Well, this will be my last motel for a while. Tomorrow I had for the border and should be home with my Dad by early or mid afternoon. Driving in the States has been interesting. Several states have at least some highways that are posted as 75 MPH/60 MPH for trucks. Sometimes it’s just 65 for trucks. It’s really neat though because you don’t have all these huge trucks trying to pass little cars going 80 MPH because for the most part they may speed a little but not enough to pass cars that can legally go faster. Most of the Interstates are posted at 70 or 75 MPH which is a bit of a kick for Canadians because we can legally go 120 KPH which at home would net us $250. fine and 2 or 3 demerit points. Driving on a highway through major cities is wild! I wouldn’t have been able to do this trip at all if it wasn’t for my GPS. You’re on a highway and the GPS says “1.2 MI exit left! You no sooner do that, than it says 3.5 MI turn right. And it keeps going on like that so that you end up making about 10 highway changes just making your way across one city. It was like that in Indianapolis (made worse by all the exit closures due to road work), Pittsburgh, St. Louis, and Denver. Chicago, which I had been told would be really terrible to drive, actually wasn’t all that bad.
Last night we had another terrible thunderstorm in Pittsburgh. I went out to try to get a few things but the driving was hard and I got a bit lost but found my way back to the motel. This morning dawned beautifully and it stayed nice for my visit to Fallingwater. I had a bit of trouble finding it but arrived in good time for the 12:15 tour. The setting is sooooo beautiful! It was a bit disappointing that we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house but our guide was really knowledgeable and we got to see everything including the guest house. I remember talking to another teacher at school about the FLW houses and she said she found them dark and claustrophobic to walk into. But this was part of the FLW philosophy — that the architect manipulates light to direct people to look where he wants them to focus. He made all his entranceways small (definitely not wheelchair-friendly) so that when people walked in their eyes are directed to the open space and the light coming in from all the windows. The whole house is designed almost like a doll house in the respect that it has solid walls on 3 sides and windows on the whole front so that it gives the impression of being open. Wright used the natural rock as flooring throughout the house and on the balconies. The only difference is that the inside floors are waxed — the outside ones are left natural. The usual postcard view is actually not the view you see as you approach the house from the road which was not what the Kauffman’s had in mind either. All the windows are set in so that they start at the same height as the balcony walls. The corner window open out so that there is nothing blocking the view at all. I’m really glad I got to go through it. The setting is perfect.
Ms. M. on the road in Pennsylvania!