Sunday, March 22, 2009

March Visitor Budget Itinerary

What to do when you have a houseguest for 2 days in the middle of March? Try the following:
Friday:
  • Pick up from airport/bus station/train station
  • Take pseudo-scenic route home, passing through the Quabbin for pictures, history, and sightings of deer
  • Get home, unpack, shower, grab a snack, catch up
  • Visit the Clapp Library to pick up movies and (hopefully) museum passes; look at the beautiful building and make introductions to the library
  • Stop off at Rannsaka for a bit of local shopping
  • Head over to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; see the great exhibits, learn about the building of the museum, and definitely visit the gift shop
  • Go next door to Atkins Farms to pick up dinner makings and a pie
  • Run up to Trader Joe's and Target in Hadley to run those errands you didn't get to run during the week and to get the things your houseguest couldn't take on the plane
  • Come back home because everyone is exhausted; fix dinner; watch a movie; eat pie.
Saturday:
  • Sleep in; get up and watch the birds; eat breakfast
  • Make a quick trip to Rannsaka with cash to purchase what there wasn't enough cash to purchase the day before
  • Wheel on up to Amherst, where there are plenty of parking places
  • Visit the Amherst College Museum of Natural History (which is free) to see skeletons of long-extinct animals, locally-discovered dinosaur prints, and a sparkling mineral collection
  • Meander around Amherst; grab a tasty lunch at The Black Sheep and relax
  • Walk by a few shops on your way to the car
  • Drive to Northampton and Smith College, where the Spring Bulb and Flower Show is on display at the Lyman Conservatory -- make sure you don't miss it
  • Explore the college some, finally wending your way to Rt 9 where there are plenty of shops to visit on a sunny Saturday afternoon
  • Finally make your way to Amanouz Cafe for tasty baklava; stick around for an early dinner, if you wish
  • If you didn't eat Mediterranean at Amanouz, eat BiBimBop at the Korean Restaurnt on Rt 9 in Hadley
  • On the way back home, take one more quick pass at Atkins to buy some of their killer cider donuts for an easy Sunday morning breakfast
  • Take a short drive around the Holyoke Mountains to show off a bit more of that March beauty that's around
  • Back at home, download all the pictures you've taken all day long, eat more pie, and watch a movie before crashing in bed.
There are a few things I would have liked to include in all our travelings around, and we might have been able to if not for extenuating circumstances. If you can, get ice cream at Bart's Homemade Cafe, have breakfast at either Kristina's or Roadhouse, take a hike around the Quabbin, take a little more time to visit some of the shops in Amherst (like the bookstore and the scandinavian store), stop off at Nash's, and maybe even catch a film at one of the local independent theatres. There is plenty to do, and two days is just enough time to get a taste of some of the great things the Valley has to offer. I'm looking forward to planning more quick itinerary's for the spring and summer when the weather warms and the options drastically increase.

So there you have it -- two days of fun in the Belchertown sun for pretty much anyone. If you add another day, there's time to see the Berkshires, visit Springfield or Brattleboro, trek around the Holyokes..., but I won't get into those possibilities now.

My sister came in this weekend (Friday morning to Sunday morning), and we had a great time following that itinerary from above. It was a super short visit, but loads of fun.
My camera was off in Utah somewhere, so pictures will come later (she took some fantastic pictures, and I need to get linked to them so I can sort through them and pick some winners) -- be looking for them!
_____

1 comment:

katie. said...

sure makes us sound busy.

perfect itinerary. i can't wait for part 2.

p.s. my cider donuts are all gone now.

 

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