On Monday we made our way very slowly to Massachusetts to spend our second week of the layoff. Because we couldn’t check in until five o’clock, we had a leisurely day getting there, which included a stop at Orange County Choppers, which is very close to where we had been staying in Fishkill. I haven’t actually seen a full episode of the show, but it was cool to check out all the bikes, and there is a viewing window from the retail store into the bike shop – it was neat to see the bikes being made, and actually the TV crew were there, so it was also interesting to see how a show like that is filmed.
After that little detour we began to make our way to Massachusetts, arriving at the Ford Hill Farmhouse soon after five. Wow. The house was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was too dark by then to really check out any of the grounds, but the house itself was so inviting, it was easy to wait until morning to see anything else. The ground floor consisted of a large main room with a beautiful open kitchen and dining area, and a living area. Down the hall was another living room with a stone fireplace, and upstairs were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There were open wood beams across the ceiling, and the decor was a perfect mix of rustic and modern. It was so nice to be there.
We unpacked and then headed into the nearest town, Great Barrington, to find somewhere to eat. We ended up at the Great Barrington Brewery, which was very cute and served some great home brews! We went to bed full and happy and awoke to heavy rain. You’d think rain would be a bummer, but since the whole goal of the week was to relax, we welcomed the rainy day, and after a trip to the grocery store, stayed in and watched TV and read and knit and cooked.
That night, as it grew colder, the rain turned to snow! We awoke on Wednesday morning to a blanket of SNOW across the grounds. Snow before Halloween! Unheard of! Ryan and I bundled up and ventured out to check out the property. There was a beautiful brook that ran behind the back of the house. A small bridge took you across to the barn, which has been converted into a house for the caretakers. We took a walk up the hill behind the property and found an old logging road that is now used as a driveway to get to some of the other houses up the hill. Ryan spent the afternoon making a delicious lamb stew.
On Thursday we drove to Taconic State Park to visit Bash Bish Falls. It was a beautiful drive through the hills and there was still snow on the ground. The short hike to the falls was really pretty – a lovely mix of fall leaves and snow. We walked through a couple of different trails surrounding the falls and stopped in Mount Everett park on the way back to take some photos of the lake and the snowy trees. That night we ate a really cute place called Stagecoach Tavern, which uses all locally grown food. It was a rustic, pub atmosphere lit with candles and twinkle lights. It was cozy and perfect. We went home to carve pumpkins in preparation for Halloween.
Friday, Halloween, was our last full day in town. We drove around for a bit in the afternoon to see some of the surrounding towns – Lenox, Lee, and Stockbridge, and then we walked around downtown Great Barrington to see the shops and restaurants. They are all such cute little towns. We didn’t have a chance to visit the nearby Norman Rockwell museum, but his pieces are all inspired by that area of Massachusetts, and the towns look every bit like they do in his works.
On Friday night we packed and then watched a movie. We were on our way to Ottawa shortly after ten the next morning.
It was the perfect week. No stress. No rushing around. Just relaxing. It was the perfect house and area to accomplish that. I finished quite a bit of knitting and will have some finished objects to show off soon.
My complete Flickr set of photos from the Berkshires can be seen here.
We are now in Ottawa, Ontario, which is quite a wonderful town. More on that to come!