After leaving Elmira, we had a pleasant drive to our friends’ place in Philadelphia. And what a place! Lucky for us, Michael had done his research on the best way to not just get into the city on bus-approved routes, but he also provided us with explicit written directions that brought us directly to their two driveways. We picked him up at a point along the route and we proceeded to their street to reconnoiter the route and the possibility of getting into the back garden driveway, definitely the most desirable location for the bus.
Construction was going on along their long garden driveway and after Randy and I stopped traffic on Wissahickon, Jim proceeded to drive up the driveway to the tighter-than-we-thought turnaround spot in the new driveway of the house under construction. After Randy and I dismantled a drainpipe and moved some sheetrock, Jim maneuvered many tight turns to get in position to back up the driveway, so many in fact that we had to stop for a spell, as he was using the brakes so much that we had to wait for them to air back up. In the end, we landed in a lovely spot, a peaceful and delightful acre+ manicured garden filled with rhododendrons, whimsical sculptures, flowers, vegetable and fruit beds, and an unheard of quality in the city, practically total silence.
After we got the bus parked, it was time to relax! They have a pool and the first order of business was stripping down and getting wet. Heaven! We relaxed by the fire ring, and they prepared a fabulous meal of salmon, grilled onions and potatoes right on the fire. It came out perfectly (of course, if you know these guys) and started off our three day visit just right. We arrived on Sunday and had three lovely days to look forward to. How lucky are we?
The next day we did more of exactly what we wanted, nothing. Swimming, touring in the garden, eating, drinking. I even managed to get a little work done during a rain storm. Dinner that night was a lovely roast lamb, cooked on the grill, roasted tomatoes and a green salad. We had raspberries from the garden and whipped cream for dessert. We were able to supply some home made wine. Jim’s brother makes the best wine ever and we had a couple of bottles with us.
Being the exacting gardeners that they are, a project was in the works for the guys. An old cherry tree, a very large one, had died in the house garden and a vine was growing up the trunk. Since the tree had died, the vine needed some support. They had a plan, and as Jim says, it’s good to have a plan. Three fourteen foot poles needed to be placed in a teepee type arrangement to support the vine which had outgrown the now dead cherry tree support. The guys got to work.
Success! More celebrating ensued! See the very top of the poles high above them? The vine should be happy for a long time.
More pool time and relaxing was called for.
The last night we were there, we went to see Randy’s new art space on Powellton Road, very cool. We actually got a few vintage shirts, one koi and dragon related, and ate deliciousness at Vietnam House.
The next morning it was time to say our goodbyes, although we had already warned them that we planned to stay another two weeks. They just laughed like we weren’t serious.
What a great visit! Thanks to our good and natural friends for the hospitality. Lots more photos on Flickr. Their house and garden are awesome, worth checking out.
Next: On to Yogaville via Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.