Work. Sunny Florida. Mountains. Work again. Mountains again. More work. June who?
I can’t believe a month has passed since my 24th birthday. As June hit, so did all of the planning for our trip to Florida to spend a week with Joe’s parents; we had a wonderful time, complete with great company, fishing/boating in the Gulf, homemade cheesecake, and a few beers in between. (Needless to say my gut couldn’t wait for me to hit the gym again.)
Then we all hit the road for the drive back up to New Jersey, of course making one typical travelers stop to Cracker Barrel. Another few days in the mountains, back to work for the weekend, then one more week in the mountains before we said our goodbyes and Joe’s parents fled for Florida once again.
And here we are. I’ve missed you all!
Now on to those birthday festivities, so long ago.
I woke to that beautiful red rose and all of those balloons on the wall. Joe is so good to me.
It’s my birthday, I don’t have to make the bed! Hmph! (Check out my birthday sign.)
And – because it was my birthday, of course – I was having a fabulous hair day.
So off we went to pick up mother to experience the Poe House with us.
I snapped a few pictures on the train, including one of the handsomest man in the whole world.
I completely underestimated the walk to the Poe house, and I was wearing sandals, so my toes were aching by the time we winded through the streets and under the overpass and across the highway to the site.
But there we were! Finally!
He hates this picture, yet I have no idea why. Look at those baby blues!
As soon as I spotted the first landmark I had my mom snap a picture of my pasty self, smiling from ear to ear in excitement!
I was sure to put on my SPF 110 that day!
We made our way around to the side, closest to the entrance, and read a small sign with information about the house and, of course, Poe himself.
The heavy old door read “Knock ONLY once”, so I knocked three times. My mother laughed and Joe “yelled” at me. What was awaiting us on the other side?!?!?!?!
Only the nicest tour guide EVER. He opened the door and where I was expecting dust, darkness and an angry keeper, instead there was light, other people, and a warm greeting from a small man in a tan uniform.
“Welcome to the Poe House!”
The front room was riddled with posters, books, postcards, stuffed ravens (ha), and other Poe merchandise. There was also a giant Poe head, with all kinds of gadgets and things coming out of it where you could listen to other authors recite his poetry, or solve a puzzle to piece together The Gold-Bug
The Raven, guarding his creator’s home.
And so, after a friendly warning to please watch our step, we made our way into the first room: the place where Poe would greet his guests. Huge etchings of how the room may have looked so many years ago were hung in every room, to give guests a better idea.
The living room.
The walls and ceilings were worn, and I could just barely make out what looked like the word “death” someone had etched into the stone near the kitchen. Creepy…
The kitchen came next.
Inside the mind of a genius.
“Peaches in the melting mood.” I like the sound of that.
In the pantry was an old sketch of the kitchen; Joe held it up at the same angle as the drawing showed, for a pretty cool perspective.
Then it was on our way to the second floor (there are three total, plus the basement).
The stairway was extremely narrow, and very steep. Lucky for those who lived in the house, they were not large people!
See how narrow?
On the second floor there were two small rooms, one with a large etching of Poe sitting at a desk, writing. The other was a bedroom, probably used for writing judging by the windows that face east and south, catching the light.
On the third floor was a bedroom where Poe’s wife, Virginia, may have slept as she suffered from Tuberculosis. I have to admit, I felt a little funky being in that room….
A smaller room across from Virginia’s bedroom. Love these walls.
We exited from the top floor and took the stairs down and out to the grounds, where a man was tending to the Poe lawn.
Back inside again, we’d finally made it to the grand finale, the moment I’d been waiting for: The basement that inspired The Black Cat.
It’s a shame my camera’s flash ruined the moodiness of it, but it was dark, damp, and smelled of must. Typical basement….yet it was so much more than that!
I also got a shot looking up the stairs that led into the kitchen, as well as from the kitchen down into the basement. Pretty cool.
I don’t think Poe put that sign there.
A short film was shown after we had finished our tour, about Poe’s life and career and the mystery surrounding his death. I think the unknowingness of it all fits perfectly with the stories he told.
And my mom picked me up a sweet poster (and a copy of The Raven in Poe’s handwriting!)
And there it is. I had a fantastic birthday with the people I love. That night Joe lit the candles on the peanut butter brownies he made and sung me happy birthday between embarrassed laughs. (Oh…and he got me tickets to see Sarah McLachlan this Sunday. BEST FIANCE EVER? YES.)
A copy of the poster we bought. Can’t wait to frame this baby and hang him up!
Next post: Florida.
Happy Monday, everyone! It’s good to be back.