Happy Fall And Everything That Goes With It

Apple picking season is a true sign of Fall.  What’s not to love about enjoying a couple of hours in the country to hand-pick apples?  It is simply fun.  You get to sample the variety of apples as you go along, climb ladders to pick your apples, indulge in cider donuts, sip apple cider, and perhaps take in a hay ride. You also end up bring home way more apples than you need.  Then you worry about what to do with all those apples besides proudly displaying them in a pretty bowl.  Check out Food52 for some inspiration that will get you peeling.

This year I have an apple goal, nailing the Dutch Apple Cake.  It is all about nostalgia.  This dessert connects me to a place and time.  A true Dutch Apple Cake has more of a cake like crust rather than a traditional pie crust.  It is the best piece of goodness to be accompanied by a latte that you will ever taste!

Take time to enjoy the season.  Happy Fall and break out your favorite sweater to embrace the crisp clean air! xo isostilo

Weekend Ready!

Hoping that the upcoming Fall weekends will have some spontaneous road trips for apple picking, leaf peeping, and maybe a bit of tailgating.  Here are a few essentials to get you excited for those perfect Fall crisp days.

Fjall Raven Backpack, Patagonia Vest, Hydro Coffee Flask, L.L. Bean’s Hunter’s Tote Bag, Waterproof Outdoor Blanket, Foldable Kermit Chair

(Perhaps you can keep this in your back pocket for gift ideas)

Weekend At TOURISTS, The Berkshires

How about a city timeout with a lovely weekend at the newly open motel, TOURISTS?  A 2.5 hour drive from Boston.  Upon arrival you wonder why haven’t we done this before and when are we doing this again?  Check out my earlier blog post if you missed the introduction.  TOURISTS is even better in person.  The aesthetics can be summed up with Hasami Porcelian.  This is their everyday multifunctional dinnerware from Japan.  The over all space is inviting, spacious, bright, minimal, and armed with all the amenities one needs for a restful or adventurous weekend.  It is a place that has that good worn-in feel but everything is new.  The rooms are cozy, comfortable, and well stocked including foldable chairs conveniently hanging on a wall waiting to be put to use for an outing.  Also each room is complete with an outdoor shower.

TOURISTS is a peaceful experience surrounded by woods, trails, the Hoosic River, and Mt. Greylock which happens to be the tallest peak in Massachusetts.  It is perfectly situated for you to enjoy museums, hiking, and exploring.  Start and end your day lounging around the pool or in one of their communal areas to relax and listen to nature.  Being a motel means you are roadside.  But once you enter TOURISTS, you feel at ease with the city life behind you.

Three places to visit in a weekend (but there are endless ways to spend your time inside and outside):

MASS MoCA is located in an old factory offering all forms of art including areas for performances. The space can overwhelm with its magnitude but it will not disappoint you.  It will amaze you!

The Clark is a stunning world-class museum that requires you to not be in a rush.  This is the perfect marriage of art and nature.

Drive up to the summit at Mount Greylock.  A lovely drive with plenty of look out spots for pictures and places to picnic.  Pack your hiking boots if you want to explore and hike the many trails of this area.

To Eat:

Tourists offers a light breakfast fare and a late afternoon into evening menu. The food is delicious and thoughtful.  It is casual and hits the spot.  Currently they are working on a tavern that will offer another option for on premise dining.  Stay tuned.

A.OK BBQ shack and Bright Ideas Brewing are across from each other at the entrance to MASS MoCA. Both are perfect for lunch and diner but certainly for a refreshing cold beer or tasty homemade kombucha.

In Williamstown enjoy your breakfast, lunch, and other provisions at The Spring Street Market Cafe.  Or stroll across the street to The Smoothie Spot for fresh smoothies, juices, and acai bowls.

Not to be missed is Pedrin’s, an old school diary bar serving some seriously good soft serve ice cream.

Where else can we explore that is within a 2.5 hour distance of Boston?  Happy Fall!

For your curiosity and your table:  Hasami Porcelain

TOURISTS, Welcome To The Berkshires!

TOURIST !

Delighted is all I can say when I came across this little gem in a Vanity Fair article.  Just add another easy weekend getaway to your bucket list especially if you live in New England.  When something as stylish, cool, and so perfect as the TOURIST, a new 48 room boutique hotel presents itself and is a 2.5 hour drive from Boston then the tranquil escape is calling.  TOURIST is located in the picturesque town of North Adams along the Hoosic River with the Berkshires as the backdrop. It is a city escape that is rich in natural beauty.  Based on the website it highlights itself as being a retreat with everything designed to make your stay a dreamy experience that will connect you with nature, adventure, culinary delight, and simplicity.  The space alone looks so appealing with its clean, simple decor and big window views of the outdoors.  Explore the website for yourself.  It is beautifully crafted with a history of the area as well as lovely list of places for you to explore.  Also take a peek at the VF article for more praise on TOURIST! images from photographers Tina Giovan and Nick Simonite off Vanity Fair Magazine

TOURISTS

Guy Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolf Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

Wolff Pottery

For the past 15 years, I have visited the beautiful rolling hills of Litchfield County to spend time with my in-laws.  Each visit a new discovery is found and something new is put on the list to do the next time.  Guy Wolff’s rustic barn studio, located in the town of Bantam, CT, stands out along the country road with a lovely welcoming flag inviting passing visitors.  Guy Wolff Pottery has been hand making pottery in this studio since 1971.  The barn is filled with white and red clay traditional pottery.  There are also one of a kind works as well.  All made by Guy Wolff with his signature stampings.  The studio that is keeping  alive 18th and 19th century pottery traditions for the gardens is a true gem to be experienced.  You will meet Guy in person as he greets every customer who walks through the door.

