Ok, I got home marginally earlier tonight than I did last night, so here’s a brief (or not so brief) recap of our weekend.
We got the airport bright and early on Saturday morning. When we got to our gate there was a whole line of servicemen and women standing by one of the gates. At first we weren’t really sure what was going on, but after about ten minutes or so, the whole line of people and the crowd milling about broke out into applause. Turns out the first WWII vet had just gotten off the plane and was being greeted by the military personnel and the crowd. It was an Honor Flight. Honor Flights fly WWII veterans to Washington DC so they can see the WWII Memorial and other sights completely free of charge. It was actually pretty moving to see all these old guys getting off the plane and shaking everyone’s hand. Some walked down and were chatty and spry and others had to be wheeled by family members or Honor Flight escorts. As each vet got off the plane, the crowd burst into another loud round of applause. It was pretty cool.
When we got up to Hartford, we hopped in our car and started heading north towards Amherst. As we merged onto the highway we saw a sign for Granby and decided to take a detour. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough, you may remember our ill-fated bike trip in 2012. On our first day of biking, our first opportunity to stop for the night was in Granby, CT, but we decided to press on and bike an extra 15 miles to Riverton. This turned out to be the worst idea ever. It was 15 miles of tortuous hills and we raced the setting sun to get to Riverton before it was pitch black (we lost that race). Our detour ended up taking us through those last fifteen miles and we stopped at the same reservoir that we did during our bike trip, thinking the misery was almost over (it wasn’t). This time it was much more pleasant.
When we got to Riverton, all we remembered was that the tiny tiny town had an inn (which is where we stayed), a general store (which was closed when we got there), a restaurant (which we showed up at 30 minutes before closing and proceeded to order the majority of the menu), and a glass blowing studio (which was also closed when we got there). This time, it was open so we decided to check it out.
The studio is the Peter Greenwood Studio. It’s housed in a renovated church and is pretty cool. The upstairs is a gallery where you can buy vases, sculptures, glasses, and other items he has made. The entire downstairs is his workshop. While we were there, he offered to give us a lesson in glass sculpting. I took him up on his offer and made a glass paperweight. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it home with me then, so he’s mailing to us this week.
Working with glass is very satisfying. Hot glass kind of has the consistency of starburst. I kind of wanted to just play around with it and let it ooze around while I shaped it.
After my impromptu glass blowing lesson we drove up to Amherst, MA. We stopped at The Eric Carle Museum to see if our names were on the wall for being donors. Sadly they were not. We also took a lot of pictures where Andrew looked really tired and I looked crazy.
Impressively though, one of the women working there had been the one to give us our tour of the museum when we were trying to decide if we wanted to have our wedding there, and she remembered us!
After the museum we stopped and I got an ice cream cone. New England is full of locally owned, individual ice cream stands. There are very few chains (none of this Coldstone/Maggie Moos/Haagen-Dazs stuff) and most of the ice cream is made on premises or purchased from another locally owned stand. The sun was shining, the weather was beautiful, and my ice cream was refreshing.
We then went to check into our B&B which was hilariously and awkwardly, literally just this woman’s house. We walked through her front door and straight into her kitchen. She was very friendly and welcoming and it was quite a lovely stay, but I wasn’t expecting that amount of intimacy. It totally felt like I was staying at my friend’s parent’s house or something.
To cap off our very full day, Andrew and I got all dressed up and went to dinner at Blue Heron Restaurant. Blue Heron catered our wedding the food was amazing. Dinner was also amazing.
We stuffed ourselves silly and had a delightful time. We were hoping we might get a little nod to the fact that we had basically traveled 500 miles for our first anniversary dinner but that never came to be. It was a little disappointing, but the food was still great.
Sunday morning we got up and went for an unexpectedly strenuous hike up Sugarloaf Mountain.
(Yeah, I know I posted this picture yesterday because I totally took it yesterday, but it’s much better than any picture I could have taken today.)
We got to the top of the mountain, panting and sweating, but it was totally worth it. The view was spectacular. You could see the whole Pioneer Valley and it was just gorgeous.
After that we didn’t have much time before our flight home. We stopped at this little local bookstore/cafe/art gallery for dinner. It was most notable because it took 45 minutes for us to get our food and over the course of 15 minutes, Andrew said he could see the hanger setting in with me. I was not a happy camper.
We had originally planned to take a 4 o’clock flight back to Baltimore. We got to the airport in plenty of time and patiently waited to board the plane. Shortly before boarding, the airline asked for volunteers to take a later flight because they had overbooked. After doing a cost-benefit analysis (engineer and accountant much?) we decided to go for it. They gave us some pretty generous vouchers to reroute ourselves through Tampa that afternoon. Which is how we ended up having dinner in Florida. We made it home six hours later than we expected, but much richer. Also, now we get to say we went to Florida for dinner.
It was a short trip, but somehow we managed to pack a lot in. It’s hard to believe almost a year has passed since our wedding. Oh yeah, did I ever mention why we went up to Amherst for basically a day? We were having an early one year anniversary celebration (we have a wedding to go to the actual anniversary weekend of our wedding) and decided to revisit some of the notable places from our wedding. We stayed at the funny little B&B because much like our wedding weekend, many of the surrounding colleges were having graduations. Also, much like our wedding weekend, I got asked if I was graduating. Good to know at almost-thirty I can still pass for a twenty-two year old!
The weather was awesome, the company delightful, and our adventures continue!