Snow in April and other stories

As I mentioned in my last post, I traveled to Maine last week.

I was expecting spring weather, flowers blooming – but oops! The difference in latitude could definitely be seen and felt! I left the balmy almost 80 degrees of my Texas Gulf Coast home, where flowers were blooming, and experienced 4 days of snow and ice!

It was just a “light dusting” to the locals, but if we’d gotten that much snow at home, it would have shut down the schools and a good many businesses. But as those of you who live in those climes know, it is just another ordinary day of life in the north. So now I’ve got DRIVING IN SNOW and WALKING CAREFULLY ON ICY SIDEWALKS on my list of new wp-1460251451251.jpegexperiences that I don’t particularly want to repeat. The thing about snow is, it makes ugly beautiful. All the trees looked pretty dead. Add snow, and voila, a picture postcard appears.

I stayed in a bedroom at the home of Michael and Diane, found through airbnb as usual. They were great hosts, my bed was really comfortable, and their dogs were awesome. It was way better (and cheaper) than staying in a hotel.

The snow and ice were followed by rain on my day of departure from Portland. The temperature warmed to the lower 50’s and it almost seemed like a Houston winter. I meandered down the coast a bit, then turned inland through New Hampshire and down to Northampton, Massachusetts to spend a few hours with my son who lives there. In spite of the rain, I enjoyed the drive, staying off the main roads as much as possible, going through the mountains, and appreciating the old architecture in the small towns along the way.

Northampton is in a beautiful part of the country, nestled along the west bank of the Connecticut River. I enjoyed my visit with my son (22 years old, and works as an early morning baker), and spent the night in an upstairs bedroom of a cool old house I found on airbnb. wp-1460255086849.jpegIn the morning, after a latte and zucchini oatmeal muffin at the Tart Baking Company,  I chose Route 5  instead of the interstate and fell in love with the beauty of my surroundings. The road runs parallel to the river for a bit, and I could imagine how it must look in the fall when the colors of the trees are changing in their full glory. It was the most beautiful place I drove through, and I’d like to return in October!

I had decided, since my flight from Boston didn’t leave until 5:30, that I would go to Rhode Island, since it was the only New England state I hadn’t visited. I found a vegetarian restaurant called the Garden Grille Cafe in Pawtucket, and I wasn’t disappointed. My lunch was a quesadilla filled with roasted butternut squash, black beans, avocado, and monterrey jack cheese. Best meal the whole trip!  Before I headed to the Boston airport, I visited the Seekonk River and communed with the ducks for a while.

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I was overcome with gratefulness for much of my time on the road, in spite of the less than desirable weather. I have been able to travel to so many beautiful places, and there are more to come. I have been enriched by the people I’ve met along the way. Life is good!

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