With a lot of my parents' family living in the Turners Falls area my mom and I try to take the kids out there during the week for short visits a few times a year. In the past we've left in the morning and come home in the evening. There is so much to see out there and I really do love driving around with my mother and hearing her stories of growing up. It's such a beautiful place and even though I was born out there I only lived there for the first 6 months of my life before moving to Connecticut (then to upstate NY then Boston in 1983). There are so many places that I've never seen. So I wanted to make sure we could stay for a few days instead of being so rushed that we'd have to squeeze in visits with my grandparents and maybe even see some other family members that I don't get to see very often.
I called my Aunt Linda (dad's sister) to see if she was willing to board the four of us for two nights. She was thrilled and I just prayed that the kids wouldn't behave badly so that she would regret being so hospitable.
We left on a Thursday right after the kids got out of school at 11:30. It was just before Columbus Day weekend and I was hoping for peak foliage in the Berkshires. We first arrived at my mom's parents' house for a visit. We wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather so the four of us and my grandmother and cousin Jessica drove to an area where we were able to walk while the kids rode their bikes (can't think of the name of the place).
My mom saw this incredible caterpillar on the road. I took lots of pictures of it and the kids thought it was so cute!
Back at my grandparents' place the kids rode their bikes a little more around the back of their building.
Then the four of us and my grandparents went to dinner in Bernardston. This field was next to the parking lot of the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant. The kids were relatively well behaved while there although I think we took four trips to the bathroom. I can't wait until a public bathroom isn't a novelty anymore.
After dinner we went Aunt Linda's house for the night. The kids did so well going to sleep. We put Jackson in "my" room and Maddie in "my mom's" room. There was a little bit of talking but my mom was able to get them to settle down. Then my mom and aunt and I were able to have a nice chat until we were all tired and went to bed.
In the morning we got up and got ready to head out for another busy day of traveling around. My mom drove me by where her aunt lived. She spent a lot of time there as a kid. Just down the road from there was the Connecticut river and my mom thought I'd be able to get some good pictures. There was a house at the end of the road right on the river that my grandmother lived in when she was little.
We continued up the main road a little further until we got to Mt. Herman School. The campus of this boarding high school is just breath taking.
We walked around the campus a little while I took some more pictures. We eventually made our way to an adorable british tea house right off of rt. 91. The whole place was picture worthy.
After breakfast we strapped the kids in again and drove to where my grandfather grew up. A long time ago his parents sold off their land and streets were named after them. Wayland is my grandfather's name and Fargo is his last name.
We came across an adorable looking farm stand type place. We stopped in to see what they had but the place was closed! We were so bummed but we were greeted by the sweetest cat in the world.
Madison and Jackson were in heaven with him. He wouldn't leave them alone. You know how some cats eventually have had enough of the petting and out of absolutely nowhere they bite you. Yeah, that happened to poor Jackson. He was heartbroken. Even so he didn't want to leave the kitty. I think we strapped them both in crying that time.
By this point in the morning we had given my other grandmother (dad's mom) enough time to get up and ready (she's 91 now!). We went in to say hi and then brought her with us to Shelburne Falls where I hoped to get some more pretty photos. I was looking forward to the Bridge of Flowers. In 37 years I had never been there and my mother couldn't believe it. Actually she said she has pictures of me there when I was a baby and my dad was wearing plaid bellbottoms that she made.
Continued in Part II! I know you can't wait. It's OK you can admit it.