We had a wonderful adventure every single day on our road trip. With that being said, day 4 was probably my favorite. We left our Connecticut house for the last time around 9 AM. Before leaving Jimmie and I hung out on the private beach. If it weren’t for the rain, Jim would have had to pull me off kicking and screaming because we were having such a nice morning.
Our first stop in Massachusetts was lunch. We ate at a delicious Italian Restaurant in downtown Springfield, MA, Red Rose Pizzeria. After lunch we went to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield, MA. It is easy to miss because it is located inside the Springfield Museum plaza. Parking is free and so is the garden; the museums have a fee. We could have gone to the museums and spent the entire day there but we had much more to accomplish that day since we were traveling to our next rental house.
The memorial garden is fun for all ages. I personally thought it was very well executed. Jimmie really enjoyed the larger than life sculptures. A Dr.Seuss museum will be joining the existing Springfield Museums in 2016. We will have to go back to check it out.
After looking at all of the Dr. Seuss statues, we continued towards out rental and stopped at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA. Did you notice day 4’s theme? That’s right, children’s literature day (which is obviously why it was my favorite day.) Unfortunately, we only had one hour to spend at the Eric Carle museum because we didn’t get there until 3 and it closed at 4. There is a great military discount offered: $3 per person over the age of 1 (children under 1 are free.)
There are three parts to the museum: the gallery, the art studio, and the library. The gallery showcases artwork from children’s illustrators, including, but not limited to, Eric Carle. The studio offers hands-on arts and crafts for children’s of all ages. The library is full of children’s book, toys for toddlers, and big stuffed animals. We spent most of our limited time in the art studio. Jimmie loved playing with the circle crayons (but not coloring) and playing with the wall boards. We read a few stories in the library and basically ran through the gallery because Jimmie was just not impressed with the framed artwork. We could have spent a few more hours at this museum. I hope to go back again. If we lived in the area, we would buy an annual pass because the art studio alone is worth the trip.
Before arriving at the Eric Carle museum, we saw an interesting country market that we decided we wanted to head back to before going to our rental house in Orange, MA. Atkins Farms and Country Market was well worth our stop (and they offer a 5% military discount!) We stocked up on homemade goodies including: ice cream, sandwiches, apple cider donuts, rolls, kimchi potstickers, salad bar odds and ends for Jimmie, and chicken salad. We also bought some beer from a local brewery.
After grabbing more than enough food, we were finally on our way to our Airbnb cabin in Orange, MA. This cabin was right on the lake. We were able to view the lake by looking out the huge kitchen and living room windows. I like to refer to our house in CT as our “glamping” house. Our house in Massachusetts was anything but. This house had all of the features of a regular home; the hosts even provided some food that we were welcome to use in the pantry and fridge. We had more space in this home, which meant Jimmie had more to get into! Needless to say, we loved both of our rentals equally, but they were both very different.
The day ended with Jimmie going right to sleep (again) and Jim and I enjoying the evening together. Unfortunately, it rained and was kind of dark on the deck that night. We sat inside, watched some TV, and ate our amazing ice cream. Day 4 was certainly a long one. We turned in early for a good night’s sleep.