Hey blog! It’s been a minute. The past three weeks of college kept me on my toes as we entered the final stretch of the semester. I was finishing up lab reports, presentations, and papers during the first two weeks of December. The third week of this month meant final exams- I had 5 in-class final exams (!) and a final paper due. The period in between Thanksgiving break and winter break for college students is busy, busy, busy.

The four days we had off for Thanksgiving was the perfect way to recharge and take a deep breath before heading back to the semester’s final days and finishing off strong. On that Saturday of Thanksgiving break, I visited Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown and saw all the stunning decorations. This was called Holiday Opening Weekend, and visitors can take in all the décor on a self-guided tour only during this weekend.

I’d like to think that Lyndhurst and the other mansions in the Hudson Valley are like the “Newport Rhode Island of New York.” I’ve visited Lyndhurst once before during the summer, so I was looking forward to seeing Lyndhurst during the Christmas season. Each room was transformed into a cozy and hyggeligt place that made you want to stay awhile. Can the Gould family allow me to stay in this winter palace for a few days? Because one afternoon in November wasn’t enough.

You can purchase tickets online and then check in at the Visitor Center. We really wanted to take our time and appreciate our surroundings, so we spent over an hour at the mansion. There was also a vendor market, so we checked that out too. We found a rum cake stand, and the samples were out of this world. We got a cake, and let’s just say that really boosted our dessert game that night after dinner and after watching Home Alone for the second day in a row before watching Home Alone 2 (Because this is the only appropriate way to spend Thanksgiving break, right?)

A day in Lyndhurst was a day well spent, and I just had to take photos of the gorgeous interior. Here is a glance into what I saw that day-Lyndhurst definitely put me in the Christmas spirit!

These Christmas trees greet you right when you step inside the mansion. I love the splash of white and green colors against the Gothic wall. Gothic architecture + Christmas decorations= Visitors that are super interested and want to see more

Learning how to play Für Elise on the piano is one of my life goals. I’d like to make this dream a reality in this space within Lyndhurst.

The library! My favorite room of the mansions I’ve seen in the Hudson Valley and Newport is always the library. I’ve over 180 books in my room (I’m starting to read on a tablet because there’s just not enough room for new books and I don’t want to make my school bag heavy), but I’d definitely create a whole room dedicated to books if I was a Gould or Rockefeller. This looks like a nice spot to read and drink hot tea when it’s pouring outside.

Okay, I know I said that the library of a mansion is always my favorite room. But little did I know what would await me in the dining room. I had no idea that this room would be so lavish. Just look at all the attention to detail! If you ask me what my favorite room was during this Lyndhurst Christmas self-guided tour, I would say the dining room. I think Martha Stewart would appreciate this too.

Here we are on the second floor! Here are snapshots of the individual bedrooms.

This room was an art lover’s dream. I spotted paintings by Gustave Courbet and Jean-Leon Gerome. I’m an art minor, so seeing these artworks in front of me made me happy.

The third photo is a painting done by French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. I was excited to see this because my 19th Century European Art class was talking about this artist, and I learned that he was an Academic painter whose works were featured in the Paris Salon. It’s pretty cool to learn about artists in a lecture and then visit an institution where you can apply the knowledge you learned in class and see their work first-hand.

The grounds of Lyndhurst Mansion are huge. As we left the mansion, we went out back and saw the Hudson River and Rockland County across the water. The front of the mansion also has a sprawling area.

Spotted from the grounds of Lyndhurst: the Tappan Zee Bridge that connects Westchester County’s Tarrytown to Rockland County’s Nyack. I know its new name is the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, but the story behind how the bridge was originally named for an indigenous tribe called the Tappan and how “zee” means sea in Dutch reflect an important point in New York history. I’ll always refer to this bridge as the Tappan Zee.

Seeing all these decorations put me in such a happy mood and I was listening to Christmas playlists when I get home. Glad I could be a guest at the Gould’s this holiday season. I got to do other cute Christmas-themed activities, so be sure to look out for future blog posts on those too!

Until next time,