Saturday, August 21, 2010

Exploring Massachusetts

The funny thing about my travel experience is that even though I've been to Australia, Greece and Paris... I have never actually driven out to western Massachusetts. I had a friend from high school go to college in Worcester, and that's about as far as I got (45 minutes from Boston). That's why when I heard my friend was getting married in the Berkshires I was excited to actually see the Berkshires (which by the way, when I was younger I had NO idea that Berkshires where in western MA, I thought it was some far away exotic location).

Yesterday Eric and I set out for good ol' western MA. First stop: Amherst. For those of you who don't do Amherst, MA is a college town. It's the home to, I believe (unless I'm forgetting one), 5 colleges: Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith and UMass Amherst. Amherst was definitely pretty, and the downtown area was even bigger than I expected.

DSC05866.JPGAs we drove into it we saw Amherst College, and then tons of restaurants and stores that can be expected in a college town. We ate lunch at a place called Bistro 63 at the Monkey Bar. Both Eric and I started out with the butternut squash soup. I got the vegan version so it would have no cream or cheese in it.


I am definitely going to recreate that at home this fall. For lunch I got a turkey sandwich with the typical lettuce and tomato, but also mushrooms, roasted red peppers, onions and grilled zucchini. I'm a big fan of veggies like this in my sandwiches...


The sandwich was delicious too. I'd definitely recommend this restaurant to those visiting the Amherst area.

After lunch we headed to a personal request of mine: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. For those of you who are not teachers, you still may remember Eric Carle from your childhood story time...



Eric Carle has a very unique way of making his art- he paints a whole page using acrylic paints and then cuts out the pieces to make his picture. In the museum there were four big murals that show what the painting looks like at first...



In the actual museum, you can see originals of Eric Carle's artwork, as well as some other children's book illustrations like Leo Lionni and some of the people who did nursery rhymes and classics like the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, they don't let you take photos because it could ruin the art. I was going to sneak one without the flash but there was a very scary lady in there who definitely would've kicked me out. She yelled at a child for talking to loud (it's a place for KIDS! he certainly wasn't bothering me!). Outside back in the hallway there were some replicas so I was able to take pictures with those...





Overall it was very cool, and probably the closest to an art museum you are going to get me to like haha.

I think I am going to have to stop there on our day and pick up tomorrow morning with what we did next. It's 8:30 which means it's time to wake up Eric and start our day of exploration and then wedding :) There might be an Alpine Slide involved. I hope everyone is having a great Saturday!


  1. I went to school in Vermont and one of my good friends went to Umass so I would visit her from time to time. I always really liked Amherst and Northampton.

    I always feel like I should live in Massachusetts. I don't know how that's going to happen since we just bought a house in Georgia though.

  2. Jared and i keep saying that we're going to visit different locations around MA and spend some time outside of Boston. But we always get too busy. Amherst looks like a nice place to explore!

  3. Me and Eric got yelled at in French at a museum when we were in Paris because we went into this little walkway behind the paintings. Haha. After that I was always nervous in museums and didn't take any pictures or anything in the ones you weren't allowed to take pictures in. Haha.

  4. OMG! That museum looks amazing. We should go there sometime. I always loved Eric Carle. One of my favorites was "The Very Quiet Cricket", because the book chirped!

  5. Omgomgomg!!! I LOVE Eric Carle! I hate art museum, but I have to go to this one :)!

  6. That museum looks so fun! I would love to go there some day :0)

  7. I remember those books. Great memories. The art is just so fascinating, it's so neat you got to go see this.

    The sandwich you ordered sounded wonderful. I love the idea of zucchini on a sandwich. I don't think I've ever tried it!

  8. Isn't it funny how sometimes you don't explore what's right in your own backyard!?!? There are tons of places near Ontario that I have never visited. New York being one of them. I mean come on . . . I could have driven there!!! lol I'll have to fix that one day.

  9. Glad you liked Amherst! It's a pretty cool college town.
    That museum looks awesome - I love those books!!