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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Road Trip -- Massachusetts in March!

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the last place I would want to go in this winter-to-end-all-winters would be Massachusetts, which has had as much snow as we have in Michigan. But it was trade show time -- and the trip would be bound to have its charms -- time with Rick's brother and sister-in-law, a visit with friends on the way home and some beautiful scenery. (Olivia's Overlook, near Tanglewood).
I love Western Massachusetts with its rolling Berkshire hills, its lively arts focus and its deep-rooted American history. I'd just like it a little better in the spring! This Church on the Hill (Lenox) was built in 1806 but the fellowship was formed in 1769.
But face it -- you can't deny beauty. Even in the snow! (Hancock Shaker Village, Pittsfield MA)
The trip didn't start off too well. We left in frigid conditions and throughout the journey we were faced with white-out conditions. This is not a sight you want to see on the highway -- it means someone up ahead has had a very bad day.
And they did. This accident was the "easy" one, I think -- although who can tell. It stopped traffic for over an hour and by the time we got there, all that was left were a few semis.
But the accident we saw on the other side of the 402 in Ontario had 37 cars and trucks involved and two deaths. If you have ever driven in a white out you will know that one minute it may look like smooth sailing and in a heartbeat you are facing a wall of white and can't see much beyond the hood of your car. Or the lanes of traffic. If you aren't paying attention, you'll be slamming into someone -- or they will slam into you. The chain reaction is fast and furious. We passed that one moments after that happened and could see them closing the highway.
Needless to say, it was a white knuckle trip -- made ever so much better by the arrival at Randy and Elaine's -- and by the equally warm greeting of Daisy...
...and Pickles (who would have come home with me in a heartbeat, had he and his humans been so inclined!)
We were headed this way for Rick's trade show in Marlborough, MA. He was giving a presentation,, followed by two days of working the floor.
Long days were made easier by good dinners -- including one at the Tandoori Grill.
After dinner, the owner invited us into the kitchen to watch them make the wonderful Naan bread in their tandoori oven. It was delicious!
When the show was over, the fun began! While Rick and Randy were skiing, Elaine took me on a road trip around the area -- some of the most beautiful countryside ever. We passed by small, very old cemeteries...
...and the legendary Tanglewood where every summer the great musicians of the world join the Boston Symphony Orchestra for a season of magnificent music.
Elaine was great, patiently waiting at photo stops and taking me wonderful places! One of the nicest things about the trip was getting to know her better. And if she minded when I was hanging out the open window with my camera, she didn't complain!
There were wonderful dinners out, like "Rainbow" in Pittsfield, where I had the best macaroni and cheese ever (think gorgonzola and caramelized onions)...
... and a beer stop at Mission, also in Pittsfield.
At night it was lovely!
We also went to the Hancock Shaker Village, but that will be another post!
There wasn't enough time -- but we'll be back in the good weather! Meanwhile, we headed back home with a stop at Niagara Falls, the day before it froze! (That's for another post, too!)
And a welcome overnight with my longtime friend Suzanne and here husband, Jim, in London, Ontario. We'll be back there, too!
In all, a wonderful few days -- weather notwithstanding! After all, if you combine beautiful scenery with warm hospitality from wonderful family and friends, what's a little snow?

28 comments:

Jeanie said...

Most of all I am glad you had a safe trip. Those whiteout drives are treacherous. Spending time with good friends and sharing great meals is a perfect way to recoup and warm up.
It must have been amazing to see Niagara Falls in those conditions.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Glad you had a safe journey & a happy stay in Massachusetts, my old stomping ground.

gigihawaii said...

My in-laws work and live in the Boston area. They graduated from MIT.

~*~Patty S said...

Massachusetts is on my bucket list to visit some day!
It looks really charming and lovely to me even in the snow (I am a snow L♥ver!)...
Driving in inclement weather can be hair raising tho...that had to be your least fav part of the trip.
We saw pics on the news last night of the frozen falls and it looked pretty amazing...we certainly enjoyed our visit there one summer a few years back...definitely a spot that has special charms in every season...which is actually how I look at anywhere we get to visit.
Thanks for sharing your great photos with us Jeanie!
oxo

I need orange said...

Sounds like a really wonderful trip (we'll draw a curtain over the voyage out there!)!

So glad you had an opportunity to see new sights (even if snowy) and visit with congenial souls. :-)

anno said...

Echoing others here in my relief at your safe journey there and back.And it looks like a lovely trip -- always good to see good friends and family again, isn't it?

Joanne Huffman said...

We lived in the Berkshires (Great Barrington) for two years and it's beautiful there. Your pictures are lovely. The drive sounds horrible (glad you're back safe and sound).

Barb said...

Goodness - I'm glad you're back in one piece! Our Interstate 70 has been treacherous this winter, and I worry for my kids and grandkids who travel it every weekend to come to our house to ski. I love the area of MA you visited. I have a friend with a cabin in the Berkshires near Tanglewood. I haven't visited him in a long time, but I have fond memories.

Anonymous said...

