The Ladies' Tea Guild

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A picnic in the park on a Saturday in Spring.

our picnic table at the park.
We had a really nice time last Saturday at History Park, although it was fairly warm. The roses were in bloom!

We found a shady picnic table, O'Brien's had plenty of iced tea and ice cream, and conversation flowed freely and pleasantly. There were plenty of fried chicken salad sandwiches, cookies, and chai green tea pudding (!) for everyone.

antique 1890s wedding dress in the _She Made It_ exhibit.

Then we visited the two new exhibits, _Home Front_ and _She Made It_, both of which were really interesting. _Home Front_ is all about the effect of World War 2 on American families at home, including USOs, rationing, Victory gardens, and the internment camps. _She Made It_ featured a nice collection of textiles -- embroideries, garments, lace, tapestries, samplers and even hair art -- made by women between the mid 1800s and late 1900s.

Touring the Umbarger House at History Park.

At 2 p.m. we joined History San Jose docent Chuck Morrow for a really nice tour; despite the heat and the fact that our feet were hurting in our Victorian style shoes, we willingly walked all over the park! We saw the Umbarger House, Santa Ana One Room Schoolhouse, Fruit Barn and Dashaway Livery Stables.

Riding the restored antique trolley through the park.
Lastly, we enjoyed the breeze as we rode the restored vintage trolley.

History Park is a real hidden treasure in San Jose. It is surrounded by so many gardens and stands of trees that you can't hear the traffic going up and down busy Senter Rd. just outside the gate! You step back in time when you step into the park, and while parking in the city lot costs you $6, admission to the park itself is free! History Park is open to the public between noon and 5 p.m. every day except Mondays, throughout the summer, and the gift shop, ice cream shop and cafe, and a few of the restored historic houses are open on weekends for visitors to see. There are also some great community events scheduled for the season, beginning in June, and the Education department is offering a brand-new kind of tour this year, a summer day camp for kids! Check the website at for more information. I encourage everyone to make the trip to San Jose this summer and enjoy this park!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)