|A pretty spot in front of the Red Lion Inn.|
I don't recall having been through that part of Massachusetts before - through the Berkshires, into Great Barrington and north up to Stockbridge which is famous for a Norman Rockwell painting of its Main Street, among other things. Quintessential New England at its best. The only thing missing was the white church with a tall steeple in the center of town, but then again it likely exists and I just didn't see enough of the side streets.
I met my friends at the historic Red Lion Inn which was splendidly decorated for the holidays. There was a fire going in the lobby where a large Christmas tree was laden with what seemed like hundreds of ornaments. Very quaint and cozy. I could have settled in for a hot toddy and called it a day, but I only had the afternoon to catch up.
|The festive porch, decorated with kissing balls and lit trees on the roof.|
|Even on a cold day, this is a lovely spot to take a quick rest.|
|The Christmas tree in the lobby.|
We had lunch at a lovely cafe where we lingered to talk and talk and talk. My friend, Louise, is amazing. She is inspiring, funny, loving, warm, hilarious, generous, energetic and largely responsible for some of the best times in my life. I went to Europe for the first time because she invited me to go. I worked and lived in Antarctica because she had been there before me and knew all the contacts to get a job. Even beyond that, she has always been a good friend, tried and true, no matter what. How lucky I am!
|Louise in a phone box in Vienna.|
After our meal, we shopped a bit and then wandered into Williams & Sons Country Store. It's a general store that is full of nostalgia (old tins and signs, original shelves and fixtures) and has a bit of everything - from soup to nuts, as they say. What a fun place to meander. I was happy to see that Swedish fish are still a penny each, just like they were when I was in elementary school and shopped at Kaz's, the mom & pop store I passed on the way to and from school every day.
|Gingerbread house (structurally sound but inedible) in the window at Williams & Sons.|