Weekend In New England

 My husband and I have been talking about finding a place to spend our later years (I'm not saying retirement because I don't know if that's a possibility or reality) that is somewhat less congested than where we currently reside.  We are seeking some peace/calm with a home that might have a view of the mountains. We talked Poconos.  We talked Catskills.  We also thought of the Berkshires.  However, neither of us have ever been there, so we thought it was time to take a trek up there and see what the area was like.

Our Friday-Sunday trip determined that the area we explored (Lee, Lenox, Pittsfield) is not where we want to end up.  The area was very nice, but we didn't get the "feel" that we were looking for.  (I can't explain it better...)  However, we had a nice weekend and I thought I'd share our mini-adventure here with some photos.

Our "home base" in Massachusetts was Lee.  I picked the Chambery Inn as it was in the center of town.  I didn't want to stay in a motel chain where we wouldn't see what the town was really like.  I have to say the inn, which was once a schoolhouse, was beautiful.  I don't think I've ever stayed in a larger, more elegant room.  




My photos don't do it justice, so check out their website if you want to know more.  They also delivered breakfast to our door every morning that was totally charming. 

 I  highly recommend the inn for its rooms, atmosphere and service.

 With that said, it IS in the heart of town.  Which means our balcony which we shared with the room next door, overlooked railroad tracks (not in use) and a defunct  restaurant.  Directly on the right side of the inn (as you face it) is a hardware store.  (Note:  NO outside noise bothered us during our stay.)  So while the inn and its immediate grounds are delightful, the surrounding area is just like any other town and nothing to write home about.

 Having been stuck in the car for a good portion of the day (with rest stops and some traffic the trip took us about 3 hours), we walked Main Street (Route 20) and checked out a few shops.  It was very similar to what we have in our neck of the woods, so nothing jumped out at us.  Later in the afternoon, we hopped back in the car and headed north to explore parts of Pittsfield and Lennox.  We found Lennox to be more of our liking, but not exactly what we were looking for.  We did some shopping and I resisted buying some Yankee Candles  (They are my favorite!)

 When heading back to Lee for the evening, I took a wrong turn and we ended up exploring some of the back roads of Lee.  That's where we saw this:

 





There's got to be a story behind all of us, but I have no idea what it is!

The next day, having pretty much determined that this was not exactly the right place for us in the long run, we decided to head further north.  It was a beautiful and warm day.  Neither of us had ever been to Vermont and Bennington was only an hour away.  Supposedly my ancestor was part of the Battle of Bennington (he may have been on the "wrong" side...there's a lot of family lore, but not a lot of solid evidence), so I wanted to check it out.

We first decided to check out Main Street and stretch our legs.  We immediately stopped here:
How could we resist?





We finished our time in Vermont by exploring the Bennington Museum





There was A LOT to see and we enjoyed browsing around.  We especially liked the Gilded Age and Grandma Moses displays.  

 Returning "home" to Lee, we stopped for a very late lunch (or extremely early dinner) at 110 Grill in Lenox.  The details of that allergy friendly meal can be found here  

 We took a break at the Inn.  It was so warm that I was able to sit out on the balcony and read for a bit.  After relaxing for an hour or so, we headed over to the Lee Premium Outlets.  I don't do much outlet shopping and I guess neither do a lot of people as the place was pretty empty.  Though it was listed as open until 8, several shops had already closed for the day and there were also quite a few empty store fronts.  We still managed to spend some money. (The lure of outlet shopping!)

 The next day was cold and rainy, which we had been expecting.  It was so chilly that we turned on the fireplace in our room while we ate breakfast.

 


With unpleasant weather, we headed back to NJ early that morning.  

All in all it was a lovely weekend.  We got a small taste of the Berkshires and I can now add Vermont to the list of states that  I have visited.  (And plan to visit again.)  I think more long weekend road trips might be in our future.

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