Friday, May 18, 2012


We took our time getting out of Massachusetts, staying with friends on the way and seeing some cool stuff around the central and western parts of the state.


We were excited to go to Worcester, MA to see friends and to visit Taras’s alma mater, WPI. We were able to get a look at the college’s soon-to-open athletic center.  Taras was a swimmer throughout college and continues to help out with the team, so he was really excited to see the new pool – it was mind blowing! Later, Taras walked me around campus and we were able to find the brick his parents bought him for graduation.

Worcester Art Museum:
While in Worcester we took advantage of Bank of America’s Museums on Us program and checked out the Worcester Art Museum for free.  Taras had always heard great things about the museum but never went (I guess there are bigger “priorities” during college!). We really enjoyed going through all the collections – featuring European, American, Asian, and Greek arts - and easily could have spent more than the hour or two we gave ourselves. I personally would have loved more time to appreciate Carrie Moyer’s work. (Psst: the orange piece above was drawn on-site!)

Roadside dandelions (hubs picked the bouquet for me!):

Quabbin Reservoir:
We left Worcester and headed to western Mass.  Our friends suggested that on our way to their place we check out the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, MA.  We obliged and did a little wiki reading on our way – we shamefully had no idea that this reservoir is the primary water supplier to Boston. This man-made reservoir was created in the 1930s and holds up to 412 billion gallons of water, and the water covers 39 square miles. What interested us the most was that, in order for the Swift River Valley to be flooded, four towns had to be “disincorporated,” which is just a polite way of saying the towns were completely relocated – homes, businesses, cemeteries, and even a highway.  There is a lot to do on the 181 miles of shoreline: lookout points (the reservoir is beautiful and peaceful), hiking, bicycling, shoreline fishing, and more. And the visitors center is good for a quirky look around!

Mount Sugarloaf:
Our friends took us on a quick hike before dinner, to Mount Sugarloaf in Deerfield, MA.  It was an easy hike to the 652 foot summit and the views of the river and valley from the top were stunning, especially as the sun was starting to set. If you’re not a hiker, you can drive to the top, then picnic and take in the view.

Eat and Drink:
Western Mass has its share of good breweries – our friends treated us to some delicious beer at The People’s Pint and later an amazing dinner at the Blue Heron. Thanks again!

Seeing friends and discovering new things in Mass was a great way to start off the trip!

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