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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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June 18, 2010

All Good Things Must Come to an End

And Tuesday was my last day in Massachusetts.  It was another beautiful day and we did another batch of roaming here and there and soaking it all up. 

Our first stop was to take pictures of what I've been calling a miniature Stonehenge.  It has an official name which I made a mental note of but my mental notes don't last too long.  Virginia can put the correct name in a comment. :)  Anyway, it's something that I guess a graduating class of UMass set up and it's quite wonderful.  Great big boulders and slabs of stone set out very precisely to capture the sunrise at the summer solstice and, what? - the sunrise at the winter solstice? or the something else at the winter solstice?  I can see I really should have taken notes, but it's all very clearly marked on their signs.  I took pictures of the summer solstice spot because that will be happening June 21 and if anyone wants to see it, be there at dawn. (tee hee).

I'm not positive, but I think the way it works is that as the sun comes up over the horizon, the beam should hit right between the two upright boulders.

And this is the summer solstice sunset, so if you miss the sunrise at dawn, you may be able to catch this one.

Here's a look at the whole setup:


These next two pictures were taken from the second bridge over the Connecticut River.  It does have prettier views than the first bridge from which I took pictures, but I didn't seem to get one that really shows how lovely it is.  But here's what I have:


This one was taken at the edge of the bridge looking down into the river's edge.   That's not mist, it's all the trees and the light of the sky  reflected in the water.

This next picture is of the Summit and, of course, that's where we headed next.


So, all of the following pictures were taken from up on top of the Summit.  The trip up was really something...very narrow road and all we could think was "oh, please, don't anybody be coming down!"  But we made it and it was so beautiful!  While we were up there, there was a bird kind of circling the area and "calling" and someone told Virginia that was a peregrine falcon and that he and his mate had just hatched 3 babies in the past week or so which is pretty exciting because I guess they're somewhat endangered.  Anyway, here are my pictures from "up the Summit".


The bridge in the first two is where I was taking my pictures earlier.  And across the bridge and to the left in the first one is where Va and Larry used to live.


This curve in the river is called the oxbow...and almost dead center right before the horizon is a tiny dark oblong - that's one of the UMass towers near where they live now.

They've really made this a very attractive spot to visit - lots of flowers and plantings, picnic tables, etc.


And this is me using the close up setting on my camera. :)

We did our third hot-dog lunch and decided that it and Stubby's would have to tie for first place.  If Stubby's had let customers put their own mustard and ketchup on (like this third place did), then in my opinion, he would have definitely been in first place.  A little after lunch we decided it was probably as well we wouldn't be doing any more testings cause neither one of us felt real good in the stomach area!  In spite of that, we persevered and next drove to Northhampton to visit a few of the galleries there.  There's one we both love and we spent a fair amount of time ooohing and ahhhing there, then visited two or three others.  Then back into the Thorne Market for something Virginia wanted to pick up and one final "best chocolate chip cookie in the world".  And that proved the point that it doesn't pay to get too greedy.  It was good...but it was pretty much totally different from the first two we split and not as good.

Then back home with me packing up and Virginia working on her French knot rug and really moving along on it - puts me to shame.  She made a pasta salad type dinner with a delicious dressing of olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and chopped up black olives.  I'll be doing that myself before too long, probably.

So, I'm late finishing up the posts for this trip, but that's because I left Wednesday morning, stayed overnight again, and got home yesterday (Thursday) around 3:30.  Thursday's trip was quite pleasant so that made for a nice ending.

Thanks to all who traveled with me!

3 comments:

Jamie said...

Glad you are back home, safe and sound! Your photos are awesome! I especially like the one of the bridge with the arches and the reflection. Sounds like you had a really good visit. Can't wait to hear all about it!

Christopher said...

Welcome home! I definitely need to get up to that Summit next time... what a view!

Christopher said...

...and now as a postscript to "All good things must come to an end", we have the news that you're headed to Italy once again; the very reason you started this blog! We'll definitely have to have a confab over your camera again, before you go, to ensure you can capture the "large size" files for printing...!

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