Ok it was less of an actual road trip than lots of mini trips to and from different parts of New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. But there was a lot of driving involved. Nothing in New England is close. And this from a girl bought up 50 miles south of Nowhere. I was staying with my friend and I had a fabulous time. There are lots of forests and trees and small towns which all seemed to crush into my perception of New England from Gilmore Girls.
There is a small town in Vermont called Battleboro and isn’t that the coolest name! I kept accidently calling it Brattlebruxo like some weird mix of Castlebruxo (according to Pottermore, the magical school in Brazil) and a New England town. Made my hosts chuckle. In this tiny little town in a valley of hills (New England is a lot of hills and trees) there were three bookshops. One was closed. One was devoted to crime fiction (they must love crime in this small town!). The final one was open and we (of course) went in!
It was a used and rare books shop. Very quirky. I finally found a copy of 4.50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie, one of the Miss Marple books and the Maple I have watched about four different versions of (all different Marple’s) so that was exciting! We also went into some cutesy little shops. One of them had this amazing galaxies and planets dress, but the Medium was too big and the Small wasn’t going near me, so I had to reluctantly hang that one back up. I smell a dressmaking project in the near future. This shop also had loads of funny socks, so I bought a pair of knee highs with books all over them! I was very tempted by a pair with Bitch I’m Reading on, but I refrained because I couldn’t just buy funny socks on my holiday.
Amherst and Northampton, Massachusetts
We went to Amherst first. There is a private university there, and also a UMass campus. But we didn’t stop at UMass, we went to look at the pretty redbrick campus of Amherst, and also to this little art museum in the centre of campus. The exhibition was on representations of home, and it was really quite powerful. I’ve included a link to the exhibition here. It was strange being on an empty campus, but graduation happened pretty recently and there were white marquees and trestle tables everywhere.
In Amherst we also went to see about going to Emily Dickenson’s house. Emily Dickenson is an American poet (but I haven’t read anything by Emily so I offer no opinion on her work). She and her family lived in Amherst and there is a museum in the house. Entrance was about $15 dollars, but the tour took over an hour and was starting ten minutes after we arrived. It would seem like fortuitous timing, but we didn’t have an hour and a half left on the meter so we decided not to go to the tour, and just take pictures outside instead.
After Amherst, we went to Northampton, a little town. Our first stop was a bookshop called Raven Books, which sold overprints (from shops which received more copies than they could sell I guess) and had lots of shelves of books, piled all higgledy-piggledy. I loved the sign though.
After I had been properly caffeinated, we found ourselves in this indoor market-like place, and lo and behold, the socks! I found the socks I had put back the day before, therefore, I clearly needed to buy another pair of socks (one for me, one for a gift). I ended up with “I’m a crafty bitch” 🙂 I also found a book for Protest knits, which include (but is not limited to) a rebellion scarf, pussy hat, and a Donald trump pincushion. Watch this space.
New Hampshire Beach
I haven’t been to the beach in ages! It was a cool day, the water was icy, but I paddled anyway.
We also went to a costal small town, which had an awesome collection of signs.
Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts
We had an absolutely glorious day, so we drove to this small town which has been preserved/recreated in the Old New England [Website here]. There are houses which have been restored to specific time periods or financial standing, so you can literally explore the town through the age. In one of the houses, the guide kept saying “this was expensive, because it was from England” constantly, which made me chuckle. This “historic” Deerfield is mixed up amongst all the “modern” Deerfield, it was a glorious day and it was good fun. Less fun, there was only one place to buy food and they didn’t serve much for dietary requirements so we had to drive somewhere else for lunch and come back.
Bridge of Flowers, Massachusetts
In a small town, there is an old transit bridge that has been given a new lease of life. Rather than just knock the old rail track bridge down, they decided to plant flowers, creating a unique garden space. It was gorgeous! We ate some pretty damn good cake there too.
The places I visited in New England were, for want of a better word, quiet. It was beautiful scenery and small towns and it was so much fun going around with my friend and just enjoying the hills and the trees. From New England, I returned to New York (and then to Old England).
I’ll post New York up in a few days, and I will also post a few reviews for the books I read while away.