#1,017 The Big Trip Day 4.

Today, my husband turned 29 years old. Are we seriously that close to 30?

We slept in very late since we arrived at the inn well after 1 am, so we got a lazy, late start to the day. Which is just fine.

 Good morning, Stockbridge!

We started with brunch at Martin’s in Great Barrington, our favorite restaurant from last year’s New England trip. I was able to do a little blogging there, where the internet was out of control fast and awesome. Then we knocked around and looked in the shop windows without buying anything because we are cheap and never pay retail.

After Great Barrington, I wanted to try and find an old vintage quilt or some architectural salvage Ben could use to build furniture, so we started riding down Route 7 in search of junk stores. We found one very promising place, but they were closed, sadly. They had junk piled up on piles of junk. Would’ve been the jackpot I think.

Heading back north on 7, we spotted these signs and turned in.

Pick your own apples? Well, yeah! Of course we will!

Empire was my second favorite at the apple tasting yesterday, so we picked all we could tote back to the car.

Then we went back to the inn to plan our next adventure. We got hot apple cider from the tavern and had crackers and garlic cheese that they put out for guests in the afternoon.

By hot cider, they mean scorching hot cider.

Those eyes! I can’t believe I’m married to this guy.

Even though we knew it would be closed, I wanted to see the Norman Rockwell museum, just 2 miles out of town. The views of the Berkshires were unreal from his studio.

This was his last studio before his death. It’s a little wooden carriage house that used to be in town, but the museum had it moved here to be on the grounds:

We heard about Lenox and decided it’d be fun to see what was there. It’s just 4 miles away and over the mountain from West Stockbridge. This guy told us about a coffee place that was unbelievable there, so we went in search of it but never found it. I think he was telling a story!

But we did find ourselves on yet another beautiful little drive.

And in Lenox, we stumbled upon the mansion they used to film the orphanage in The Cider House Rules! It was absolutely the spookiest place I’ve ever been. Mostly because not another soul was around, just Ben and I and the sun was sinking low behind the mountains. 

I Googled the history of the mansion and found mostly only articles about how it’s one of the most haunted places in the Berkshires. It gave me a chill.

Ben was afraid of what he’d see if he looked in the windows. This is the porch where so many scenes were filmed for the movie, but now it seems extremely forlorn and spooky.

Before we knew it, our dinner reservation had snuck up on us and it was almost 7 so we got back in the truck and headed back to the inn for supper in the tavern. We had early Thanksgiving!

But a terrible thing happened when I Googled that mansion… I also read that the other most haunted place is the Red Lion Inn.

 Specifically, room 301. Our across the hall neighbor!

I’m totally freaked out. Not going to sleep a wink, I’m sure. I can hear the man staying in that room snoring right now, as I sit in the hallway and blog where the internet signal is strongest. I feel like I should beat on the door and warn him!

Well, anyway.

Now that it’s almost bedtime, I finally gave Ben his modest little gifts. We do themes, and so this birthday had a theme as well.

There’s not much Ben loves more than smelling good so I bought him some fancy beard oil. 

We give each other books for every special occasion with an inscription on the first page. This cool book of beard portraits benefits cancer patients, so it felt good to help someone for his birthday gift, too.

And now I’m going to put on my thermal PJs (it’s in the upper 30s tonight!) and hit the hay. Happy happy birthday, love. I hope your 29th year is the best one yet.