Sunday, November 12, 2006

In a word? Disappointing

After spending yesterday moping around the house and taking care of mundane errands, I was determined to get out and do something today, weather be damned. With a copy of "Off the Beaten Path - New Jersey" in-hand, we set out for Lambert Castle. Located in Paterson, the castle was built by a silk baron named Catholina Lambert on the brow of Garrett Mountain in 1892. Lambert died in the castle in 1923, at nearly ninety years of age. The house and grounds were acquired by the Passaic County Park Commission in 1928, and the building was opened as a museum six years later. The place sounded interesting and I was excited to take the tour and, perhaps, some cool photos.

We arrived around 1pm and were surprised to see a parking lot full of cars. We eventually found an empty parking spot and made our way to the castle's entrance. It was there we discovered that the castle is playing host to a holiday fair through November 26th. Sounds charming, right? Wrong. Each room of the castle was full of All Things Homemade, including Christmas ornaments, jewelry, and assorted cakes and pastries. The place was packed with holiday shoppers who were being directed by older women decked in Christmas-themed sweatshirts and stuffed reindeer antlers. It was loud, crowded, and terribly cheesy, not at all what I expected from a 114-year old castle. The woman who sold us our tickets told us to keep them in a safe place as we could use them to visit the castle two more times between now and November 26th. I'll be sure to keep that in mind in case I run out of other fun things to do, like getting a root canal or a bikini wax.


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