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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

LONG WEEKEND IN THE BERKSHIRE MTS. OF MASSACHUSETTS

We wake up, a heavy fog clinging to the mountains and trees, blanketing the snow in thick, grey mist. On our winter vacations we normally wake to the lovely sound of waves washing up a pristine beach. It has been many years since we’ve taken a winter vacation to a winter site, but this short sojourn to Massachusetts’ Berkshires was just the ticket.

Why write about it in May? The Berkshires truly is a four-season area. In the fall there’s antiquing and foliage; winter brings phenomenal skiing; summer is lakes, music (Tanglewood), fishing, hiking and cycling; and spring is awakening nature and art galleries. The area boasts museums—many of literary fame: Edith Wharton’s, Robert Frost’s and Herman Melville’s homes. There’s also the Hancock Shaker Village. This is just a smattering of the possibilities, and the area’s accessibility from urban areas makes it even more attractive. Rob and I are here to relax, unwind, and to visit, in particular, the Norman Rockwell Museum.

We stay in Pittsfield, MA, in the Patriot Suites Hotel, and have a very comfortable suite including a kitchenette, an oversized bathroom, a great master bedroom and king-size bed and TV, and a nice, big living room with a convertible sofa, a TV armoire and dvd player. There’s plenty of dresser space as well as two big closets. Included is a continental breakfast served in a big, centrally located lounge. Lenox is located near Jiminy Peak, one of the Berkshires’ premier ski areas, and it that works well for us in late January.

We no longer ski, but the hotel literally empties out during the day, leaving us with the outdoor spa and indoor pool all to ourselves! There’s nice, soft background music playing and we alternate between heating up in the spa despite the cold weather and snowy mist, cooling off and swimming laps in “our” pool, and reading and writing in between. We’ve already used the nicely equipped exercise room, and we feel wonderful.

This is an area to visit regularly, and that’s just what we intend to do.

Our sleuthing at the Norman Rockwell Museum is yet to come…
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