Guy Wolff Pottery 

Exploring deCordova

A lovely afternoon spent wandering around the grounds of the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.  Just a short drive from Boston to the woodsy town of Lincoln, Massachusetts.  The deCordova was established in 1950 and is set on 30 acres of rolling hills.  At any given time there about 60 works of art on display.  You can meander about at your own pace.  Such a treat to have this museum in my backyard.  A nice reminder to explore what is around you.

deCordova
Fletcher Benton, Donut with 3 Balls
deCordova
Letha Wilson, PLATFORM 19
deCordova
Noémie Goudal, PLATFORM 20
deCordova
Joseph Wheelwright, Listening Stone 1985.  A special sculpture by Mr. Wheelwright who is the late husband of my son’s third grade teacher.  His extraordinary talent is left for all of us to admire.

deCordova

deCordova
An amazing new exhibition by Ian McMahon.  Tether is a sculpture created with air and plaster. It looks like giant pillows but it is far from that and extremely fragile.
deCordova
To be honest my 11-year-old was not thrilled for this outing.  After five minutes on the open field his curiosity kicked in!
deCordova
Yayoi Kusama, Where the Lights in My Heart is a spectacular outdoor exhibit where you walk inside a mirror polished stainless steel chamber with glass mirrors.  You get to experience a never-ending universe.

deCordova

deCordova
Rolling hills and structures that grace the property
deCordova
Nari Ward, Shoe tips with libation, G.O.A.T.  The sneakers are a mystery.
deCordova
I love this working honeybee hive sculpture that is buzzing with activity.  Created by Jarret Mellenbrunch, Haven 2014
deCordova
A new installation by Nancy Winship Milliken, Pasture Song. The combination of reclaimed cello bow strings, horsehairs, and little help of some wind, all together create soft music.  Amazing!
deCordova
Jim Dine, Two Big Black Hearts

Be sure to check out the website for updates on new installations and fun activities.  The park is open everyday from 10-5.  There is cafe to grab a light bite and a well curated gift shop to find a souvenir.  deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is certainly a highlight of this area but there are also other lovely historical towns and places to explore within a short drive of the park.  Walden Pond certainly comes to mind.

24 Hours in Bozeman, MT

Anytime of the year is a perfect time to visit Bozeman, MT.  A one hour drive from Big Sky and just a short distance from the airport.  A pretty perfect scenario.  Bozeman is a college town located in a valley surrounded by mountains.  No matter where you stand in this city you will have stunning views of the mountains.   Main St. is lined with old Art Deco buildings and neon lights that transform this city at night to hip and happening.  Enjoy strolling Main Street while taking breaks for a bite to eat, a drink, and to explore boutiques.  The vibe is nothing short of cool with an old western charm.  You immediately know that 24 hours will not be enough!

Stay:

The Lark, formerly a run down Old Imperial Inn from the 60’s has been transformed into a modern hip motel with attention to design, efficiency, and style.  The Lark collaborated with local artists for wall installations that tell the story of the area.  The rooms are charming, cozy, and equipped with all your needs to recharge yourself and your tech gadgets.  Each room has built-in wall units made of steel and wood perfect to tuck your gear away.  There are two common areas that are extensions to the rooms.  Enjoy the spacious outdoor patio with bright orange Eames chairs, wooden benches, and an outdoor fireplace.  Relax on the large leather sectional with your feet up or take a seat at the communal wooden table.  Sip some local coffee from the beverage cart.  It is a hip hotel/motel and you want to hang out longer than you should but there is too much to explore. At the end of your day, you will be happy to return to your base camp to sit by the outdoor wood burning fire with a cocktail in hand.

A Few Stand Outs:

Bozeman downtown offers an eclectic mix of shops to explore.  Standouts are Cactus, a funky record shop with the low down on the music scene, Hey Day, a lifestyle boutique that is big and airy, and dawn Josephine collective, a beautifully curated shop with local artists being represented.

A stand out is the Montana Honey Bee Co.  This shop is half artisanal honey and the other half showcasing all your needs to become a bee keeper.  You are educated about bees while sampling the wide varieties of honey.  It is a wonderful store bringing your awareness back to nature.  You will walk away contemplating the idea of designing your own bee farm at home.  It is so sweet! (no pun intended)

Places to Eat:

Bozeman does not lack character.  It is a place that gives you an idea of how life has been.  The city has done a beautiful job combining the old charm through restoration, preservation, and combining their history with modern updates.  Restaurants, bars, cafes, and coffees shops are lively, youthful, and inviting. Sure winners are:  Wild Joe’s coffee spot,  Jam for an over the top breakfast, Copper for a cocktail, and Montana Ale Works for dinner.

If you are thinking about Bozeman for this summer or any other time of year then check out this Bozeman blog.  Great resource!