Friday, July 24, 2009

Five! Six! Seven!

and then. . .

We spent the whole day hiking Acadia National Park, on what was probably the best trail I've ever been on.

Roots, bridges, stairs, lakes, climbing, plains, windswept views, and planks. All of it was lovely.

We went home to the Couchsurfers, tired and happy. They shared cake, and we all shared stories. An additional couchsurfer just in from somewhere, heading somewhere else had been invited to stay as well. He reminded us not to judge a book by its cover, and to always always always listen with an open ear. He played tunes on the guitar, some Marc Bolan, some Leadbelly, and some of his very own. He entertained our hosts late into the evening and a bit into the morning while Ted and I found some much needed sleep.

(Tofu scramble, home fries, vegan pancakes, coffee and soymilk at a regular old cafe, not advertised as vegetarian friendly.)

After breakfast, we headed south to Northampton, Massachusetts to see my first Chicago roommate and our dear, dear friend, Rene. (Sadly, our timing was bad and we did not get to see Stacey. All the more reason to return, not that we are lacking reasons.)

She took us to a beautiful old house with a fantastic view. Then we went back to her lovely vegan home, and made pizza with broccoli, onion, potatoes and homemade pesto, all from the farm she works at. For dessert we shared a slice of the cake her roommate made.

We biked around downtown and had breakfast at Green Bean (delicious!) and then Rene took us on a hike leading to her top secret swimming hole.

We went to a bakery called the Hungry Ghost and split a peanut butter cookie, fresh from the kiln.

Rene took us to the farm she works at, and let us sample some of the produce.

Did you know that overgrown lettuce looks like christmas trees?

Then we had to hop in the car to get to the Book Mill for "books you don't need at a place you can't find", and it was well worth the drive.

The Book Mill is on a hill beside a running stream. It's filled with good books at reasonable prices and plenty of nooks and crannies to read them in. They also have a cafe that serves fantastic food, delectable desserts, and locally brewed kombucha.

After our bicycle tour of Northampton I was smitten. A town with a bike rail path that runs throughout it, local shops and restaurants that support the local farmers, vegan eateries, beautiful bookstores, and hills to hike. . . What more could a person need?


Anonymous said...

Ohh! Melissa! I LOVE Northampton! That's where Justin went to school (well, in Amherst, but that's one in the same, practically). We stayed there when we went to Boston (speaking of which, I FINALLY developed that film, I uploaded the photos in an album on Facebook). Yes, yes, the houses are old and cozy and the nature is abundant and the shops are amazing. Ah!!! And Arcadia National Park! I hate you! No, I don't! But I'm terribly jealous. I've been dreaming long and hard about New England and think after Chicago, I'll be there... That's neat that Rene and Stacey are living there, though! Yay!!!

Justin said...

oh the book mill, how i miss you