Monday, August 14, 2006

Things I learned in the Berkshires

1. It is possible to visit the Berkshires in the summer and come away with zero mosquito bites. It just involves a lot of long sleeves and very little time outside at night. My quest was infinitely aided by the deliciously cool temperatures.

2. When the (friendly) locals direct you to a scenic spot, they really know what they are talking about. DON'T DEVIATE. If you rashly decide to follow signs posted by some employee of the Mt. Washington State Forest, you will find they abruptly end just when you need them the most, and you will wander around, wasting gasoline, for at least half an hour until another set of friendly locals puts you back on the right path.

3. It is impossible to go into only two stores at an outlet mall. The itch to score bargains overrides cranky, overtired children, looming loads of laundry, and the prospect of a 150-mile drive home. What started as a clear-cut set of goals--Rockport shoes for Taxman and Oshkosh jeans for Miss M--turned into meandering through Rockport, Van Heusen, Gap, Carter's, Oshkosh, and Little Me. And I got nothing!

4. When your two-year-old, who still believes that sentence structure is NOT for her, tries to dictate your path through the woods, DON'T LET HER.*

5. There is nothing like a weekend in close quarters with another couple, even if they are friends, to make you so grateful to have the spouse that you do. I never win anything like raffles or door prizes, but I won the husband lottery.

*More on this later.

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