Another Whirlwind Tour of New England

 

Massachusetts hills by JulieAnn Corbin

Tomorrow morning I head to New England once again and I’m so looking forward to it! Last time I visited was at the end of March/beginning of April and I had the misfortune of driving through an unexpected snowstorm on the way home. As it’s now May and very summer-like, I do hope that won’t be happening again!

As usual, I’ll be cramming a lot into my visits and it’s all of my own choice. My days in Upstate New York are relatively predictable, but I don’t consider that a bad thing as I’m quite happy and never bored. However, driving out to southern New Hampshire/northern Massachusetts offers me new, interesting adventures not possible where I live. I’ll be spending a day in Boston, hopefully visiting Newburyport and Amesbury, helping set up for the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness Spring Planting Moon Pow-wow in Marshfield, MA and attending the event on Saturday. I love visiting with my friends from the MCNAA, helping out however I can and dancing in the circle. I’m sure I’ll have a wonderful time!

One thing that surprises most people about my road trips is that I actually enjoy the drive out. The drive home always feels a bit longer, but on the drive out, I love watching the scenery change as I move east across New York State and enter the tall hills/mountains of western Massachusetts. I always know I’m getting closer to MA when the hills grow taller and the road becomes more winding. There are some who don’t do well in thruway/interstate traffic, but I’ve become accustomed to it and I set my cruise at a safe, reasonable speed.

So tomorrow morning after my girls get on the bus and head to school and I’ve dropped Jazzmin at the doggy hotel, I’ll be stopping at Dunkin Donuts to grab my usual large coffee and breakfast sandwich before hitting the thruway east. Look out, New England, here comes another whirlwind tour by yours truly! 😉

 

Positive Omens and Praying Mantises

I’ve been busy getting ready for my New England trip the past two days. Yesterday I did a majority of my packing which was a good thing because last night I received several direct assignments that needed to be completed before I leave. I finished them all today in time to take Jazzmin on a short walk. It was supposed to be mostly sunny all day but that didn’t quite happen. Instead it was mostly cloudy with peaks of sun every couple of hours. Regardless, Jazz and I were happy to get out in the warm fall weather.

On almost all of my walks recently I kept seeing praying mantises that I was too late to save. I kept hoping really hard that I’d find a live one in the road that I could actually help across. They’re beautiful predators but they don’t move especially fast so they don’t stand a chance against cars. I imagine they’re drawn into the road by the crickets and grasshoppers I see jumping across and they don’t realize the danger they’re putting themselves in.

Today just as I turned onto a nearby road I saw something bright green toward the shoulder. I moved quickly toward it and was very pleased to find that it was a living, unharmed praying mantis. He wasn’t moving at all as I crouched down and extended my hand toward him. As soon as I did so, he climbed into my palm and held up his front leg as if pointing me in the direction he wanted to go. I was so happy to find a live praying mantis that I quickly carried him across the road as he continue to crawl slowly along my palm and onto my wrist. I set him down gently in the grass of the opposite shoulder and he moved on into the grass, quickly blending in.

I took finally finding a live praying mantis to save as a very positive omen about my upcoming trip! Jazz and I walked a bit further and into a recently mowed field. We walked to the top of the hill and looked out across the landscape as several small white and yellow butterflies fluttered around nearby. The foliage colors were mostly yellow but it was still a lovely sight to enjoy.

My phone camera couldn't capture the butterflies but they're there.

My phone camera couldn’t capture the butterflies but they’re there.

For perhaps the first time since I started driving to New England two years ago this November, I’m actually all prepared and ready to go the night before. Usually I get up extra early the day I leave to take care of last minute details but not this time. I’m going to pack the car tonight because there’s a chance of rain tomorrow morning and I don’t want everything getting wet. Once the girls are both off the school and Jazzmin is at the boarders, I’m New England bound once more and off on more unforgettable adventures!

 

A New and Overdue Adventure!

View of boats in the Merrimack River from the Newburyport boardwalk

View of boats on the Merrimack River from the Newburyport boardwalk

I shared my bed with someone last night. There’s nothing scandalous about that because the someone was my 6-year-old daughter, Jaycie. She tried sleeping in my bed Sunday night but wouldn’t settle and eventually returned to her own bed. Last night though, she was all about being with her mommy. My daughters are going back with their father this afternoon and I won’t see them again for several days so I would have been more than happy to have both of them in my bed. My 10-year-old daughter, Jordan is too old for such things though. So I was content with Jaycie snoring beside me and only occasionally kicking or kneeing me in her sleep.

Tomorrow morning I’m setting out on yet another road trip to Massachusetts. This one marks my return to the North Shore area and will include visits to Amesbury and Newburyport. This is the trip that fell through for Memorial Day. No falling through this time. Reservations have been made, my suitcase is partially packed and boarding for Jazzmin is all set. Jazz of course knows something is up and has been stuck to me like a shadow that I keep tripping over. I will miss her immensely but last time I took her to North Shore, things didn’t go so well. Not her fault really. I’ll take her again when we function better as a pack.

I am extremely excited about my upcoming trip! I plan on taking tons of pictures and jotting down as many details as I can in notebooks and in my laptop. I know it will be a new and unforgettable story! I don’t know how much time I’ll have for blogging or keeping up with social media because I’ll be busy living in the moment, but I’ll update when I can as I take in all the sights.

There’s a chance of thunderstorms pretty much every day for the rest of eternity but I’m not going to let a little rain dampen my spirits. I’ll just have to cram more spare clothing into my suitcase should I get wet. I’m awful at packing light but I have learned that packing the kitchen sink is unnecessary when there’s a sink in the hotel.