Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tryon Palace and Gardens

Even though the day was sunny, it still began on the chilly side, but not enough to hamper any fun.  With light jackets in place, off we went to check out another area of interest.  This time it was to be Tryon Palace and Gardens of New Bern. I won't detail all the history but it was interesting.

We were only allowed to take pictures outside and in the gardens so there are no photos today of the interior of the palace.  I could have fooled the guides with silent shots but wanted to behave and obey the rules.  The guide on the first floor was "Alma" and she was a hoot who definitely loved her job!  Such a fun lady who made the rooms come alive with humor and teasing.  We met a couple along the way who was from our area and we connected and stayed together for a great deal of the day.  The guide on the upper level of the mansion was ...oh, dear, what WAS that man's name???  Right, get my point: he was definitely forgettable and had ZERO personality.  Apparently, he drank his dose of Boredom this morning and it was definitely working.  The basement was also open and again there was a Bore who conducted that tour.  But Alma more than made up for the other two.

After the house tour, we were off to the two main outer buildings: the carriage house and kitchen.  Since the original mansion burnt to the ground because of a kitchen fire (the kitchen at that point was originally located within the house), the house was restored to its original condition with the kitchen in a separate building.   The laundry and storage areas were located on the ground level of the kitchen.  Bedrooms for some of the servants were located on the second floor of the kitchen.

The other main outbuilding was the carriage house.  There were no pictures allowed in it either, although it wasn't clear why since it  just had stalls for horses and and empty room obviously reserved for the carriages. 

The remainder of the property was almost exclusively gardens.  And I mean gardens  of every size and use.  There was a statue garden, a walking trail winding through a naturalized garden, and  flower gardens spanning out in every direction.  The palace is situation on the river so the entire back lot is bordered by a view of the river.  The large kitchen garden boasted huge raised beds with healthy plants and fruit trees. The soil is black and so rich I would bet a dead stick would root easily. 

As we were finishing our tour of the gardens, a photographer with one of those cameras so large I nearly drooled all over my jacket was kind enough to show me what he deemed to be the "perfect shot".  I tried to duplicate his, and thanked him for his lesson. 

It's always nice to be helped by someone with more knowledge.  Of course, he was manually changing settings after each shot, so his shot was indeed perfect and mine - well, there's always room for improvement. Said he was doing a shoot for a Chamber brochure - bet his photos will be superb! More drooling...  

There were other homes and buildings on the tour so we checked them out and the tour guides were wonderful in all those locations.  It was also nice to be transported around on little carts, although most of the buildings were fairly close. AND Sweetz and I were given "Senior Tickets" so we saved a few buck$. 

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