Sunday, April 18, 2010

Uncle Jerry

My uncle, Gerard Coutu, who was married to my mother's sister Janis, passed away today after having a heart attack and then being in a coma for two weeks. Uncle Jerry was an incredibly intelligent, generous, light-hearted, kind person. I still fondly remember him teaching me card tricks when I was a little girl, and over the last two years he and I had been exchanging e-mails frequently with each other. He held a PhD in mathematics and taught electrical engineering for over ten years. I admired him and was inspired by his accomplishments and character.
Jerry, it was an honor to be your niece. You will always be a wonderful reminder of how good people can be. Rest in peace.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Little Red Lighthouse

The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge is a beloved and well-known (at least up here in the Northeast) children's book by Hildegarde Swift (1942). It tells the story of a little red lighthouse that warned ships of the dangerous rocks nearby. The lighthouse felt very important and proud of its job until one day a huge gray bridge, complete with a warning light of its own, was built right above it. Suddenly the lighthouse felt worthless--until one night, when a ship crashed on the rocks because it couldn't see the warning light high up on top of the bridge. Then the lighthouse, though now aware of its small size, finally felt needed again!
The book was based on this little lighthouse beneath the George Washington Bridge.

We recently walked across the entire bridge, over the Hudson River to New Jersey, and back. The bridge has a pedestrian/bike path along it and is about 2-3 miles long. It was a nice, long walk, and it offered some beautiful views of the city. We took these pictures underneath the bridge.

And finally, I just have to share this picture too because it's so darn cute. When we were down by the water, we saw a squirrel sticking its head out of a tree!

Stone Ridge, NY

For Valentine's Day, Burke and I took a trip to Stone Ridge, a historic little town in the mountains, about 90 minutes north of Manhattan. We stayed in a family-owned bed and breakfast, pictured below.
We decided to go to Stone Ridge partially because of how old the town is. Many of the houses were built in the 1700s, including this one, where George Washington spent the night.
The town was also full of neat old churches--one of which was for sale as a house! I wish we could buy it.
Stone Ridge is also known for its amazing restaurants, due to the town's proximity to New York State's Culinary Institute. Man, we had some delicious meals! We also saw a movie on Main Street, at the Rosendale Theatre. And we found some elevated railroad tracks that you can walk on, which offered a great view of the valley.

Thanks for a very romantic Valentine's Day trip, sweetheart!