JANUARY 13, 2014 (Monday)
Didn’t sleep very well in our vacation home. Don’t know why as the bed was so big, clean, and comfortable. Probably just excited to be back at our favorite place. Hated to leave it. Got all our laundry done, had our date watching “Downton Abbey,” and just had some great alone time with Michael. But as in all good things, it had to come to an end, and it did around 10:30 AM when we left.
Our original plan was to go to Publix and then go back to our old “home.” We decided, last minute, to go out to breakfast first. We ended up at the local Denny’s. It was a good choice. Michael had a veggie omelet and I had an egg, a turkey bacon, fruit and a muffin. All very good.
Nice clean Denny’s.
Edie’s fit fare senior plate, plus half my hash browns. Just not enough for me. I got her banana pieces.
Veggie omelet with wheat toast and hot tea.
After that it was to the Publix to get a few things. Lexi had texted in what she needed/wanted, so we got that too.
Pretty woman headed into the store.
We got home, unloaded the car, and just relaxed for a little bit. Around 2:15 PM, we decided to go to The Casements. The Casements is the old home of John D. Rockefeller. It is now owned by the city of Ormond Beach, but it was his home for the last 20+ years of his life. Ormond Beach is only a few miles away from our “home.”
The Casements was very interesting in that it isn’t a mansion. It’s a very nice home in a beautiful area with a stunning view. It’s nothing like the Biltmore or Hearst Castle. We had a nice tour guide named Tina. She pointed out the pictures, took us to the different rooms they could show off, and told little stories. She said The Casements is now used for cooking classes, yoga, and dance, along with other things. She told how John D. Rockefeller used to live across the street in a hotel and got mad at the hotel when he found out he was being charged double. He bought the place across the street and built his home. He sounded like a very down to earth man. After the tour (they only request a donation), we walked around the lovely grounds. Very nice. We got to talking to a nice couple from Atlanta, Charles and Glenda. Glenda said she actually went to Spelman college that John D. Rockefeller’s wife started in Atlanta.
Former garden turned into a nice park.
South end of park between the house and river.
The Casements House. A casement is a two hinged window that opens, thus the name of the house as all the original windows are thus made.
Nice but fairly modest stained glass in a few spots in the home.
Looking into the living room.
Original fireplace mantle from a bedroom and restored in the living room.
Living room cupola with stained glass and Christmas ornaments.
Good view of the stained glass.
World’s wealthiest man, 6’7″ tall, suffered alopecia and wore hair pieces, handed out dimes to people he met.
Tina showing the squares spinet piano, valued at $15,000.
Dining room. Original floor but lost all the windows that were originally there.
Very nice, yet understated chandelier.
Grumpy old man in mirror. Edie wanted to photograph the flowers.
As it looked back in the day. Rockefeller died in 1937 at age 97. Then the house became a school, vets home, girls boarding school, hotel annex, vacant, burned by homeless, and finally a National Register of Historic Homes, owned by Ormond Beach.
Kitchen, silver thing, original cabinets.
Cooking classes happen in the kitchen. Glenda is looking around. I thought it was a small kitchen.
Now an exercise room. Tried to get Edie to do a plie at the balance bar, she refused. You can see in the mirror the time line for the house, by decade, that they have created on the opposite walls.
More time line.
The story of the house is largely told through pictures of the past. It changed hands so many times and the original possessions were sold off, then there was the homeless fire. Pictures are the only affordable way to recreate the history.
J.D. moved in heady circles, all the power players of the day were his friends. I guess what you’d expect from the wealthiest man in the world.
We were told that J.D. was fascinated by the homeyness of Will Rodgers.
J.D. with J.D. Jr.
Driving on Ormond Beach, aka, “The birthplace of speed.”
On the second floor of the modest mansion, exposed brick appearing to be structural, not associated with a fireplace. This is a very spartan and modest mansion lacking ostentation or gross consumption by almost any standard.
Looking down from the second floor.
Museum docent on left, Charles in the sweater and hat, Glenda not far away listening to the history of things and photos.
Model of USS Constitution.
We are all looking at a table with a radio hidden inside.
The brass sign reads, “The Architect that designed Casements” and I have no idea which one it is.
J.D.’s actual desk. Again I am struck by the modest expenditure. The shoeshine guy outside Rockefeller Center told Sr., “Your son tips me a dollar, you always tip me a quarter.” Sr replied, “That’s right, he has a rich father!”
Sitting room, some items from the Rockefeller estate, others period pieces.
Second floor looking down.
Tina, our Museum Docent.
J.D.’s beach chair from which he would watch the races that he dearly loved. His fair skin had to be protected from the sun.
Back in the day.
Close to the original eating china and original brass hardware.
Pals of J.D.: T Edison and H Ford.
Wealthiest man in the world, widower of 20 years standing, don’t think he really cared how he looked.
Lots of newspapers on the walls.
Outside with hotel, now condo’s across the way.
The grounds were much more natural during Rockefeller’s day.
A lovely riverside park for today.
Little water wheel and nice Silver King Tarpon sculpture.
After The Casements, we drove down Riverside Drive. It’s a one lane road down the most beautiful homes along the Indian River. Spectacular. Could see why John D. Rockefeller would want to live in this area. Heck, I want to live in this area. Anyway, thank you Miss Marty for another great gem. Appreciate all your recommendations. You are hired as our tour adviser, it is an honorary position (no pay).
Leaving J.D.’s house it is a wonderful drive along the river admiring the modest and spectacular homes.
For Aaron, who loves Swarovski crystals. Looked like they had an abundance of crystals.
Nice estate grounds down the way.
We are now home. Michael is making BLT (low calorie version). Life is good, even if we’re not at our vacation home. That was our day. Hope yours was good.