New England Vacation – Day 13
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Day 13 of our vacation started in Rutland, VT. We had about 300 miles to travel this day before we reached Rochester, NY, where we would turn in our rental car and hop on the Amtrak for home. We started early and pushed along…
We passed by the Erie Canal, the superhighway of its day.
We kept on driving and by mid-afternoon we had reached Rochester. We had a couple hours to spare before we needed to return the car, so we toured the George Eastman mansion. If his name sounds familiar it’s because he started a company in 1880 that sold dry glass plates for taking pictures. The company grew and soon began producing hand-held cameras that were much easier to use than the microwave size cameras that had come before. Taking pictures was now something everyone could do. The name of the company?
By 1902 he was a very wealthy man, so he built himself a mansion.
It took 3 years to build, but when it was done its 50 rooms encompassed more than 35,000 square feet.
The mansion had many modern conveniences of the day including an electrical generator, an internal telephone system with 21 stations, a built-in vacuum cleaning system, a central clock network, and an elevator.
Eastman also installed a pipe organ and hired an organist to play it every day. He didn’t want to see the organist though, so he was hidden behind large plants.
Vintage clothing! Love the embroidery and lace:
Love the bathroom too. Bright and big.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a view out your bathroom window like this?
After touring the house we wandered about in the gardens for a little bit.
All too soon it was time to leave.
We headed to the rental car place and cleaned all our stuff out of Black Beauty, our faithful steed for the last 2 weeks. The rental place gave us a ride to the train station. We arrived at the station around 5:30pm, checked our large suitcases, and then took a seat to wait for our train.
Our train was due to leave at 11:00pm, but since we had booked a room in the sleeper car, we could get on the train at 10:00pm. Late, but at least we’d be able to go to bed and sleep on the train.
The hours passed. When we first arrived we had the station to ourselves, but soon other passengers began to arrive.
Boredom became a problem. At one point we found ourselves reading the obituaries for people in Rochester.
Around 8:30pm, the time on the board for the departure of our train changed from 11:00pm to 11:30.
Argh…but it was only a half hour.
A while later, the departure was changed to minight.
It was maddening. Then they announced that there had been a mechanical breakdown of our train and it was in Syracuse.
To pass the time Harland and I watched our fellow frustrated passengers in the waiting room. We gave names to everyone:
There was Mr. and Mrs. Amish couple. They were an older couple who arrived not too long after we did and eventually lay down on the seats and fell asleep.
There was Muscle man. And Mr. Normal.
There was Chatty Cathy, who spent her time on her cellphone. Loudly.
There was Yoga Girl, who periodically did stretching exercises.
There was Make-up Girl, who dropped her make-up bag on the floor breaking a fingernail polish bottle. It was cleaned up, but the odor of polish hung in the air for hours.
There was a young couple who couldn’t keep their eyes(or hands) off each other. When it was announced that our train was late, they went out to their car in the parking lot. They returned about a half hour later with messed-up hair and smiles on their faces – the only smiles in the waiting room I might add.
There was the American Gothic family, a stony-faced middle-aged couple and their early 20-something daughter, who regardless of how late it was announced the train was going to me continued to sit there stoney-faced.
There was the Idiot, an older loud guy, who came in and tried to haggle with the lady behind the counter for a lower price on his ticket. He tried for a half hour using colorful language at times, and then left. He came back later, and tried again for another 20 minutes or so, finally leaving again promising he would be back tomorrow. By now it was close to Midnight, so tomorrow was just around the corner.
The latest status on the departure of our train was “unknown“.
One day ended and another began as we sat there….waiting…..
Our worst fear was that we would be there all night. We couldn’t bear to think about it.
See DAY 14 of our New England Vacation HERE!!
See DAY 15 of our New England Vacation HERE!!
Imagine living in a 50 room mansion. Oh my! It must have been wonderful.
I am so looking forward to the next day of your adventures. Sitting in the waiting room must have been terribly boring. No wonder you named people. Maybe you should have named YOURSELVES Mr. and Mrs. Normal instead of the other couple.
Ooooh! Do not leave me hanging. You did make me laugh though. When I am waiting and people watching I try to imagine what kind of bird that person would be. I love it when a whole group looks like a flock pecking at each other. Try it next time!
Kodak mansion was fabulous but not exactly cozy. Wasn’t the original company name Eastman
Didn’t seem cozy to me either. He never married so the house never got a “woman’s touch”. 🙂
Thanks for the pics and story. I was at the conference and also at the Eastman Kodak house and got to witness all of the pictures you showed.
Enjoyed your story of the train. How fun to be so inventive in order to pass the time.