We headed out around 9 this morning, bound for Great Barrington (a great arts village with lots of antique shopping), Williamstown (a college town in the mountains), and the Mohawk Trail (like the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Natchez Trace—a scenic byway along the northern state line). We saw so many quaint villages along the way. At each stop, the locals would notice our accents and ask where we’re from. We’d excitedly tell them, “Mississippi!” and every last one replied, “Seriously? And you wanted to come here??”
Yep, we sure did.
There are no tourists in these towns which is the most shocking thing of all. In fact, it was hard to find folks to take our picture because there were no crowds (hence all the hold-out shots my mama loves so much!) Their gorgeous little downtowns are not “downtown” to the locals, but just “town.” They go there to work. To run their errands. To pay their bills, to buy gourmet chocolate, to pick up the dry-cleaning, to buy Vermont cheese—as if it were the Winn-Dixie or Walmart. I can’t wrap my brain around this when we’re busting our butts to make downtown Laurel such a casually charming place to eat, visit, hang out… and these folks just live here. They’ve never seen their towns go through the hideous urban renewal we see so often at home. Can you imagine?
Here’s the rundown of the stops and scenery we saw today:
Good morning, Stockbridge!
Then we were on to the Mohawk Trail by way of Williamstown:
Turners Falls, MA:
Last trail stop in Petersham, MA. It’s the only Petersham in America, and home to the oldest country store in America. We stayed here a while talking to some nice folks at the store.
Where we got the nice lady we met to take our photo:
Headed for our final destination of the day, the Garrison Inn in the coastal village of Newburyport, MA.
We’re here! The streets are cobblestone. There are gorgeous colonial homes and salt box cottages everywhere. Ben is standing in Market Square, the site of a 1773 tea burning when Newburyport joined Boston’s revolt against Britain. The Atlantic ocean is about 100 feet away, and we had really delicious clam chowder for dinner at the Mission Oak Grill, a crafstman style restaurant inside an old church.
Now, we’re finally gonna get some sleep. Our room at the inn has brick walls and candlelit sconces on the walls. And another fireplace! If you ever want to know how to find the coolest places for the cheapest prices, just holler at me. It seems I’ve found my calling.
Tomorrow, we’re on to Gloucester, Salem and finally Boston. Pray for safe travels!