Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A trip to the Berkshires!

Earlier this week we decided to take a drive over to Berkshire County in western Massachusetts. Around New England, this area is referred to as the Berkshires. It's a large countryside made up of rolling hills with little towns settled in between. It used to be where the wealthy "summered" and it still has a very cultural reputation. As a side note- Canyon Ranch is also located in Berkshire County- the luxurious health resort that offers fitness classes, walking trails, etc for thousands of dollars per stay- oh to dream :).

There are many museums, galleries, theaters and historical landmarks scattered throughout these small towns. However, I'm certain that the drive through the Berkshires would be far more beautiful in the summer or fall. There is still snow on the ground but just enough to remind you that it's not quite spring. The trees are bare and while we were driving I imagined them stretching their limbs toward the sun, awaiting their imminent foliage. Fortunately for us - it's only an hour drive from Albany so we'll be able to return when the landscape finds its color. Until then, we decided to stay warm and head over to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

I didn't know very much about Norman Rockwell other than his illustrations for the Saturday Evening Post. The museum has a collection of 323 magazine covers- spanning from 1916 and 1963. In addition, there are exhibits of his original paintings, which are incredible. I am always in awe of how life-like paintings can be- right down to the wrinkles of a man's skin.
The above picture is of Rockwell's last studio. He spent the last 25 years of his life in Stockbridge, painting in this studio which is located on the museum's grounds. It wasn't open for public viewing when we were there. It is open from May until November. Oh- and an added bonus- museum entry is free on Tuesdays- we just happened to show up on Tuesday and that translated into a $30 savings.
Front/side of studio

This is the view from his studio. You can see what I mean about the landscape. Sure, it has its own New England winter charm but it also reminds me of Bee Movie, when the bees stop making honey and all the plants die from lack of pollination.
I am not totally sure if the house above was Rockwell's but it's located near the studio and I thought it was pretty enough to take a picture.
We made a stop in Williamstown, home of Williams College. Williamstown was settled in 1749 and the highly ranked liberal arts college was established in 1793. It's a very tiny town, quaint and cute- very New England. It was a nice place to grab lunch.
Ok, so we really only stopped to take this picture because we're dorks- but whatever. We knew we were dorks because when Adam slowed down so I could take this picture- a lady pulled up beside us to make sure we were ok. Yeah, we were fine- ya know, just people who live in New York, welcoming themselves back to the state! Oh well- sometimes you have to create your own fun when you take road trips. We are going to be here for a while so we might as well roll with it and take in as many sights and memories as we can. And don't you worry, my dear blog readers- we'll keep you informed along the way!


laura said...

Berkshires sounds so cool! I love how your living situation gives so much room for little trips to so many different areas. How far are you from Amish area? I totally want to check that out!

Well, spring is here in CA! I hope that it comes to Albany soon! I am doing tons of gardening at the Inn and will post pics soon. Are you going to do some beds this year?

Lets do a webcam session this weekend if you have time...perhaps sunday mid morning pacific time? I mean about eleven my time, two yours? LMK

Dielle said...

Great pictures, especially the NY sign. I'm always taking photos like that and Fred kind of laughs at me, but he's a great sport... pulling over to let me take them, and sometimes even suggesting ones I might like.