Audio Version: http://passiondale.podomatic.com/entry/2010-09-20T07_40_01-07_00
There's an excellent documentary about Frank Lloyd Wright by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick I'd seen on PBS, but experiencing genius up close adds dimension and wonder that film can't always capture. Our plan for the weekend was to see Mr. Wright's Fallingwater house in Mill Run, Pennsylvania.
Our seven or so hour road trip began as every journey into America seems to, with an interrogation of the sort that tells you the border guard has a little to prove but not enough to pull you over and ask for answers to the questions on the glove test. From there, a quick stop at Premier Liquor and the four of us were ready to drink in the landscape and a few other things, though not of course, while driving. A near constant downpour accompanied us trying its best to thwart, but was no match for hearts (and wallets) ready to be lightened at the outlet shopping mecca of Grove City. It stopped raining long enough for us to find a few bargains in the mist and rejoined us as we continued our drive.
The rainy overnight stay in Mt. Pleasant found us feeling smug over the foresight of earlier collecting more than enough wine. We drank up as we dried out and after ordering food in to the hotel, we went to sleep happy. The following morning, after making friends with the cordial breakfast room employees, we headed for Mill Run.
In visiting Fallingwater, I more expected to remove something from my list of things to do rather than add to it but when life throws you beauty, sometimes the list gets rearranged. It was a breathtaking and emotional experience seeing the house so beautifully integrated into its surroundings in what seemed like more than three dimensions. I can now say I'd love to visit it again in other seasons, lighting and weather conditions. I was bowled over at getting to see such a magnificent dream brought to life.
After marveling all we could, we continued on to Lancaster and Amish country. While I'd expected to see buggies containing Amish passengers alongside the road, I didn't expect to see the rogue Amish - girls on rollerblades, women leading their children on bicycles across busy highways or the shy smiles and hellos offered as we passed them on the sidewalks in town.
While I'd threatened to steal the souls of the Amish with my camera, I was too busy to take many photographs being struck at how fresh faced and scrubbed clean they seemed. As I bought ice cream and souvenirs from them, I'm sure the curiosity was reciprocal. Among the things I did take away was the thought that I could never rock the bowl haircut as a kid the way some of these children managed.
After another day of exploring, shopping, having the Plain and Fancy restaurant experience and getting ferhoodled, we started our journey back. Being the time of year it is, we passed many pockets of beauty as the leaves on the trees boldly flashed their best come hither before I fall looks.
We were waved through customs even with our declarations of being over our spending allowances and liquor allotments and ended a lovely long weekend in a traffic jam which I took as a sign we should slow down and reflect back on the wonderful weekend it was. Not everyone felt like this judging by the swearing in the car but soon subsided as the jam cleared and we arrived safely home with fresh souls, our own.