As we embarked on our third day on the road and got closer and closer to Massachusetts, we were struck by how the landscape gradually started to remind us of home. A lot of that day’s driving involved comparing the differences between Massachusetts and Wisconsin – not just the personality differences between the people or the economic differences between living in one place or the other – but the actual, physical differences between the two.
For instance – Wisconsin is a relatively flat, new, planned place. You can see for miles and everything is carefully divided on a grid for the most part. This is awesome when driving because if you are lost – just knowing what direction you are trying to go will get you pretty far in Wisconsin, or at least in the Madison area. Whereas in Massachusetts, this information is rarely helpful as you will often find yourself going north to go south as you work your way around the roads that were paved off of old cow paths. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. At one point on our drive we totally saw signs for highways going west to get to Easthampton and so forth. This is all normal in New England.
Speaking of flat, Wisconsin might think it has mountains but it’s wrong. The kids were BLOWN away at the size of the mountains in New York and Massachusetts (even ones that weren’t really that big). The trees are also humongous, towering old giants compared to the much newer, younger trees in Wisconsin. You can feel the age of the old New England towns quite clearly just by the tall trees, nevermind the often older buildings.
Our first stop in Massachusetts was lunch in Northampton with my aunt. This was my first visit to Northampton so she had a lot of fun showing us around her neighborhood and we all enjoyed just getting to catch up.
After that it was off to grammy and papa’s house where we stayed for the week that we were there visiting. This was great because no matter how busy we were each day, there were still lots of lazy hours spent in between:
Playing with old telephones – This might be the only corded phone my daughter ever gets to use! So much nostalgia watching her twirl the cord around her fingers as she “talked” to people on the phone. Our kids don’t know what joys they are missing out on!
Drawing elaborate pictures (the picture below is a drawing of Princess Belle battling Prince Out of the Ordinary Bad – Belle wins obviously). There were also lots of hours spent playing with play dough and snuggling playing with their cousin (who was a newborn baby the last time we were here). He is pretty much the cutest kid ever – we were thrilled to get to spend lots of extra time with him on this trip as he will probably be running the next time we see him!
We got to catch up with a lot of friends and family while we were in town which was awesome but the weather didn’t cooperate very much. We were in town for the 4th of July so I’d been looking forward to going to see fireworks and the town parade with my family but both were postponed and we missed out. My aunt and uncle were nice enough to throw a little impromptu party at their house with takeout pizza and lots of relatives who came by to see us which was really great.
While we were there, BB was talking to my cousin about ages – he was explaining to her that he was twice as old as MM who turned 8 in April and BB very studiously thought about this and then counted to eight on her fingers once, paused and then started from 9 counting up to her eighth finger again and said “So you’re sixteen!” And we all kind of collectively just stared at the tiny four year old who just did a multiplication problem with no help. What?
We also got to see all my besties! My good friend just got a new house in the area so she invited us all over for a cookout to show off her new place. This was a great way to get to see a lot of people in a small amount of time! I love that I have such great friends that you can go months or years without seeing and just pick up where you left off like no time has passed. It’s hard to believe that I’ve known these ladies for as many years as I have – and now all these kiddos later and we are all still friends. Lots of laughs that day!
Next up on the recap list is our week in Hershey Pennsylvania with Dan’s parents and (most of) his siblings.
Previous: Niagara Falls
Next: Hershey PA