Tuesday, June 09, 2009

A Three Hour Tour a/k/a These Old Houses... Part 1

Every year, a neighborhood in a big city by us has a walking tour of the homes. B and I try to go every year because the homes are phenomenal. They are old, like our house, but three and four times the size. Plus, you get to go in and see all of the features, the remodeling, and hear the stories of past owners and how much it cost to build the house originally (usually between $10,000 and $15,000).

Typically, it is HOT when we do this. One year I thought I was going to die. In fact, my memory of that tour involved me crying out inside my head every two minutes I AM GOING TO DIE while sweat dripped all over me. Sexy.

This year, however, the weather was perfect. It was sunny with a breeze. Perfect walking weather.

Take a walk with me and see what we saw.

A view of the street and those huge gorgeous trees. Also a view of a line to get into one of the houses. The good houses always have long lines:

Some houses from across the street:

A picture of B acting exasperated at my picture taking:

Beautiful dark red plum looking tree. This photo courtesy of B:

This house was owned by Jack White of the White Stripes. Apparently they recorded one of their albums in the foyer. Yes, it is that big. The latest owner renovated and changed a lot of stuff that Jack had done to the place. They had before pictures throughout the house showing what it looked like when Jack White was in it. Most of the rooms looked better after, however, B thought the study looked better before. Jack White liked a lot of reds and whites (no surprise) and dark rooms. B likes dark rooms too. I prefer light and airy.

I don't think any one in that line knows the house used to be owned by Jack White. We sure didn't. It was not listed in the book.

Below is a house not open on the tour. They rotate houses year to year. Sometimes the same ones are on the tour; other times they are different. Some houses that are not open still have signs in front of them telling you famous owners of the home and some history.

Look at those columns:

This house even had singing boys and a man with a cello. I think. I am so not musical. Then again B thought they sounded like they were screaming.

The VERY long line we were standing in:

We are getting closer. Also, notice the woman on the stool. Can you even see the stool? I think it was getting closer too:

B and I liked this tree. We both took a picture of it:

Tours are fun. Tours are also annoying. Just like in school, there are always some people who want to show off. In our case, it was a 90 year old man who must have read up on the history. That is fine. It was fine when he informed his companions all about the house we were waiting in line to see. No big deal. You know what was NOT fine? This:

Docent: This house was owned by the same man that founded the zoo.
Old Man: Contrary to popular belief, you are right.

Okay, I have no idea what he just said. Did he mean we all didn't believe she was right? Did he mean we all didn't believe the zoo man owned the house?

Old Man: The man that founded the zoo owned this house.

Hi redundant. We covered that, remember?

Docent: [Pause]
Docent: In 1918...

Without missing a beat, God bless her.

Then we went inside. Once inside, the next docent started talking about the pewabic tile around the fireplace and how the blue glazed tile was a secret recipe that was lost over the years and cannot be replicated.

Old Man: That's not true!
Docent: Oh? You have the recipe?
Old Man: No, but I can tell you where it is hidden.

At that point, I turned to B and said "You have GOT to be kidding me!" followed by "We have got to get the hell out of here before I kill this man!" And we did. Thankfully, no one else was quite as disturbing on the rest of the tour, except for maybe the twins...

*to be continued with pictures on Thursday!

3 important things being said:

Jennifer said...

This house tour looks great. I love looking in other people's houses! People really live in these houses right?

Ruth said...

The houses are so pretty in that part of the big city. We used to go on the tour before it got so popular and crowded. Can't wait to read about the twins.

*~Dani~* said...

Jenny - that is why I love it - peering into people's homes. This year they were all occupied.

Ruth - it wasnt as crowded this year. We only had to wait in about 3 lines. Last time we went it was really busy and we skipped a lot of houses.

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