Making up the vacation as you go

Pumpkin bread or banana bread at the local farm store? Why not both?

Drink or ice cream to cool off on a warm day? Why not both?

After all, it’s vacation, so why not both?


As soon as Suzi suggested making the 90-minute drive to Amherst, I knew why.

“You just want one of those popovers that are as big as your head.”

I’m generally not a big fan of popovers — a pastry that’s mostly air feels like false advertising to me — but the popovers at Judie’s in Amherst are so good, especially with apple butter.

Even if they’re only roughly the size of a man’s foot, and not an actual head.

And you can get them stuffed with something, so they’re not just air. But even if you don’t, you almost make sure you get the popover first (or order something that comes with one) and then pick your meal.


Either way, don’t come if you’re on a diet. It has no chance.

Probably a good idea to walk around town after you’re done, just to burn it off.


Speaking of messing up your diet, the breads banana and pumpkin may not even be the main baked draws at Atkins. That would be the cider doughnuts (got two packages of six) … if it’s not the pies.

And that’s before I had to pull myself away from buying everything on the shelf of maple products.

Oh yeah … they have fruits and vegetables and stuff like that, too. Some of that I’m even OK with, like the in-season corn on the cob and the blueberries that will become muffins.


It must be weird working on a college campus during the summer.

The work being done has to get done, especially now that school will be starting within the next month, but the thing that makes a school, a school isn’t happening.

No one’s going to class. Well, maybe not no one. There may be students taking summer classes, but you’re more likely to see a single family taking a campus tour or a lone woman doing what looks like her barre routine on a bridge over the lake.

But it’s also strange visiting Mount Holyoke during the summer, both because it’s Suzi’s alma mater and because we’re usually there for her reunion, which means not only are we used to seeing it full of students, there are hundreds of alums around, and everything is a flurry of activity … one after the other after the other.

Check in, find out what dorm you’re staying in (something Suzi has decided she’s done with, especially living so close), find out when friends are arriving, go to choir rehearsal, arrange dinner, eat dinner, class gathering, breakfast, dress for parade, parade, meetings … etc. etc. etc.

It’s fun, but it’s hectic.

Dropping in on a random August Tuesday afternoon, however? At your leisure.


And that’s pretty much the point of this vacation.

Normally, our vacations are planned months in advance. Guidebooks are usually involved. Lists always are … for one of us anyway.

Although there’s always room for improvising, we generally plan out our activities in advance to make sure we don’t miss out on anything.

This one’s different, though. It’s the first time we’ve both taken a vacation where we didn’t have any plans at the same time. I usually take one a year and do random things around the area; she usually takes the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, but that’s just hectic.

But we’re both off this week, and hadn’t planned anything.

Which is how driving up to Portland (the one in Maine, not the one in Oregon) for a Sea Dogs game Thursday afternoon turned into an overnight trip into Friday … at least it did until I got a text from my dentist’s office reminding me of my appointment Friday morning.

I tried to reschedule, but there wasn’t anything convenient … so we decided we’d make the trip up the day before and do Wednesday overnight.

We found a hotel near the city that looks pretty nice, and we’ll be on our way.


11 thoughts on “Making up the vacation as you go

  1. 1. I LOVE the cider doughnuts from Atkins! They’re so good.
    2. I can vouch that working on a college campus during the summer is weird. I’ve had people ask me if have the summer off, and as staff, I don’t. We’re all still there haha. It’s just a little quieter, and I’ve been working on projects I didn’t get to during the school year. We already had the summer orientations and the students will be moving back in on the 23rd and 24th, and classes start the 26th.


    1. That’s right … living in Connecticut, you’re not too far from Atkins!

      As I was writing about college over the summer, I was looking through your site to see if you had written anything about it, because I thought you had. I didn’t see anything, though, although I could have missed it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was pretty sure you had written something about work, but I had thought there was one solely about working in the summer. I know I was wondering what it was like for you while walking around the Mount Holyoke campus the other day.

        Liked by 1 person

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