Travels in Winter
For many of us, March is a wonderful time to escape New England as winter makes its last attempts to chill our bones and spring fights back with thaws and mud! With the exception of the war years, Edith Chase often traveled to Europe for up to three months in the winter and early spring – leaving in January and returning in late April or early May. These trips typically occurred every other year, with the off years filled with enjoying horse drawn sleigh rides at Topsmead and domestic road trips to points south or west. Pulling from notes his father left him, Bob recalls that 100 years ago in 1922, Miss Edith traveled to Europe leaving by ship out of New York city in late January. It took 9 days to cross the Atlantic landing in England and immediately she went on to Paris. That was a mere stopping point for her destination which was Milan, Italy where she arrived on the second day.
That year, Edith spent two to three weeks in Milan, Florence, Venice, and London visiting art galleries repeatedly, returning to favorite lunch and tea restaurants, taking in operas and concerts, relaxing, and reading. Oh, and she shopped! Hats, scarves, gloves, artwork, glass, antiques, and furniture. With such a leisurely schedule if she felt a little under the weather, she’d spend a day in her room, by the fire, reading and recuperating.
Upon returning by ship to New York, in 1922 her mother met her as she disembarked. Edith typically spent the night at her sister Katherine’s home at Sutton Square in New York. The family chauffeur drove her home to Connecticut the next morning in the spring sunshine - where Topsmead waited patiently to celebrate her return.
These conversations were conducted between Bob Orintas and Jenny Riggs.