Music is my saviour 

Ok…so, where to begin….well, I suppose firstly we will apologise for no updates over the last couple of days. We were deep in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts and Internet coverage wasn’t great so it was too difficult to blog. Also we were too darn busy.  

On Friday morning we packed up our stuff, picked up a hire car and waved goodbye to Boston, bound for North Adams, about a 3 hour drive away. We had quite a fancy car which was nice, and it didn’t take Steve too long to get used to driving on the other side of the road.

Massachusetts is very green.

The sky was blue, but rain and thunder were forecast for later that night. Bit of a worry, seeing as though we were going to see bands out in a field. But we were hopeful it would hold off. We saw signs warning of deer, and…moose. Did not want to see a moose on the road. That would be bad.

Really beautiful countryside. This is what they should show on the news in Australia, instead of all the negative things they show about America. 

So we made it to North Adams by early afternoon and checked in to our accommodation. For the next three nights we would pretend we were university students – as we were staying in a dorm room at the North Adams university. 

Then we headed on down to Mass Moca, the site of Solid Sound Festival for the next couple of days. We were a bit early, so we stopped in at a local bar for a couple of drinks – with all the rest of the festival goers. 

Then, on to Mass MOCA. And might I just say, what an amazing venue for a festival.

Storms were forecast and the dark skies were threatening. But the weather was warm and we head our ponchos, so it was all good…we hoped so anyway.

First up we watched Nancy and Beth. They were great. Really entertaining.

The rain drizzled for a bit during Dave and Phil Alvin, and Steve put his poncho on. It wasn’t really needed though. He wore it anyway until he got too hot.

And, then, before we knew it, it was time for Wilco!! Tonight, they would be playing their 2nd album “Being There” in full. Us fans voted online in a poll as to which album we wanted to hear, and “Being There” won. Incidentally, even though neither of us really minded what album was played, this was the one we voted for too. And it was awesome.

Even though it was packed, we got a great spot, close ish to the front and could see really well. The crowd was amazing. So well behaved, courteous, friendly and loving every minute of it. If only all concert crowds could be like this.

And th rain held off! It was a Solid Sound miracle!

Then, after they played “Being There” they went off stage briefly before coming back for their encore – and it’s not just a two or three song encore from Wilco – THEY PLAYED THE ENTIRE ‘YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT’ Yes, that’s right, did you hear me correctly? The entire album, as an encore! Amazing. The crowd was flipping out a few songs in when they realised what was happening. So, so good.

Then, before we knew it, night one was over. We went and stocked up on merchandise (tshirt and a poster) and walked back to our accommodation- that’s when it started to rain. A great start to an awesome weekend. Stay tuned for part two.

Steve bought a hat

We took it pretty easy today. We were going to try to find a beach somewhere, or go on a cruise or something, but in the end we decided to just hang out in cafes and eat and drink all day. I think we made the right choice.Started the day with breakfast at the hotel, then a second morning coffee at nearby Pavement Coffeehouse. We had Cortado’s, the American version of a flat white. They were good. And strong.

We hung around there for a while and successfully had a video chat with Blainie’s brother using WhatsApp. It worked really well. Technology, huh.

Then we went for a bit of a wander along Newbury Street and looked at some shops. Blainie bought a really cool and cute backpack from hip Swedish company Fjallraven.

Then it was time for lunch. We decided to head back to Eataly for more of those good eats. We went to a different place today, but had similar food. A selection of meats and cheeses plus some eggplant. And a couple of glasses of Rosé.

Later in the afternoon we couldn’t resist another icecream from Amorino. This time Blainie had 5 flavours – strawberry, Organic chocolate, salted caramel, passion fruit & hazelnut. Steve had coconut, Organic chocolate, mango vanilla.

In the late afternoon we went for another wander around the Boston gardens. We decided that we really should take a ride on the swan boat around the lake. Lucky we decided quickly, as we ended up getting on the 2nd last ride for the day.

For dinner, we decided we needed another lobster roll, so we went to Luke’s Lobster. So good.

