A New Chapter...for awhile travel blog

The chapel at Princeton University

Inside the chapel

A garden designed by Woodrow Wilson's wife while he was the president...

The front of Nassau Hall

The buried cannon in the back of Nassau Hall

Albert Einstein's house from 1933-1955

The trip Friday morning from Williamstown up almost to Philadelphia, around Trenton and then north to Clinton NJ took about 2 hours and other the jarring bumps on some stretches of the trip – I may have bruised a kidney – it wasn't too bad.

We pulled up in front of Aunt Rosie's house right at about 1:00 and after a little twisting and turning we were all set up in the driveway without hitting anything, including her mailbox. The rest of the day and evening were spent gabbing and catching up, and eating, then we called it a night.

Saturday's plan was to do a little resupply trip, then later in the afternoon head east to Bridgewater NJ to Michele's cousin Kim's house to meet her boyfriend Drew, eat some pretty good pizza and swap stories. It all went precisely as planned and we got our money's worth because we didn't get to bed until almost 1:00 in the morning. It's amazing the stories you remember, and even when you only see each other occasionally, the laughs they generate when you tell them again. I'm pretty sure a good time was had by all...I know we had a lot of fun.

Sunday's adventure was planned by my travel and events coordinator/roommate. She has a book titled “1,000 Places to See in The United States and Canada Before You Die” and she does her best to see that we do them all. Just kidding...mostly. Today she had us going to Princeton, the town and university, to do a 2 hour walking tour. It ended up being just shy of 3 hours and for $7 per person, it was a steal.

The tour took us through a large portion of the campus of what originally was the College of New Jersey, later renamed Princeton University, then onto some city streets to see some of the older homes and the Princeton Battle Monument.

Some of the buildings on campus date back as far as the mid-1700's with the oldest being Nassau Hall from 1756. The only building we actually went into was the chapel – which is just a baby – being finished in 1928. It was magnificent with it's stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and a pulpit from the 1600's that was brought in from Europe. The pictures that I took do not reflect how impressive the sanctuary was but hopefully you can at least get an idea.

As we stopped at numerous other buildings, our tour guide Harold passed along stories of Revolutionary War skirmishes being fought on the campus, 2 fires that destroyed the inside of Nassau Hall but left the structure itself standing thanks to it's 26” thick stone walls and Cannon Square where a revolutionary war cannon is partially buried to prevent students from rival Rutgers University from stealing it...again.

Once we left campus we stopped at a few other buildings, but none more interesting than the house that Albert Einstein lived in from 1933 until his death in 1955. An odd thing that we were told, true or not...at his autopsy, Einstein's eyes were removed and given to his ophthalmologist, who put them in a safe deposit box. As far as anyone knows, following the ophthalmologist's death the eyes have never been located. That would be a pretty neat thing to find in an old safe deposit box wouldn't it?

We did a stop at the Princeton Battle Monument just before the end of the tour. It depicts General George Washington leading his troops into the battle at Princeton, which actually occurred a couple miles from the monument. Even though the battle was a relatively minor military victory, it did a lot for the morale of the troops and the citizens and it, along with an earlier victory at the Battle of Trenton, was actually a turning point of the war in the winter of 1777. See this link for some more information on the battle if you're really bored: http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/the-revolutionary-war/ten-facts-about-the-revolutionary-war/10-facts-about-the-battle-of-princeton/

Our last full day in Clinton was highlighted by me washing the bus. We gabbed, we ate, I washed, repeat as necessary. As always, Aunt Rosie was a great host and we appreciate her hospitality. Tuesday's target is the Philadelphia/West Chester KOA in Coatesville, PA. Now, for you geography scholars out there who actually pay attention to where we are, yes, we are backtracking. As if it makes much difference. Due to the baseball schedule and availability of decent campgrounds, we have to waste some time before catching 2 games in the Greatest City on Earth – and I say that with as much sincerity as I can muster with a straight face – and then a game in Boston. We already have tickets for all 3 games so we are working within a schedule for the next couple weeks. Dang it.

P.S. - Nobody correctly guessed our destination after Coatesville from the July 23rd update. I'm appalled...I really thought the bulk of you were more intellectual than that.

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