Classic Amy Joanne

All Things Art & Home

Shaker Village 1 (2)

My Mom taught us when vacationing to experience things, to be curious, to learn, to venture off the beaten path and to love our history.

 We had our share of tents, fishing and boating while we were a young family…things my Dad loved, but when my Mom planned vacation it was to visit and learn and experience things.  We were not beach, boardwalk, cruisers or amusement park dwellers…..we traveled to learn and experience.

I didn’t appreciate this as a child ~ of course, but I have grown to enjoy visiting such places and learning about this great land.

Typically traveling to the New England states…where the rugged coast calls our name…not to mention the cooler temps!  Although we had fun times thru Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio too.

Yep, while most of my friends where lounging on the Jersey beaches…..we were off experiencing and touring.  I’m not talking stuffy museums behind glass, but experiencing ‘living’ history.

Have you ever toured an actual cranberry bog and seen the harvesting in action?  Have you ever walked thru the hidden staircase at the House of Seven Gables?  Have you ever smelled the cobblestone in Salem and heard the real story?  Have you ever sat and dreamed on the rugged coast by the Portland Head Lighthouse?

As an adult I have learned to appreciate this and am grateful I have experienced all we have………Thanks Mom.


This past weekend Jerry and I headed north for a few stolen moments (I promised to unplug)……we visited Pittsfield, Sturbridge and the surrounding areas in MA.

Day 1

After a five-hour car ride from home,  we stopped at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield MA.

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The shopping was more up my ally than Jerry’s…but the gardens themselves are worth the stop.  We spent a few hours just smelling all the scents and picking and choosing a few to bring home.

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of course I was drawn to all the Chalkboard Art!

We then ventured to our hotel in Pittsfield MA, another hour to go.  Once we arrived at our hotel we made sure to ask ‘where do the locals eat?’….because that is where the good food is.

This lead us to an eatery called ‘Roasted Garlic’, and let me tell you ~ we ate there for several meals, it was that good.  I recommend everything!

Off to bed.

Day 2

Our next stop was ‘The Hancock Shaker Village’

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Having visited the Shaker Village about 4 times in my life….each time learning something new and appreciating it even more.

The Shaker’s are unlike the Amish, they welcomed anything that made work more efficient.  The were entrepeneurs, inventors and believed in quality workmanship.  At the village the ‘stage is set’ during a time when the Shaker’s were most active.

Shaker boxes, Shaker seeds, Shaker chairs, Shaker baskets

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The round barn alone… quality workmanship.  Couldn’t you just sit a spell?

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Being September and Labor Day Weekend….we pretty much had the Village to ourselves.  We watched some hands-on-projects including loom weaving and building a shaker box.

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After ‘The Hancock Shaker Village’, we stopped by Stockbridge MA and took a nice walk before heading back for a good meal and a good nights rest….

Day 3

Our last stop before heading home was ‘The Norman Rockwell Museum’.  No photography was allowed inside of course….and rightly so.

But let me tell you….as an Artist, what better place to visit than one of the most loved American Artists than Norman Rockwell.

Just being in the same place as the actual paintings… copies or prints.  Starring at each brush stroke, looking at each detail, and the meaning behind each.  I just loved the Four Freedoms.

Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear.

The first floor of the building has the covers of all the Saturday Evening Posts, how amazing this is!

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This is Norman Rockwell’s actual studio (above)….he was right-handed but painted with his canvas on the left.  And notice the floor, no paint drippings.  Now that’s amazing.

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What a fun couple of days to relax, refresh and renew.

then onto…Home Sweet Home


When I was younger there was only one time I drew the line in the sand….we pulled into a sardine factory in Maine or Vermont (not sure which), there were all kinds of birds on the roof, men wearing hip boots and the smell alone, yikes!  I dug in my heels and refused to go on the tour…..I mean ~ come on Mom!


Experience what America has to offer, take an adventure.  It will give you great memories and lots to talk about!

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Up Next ~ Milk Painted Pedestal, Ornament Exchange Blog Hop, Sue’s Vintage Flowers, Scratch and Dent Sale

12 thoughts on “What I learned from my Mom….

  1. Lisa says:

    Your Mom had vision Amy. She probably knew that you didn’t want to go on your vacations but she probably realized that you would retain enough of the education that you would one day explore on your own. And voila, look at the vacation that you and your husband enjoyed. Thank for sharing your trip and I hope that it was enough to restart your engines 🙃

    1. Our engines are restarted! And oh boy…the years of fun stories we have from vacations! Thank You!

  2. Sometimes an adventure can be just around the corner from home. Glad you had a lovely break Amy. 🙂

    1. Makes great memories and family stories around the dinner table! 🙂

      1. True, And the older we get the more we appreciate those memories 🙂

  3. Related to your sardine factory story: just came back from Iceland. Visited a herring museum, which was ok. However, the shark “museum” is still active in the winter. And the smell! Especially considering it is end of summer and they haven’t restarted production, yet. Yikes!

    1. I agree Yikes….but at least we can say we did it right? ! LOL !

      1. Yes! And it was only a part of a wonderful trip!

  4. Thanks for the tips on places to see in NE, might try to see a few when I go to net.

    1. Enjoy Jane and Al….

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