Two years ago today, I was blogging during a tour of the American Southwest and made a few short observations from the road. This year we’re touring New England and I have a few more observations to share.
Observation #1: Our family tends to gravitate to the food choices in the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die. I wrote a few days ago that we visited Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven. Today we found Lickety Split ice cream store in Williamstown, Massachusetts. I’m not sure how long our waist-lines can stand this focus of our travel. Luckily, I’ve also found the fitness room every day along the way.
Observation #2: The Porches Inn in North Adams (pictured above and also listed in 1000 Places) is just about the coolest property of the 200+ hotels that are members of Historic Hotels of America (HHA). The twins and I stayed here about 2 1/2 years ago, and we couldn’t wait to get back and show it to Candice. As the marketing materials describe it,
Porches is the most visible manifestation, to-date, of the changes (in a revitalized North Adams) sparked by MASS MoCA. Its 50-plus rooms of retro-edgy, industrial granny chic ambiance makes a spirited lodging statement in New England and beyond….The interiors mix striking, colorful style with homage to the generations of mill workers’ families who lived here.
We love it.
Observation #3: There are still many traditional New England landscapes and villages to be enjoyed as one travels. Stockbridge, Massachusetts, with the venerable Red Lion Inn where we stayed last evening, is just one example. The Red Lion is another terrific HHA and the look and pace are pure 19th (if not 18th) century!
Observation #4: Chesterwood, the summer home and studio of Daniel Chester French, is one of the most beautiful and unknown National Trust Historic Sites in the US. We toured this magical place yesterday with director Donna Hassler and her staff, and loved the museum, studio, and wooded landscape. If you get a chance, check out the Contemporary Sculpture Show at Chesterwood, which is up through October 11th. If you are there this weekend, stop in to see the first working sculptor in the studio since Margaret French, Daniel Chester French’s daughter who left the property to the National Trust.
Observation #5: If we had a cheat sheet telling us which buildings were used for what purpose, any one of us could give a pretty fair college tour by now!
I’m actually joking on that last point. We’ve met some wonderful (and wonderfully perky) young men and women over the past few days who obviously love their schools.
That’s it for now. We head off tomorrow to visit dear friends in New Hampshire, so we have a one-day break from the college visit routine. But we’ll pay for that when we work in four over the last two days!
More to come…