A few weeks ago Chris surprised us with a trip to the USS Slater down in Albany. From the website:
“During World War II, 563 Destroyer Escorts battled Nazi U-boats on the North Atlantic protecting convoys of men and material. In the Pacific they stood in line to defend naval task forces from Japanese submarines and Kamikaze air attacks. Today, only one of these ships remains afloat in the United States, the USS SLATER.”
We got an amazing tour of the ship and it was incredible to see how well everything has been restored. Even more amazing is that the restoration work and continuous upkeep is done by volunteers.
I really love anything that has to do with history. I’m so truly fascinated with people who have done great things and faced great challenges.
You got to see the meager sleeping/eating quarters, how the officers’ dining table doubled as an operating table, the areas where the sailors ran their drills, the galley which is smaller than my kitchen that served over 200 each day, and so much more.
Walking through there, thinking of their deployments, it made me realize I have it pretty good as a modern Navy wife. Chris and I used to email back and forth when he was in the office underway. Those boys had to wait weeks and weeks to get letters from home. My heart aches for their wives; that wait must’ve been misery.
On Labor Day Jack and I went to the Norman Rockwell Museum just over the border in Massachusetts. We mostly went because they are currently having an Ice Age animation exhibit and Jack loves those movies.
Truth be told, I wasn’t ever much a fan of Rockwell. I used to think his works were pretty corny and overly idealistic. Seeing many of his works up close was a big lesson for me.
He has many works that could be considered very liberal and very bold for his day. Also, his paintings (well, a lot of them) are very large! When you see them up close you realize how incredibly talented he was with capturing human realism and perfect facial expressions.
Behind the museum is the small house that was used as his studio. The view from there is simply incredible. Beautiful rolling mountains covered in trees that go on for miles. On the rest of the grounds are robot sculptures (a current installation) which Jack enjoyed.
After the museum we went into town to look for a place to have lunch. We stumbled upon Alice’s Restaurant (ok, it isn’t called that now, but it’s still the same place) and you can’t really get anything you want there…but we did get some great cupcakes to bring home with us!
If you live anywhere near these two places, I encourage you to check them out. I swear I will never be too old for field trips.