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Trip Report Museums, Great Food & Movies in the Berkshires - short trip report

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We just returned from a wonderful 3-day weekend in the Berkshires & I want to thank everyone for their help in planning our trip. Some background first: My sister-in-law & I have January birthdays so we have been celebrating by going away for the long weekend for several years now. We invite our husbands to join us, of course !!  So there are the 4 of us, all in our early 60’s. We followed many suggestions for sightseeing but ended up dining at restaurants that we chose more or less for convenience and/or interest. We enjoyed everything we saw & loved all of our meals; we didn’t have one bad meal.

DAY ONE:
Arrived at Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge at noon. Admission: $15.00
We have been here before and love this wonderful museum!! It’s a museum that I would never tire of. We spent about 2 ½ hours here. There were several special exhibits: Home for the Holidays, which I’ve never seen before & is great!! I especially love the painting of Santa drinking Coca Cola. Rockwell was commissioned by the Coca Cola Co to do an ad for them but they were initially concerned that Santa looked too jovial & happy & the public might think he was drinking an alcoholic beverage! Another special exhibit was about FDR & the Four Freedoms. We attended two half-hour talks: one about the new Roosevelt memorial park under construction in NYC, & one about FDR’s Four Freedoms speech & his representation as a superhero!

We then had a late lunch at MAIN STREET CAFÉ in Stockbridge. The food was delicious & reasonable. My SIL & I shared a turkey & brie sandwich and an avocado & tomato quesadilla. Our husbands had sandwiches (don’t remember which ones) & cream of mushroom soup. We also had peppermint stick hot chocolate, which was to die for!!! Yummy hot chocolate with a peppermint stick, topped with whipped cream & pieces of peppermint.

We then drove to Pittsfield where we checked into our lodgings for two nights, the WHITE HORSE INN, on Rt 7. It is not luxurious but very nice & recently renovated. I definitely recommend this B & B. The owner, Gary, & his father are warm & inviting & helpful. The rate was $105 per night, including a full breakfast. The bathrooms were a little small, but that didn’t bother us at all.

Because we had a late lunch, we decided to go to the movies first, then have a late dinner. We saw The King’s Speech at the Beacon Cinema on Rt 7, which is a great movie with superb acting. (Colin Firth won the Golden Globes last night for his role of King George VI.)

We initially wanted to have dinner at Trattoria Rustica but their last reservation was for 8:30pm & the movie ended at 9:30pm. Gary had recommended BRIX, a French bistro right around the corner from the Beacon Cinema. All 4 of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We shared an appetizer of mussels. My husband & I had trout for dinner, my SIL had duck & my BIL had the flank steak. We shared 2 yummy desserts: the bread pudding & crème brulee. The waiter wasn’t pushy but he did recommend buying a bottle of wine, because we got more wine for our money as opposed to buying glasses of wine. All in all, it was a great dining experience, & I recommend this restaurant.

DAY TWO:
Our breakfast at the Inn consisted of a buffet of various cereals & granola, yogurt, grapes, bananas, banana bread & toast; and each morning Gary cooks a hot meal. This morning he cooked a very tasty frittata. The coffee was very good, too.

For sightseeing today, we drove to Williamstown & visited the CLARK ART INSTITUTE, which is an AMAZING art museum. It is larger & more impressive than we were expecting. We saw originals by Winslow Homer, Frederick Remington, John Singer Sargent, Monet & other Impressionists. I bought a small reproduction of Sargent’s Smoke of Ambergris (my husband kept asking me “where are you going to hang it?” ) I’m still not sure but I love it so I will find a spot for it!!! We also saw Albrecht Durer”s special exhibit, which was interesting but after awhile we became a little bored, so we saw about one half of his exhibit. He is from the 15th century (I think) and did etchings, woodcuts, engravings, etc. Strange work, interesting for awhile, & I like learning about artists & people I previously knew nothing about, but he’s really not my cup of tea. We spent about 3 hours at this museum & love it & would definitely visit again. Admission – FREE from November through May! We did purchase the audio guides for $5, which I highly recommend because you really do appreciate the art work more.

Then we had a late lunch at SAIGON VIETNAMESE restaurant located at 66 Spring St in Williamstown. The food was very good & reasonable, & I recommend this restaurant, too.

We decided to skip Mass MoCA because guess what our husbands wanted to watch??? The PATRIOTS GAME, of course!!! I’m not a sports fanatic but wouldn’t deny them the pleasure of watching the game, but of course we were all disappointed they lost. Gary recommended Halpins in Lenox, just over the border from Pittsfield, on Rt 7 as a good spot to watch the game, so that’s where we went. We had drinks, chicken wings & nachos.

After the game we decided to go back to the Beacon Cinema to see Black Swan, a very intense & creepy movie, & then discovered this morning that Natalie Portman won the Golden Globe for her role, which was much deserved.

DAY THREE

This morning’s breakfast at the Inn was the usual buffet suspects in addition to Gary’s homemade thick French toast with blueberries & raspberries. Another filling & delicious breakfast.

After we checked out, we went to the BERKSHIRE MUSEUM, which we also enjoyed very much. And I would like to thank Bachslunch for his/her suggestion to go here, because otherwise we might not have. It’s a lot of fun, with exhibits on dinosaurs, birds, insects, two mummies (father & son) who were separated by 80 miles when the son was discovered at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie!!! I thought this fact was very interesting & I was happy to hear they were reunited. The museum has a wonderful collection of the Hudson River painters, too, as well as sculpture, and a very informative exhibit on scientists, authors & innovators who are from the Berkshires. Admission: $15.00. We also spent about 2 ½ - 3 hours here.

We then drove to Great Barrington with the intention of having a late, large lunch at Naji’s, a Lebanese Restaurant, but it was closed on Mondays. I was thinking of then trying Route 7 Grill, so we drove into downtown Gr Barrington but couldn’t find it. Maybe we didn’t drive far enough but we were hungry so we turned around & went to a Greek restaurant we had passed on our way in, the AEGEAN BREEZE, another delicious find!!! We shared Falafel & grilled squid for appetizers. My SIL & I had grilled lamb chops with Greek salad & tasty fries (thick round slices of potato). My husband had a HUGE slice of Moussaka & my BIL had a gyro. Both of their dishes also came with Greek salad & fries. We also shared two desserts: Baklava, & a custard with lemon sauce. We love this restaurant, the service was great & the food was delicious. We can honestly say we loved every restaurant we tried this weekend.

So, it was now 4PM, and time to drive home. All in all, we had a wonderful visit & found there was plenty to do in the winter, even though we are not skiers.

I hope other travelers find my report helpful! I wanted to write it immediately before I forgot any important details.

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