Friday, May 20, 2011

bedford springs

Somewhere dispersed among the various boxes of clothing that I took to Goodwill were four or five swimming costumes, which all looked tired/dated/small - but I hadn't expected to find myself missing them quite so quickly.   We stayed last night at the Bedford Springs hotel, just south of Bedford on the Penn Turnpike - I used to pass this on one of my short cuts down to US50, and be fascinated by this apparently ruined, huge, lat C19th spa resort, all peeling white railings and balconies and little turrets.   In fact, although I didn't know it, it was already in restoration, and finished a year or so ago, it was the perfect place for a celebratory first night away from NJ (which isn't to say that we weren't on tenterhooks  until 3.38 this afternoon, when we had the phone call to say that all went smoothly with the closing).

This pool - opened in 1905 - was one of America's first indoor pools, apparently.   The Springs were originally a Native American site, but were colonised and used for their restorative powers from the late 1800s.   It was an immensely fashionable place in the 19th and early C20th - and for James Buchanan was the summer White House during his presidency - indeed, apparently he received the first transatlantic cable in the lobby of the Bedford Springs in 1858.   Transatlantic history!   It was all as tranquil and restorative - especially our early morning walk - complete with a groundhog - in the slightly steamy, misty, chlorophyll-full woody air outside.

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