Fabio and I spent an amazing weekend with my Aunt CC and Uncle Steve at their house in Otis, Massachusetts, but unfortunately we found out some sad news on Sunday night which definitely put a damper on the trip. Fabio’s grandfather, who we call Abuelo, passed away on Sunday at the age of 93.
Fabio’s grandfather lives in Bolivia, and I am so incredibly thankful that we were able to make a trip down there in 2014 to meet him. Though he’s lived in Bolivia for quite some time now, he lived with Fabio and his family for a while when Fabio was growing up, so they had a pretty close relationship.
I am so sad for Fabio and his family right now, but I know that Abuelo lived a long, happy life surrounded by people who love him. He wasn’t sick and didn’t suffer much – he was only in the hospital for two days before passing. Fabio is on his way down to Bolivia right now for the funeral (I wasn’t able to take more time off work since we just returned from the honeymoon), and I am sending all of my love down there with him. Rest in peace, Abuelo!
Despite the sad news about Abuelo, we still had a really nice weekend in Massachusetts. Here’s my recap!
Fabio and I drove up to Massachusetts after work on Friday evening. We had a few pit stops to make first, so we didn’t really get on the highway until around 8:30 p.m.
At that point, we had a scary driving incident about 10 minutes into our drive – we narrowly avoided hitting a small deer, only to have car next to us clip it and send it flying into my passenger door, which left a nice dent, made a loud boom, and scared the crap out of us. Thank goodness it didn’t have antlers or it would have shattered the window for sure. It was definitely scary!
After that, the rest of our 6.5-hour drive was uneventful, and we arrived at 3:00 in the morning. We spent a few minutes chatting with CC and Steve over wine and late-night snacks before crawling into bed. The birds were chirping and the sun was starting to rise when we fell asleep!
We slept in until about 10 a.m. on Saturday, and then enjoyed a nice breakfast at CC and Steve’s house. I just love it here!
The weather wasn’t looking too great on Saturday and we had afternoon plans to attend a concert at Tanglewood, so we stayed close to home during the day. The boys played a bunch of lawn games (kan jam, horseshoes, and a golf chipping game they made up) while CC and I lounged on the deck enjoying the intermittent sunshine, and crossing our fingers that the rain would stay away for just a little longer.
Eventually, it was time to head out for the concert! We drove over to the town of Lenox, MA, for some dinner before the concert, and then headed to the venue, Tanglewood. This concert venue is super popular for the Berkshires, so we’d been dying to check it out ever since CC and Steve bought a house here a few years ago.
It was drizzling when we arrived, so we were glad we had tickets under the “shed” area, which is the covered section of the venue.
There were plenty of people with lawn seats who were stuck out in the elements, but most of them looked pretty prepared with lots of umbrellas! The good thing about Tanglewood is that you can bring in your own coolers with alcohol and snacks, so it was really cool to see some of the elaborate set-ups. Some people even had tables, chairs, and candelabras!
We didn’t bring a cooler ourselves because we knew you weren’t allowed to bring them into the shed area, so we enjoyed some beers in a designated area of the concert venue. Cheers!
We also walked over to see the beautiful Stockbridge Bowl, which is a big lake with some beautiful rolling hills around it. It was pretty hard to see through the mist, but you could tell it was beautiful!
Then it was concert time! We wound up seeing John Mellencamp on Saturday evening, and I really enjoyed hearing his classic hits like Jack and Diane, Hurts So Good, and Pink Houses.
He did an amazing job and was a really great performer! His band really killed it too, especially the female violinist. Wow!
When we got home, we had some late-night dessert of homemade peanut butter pie courtesy of CC.
Then the boys played a bunch of games downstairs (per usual) before we all called it a night.
CC and Steve had two friends coming down on Sunday, so we went to the nearby diner for a quick breakfast and then spent some time getting the house ready for the day ahead.
When their friends arrived at a little past noon, we got the kayaks and paddleboards ready for an afternoon on the lake!
