This weekend was the last of 3 weekends I have gone to western Massachusetts for a talk on food sponsored by Historic Deerfield. Each talk was loosely related to my thesis topic, and I made some good connections by talking with the speakers afterward.
Taking a 3 day weekend away is usually a good mental health break for me, even though I still do a lot of schoolwork and other things, so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately it didn't work out exactly like I had hoped, but it was still a nice break.
I got a very late start on Friday b/c I had too many things I had to take care of at home. Instead of getting there by 2 or 3 in the afternoon so I could do some class reading before dinner, I didn't get there until 5:00. I also wasn't feeling well, so I just grabbed some dinner and did some fun reading.
I picked up Danielle Steel's book Sisters from my building's community bookshelf. Since I have 5 sisters I was really interested in this. It was a good book and reading it is what I did Friday night. I didn't sleep at all either night (not the hotel's fault--something was off with me), so I didn't feel much better on Saturday.
I went to the Sugar Shack in North Hadley for a yummy pancake breakfast. For those not familiar with sugar shacks, February and March are prime maple-making syrup time in the Northeast. Sap is gathered from the maple trees and then boiled down to syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap and 40 gallons of water to make one gallon of pure maple syrup. It sure is yummy, although expensive.
This is the evaporator room where they boil down the sap. It was a really cloudy day so this picture doesn't show all the smoke and steam that is coming out of it.
Inside shot of the evaporators.
Next I went to Northampton. It has a trendy downtown with lots of fun stores.
I bought some chocolates at the chocolate emporium and a book about writing (in preparation for the biography of my ggg-grandfather I want to write) in the bookstore. My favorite store was Skera, a gallery that contained colorful clothing, jewelry, and ceramics. It really awoke the inner artist in me that hasn't been able to express herself for a while due to other commitments.
By this time it was 3:00 or so. I headed back to the hotel with the intent of doing schoolwork, but I was just so wiped out I couldn't do it. Instead I started reading Divergent on my Kindle.
I ended the night with a lunch with my friend Leslie. It was so fun to catch up with her. We are both professional genealogical speakers. She is also a genealogical and history writer, which I also want to do, so we discussed about breaking into the field. I usually see her at conferences when we are both in a rush, so it was nice to have some time to get to know her better without any interruptions. I think we could have talked all night if she didn't have to get home to her family.
Today I went to church and then to the talk and then home. It was crazy driving home--like rush hour. I wonder where everybody else was coming from. Now I'm all unpacked from my trip and my lunch and backpack are ready for work tomorrow. Back to Divergent...