Tuesday, May 31, 2016

USA & Canada 2016 - Exploring West Massachusetts

We drove West from Boston along one of the smaller highways. For a lot of our day that meant driving past scenes like this.

One of the reasons we went on a road less travelled was because we wanted to visit Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Seeing the Loggerheads on the sign of this junk shop made me feel at home.

The welcoming sign about parking would have gone down a treat in the original Shropshire as well.

Like the original Shrewsbury, the Massachusetts version has some historical old buildings.

And a historical past, commemorated on various plaques.

The final place we stopped in Shrewsbury was a mall down the road that had an International House of Pancakes (IHOP). I have a lot of fondness for IHOP but didn't really like the look of their new pancakes.

Further on from Shrewsbury is Northampton, where we had arranged to visit the studio of one of our favouritre cartoonists, Hilary Price. (We had met her back in April when she visited Shrewsbury UK for the cartoon festival.)

As we left I took a pic of this panel from one of her cartoons about relationships. This is me and Cathy. I often seem to be grabbed to look at 'bugs' or whatever.

We then went South to Springfield. One the way we stopped at the Dinosaur Footprints park, which is just off the road. I am being a dinosaur in this picture. (That's our hire car behind us)

My hand in a dino footprint. Dinosaur footprints are the state fossil of Masschusetts.

One of Springfield's claims to fame is that it is where Dr Seuss, author of The Cat and the Hat and many other books, grew up. We went to the Dr Seuss Memorial Garden to see the bronze statues of many of his most famous characters. We met The Cat in the Hat...

...the Lorax...

Horton, who famously heard a Who (this picture id just his trunk!)...

...and several other characters.

We then drove along Mulberry Street, where Dr Seuss's grandparents lived and the name of the street on which he set his very first book.

The final stop on our mini tour of the area was The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Eric Carle is the author of The Hungry Caterpillar, and several other picture books. I have to admit I gained a new appreciation for his work from our visit to 'The Carle' as they call it. It was a fab museum and we could have spent a lot longer there.

Outside, Cathy saw a bug (not an iridescent one, but close!)

Inside there are some bespoke huge colour pieces by Eric Carle.

And some great exhibitions.

We then went to a nearby farmers deli for lunch. We had spicy dill pickle flavour potato chips. They were indeed spicy!

And then we moved on, leaving Massachusetts and entering New York State, making our way towards a site of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands of people.

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