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We spent a lovely weekend with alumni from Bryn Mawr College Here's the itinery. On Saturday we drove up to Filoli. The last time we visited Filoli was for a bird watching tour, which was early in the morning. Afterwards we had a picnic lunch in the cafe outside. We didn't see much of the house, and it was a self-guided tour.

This time we had a guided tour of the house. We scrambled to catch up with the later Bryn Mawr tour and missed the introduction. The tour guide gave us lots of details about the house and furniture. Some interesting like the person who donated the furniture was more Eastern oriented than the original owners, but he happened to have the owner's favourite knitting chair. Others like where such and such film was shot, not so interesting to me. About halfway through the tour when we met up with the earlier group, one of the alums said "We really want to see the gardens. This is just a house, but the gardens are lovely." So the tour guide started rushing through the house.

We lagged behind and stayed with the other tour group that was lingering in the kitchen. To me kitchens in great houses are always interesting. The hub of a house is always the kitchen. And in old-fashioned children's books, the children always sneak down to the kitchen, where they have a wonderful time. The tour guide showed us the bell system which was state of the art at the time with circuits instead of a system of levers. He also showed us the enormous drawers in a large table. You could pull out the drawer from either side of the table. I thought that was neat.

We finally went outside to the gardens and the gardens were nice, but to me they were just gardens. The owners had tried to imitate French and Italian gardens of the time, but really it reminded me most of English gardens in smaller great houses. I'd seen a lot of them. But there aren't that many old mansions left in California. We had trouble walking along the gravel paths with the double stroller. Sometimes the path was too narrow, but more often there were steps. It was also incredibly hot and Special K got a bit grumpy and insisted on riding in the stroller and eating Cheerios.

Then we drove to the real treat of the day: Green Gables Estate. Green Gables is a private estate designed by Greene and Greene. Delia '52, a Bryn Mawr alumnae grew up there as a child and it's her summer home. She stays the winter in SF. We ate lunch on the veranda outside the house and had a lovely view of the terrace. At the bottom of the terrace was a view of the Roman Garden. I'll have to put up my photos sometime, but here's one for now

I had an interesting chat with Amy Campbell, the Director of Athletics about the Wellness classes they have. They had a class in my day, but I don't remember it, so I guess it wasn't that useful. The health seminar I went to in 2001 was much more useful. And from talking to her, it sounds like they have improved the class a lot to teach women how to take care of themselves.

D also kindly opened up the entire house to us, so we rambled through the house. K loved it so much or perhaps enjoyed its coolness that she kept asking to go back inside and wandered through the numerous bedrooms. Her favourite room was one of the few rooms covered with wallpaper: a green flowery pattern which was continued to the ceiling. An extremely feminine room. D said that was her room as a child. My favourite was the room entirely designed and furnished by Green & Greene. It had cool tiles and a brown ceiling with brown floral motifs. It was also the coolest room in the house, though the house was a lot cooler than the sweltering outdoors.

The roof had just been recovered with individually hand-pressed cedar shingles. They gleamed blond in the sun. D said they'd darken with age. I enjoyed looking at the cedar store room with cedar closets with glass windows. They were carefully labeled and filled with pink towels and white sheets.

I noticed that the electronics were all pretty ancient. I think I have a bigger tv and we bought ours in the early 90's and they only had VCRs. No DVDs in site. Though there was a laptop computer.

The kids fell asleep on the way to Stanford, so C dropped me off. I walked on a short tour around the campus to view the various sculptures, most of which I'd never seen. My favourite was Timetable by Maya Lin. I'm a sucker for anything with water, especially water you can easily touch. I also liked that you could tell the month as well as the time.

Of course we saw the Burghers of Calais by Rodin, and Gay Liberation by George Segal. I've seen that many times before, and I enjoyed seeing them again.

The Stanford Legacy by Don Yeomans was a Haida totem pole that told the story of Stanford. The top was a little boy who represented Leland Jr who died at age 15. He peeked his head out from the crest of the crow of knowledge who joined tongues with the mystical frog. Below them was a crying woman who cried copper tears, Jane Stanford. Then below that was Stanford himself holding a copper of wealth while a student reached up to take the copper.

After the tour I got a ride home with Anna Cusack '04 (no relation to John or Joan who I think said she's going to join the list) and collapsed on the sofa with a headache. It was very hot outside and I find looking at art, examining it closely and thinking about it really tires me out.