Tuesday, March 7, 2017

in the ivy league at princeton

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Mom and I were in Princeton, New Jersey back in December. It was one of those painfully cold days that was deceptively clear and sunny. I feel like every true winter day I had this season was when I was out of town. Chicago, Princeton, and Philadelphia were pretty much the only times the blanket scarves, heavy socks, and coats were necessary. Besides that one winter storm it has been so warm! That makes me a little sad.

Anyway, back to Princeton! Princeton itself is the loveliest of towns in New Jersey not far from Philly. It's claim to fame is the prestigious Princeton University that's the center of the town. We walked around campus with coffee to keep our hands from freezing. It's such a pretty campus to explore, even when it's hovering below freezing. The buildings and architecture make you think for a second that you're not in the states, but rather wandering around a university in England somewhere.

The oldest building on campus, and one of the most famous, is Nassau Hall. It housed the Congress of the Confederation briefly in 1783 and served as the capital of the nation during that time. Along with several other buildings, Nassau Hall is covered in ivy. This led mom to ask whether or not that's how the Ivy League got it's name. I pulled out my phone and asked google for the answer. As it turns out, no one is exactly sure how those group of schools came to be called that. Some speculate that it may have originally been referred to as the IV League because of the four schools (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Dartmouth) that initially comprised it, and that it changed over time to Ivy.

Michelle Obama and Sonia Sotomayor both did their undergrad there. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Woodrow Wilson are a couple other notable alumni that once strolled the campus. We didn't do too much strolling and instead made a beeline for the art museum to defrost. I can't tell you how impressed we were. It's smaller but it's such an expansive collection. Lately I've been more into modern and contemporary art, but we spent more time in their medieval and ancient galleries because the pieces were amazing. They have several restored Byzantine and Roman mosaics.

Mom takes great pleasure in getting candid shots of me taking pictures!

After the museum we walked the few blocks back out to town and had lunch at Triumph Brewing on Nassau Street. The food and atmosphere are perfect. It's much larger inside than you'd expect. I had an open face turkey sandwich with a potato/stuffing cake and gravy. Mom had the prettiest salad!

I couldn't leave without seeing the cathedral, so after lunch we returned to campus walked off our food. The chapel was built in the 1920s in the Gothic style. Unfortunately we couldn't tour the inside as they were having a private event, which is a shame because it's supposed to have some stellar stained glass windows.

That's reason enough to have to go back!

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