CC and Steve’s friends brought their adorable lab Ellie along for the trip (we sadly left Jack with my mom this time) and she even went on the kayak!
It was SUCH a beautiful afternoon on the lake with perfect temperatures and plenty of sunshine, and we wore ourselves out paddling around for a couple of hours.
When we got back to the house, we enjoyed a lovely happy hour on the deck!
It was around this time that Fabio got the call about his grandfather, so we stepped away from the festivities for a while so he could talk to his family members and coordinate his trip to Bolivia. It was a much more subdued night for us after that, but when we were ready to rejoin the group we enjoyed a delicious dinner of BBQ chicken, ribs, corn, and squash salad. Everyone was very understanding and sympathetic to Fabio, and I’m glad we had them there for extra support.
Monday morning was another beautiful day in Otis!
We all decided we wanted to go on an early morning bike ride, so we got ourselves ready to go and hit the road! I borrowed CC’s mountain bike, and though it was pretty challenging to keep up with the rest of the group who were all on road bikes, I think I did a pretty good job!
The views were gorgeous as well, and I enjoyed checking out all the lakes and ponds that we passed.
This was my first time riding a bike while being clipped in (other than on a stationary bike), so it took me some time to practice clipping out before stopping, but eventually I got the hang of it. I’m sure I’ll get better with practice too!
We wound up covering 20 miles (well, 19.9, which drove CC and me crazy) before heading back to the house.
At this point I did some work for a while, and then later in the afternoon we headed out for some more stand up paddle-boarding and kayaking!
We took it easier on Monday and spent more time relaxing and soaking up the sun on our boards compared to the more strenuous paddling from the day before. Ellie came again, and rode in the car with us on the way back.
In the afternoon, we had another concert at Tanglewood on the agenda (like I said, it’s a big summertime thing to do out in the Berkshires!), this time to see James Taylor. We stopped for dinner in Lenox again and enjoyed a nice meal outside at Firefly.
CC and I both ordered the white peach sangria, which was quite delicious.
And we got a bunch of appetizers to share for the table. Yum!
For my entree, I got a salad made with arugula, goat cheese, blueberries, strawberries, pistachios, and lobster, with a side order of truffle fries for good measure. 🙂 It was such a fun way to kick off the evening!
Then it was concert time! The Stockbridge Bowl was looking much prettier than it did on Saturday, now that the skies were clear.
We also brought a cooler and a picnic blanket this time, which meant we could enjoy our beverages right on the lawn.
The whole group of us!
The vibe for this concert at Tanglewood was really fun with lots of families picnicking, drinking, and playing lawn games. James Taylor performs every July 4 weekend at Tanglewood, and, according to Steve, it’s basically a Berkshires right of passage to go see him. There were tons of families who clearly come to the concert every year, and Fabio and I thought this would make a really fun tradition. We hope we can go back next year!
When it was time for the concert, we moved our cooler over to a spot near our seats (which were under the shed again) and we picked a spot that was also close to the bathrooms and the exit. Excellent game plan!
Though we couldn’t take our cooler or our drinks into the shed, we chose a spot under a tree that was pretty inconspicuous, and no one wound up stealing it or anything while we were at our seats. During the intermission we all came out to enjoy another drink, which worked out perfectly!
Truthfully James Taylor is not my favorite performer – I think his music is a little slow – but we had such a fun time at the concert anyway! I would absolutely go back next year; the atmosphere is just so fun!!
On Tuesday morning we left Otis by 7:30 a.m. since we had a long drive ahead of us. We made it home in the early afternoon and then I dropped Fabio off at the airport. Now I’m working on this post and trying to decide if I feel like venturing out amidst the crowds to watch any fireworks. I’m thinking watching them at home on TV in my PJs is sounding like a better option after this busy weekend! 🙂
Question(s) of the day: How often do you go to concerts? Do you like watching fireworks?