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Archive for April, 2013

This is the time of year when visiting Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, islands just off the Cape Cod coast, is quietly beautiful. Daffodils are in bloom and the grass is as green as Ireland’s. The shops are opening for the coming summer, and restaurants are brushing off the chairs for those lazy afternoons sipping tea or something stronger in the sun . While it’s a wonderful place in the summer, Nantucket is snug with the many visitors. Between the first of May and the end of June, and then again through September and October, the Massachusetts islands sing with the sounds of birds, crickets and little frogs in nearby ponds. It is a Mary Oliver (poet) place – filled with nature’s best.

Thirty miles south of Cape Cod, the island has a year-round population of about ten thousand. During the summer months, that number increases to fifty thousand. Triangular in shape, the island is nearly forty-eight square miles – The National Park Service declared the island as the “finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th and early 19th century New England seaport town.”

Filled with charm and beauty at every turn, the list of notable residents and visitors is endless. Bill and Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots’ fame, are just a few.

The main street of Nantucket is made of cobblestone, adding to the quaint shops and colorful structures along the way.

A ferry to the island will cost you about thirty-five dollars round trip on the regular ( two hours ) ferry. For fifty dollars round trip, the fast ferry will get you there sooner, in about one hour.

The sights, sounds, arts, and restaurants for everyone’s taste, are many. You will definitely enjoy your visit.

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An area I never tire of visiting, Concord Massachusetts, incorporated in 1635, is just nineteen miles west of Boston. The land has the look of Gettysburg – slightly solemn yet hauntingly beautiful. The old homes are works of treasured art – well kept and stoic in style, as though the homes were constructed to protect the inhabitants during trying times.

With a current population of about seventeen thousand, and an area approximately twenty-five square miles, Concord has it all. The town center resembles a Christmas card with it’s quaint and natural beauty. The rivers, streams and fields are many, giving the town the sense that it is not in any way hurried or crowded.

The home to the first battle of the American Revolution in 1775, Concord is saturated in the history of this country. There are tributes cast in granite to many who took part in that war.

Several historic homes are open to visitors. The Old Manse, once home to Ralph Waldo Emerson and later Nathaniel Hawthorne, is perched on a piece of property which is incredibly scenic. There are fields, a small pond, and a foot-bridge all accessible. The interior of the hosue has been kept true to its history. Last year on Mothers’ Day, my family and I packed a picnic and enjoyed sitting on a huge rock in the backyard of The Manse – the scenery was far better than the interior of a restaurant, and our brought-from-home food was pretty good too. There are endless treats for the eyes.

Home to authors Louisa May Alcott, and you may visit Orchard House, her family home, the town of Concord is also home to Henry David Thoreau. The place is saturated in authors, which is thrilling – and today, well-known authors such as Robert B. Parker, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Gregory Maguire of Wicked fame, are all proud home owners in this wonderful old town.

For those wo recall the spooky tales of Sleepy Hollow, there is a cemetery in Concord with that name. What better name for a place of eternal rest than Sleepy Hollow Cemetery?

And if you like grapes, in the lush, fresh fruit variety or in the liquid form, the famed Concord grape was developed here by Ephraim Bull – the original vines are still there.

With great accommodations and fine restaurants, a day or weekend in the Concord area is well worth your time. Stop at a visitors’ center and pick up some maps and information when you arrive. Prepare to absorb American history and serene beauty.

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For six days three times each year, Brimfield, Massachusetts jumps into an antique frenzy as hundreds of vendors and thousands of customers browse for and buy antiques and other collectible items. It is a colorful and joyful circus, with bargains of the most unusual kind.

The aromas of sausage sandwiches, hotdogs and hamburgers, and fried dough, drift among the crowd. The atmosphere is fun and enchanting.

Just beyond Olde Sturbridge Village on route 20, Brimfield resembles a nineteen-thirties postcard of typical New England farm land. There are numerous places to stay nearby, and restaurants and cafes where you can find about anything you’re wishing for to eat.

The flea market is well organized; it’s planned so that vendors have adequate space and are not lined up next to similar items – it’s interesting, not to mention a little invasive of your wallet – there are bound to be items you simply can’t go home without.

The upcoming event is from May 14th – 19th, then again from July 9th – 14th, and September 3rd – 8th. Wear comfortable shoes and drag a wagon along if you can – prepare for lots of walking and fun.

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