Location: Boston, Massachusetts and The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Now, I have to admit that our latest adventure was a little bit of a fail. Boston has been getting kicked pretty hard by Mother Nature- over 110.3 inches of snowfall this winter- a national record. So, of course K and I had the (non)sense to leave a finally temperate Ohio, and journey to an East Coast still enveloped in freezing rain and snow during our Spring Break. To make matters even more comical, we thought we would be able to go hiking and camping on our return journey through the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. Sometimes our excitement about leaving Columbus clouds our judgement, it seems.
It was harsh, to say the least. Boston driving mixed with Boston curtness missed with Boston drunkenness (we visited the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day) were more than enough to spoil our time. That is, until our warm friends James and Emma welcomed us into their gorgeous home. We ate at some of the best restaurants, tried the hoppiest beer, and traded silly nicknames. It may have been expensive (my pocketbook is still aching), but it was worth the trip.
I have to admit that part of the reason that we visited the city is that my mind is preoccupied with the impending graduate school decision. I have to accept admission somewhere by April 15, and I’m having the most difficult time choosing a program. One of the 4 schools I’m deciding between is Simmons College- established in 1899, this once entirely female school now world renowned for its Archival Studies program. I thought the trip presented the perfect opportunity for a campus visit so I could get a sense of the place. Right on the border of the Back Bay Fens- a unique urban wild and remnants of an ancient saltwater marshland in the middle of the city- the school is in a well-connected academic area. There are more museums within a two block radius (including the Isabella Gardner Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) than there are in the entire city of Columbus. Though the library is comfortable and the buildings are modern, the campus is incredibly small, and I’m not sure I can see myself there.
Nonetheless, we made the most of our time in the city. We saw Andrew Bird’s Sonic Arboretum at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Arboretum is a sculpture garden designed by instrument maker Ian Schneller, and features music by Andrew Bird. The exhibit explores the relationship of sound in the natural world. To learn more, check out this link. Though we mostly came for the Arboretum, the ICA is a structure that is work of art in itself, and we also visited a film and sculpture exhibit about the American South as a real and imaginary place. We bonded over some pretty strange avant-garde film before headed home to watch the remaining Oscar nominees.
During the remainder of our visit, we visited Trillium Brewery- a relatively new local Brewery established by a married couple featuring the beer from their wedding day. We drank growlers of the local brew. I also tried some Down East cider- highly recommended, ate too many tacos, drank amazingly strong coffee, and some amazing Blues themed sushi from Shojo- the site of Emma and James’s first date. I managed to convince the kids to briefly celebrate the biggest Pi(e) Day of our lives (you know, 3/14/15 at 9:26) by getting personal chocolate cream pies from Sweets, a local bakery only a few blocks from their house. Turns out, they don’t have the best pie, but their lemon poppy seed biscuits are to die for.
On the way home, we drove through the Pocono Mountains. We got to our destination- Hickory Run State Park- later in the day, and the sunset cast gorgeous shadows over the surrounding landscapes. Despite our realization that staying overnight in the yurt could not be a reality, and that many of the hiking trails were snowed in preventing much exploration, we still managed to catch some pretty amazing views and National landmarks.
Check it out for yourselves!
Spring is upon us, so I hope you are all venturing into the sunshine,