I would have been a nervous wreck on the highway, but I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip. It looks beautiful!
- Bonnie k

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Oh, I'm so glad you two are safe. What a harrowing drive it was at the outset! But the trip experience itself sounded wonderful, despite a lingering winter. Reconnecting with family and friends is the best! And the meals sounded great, too. Are you going to try to recreate that macaroni and cheese dish? It sounds fantastic!

Joanna Jenkins said...

A frozen Niagara Falls-- Yikes.

It looks like you spent time in some nasty weather but glad there was some blue skies, family time and cute kitties!

Welcome home.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

YOU are entering into my territory! I lived in Mass. for 11 fabulous years as we went to school out there. HAVE A BLAST as well this week, as I hope we all get a thaw! Anita

Mary Rose's said...

Your photos, Jeanie, are so wonderful! It's like looking out the car window with you, or visiting your lucky friends. (Those cats are seriously cute!)
Glad to know you and Rick are back safe, though -- harrowing road trip!
XOXOX
Maryanne in SC

Janet said...

I've never been to Massachusetts but your beautiful photos make me feel as if I have. I think I'll wait for nicer weather if I decide to go though! I don't like to travel in bad weather. You're a braver person than I am.

HerzBlatt said...

What a sad beginning of your journey!We sometimes have accidents like this one on our highways, too. But normally during fog.

The nature there looks wonderful.I would like to visit Massachusetts.A region with a lot of history.
We didn`t have any snow this winter, only 2 days in December. At the moment we have got sunny 15° and warmer...Like in spring.
The weather is crazy this winter.

Cottage and Broome said...

I just hate those kind of drives, have done many MI to NY or MI to MN in the winter and they are no fun!!! Niagara Falls looked amazing. I love naan bread too. Glad the trip was a mix of work and fun for you! Laura

Tracy said...

We're been wanting to dip more in to Massachusettes--but not in March either... LOL! ;o) Glad you were safe on the journey and not part of any accidents! :o/ Pickles...what a wonderful name! Such sweet kitties. It's so good to have animal contact while traveling, isn't it?! Fun with your Indian kitchen visit... LOVE seeing the Naan bread! OOOooo... so glad there'll be a special post on the Shaker village at Hancock, I've always wanted to go there! Love the simple beauty of those buildings...*sigh*... It's hard to imagine Niagara Falls frozen--can't wait to see that. What a great trip you had all in all! It's always a treat when you share your travels with us. Hope you're cozy & warm home now and "landing" after some days away. Happy Days ((HUGS))

Friko said...

O dear me, that drive sounded seriously hairy. I am so glad you made it there and back in one piece.

I am also glad to her that the trip was well worth it for the company you found at its end; lots of warmth and welcome and good friends.

Not to forget the food! Always very important.

BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I'd love to see that part of the world, but not in that weather! Glad you got there and back safely!

shoreacres said...

One woman's white out is another woman's fog. We've been suffering from the southern version of your affliction, and it's marked with the same accidents, white-knuckle driving, and so on. One of these days the water will warm up and that will be the end of the fog - and I hope you're soon done with the snow, too. Glad you made it home safely!

I've never been in the NE - but it surely does look like wonderful fun!

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie and I'm glad your back safe and sound. Your snaps are just gorgeous but it's always so dangerous to travel in the snow and ice. I never knew Niagara Falls froze. Must have been a sight. Hope the trade show was a good one for your hubby and I can tell you had a great time. What lovely photos and food! Thanks for popping in to see me.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

Arti said...

Amazing photos, Jeanie! I particularly like the third one with the slightly curving fence, and the church at night with the yellow light on its front, and the next photo with the there houses/buildings. Like Christmas cards. Niagara Falls freezing over. What a sight. However, I wouldn't want to be in the photo though. ;)

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Jeanie! You kind soul, you....coming to humor us at Nowhere...yes, 32 years of fun and bliss, for sure! Have a fabulous day!

Keicha Christiansen said...

Looks like a fun trip other than the treacherous driving conditions. I've never been to MA in the winter but your pictures make me want to go.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your visit to the Shaker village. I'm sure you found all kinds of fun things.

Beth M. said...

Aww, Pickles looks like such a sweetie.

And naan is delish! Always an adventure with you, eh? ;)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad you made it there safely. Those road conditions look and sound horrible. Winter driving makes me SO nervous. I am glad you got there and back without any issues. The photos are all beautiful! I have never been to MA, actually. I was supposed to go to Boston last August but had to cancel that trip to attend my aunt's funeral. I am hoping to make it up there this summer to visit my friend Kelly but I will have to see what happens with my move before planning a trip...

Bella Rum said...

I went to a Shaker village once in NH, near where my sister used to live. I love New England.

The night picture of the church is so beautiful.

Sweet, little Pickles is so cute. What beautiful markings.

37 cars and trucks! My goodness. That's horrible. Yes, you really have to keep your eyes open and stay alert. We were in traffic the other day, bumper to bumper and just crawling along. The guy behind me, in a large U-Haul truck, was only inches from my bumper and would not relent. I finally pulled over in the breakdown lane and let him pass. It made me so nervous. Glad you had a safe trip.

paris parfait said...

Looks like a great trip, if a little cold! Thanks for sharing this glimpse into your journey.

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