5:30 am bus loading was brutal, but I was back to sleep an hour later, and we were off. After a very long 9 hours, we stopped in New Harmony, Indiana to see the Atheneum (Richard Meier) and the Roofless Church (Phillip Johnson). This is the moment when everything clicked for me. All the photos and lectures and sketches and ideas finally became a reality. I saw my first building by a famous architect that I have long admired and my heart was so happy. After that stop we were back on the bus for another couple hours until we arrived at our haunted hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. (Side note, the Seelbach Hotel was the inspiration for The Great Gatsby!)
Our second day was spent at Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. The shakers are very interesting people, they strived for perfection in everything they built, and they managed to achieve this through great simplicity. I sat in a 200 year old building that was still in wonderful condition.
The morning of day three was spent walking around downtown Louisville where we saw so many different buildings, sculptures, and a park down by the river. After lunch we toured the historic district (where I fell in love with the cutest little yellow, blue shuttered house), and enjoyed nature for awhile before we headed to hotel number two in Columbus, Indiana!
My favorite day of the whole trip! Our morning was spent touring downtown Columbus, a small town full of famous architecture. And then, finally, I saw the Miller House. The house that we spent over five weeks studying, the house that I know like the back of my hand, I finally saw it in person. It was overwhelming; it was beautiful and absolutely everything I could have hoped for. I loved every second of it. That afternoon we toured three gorgeous churches, and then returned to our hotel for our final sleep.
Another early morning loading the bus. A long day of uncomfortable attempts at sleeping was interrupted by a quick (and much needed) stop in St. Louis, Missouri, and then back to good ole Fayetteville. Including a deeper knowledge and appreciation for architecture, I brought back with me some newly formed friendships, strengthened old ones, and a severe case of wanderlust. The world is an incredible place, and I cannot wait to see more of it. I am so thankful for this trip, because it reminded me that those long nights in studio will indeed pay off.
"Anything worth dreaming is worth the effort to make it come true" -Eero Saarinen