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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Visiting Vizcaya

Through the college I teach for, I got two free tickets (offer through the Smithsonian) to visit any museum in the area, so Jerry and I decided we wanted to see Vizcaya, which is a historical mansion on the shores of Biscayne Bay in Miami. It was an overcast day yesterday, so the pics are kinda dark, but this is the side you enter the house through: The house itself is pretty cool -- very ornate with hand-carved doors and ceilings that are beautiful. It was owned by John Deering, who owned International Harvester, and it was simply his winter home. He died in 1925 and left a minimal staff to live in and maintain the house; apparently, it then fell into some disrepair over the years until Miami-Dade county bought it as a historic house in 1952. Now it is designated as a National Historic Landmark. Here's Jerry giving it two thumbs up:
The house, like I said, sits facing Biscayne Bay, so it has a pretty stellar view of the bay and downtown Miami. The tents here in the pic were set up because some (very rich) girls were apparently preparing for their Quincera (hope I spelled that right) party. We saw them on the grounds having their pictures taken, and at first we mistook them for brides, but upon closer inspection, it was clear that they were teens, and without the presence of grooms, we deduced that they were celebrating the Latin tradition of a girl's 15th birthday party. Which, by the looks of the preparation, was gonna be $$$.
So, while the house is pretty spectacular, the grounds are really the best part: Lots of formal gardens and stone structures that make it feel like something you'd see in Europe, but with a tropical touch. Here's Jerry and I:
And here I am in front of one of the many fountains:
All in all, we thought the place was pretty dang cool and we enjoyed seeing it, especially for free. So, after touring Vizcaya, we went out for a nice dinner and then finished the evening off by visiting the bookstore and picking up some new reads. It was a fun Saturday.

14 comments:

MN Mom said...

Looks like a fun place to visit. Very spectacular,those old houses. I always like to think about what it was really like to live in that time.

teacherwoman said...

Sounds like a wonderful Saturday! Definitely more fun than mine! hehehe.

Mrs. K said...

you almost got it! :) quinceanera...ah yes...I opted out of one and got a used car instead. Woot! I'm not even going there with my kid. Nope.

I've never been to Vizcaya but now I kinda want to go. Thanks for sharing

MCM Mama said...

Cool place! Sounds like a fun Saturday.

BTW, if you need anything while you are up here, email me for my cell number. We live very near the race.

AnthonyP said...

Now this brings back tons and tons of childhood memories. I used to go to events at Vizcaya and lived maybe 20 minutes away.

D10 said...

Sounds like you had a very nice Saturday. You'll have to leet us know how the new books are.

Viv said...

I love that place, one of my favs. The views to miami are amazing. Your making me Miami sick, chcike!

We left Miami 3 months b4 my 15th birthday so i did not get the party and all that. I still remind my momma about it. In Cuba when a chick is ugly they say she propbably never had a quinceanera. That is supposed to be a young woms beautiful age so anywhoo...lessons in cuban folklore 101.

Looks like you two had a nice Saturday.

Erin said...

I want to go. Looks like a nice time. We tried to watch a movie last night but it took too long to download so we went to bed. We are old!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Nice!!

Marcy said...

How come you didn't jump into the fountain? :P Looks fab ;D

Crystal said...

Very pretty place, I like the pics of the grounds, too. Would be nice to read a book out there.

*aron* said...

sounds like a great day!!! love all the pics.

Laurel said...

I love Vizcaya! I used to go there to shoot pictures for my photography classes. Glad you had a good time.

J~Mom said...

Looks amazing!!