiful.
Our friends, The Hodson's, arranged for us to have a wine tasting, then gave us a tour of the winery & estate. They have a beautiful B&B on the premises that Mike & I plan on going back to without the kids next time!!! They have two sweet daughters who were more than happy to show Bella & Preston around to see the garden, sheep & horses on the grounds before the rain came down.
We also went to a local fruit farm where we picked fresh peaches right from the trees. They were small but they were so delicious. We snacked on them the entire way back to Florida!
We enjoyed a great meal and conversation that latest late into the night then off to bead. It was hard to say goodbye to such a beautiful place but we both agreed it is definitely somewhere we have to go back to to spend more time. Mike had some business to do in Richmond, which was only an hour away so tomorrow we head there!
Day 1: Florida to Virginia
Day 2: Virginia to Philadelphia
Day 3: Philly to Boston
Day 4: Boston
Day 5: Boston to Maine
Day 6: Bar Harbor Maine
Days 7 & 8: New York & Veritas Winery
Days 9 & 10: Richmond