You are currently browsing articles tagged holidays.

I know it isn’t even Halloween yet, but it is mid-October and time is flying. I don’t usually get into holiday shopping until much, much later. . . think mid-December, but since I am working with a really great client this year, I wanted to share a different idea for your holiday shopping this year, if you live in the Northeast.

Hampshire County of Western Massachusetts is a perfect spot for boutique and artisan shopping. From art and handmade jewelry to antiques to specialty food gifts, you can find it all in this beautiful place.

Pottery work by Christy Knox | Photo by Lynne Graves

Pottery by Christy Knox. Photo by Lynn Graves (Source)

One of the great things about holiday shopping in Hampshire County is that special events for artisans are sprinkled throughout the fall, making it easy to plan a visit even if you have a busy schedule.

Get an early start in October with Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton and continue into November and December with an assortment of open studio events like Cottage Street Open Studios in Easthampton (December 4-6 & 12) and pop-up artisan shops at places like Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, which hosts “Seconds Sales” (November 13-15, 20-22 & 27-29) for almost-perfect items at a discount. I am really hoping to get to Snow Farm this year; it sounds beautiful.

Food gifts are delicious and easy to come by in Hampshire County. The County has six breweries and six wineries, including Black Birch Vineyard, a winery I visited last summer. I love their wine! There’s Heavenly Chocolate, Esselon Coffee, bakeries, maple sugar houses, and a ton more for foodies.

And since Amtrak now goes directly to Northampton from NYC, Hampshire County is easy to reach. It’s a great spot for a weekend getaway, with beautiful outdoor scenery, not-to-be-missed restaurants, farms, five beautiful college campuses (UMass Amherst, Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, and Hampshire College) and so much more. Plan to get away to do your shopping, then stay the night for some relaxation in one of the most beautiful places in New England.

Hampshire County is a client, but it is also one of my favorite places in New England, and I am thrilled to be able to share this little piece of heaven with you.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , ,


Tags: Hampshire County, holidays, Massachusetts, New England, shopping, Travel, Western Massachusetts

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

I hope you all have a day filled with love and luck and maybe a Guinness or two. For some of my favorite Ireland travel posts, please visit my travel blog page.


lambs in Ireland

Irish cottage, Barna

Galway Bay Sunset

rainbow in Ireland

Technorati Tags: , , , ,


Tags: holidays, Ireland, St. Patrick's Day, Travel, travel blog

Looking for a fun and festive day trip from Boston this weekend? Longfellow’s Wayside Inn is the perfect spot to visit this time of year for a step back in time and some holiday cheer.

I first visited the Wayside Inn years ago when I attended a retirement party there, but I have been a fan ever since, especially during the holiday season. It is the oldest operating inn in the country and has been opening its doors to guests since 1716.

Longfellows Wayside Inn

The inn itself is historic and beautiful, and when graced with blue skies and adorned with Christmas decorations, it is really something special. Holly abounds nearby, and the inside of the inn is warm and festive.


wayside inn

The Tap Room at the Wayside Inn is the perfect place to enjoy a drink and a warm fire. The nation’s first cocktail, a Coow Woow, was invented here, and they still serve it to this day.

coow woow co

We of course had to give a Coow Woow a try. . . and I would not recommend it unless you needed its contents to light a fire or lamp. Woow.

The ingredients in a Coow Woow are simple, ginger brandy and white rum, and it is strong! It’s easy to imagine our forefathers getting through cold nights with this concoction, but I’ll stick to the more tame Meetinghouse Punch, which was a blend of beer, rum, and sugar.

coow woow

It’s easy to linger in the Tap Room for the afternoon, and we met some very nice people planning a trip to Ireland whilst there. The Wayside Inn is not just a step back in time, but it is also a very classic New England place for food and drink, an excellent day trip from Boston.

wayside inn

wayside inn

Parts of the inn are preserved in a museum-like fashion, allowing guests a glimpse into the early days of the inn,

wayside inn

wayside inn

While the inside of the Wayside Inn is spectacular and homey, the land it is on as breathtaking. I love every second of blue sky and fresh air I can get in the country, and the Wayside Inn has it all, from rolling green hills to a lake to the most beautiful chapel.

sudbury walking

Mary Martha Chapel   walking in the woods sudbury naturewayside inn

When visiting the Wayside Inn, you can breathe in the smell of pines and enjoy the crunch of leaves and pine needles under your feet, all before digging into a delicious hearty meal paired with old fashioned drinks. The inn also often has events and special packages making it a fun little getaway from Boston.

I love this space and am glad we took an afternoon from the busy holiday season to escape to Sudbury in the 1700’s.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


Tags: cocktails, colonial, decorations, festive, holidays, Massachusetts, outdoors, staycation, travel. sudbury, wayside inn

« Older entries § Newer entries »

new restaurant
WordPress SEO fine-tune by Meta SEO Pack from Poradnik Webmastera