Massachusetts Vacation 2014 – S. Hadley & “The Outlets”

Last I left off, we had finished our Concord adventures, met up with friends at Montague, and had just finished Hadman’s naptime in the car as we drove to our good friends in South Hadley. Today, I’ll finish up our trip recap.

I can hear the cheers from here. 😉

When we arrived, I got the super fun job of watching the bambinos so that Dave could bring our friend Josh to pick up his car, which was getting fixed.

Our friends, Josh and Missy, have an adorable, SUPER well-behaved little guy. It was awesome to see how much bigger and more active he was (scooting along and walking with help), knowing that the next time we see him, he’ll probably be walking quite well on his own and able to hold his own with the well-meaning but comes-on-too-strong tornado that is Hadley. I was ecstatic how well they played with each other, and the fact that Hadman was, for the most part, able to share and didn’t have any issues sharing the love.



When all the adults (including mommies) were reunited, we sent the guys to get some dinner, got the kiddos bathed and down for bed (thank you, pack ‘n play!), and hunkered down for some “adult brownie sundaes” (brownies+ice cream+a splash of Kahlua, BTW.) It was so lovely to catch up with fellow parents and talk about old times (like, pre-Dave-and-I-dating times; I’m always fascinated to hear about the old adventures). Fun, relaxing, and awesome.

Hadley was up by 6:30, so I quickly got ready and packed things up. Since Josh had to work, the rest of us ran to an incredible local place for breakfast (this is when the schedule got crunched and I wasn’t able to meet up with my old friend, boo; gotta admit to the restrictions of a toddler and an inability to do EVERYTHING on one’s list). The food was local and delish, so it was nice to get a good meal in. It’s hard to know whether your next meal will be stellar when you’re traveling, y’know.

Since the weather was a bit overcast, we decided to hit up the Carle with Missy and the little guys. It’s so close and she’d never been, so it was fun to introduce her to the joint!

I wrote about our visit last year, but it seems like Had can enjoy more and try out different aspects of things every time we visit. Like the fact that he’s ALMOST at the age to sit still and try the craft projects…almost. He helped me glue and stuck a couple of pieces of tissue paper onto card stock, but I finished the rest. Whatevs. Here’s what some of that area looked like (there were classes for adults happening and a bunch of other kids, so I didn’t want to invade privacy):


Dude. I want to recycle crayons into little molds like these! I don’t care if they’re star-shaped or what. Melting more than one color creates the “Eric Carle Effect” which is absolutely awesome. Who knew I’d be so excited?


Note for future kiddie area: Use a tension rod, rings, and these cheap plastic binder sheets to hold artwork. Cheap and ingenious. Also beautiful when the sun shone through the windows.

Oh, yes, and there were toys!

So, after hands-on stuff, we hit up the 8-minute video of “Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed” (the book of which we have at home) and I was flabbergasted that he sat still for it. I mean, it was short, but considering his lack of willingness for the short Concord video, it was awesome. Oh, and the book is about being true to oneself (“Does it hurt anyone to be different? No.”), which is equally awesome.


Enthralled.

Equally enthralling? The library (no, really…books AND toys? This kid’s idea of heaven) and the large “very hungry caterpillar” sculpture…cutout…thingamajigger.

(Taking a picture of Dave taking a picture of Hadman? Why not?)

After picking a few cool things from the gift shop, Missy talked us into hitting up a local farm shop (which was actually the size of a grocery store!). It also worked perfectly to grab some things we didn’t have at home AND a salad from the salad bar for the road.

On our way home, we stopped at the outlet center in Lee. I’ve been desperately seeking clothes for back-to-school and everyday (particularly tops), so Dave played the hero-of-the-day staying in the car with a sleeping Hadley (then keeping him occupied when he awoke) while I darted from one store to the next. I did end up with some fun, colorful, modern stuff from, of all places, Banana Republic and Ann Taylor, then we did a quick diaper change and headed home…but not before an impromptu celebratory ride or two…



We both agreed that, while we had a really fun time, it was good to be returning to our little boys at home and to have Sunday to unwind a bit before returning to normalcy.

Now, I still need to plan a family day to go hit up a local beach to fit in some of the “relaxation” part of summer! We also hope to take a day trip to Old Forge at the foothills of the Adirondacks; they have an awesome farmers’ market on Fridays, and we can visit all the places we hit up when we were kids — hello, putt-putt golf and Pied Piper ice cream!

So…whew! Happy to have these wonderful memories, but it was such a whirlwind! (One reason I blog about silly details like this; horrible memory.)

What’ve you been up to this summer? 🙂 Any shopping? Museum-attending? History-buffing? Antiquing? Do tell!

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