As an interesting side note – when we were in Japan last year, we were waiting to go in to our favourite gyoza restaurant in Harajuku, and we noticed thousands of people lining up for another place just up the street. Literally thousands all going crazy, waiting for hours and hours for…you guessed it Luke’s Lobster.

Oh also at some point during the day we went in to a cool hat shop where there was a band playing and they were selling beers, and Steve bought an awesome hat.

You gotta roll with it

After a disappointing night’s sleep, we got up nice and early and watched The Chefs’ Line at the same time it would be airing in Australia. So that was kind of cool.

Breakfast at the hotel was marginally better as today they had crispy American bacon.

Then we decided to go for a wander and find the harbour/water/whatever it’s called. We were going to catch the subway, but it was a rather nice morning so we ended up walking the entire way.

You know you are not in Australia anymore when you seen signs like this.

We found the bay and all the tourists too. But it was quite nice around there, so we wandered around a bit and looked at things.

We considered going on some kind of cruise around the harbour, but they were so busy we got over it. We decided lunch was in order and luckily we stumbled across  James Hook Lobster Co because we have been in dire need of a lobster roll ever since we began thinking about going in this holiday. The place is basically a fresh seafood shop, but they have some food you can order too. We ordered a Lobster roll each. They were very, very good.

Why can we not get this at home?

It was really busy in there with a constant flow of customers, but it all ran so smoothly and we didn’t have to wait all that long really. I think they knew what they were doing.

Later in the afternoon we went to nearby Amorino for icecream. Well gelati/gelato actually. You can choose how ever many flavours you want – seriously. We both (independently) chose 3 flavours, because I think we are so used to that being the amount you can have. Blainie had Raspberry, Hazelnut & Basil and Lime. Steve had Chocolate, Pistachio and lemon. Delicious!

Dinner was at Eataly. We had Buffalo mozzarella, charcuterie and the most delicious Arugula/Rocket salad ever.

If they dug a tunnel, it would be quicker

If they dug a tunnel, it would be quicker

Boston is a long way from home. Steve likes to tell people that Perth and Boston are on the exact opposite sides off the world. He’s right you know, we checked it on a world globe just moments ago. But I digress…it’s far and the flights are long. Here’s Blainie looking forward to the next 24 hours plus of air travel.

The plane we caught from Perth to Dubai was an A380 Air Bus and it was HUGE. It had two levels and a spiral staircase and did I mention it was huge? Of course we weren’t allowed on the second level, but we were lucky enough to have a spare seat next to us which is always nice. So the 11 hour flight wasn’t too bad.

After a very brief 3 hour stop over in Dubai, we were back on a plane for a 13.5 hour flight into Boston. Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky with the seating arrangements this time around. Blainie was stuck behind a woman who reclined her chair the minute the plane took off and didn’t put it back up until about 3 minutes before landing. Also loud child behind us who kept yelling Mama at his mum (who was sitting right next to him, so what’s with the yelling?) and asking random things/making random noises/singing random songs. Steve managed to sleep a bit. Blainie not so much. Let’s just say it was a long flight.

Made it to our accommodation and managed to have a bit of a wander around the local neighbourhood before realising that sleep was needed asap. Blainie was asleep by 6:30 pm. At about 2 am we were wide awake due to jet lag, and starting hearing weird noises in our room. Then we spotted a mouse. Steve went and told reception and they said we could change rooms. So at 2am, there we are changing hotel rooms, trying not to freak out that there might be a mouse hidden some where in our luggage. Lucky we were already wide awake.

We managed to get back to sleep after all the excitement with the mouse, and got up around 7am feeling much more chipper. After a rather average ‘buffet’ breakfast at our hotel we headed out to explore.

Coffees at the awesome Eataly and much drooling over cheeses, and other delicious looking foods.

Then we checked out the Boston library because the building just looked so cool. Looks of great architecture in Boston.

It was amazing inside too. How good are those lions?

Lunch was at a cool place called Eastern Standard. We had bone marrow. Oh yes we did.

Then a walk through the gardens and Boston Common to work of lunch. It’s pretty humid in Boston.

Then we ran out of energy and stomach space so we had dinner from the supermarket back at our hotel. All in all a good start to the trip.