Celebrate July 4th with a Charming Weekend GetawayI am a fan of the long weekend. So much is possible when the weekend consists of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I recently escaped the bustle, humidity and partisanship in Washington, D.C. and drove north beyond Philadelphia to the neighboring communities of New Hope, Penn. and Lambertville, N.J.
I started the day at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve with a walk led by its Executive Director, Miles Arnott. Miles led our small group on a fascinating hike of the preserve which was founded in 1934. The 134 acre preserve provides a full sensory experience, filled with an array of native and colorful wildflowers, the gurgling Pidcock Creek, and playful chirping birds. I highly recommend a visit to the Preserve for adults as well as those with kids—it’s a great way to connect with nature.
I had a lovely lunch with old and now new friends including the team at the Rago Arts and Auction Center. Founding partners David Rago and Suzanne Perrault are featured appraisers on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Miriam Tucker, also a partner at Rago, was there with her husband Jeff. The Rago team are friendly, art smart and well travelled. Specializing in the sale of several talented artists from the area such as George Nakashima, Paul Evans and Phillip Powell who all designed and created beautiful furniture (Mira Nakashima continues her father’s legacy at the studio he founded a short distance from where we all had lunch, al-fresco). A talented group of Pennsylvanian Impressionists and Modernists lived and painted “en plein air” (in the open air) all around this spectacular area. Their works are also part of Rago auctions, not surprisingly, as these artists managed to capture the charm and atmosphere of that vicinity so well.I highly recommend dinner at DeAnna’s Restaurant and Bar in Lambertville, sometimes described as the hippest restaurant, in the oldest bar, in the smallest city, in the U.S. If it is true that you eat first with your eyes then with your mouth, then open both wide. The outdoor patio is speckled with oversized metal containers filled with herbs and vegetables plants. The mint for my cocktail was picked just seconds before it arrived at on our table. Lisa Nichols, DeAnna’s partner has taken container gardening to an entirely new level by converting commercial grade containers into raised beds. A smaller version would be a great addition to my backyard habitat.
I spent the night at Porches Bed and Breakfast in New Hope, Penn., built in 1830. B&B owner John Byers has decorated each room with an artful and eclectic flair and he serves an aromatic and tasty breakfast overlooking the gardens. Porches is conveniently located in the middle of town near New Hope’s bistros, shops and historic sights. So, pack a bag and head towards sister “cities” Lambertville and New Hope, or an outdoor oasis near you.