Monday, August 31, 2009

A weekend in the Berkshires.....

(warning.... long post)
Cannot get much more New England than that!

I also cannot believe it took us this long to finally get there!! You MUST go there sometime for a concert at Tanglewood, especially if you are within driving distance in New England!

Friday I scooted out of work early and only worked a half day, I had to get home to finish packing and fuel up for our drive.....
-sandwich thin, turkey, goat cheese, spinach, tomato
-few TLC's

We loaded up the IL's convertible.... yes we are spoiled... and off we went to Lenox, MA.

A couple hours into our trip I needed a little snack, nectarine to the rescue!

We took a meandering route, I-495 to route 2 to route 8 and finally to 7. I think it took us about 4 hours or so. We were very happy to arrive in Lenox and to the B&B, the Rookwood Inn. It was the perfect location, walking distance to the village and to Tanglewood.

After unpacking we decided to venture out for a walk.... and eventually a pre-dinner cocktail. I lost the picture, but we grabbed a drink at the bar of Firefly. Cute place, it was a little loud due to a private party the next room over but we enjoyed checking the place out.

At 8pm we headed down to Alta Restaurant & Wine Bar for our dinner. We were happy to find the dining room a bit more quiet than at Firefly, we wanted to just relax and enjoy our yummy dinner.... and be able to carry on a conversation. :)

We split a bottle of 2006 Louis Latour Pinot Noir. It was yummy. We also split a camera shy crab cake and salad. The salad was delicious with greens, feta, grilled zucchini, tomatoes and cucumber.

Also had a little bread & butter.

For my main course I had the salmon. It was delicious!
It was pan seared and topped with an kalamata olive tapenade, on the side was grilled zucchini and a warm potato salad with an herb sherry vinaigrette.

After dinner we were too stuffed for dessert right away so we retreated to the bar..... as it was pouring out! I was feeling adventurous so I had a fun martini.....
this one involved mango vodka and orange juice, yum.

But soon we found room for dessert and split this chocolate mousse cake...... it of course needed a glass of red wine, I opted for a cab.

Finally the rain stopped for a bit and we were able to walk back to the inn. We had a big day ahead for Saturday and needed our beauty sleep.

Saturday we were up and out by 9am. The inn offered a breakfast, it was ok..... Apparently it wasn't exciting enough for me to photograph. I just had an english muffin, small yogurt and a bit of quiche.

We did some exploring and then headed to the morning's main event.... a roundtable discussion at Tanglewood with James Taylor, Sheryl Crow and John Williams. It was a great discussion focusing on how each of them got started in music, their influences and where you they feel the music industry is going. It was just great to see them carrying on a thoughtful conversation and even answering some questions from the crowd.

After the roundtable we were both HUNGRY!!!

So we headed back to the inn, parked and ventured back into the village. We checked out a few places and decided on the Church Street Cafe..... excellent choice. :) It was a bit busy, but so were most places due to all the concert goers in town.

My sandwich was SO GOOD!

Whole wheat w/ eggplant, tomato, greens and goat cheese.... forget if there was anything else, but it was yummy... primarily due to lots of goat cheese I think. ;) The salad it was served with was delicious as well, it was kind of a pesto barley salad w/ some carrots and celery.... yum.

We did some more exploring around down town and then headed off to Guido's Fresh Marketplace. This place was definitley a great find, full of gorgeous organic produce, fresh backed goods, beautiful deli salads & meats, lots of fabulous cheeses, just a food lovers dream! It was also PACKED with other concert goers getting their picnic fixin's.

Once we had our food it was back to the inn to pack up and head to Tanglewood. We loaded up our picnic backpack, our table and chairs.... then we were off!!

Once at Tanglewood we got our spot set up and then it was time to start the grazing and the drinking!

-we ended up with lots of snacky food..... grapes, string beans, an apple, brie, jack cheese, crackers, bruschetta topping

oh and WINE

Our main course was ..... ciabatta rolls with chicken salad and seafood salad.

It was a little cool out BUT no rain! We were so happy the weather cooperated!

While waiting for the concert to start we made a pleasant discovery..... the house music being played prior to the concert was a friend of ours, Peter Mayer!!! We were both humming along and then realized it was out of place. After looking at the program we realized a connection between Peter and one of the crew (he also had ties to Sheryl Crow as well). It was just so amazing to be seated with 20,000+ people and to hear Peter playing.... this guy played at our wedding!

Then it was time to finally enjoy some live music.....

Sheryl Crow
James Taylor
and apparently I forgot to upload a picture of Yo-Yo Ma.

It was a fabulous night of music. The mix of folk, rock and classical was wonderful. I am always amazed out how moving Yo-Yo Ma's playing is. It pretty much brought me to tears...... so beautiful.

After the concert we were very pleased with our decision to walk.... bumber to bumber traffic. We powerwalked back to the inn. Once back we dropped our stuff off, changed and headed out to check out the village. It was suprisingly quiet and we soon realized we were a bit tired..... so back to the inn we went and hit the hay.

I was very happy the next morning when I got up for my run that we hadn't stayed out later. My training schedule called for a 16 mile run, but not knowing the area all that well I decided to do a shorter run and hope that I got a longer run in later in the week. I headed out for a loop around Tanglewood and then added on a bit through town.

It was a bit foggy out at the start of my run........

Another reason why I opted for a shorter run...... all the HILLS!!!

I was able to get about 6 miles in and then headed back to the inn. We had a lack luster breakfast.... again no pictures. Some yogurt parfait and some baked french toast. After breakfast we packed up the car and did some more wandering.

Just down the street from our inn we found this gorgeous building......Ventford Hall. Unfortunately a play was going on and we weren't able to go in, but we did poke around the building and the grounds. Amazing to think that was someone's summer home.

We then headed north to check out Williamstown, home to Williams College, and then on to North Adams. In North Adams we checked out the Mass of contemporary art. But prior to doing that we had to get some food, luckily they have a restaurant there...Cafe Latino.

Since we were still on vacation, I had some wine with lunch.... glass of pinot gris.

It was perfect with my yummy fish tacos.
I was happy to see that the restaurant is commited to using as much local ingredients as possible in their food.

I was also amused to notice the trees outside the window..... growing upside down. Inside the museum we noticed their gift shop sold maple syrup made from the trees.

Unfortunately by the time we got done with lunch, we were short on time and didn't really get to check out much of the museum...... next trip though!
At least our trip home was fun.... well at least the start. Route 2 out of North Adams has some fun twists and turns, as well as some fun climbs and descents...... great for the convertible on a sunny day!

It was a great trip, I really hope we are able to go again next summer!! Maybe next time we will bring some friends. But it was good to get away...... just the two of us.

Hope you had a great weekend!!!


1 comment: