It's time to move. Again. After nineteen months inland, like a sailor intoxicated by the songs of the sirens in old Greek Mythology I have been beckoned and lured back to the shores north of Boston again, my home for eighteen years before taking a job in Northampton in the western part of Massachusetts in December almost two years ago.
Northampton and surrounding areas in "The Pioneer Valley" treated me well. Here's my list of favorites, in no particular order:
The Bookmill, the Lady Killigrew Cafe and the adjacent Alvah Stone restaurant in Montague: located right on the rushing river this duo of restaurants and a terrific, funky, used bookstore with an extensive section for music have something for everyone, year-round. The dominating attraction and what permeates the atmosphere for all three is the sound of the river that sets the tone throughout, leaving no choice other than to take a deep breath and relax. The Alvah stone offers innovative cocktails and plated dinners; the Lady Killigrew Cafe is more informal, serves an excellent selection of beer and wine, and has the best curried chicken salad around.
Tip: nitro milk stout, and chicken salad on a bed of locally sourced micro greens.
The natural jacuzzi downstream from the Bookmill. Cleanest water and the strongest jets you'll ever experience!
An afternoon in the Adirondack rocking chairs at the top of Mt. Skinner, watching the thunder storms roll through the valley.
Swimming at the D.A.R. in Goshen, before or after the lifeguards' are at work. The water is warm, clean and usually smooth as a mirror.
Tucked away in the parking area down behind Main Street is the quiet, a bit more mature and plenty more European than any of its competitors in town: la Fiorentina, the best spot for the best espresso and gelato in town. Restaurant Spoleto also gets their tiramisu from here, light and creamy. Need I say more?
Cross country skiing at the Northfield Mountain in Northfield. Although there is a nice loop in a field for skating and beginner classic skiers this is a mountain and expect nothing less. Hills! Hills! Hills! But what goes up will come down (my mantra challenging myself up the steepest hills) and you do. Exhilarating fast! Rentals available.
Mapleline real milk in glass bottles. No cardboard. $2.50 deposit on the glass bottle and the milk from cows grazing in the next town over. Mooooo. Makes me happy.
The Northampton Cycling Club. Seasonally from +/- May - October weather dependent. Great group of folks riding together weekly on country roads and through the hills. Varying levels. We may look intimidating but don't judge the cyclist by our Lycra.
Thanks to all who made me feel welcome. Thankfully I'll be back regularly.