A Literary Day Trip

Yesterday, I had a chance to spend the day in Amherst, Massachusetts.  It was the first time in many years that I got to visit the place I spent four years of my life.  Even after an extended absence, as I was driving into Amherst I had the same feeling as my first time – I love this place.  Sometimes, I even wonder why I left.  Well, I won’t dwell a lot on those decisions, but let me tell you about my visit.

My sister and I first stopped in Amherst at my favorite bakery/deli/cafe.  If you ever get to Amherst, you must stop by for a chocolate croissant or a sandwich and a Chai latte.  My personal favorites.  Though my sister claims the cheese danish is to die for. I am pretty sure that you can’t go wrong with anything that you order.

When my sister first proposed a trip up to Amherst, she wasn’t thinking about the literary richness of the area.  She wanted to go to a Butterfly Conservation Garden and thought it would be a “nice day trip”.  How long can you look at butterflies anyway?! Right?!  In my mind, there would be plenty of time to see some pretty butterflies and then drag her around to museums. 🙂

After looking at many beautiful butterflies, I suggested to my sister that we stop at the Emily Dickinson House.  We made it just in time for a tour which turned out to be just my sister and me led by a really cute South African graduate student doing a summer internship at the museum.  I can’t believe that I lived about 2 miles from the museum for four years but that this was the first time I actually visited the house.  I wish we could take pictures of the inside of the buildings.  The information was wonderful and I grew in my appreciation of Emily Dickinson and her poetry.

After visiting the 19th century, my sister and I jumped into the 21st century with a visit to Hampshire College’s Eric Carle Museum.  The museum has three exhibit areas that were currently displaying a permanent collection of art and information on Eric Carle.  The middle gallery had some lovely artwork on display from illustrator Leo Lionni (Swimmy, Little Blue & Little Yellow).  The third gallery was displaying Lisbeth Zwerger’s artwork.  Zwerger was actually at the museum signing copies of her books.

The museum also contains a beautiful art room that welcomes visitors, young and old, to develop their own tissue paper creations.

So what have you been up to this summer?

Any fun literary trips?  

Love to hear what you have all been doing….



4 Responses

  1. That sounds like a great day trip! I love the work of Eric Carle and Leo Lionni! And what girl doesn’t have a warm spot in her heart for Emily Dickinson? As for chocolate croissants… my mouth is watering. Yum!

  2. Sounds like a perfect day! I visited the Eric Carle Museum a couple years ago–so much fun! The next time I’m in Amherst I’ll have to try the other spots you recommended 🙂

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