Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beautiful MA

A few weeks ago - I went on a trip to Massachusetts.  No, I don't have family there.  (I was asked that a lot.)  No, there wasn't any particular reason for going.  (This was my response to the raised eyebrows when I told them where I was going.)  I just thought New England in the Fall sounded like a great idea!  And it was!

Despite my airport drama (see prior "Travelocity" blog for details) and quite a bit of rain - it was a good trip.  My daughter may not whole-heartedly agree.  She got pretty sick of "all this history stuff" quick!  And the one day we devoted to kids-choice activities turned out to be a bust.  They'd picked out Jiminy Peak for some tree-top fun, zip-lines, mountain slides, etc. on Friday, as they said they were opened "weekends".  But, here's a tip for future travelers...weekends in MA apparently mean Saturday and Sunday only.  We ended up going bowling.

Anyhow!  There really is a lot to do.  There are a LOT of museums.  A LOT of history.  Obviously.  Hello?!  Plymouth rock is in MA.  It kind of started there.  (Chris Columbus, who?)  We really just saw the very tip on the iceberg while we were there.  Of course, we may have tried to do TOO much.  I suggest...if you're only there a week...pick a region and stay there.  If you want to see everything, plan for 2 weeks or more.

We stayed in Lee, MA which is Western MA - just over the NY border.  The region is affectionately known as "The Berkshires".  It's beautiful.  Peaceful.  Trees and trees and trees as far as you can see.  All the little towns around are an easy, quick drive away and full of historic, cute little country things to do.  A few that we went to, that I would recommend are as follows:

1- Hancock Shaker Village in Lenox, MA.  It's, well...a Shaker Village.  Do you know about the Shakers?  I was interested to find out that they got the name because they actually shook.  Interesting.  They had a lot of buildings and exhibits, a museum, a kid zone, a cafe and gift shop.  It was worth the money to me and the kids even like it.  Here's a few pics:

2 - On a road on the way home from another adventure (Susan B. Anthony birthplace in Adams, MA - not worth the $$, I'd drive by and take a picture) - we came across the cutest little country store on the side of the road!!  I believe it was technically in Hancock, MA - called Whitney Farms.  They had a pumpkin fest going on.  I'd totally go back.  Here's a few pics:

3 - Boston Duck Tour - this was pretty cool!  Totally enhanced by our AWESOME tour guide - Captain Super Size.  *Note - however, that this is only a 90-minute quick tour of Boston.  Still highly recommended!  Throwing in some "Cheers" pictures, too - here you go:

4 - Salem, MA - mwah, ha, ha, ha....!!!!  Ok - it was raining, and we kind of got there late, so sadly I didn't get to spend as much time here as I would have liked.  The Salem Witch Museum...kind of not worth it.  It's in this cool looking building (although, going through renovations so the face of it was covered when we were there) but, you go inside and it's basically one big room, a scary voice, and dioramas.  There's one other room with some silly mannequin witches and a history of witches on the wall and then you get the gift shop.  Kind of a let down.  But, the cemetery was cool.  Check out the mysterious "orbs" that showed up in my picture.  My step-mother said it was probably from the rain, decide!

5 - Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II:  The Plantation was pretty cool.  They have recreations of a Waumpanog Native People village (they preferred to be called "Native People") who were around at the time of the landing.  And then a recreation of the pilgrim village.  Pretty worth the money.  A recreation of the Mayflower and the actual Plymouth Rock is at the pier, which I really liked.  We got seafood at a restaurant there called Isaac's.  YUMMY!!!  Seafood that wasn't fishy!! It was awesome.  Here's some pics:

Ok - so, if you've made it through all these pics and tips - good for you!!  I could have written and posted a LOT more.  But - I'll leave it here.  Oh wait!!  I need to post my pics of Laurel Lake, between Lee and Lenox.  Just because it's GORGEOUS.  Here's a few:

Ok, I'm done.  Really.  It was a fun trip.  Beautiful country!!  I'd like to go back again - hit some other states, too - like Vermont and New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, etc.  I'd also like to spend some time in Cape Cod.  There's several lighthouses down that way, or so I hear.  Didn't make it on this trip.  Maybe the next.  Anyone reading this want to come with me?  :)


Abby Minard said...

This is gorgeous! I'm so happy you posted this because we are planning a trip to New England next fall. I have a Religious Studies degree and my emphasis was Colonial American Religion and I LOVE all that history there. So glad most of it was worth while!

Donea Lee said...

I totally forgot to post about The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA (another great town in the Berkshires and his inspiration for his painting "Main Street"). Everyone knows the name. Sure, I'd heard of Norman Rockwell. But, I can't say that I truly appreciated his genius until I saw 3 (very big) walls FULL of his Saturday Evening Post covers. Breathtaking. He was so in tune with what was going on in the Nation at the time and the feelings and concerns of the "everyday" people. There is so much wit, wisdom, beauty, humor, and emotion in those covers. It made me smile. I would HIGHLY recommend going there if you're in the area!

Arlee Bird said...

Nice photos. Sounds like it was a great trip. My daughter and her husband went to Boston and visited the Witch Museum in the last weekend of September. Her husband took her for her birthday because he said she was always talking about me having taken her there when she was little and how much she liked it.
Anyway, enjoyed your post.

Tossing It Out

Jen Daiker said...

I loved this!! The pictures worked for me, most likely beacuse I'll never visit MA, not one of the states on my list, not that the list is long to be fair.

What a beautiful choice though, in the fall is the perfect time to go! Good to know what was worth it and what wasn't, though in some pictures you could tell!! However there is still something eerie about Salem!

Donea Lee said...

@ Abby, Lee and Jen - thanks for your comments!! My most "commented" on post yet! :)