Monday, August 10, 2009

House Tours

We've been visiting friends as we make our way to Maine. Our first stop was near Philadelphia at John's home, someone who Houston is collaborating with on a project. The house is built on a VERY steep hillside, so steep that I would have thought a house could never be built there. The entrance to the door is actually a bridge about 12' up.

Upon entering, one feels like they're in a very expensive tree house, which it really is.

There are a few cozy seatings where you could imagine spending time reading a good book in front of the fire while the snow flurries around outdoors.

A triangle-shaped deck cantilevers way above the ground, overlooking the woods and a small creek.

John's wife is a book reviewer for the New York Times so they had walls of shelves built for the many books she reads.

A view looking up from the back.

A massive landscaping project is taking shape. First the hardscaping with tons and tons of stone, slate and concrete, then the greenscaping.

While outdoors, we looked up and saw a few balloons taking a nice evening ride.

We hadn't really intended to stop at Leslie and Marshall's, but traffic was so horrendous on I-95 that we bailed at 3:00 Friday afternoon. I believe it would have taken us 6 more hours to get to Boston and we had been on the road since 10:30. Luckily they were home and welcomed us with open arms. They live in a very non-traditional house, with odd angles throughout.

The best feature is their living room. You can't tell what is indoors and what is outdoors.

Leslie and Marshall are from Montana and their furnishings reflect their western roots.

This house too feels like you're in a big tree house, with a deck space floating above the woods.

But the pool is it's most notable feature. No sitting on the sides here as it's about a 10' drop to the ground.

We finally made it to our friend's Rick and Fiona in Hingham, near Boston, after sitting in Cape Cod traffic. They live in an old New England home built in 1851. Hingham was settled in 1633 and many of the homes date that far back. It's near the coast, on Hingham Bay near Boston Harbor so it has a seaside feel to it too. But the streets are lined with a canopy of old trees and the houses show off a variety of architectural styles. The gardens are well tended and with all the rain they've had this spring and summer, everything is emerald green.

They've added on a bit over the years, but kept to strict historical review rules.

Their gardens were featured on HGTV a few years back. We found Rick puttering in the garden when we arrived, afraid I would find a weed or two in the beds!

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