AK Monthly Recap: may 2021

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This month, I finally got back to solo travel. My first solo trip because 2019. because Newfoundland. That is a long-ass time to go without taking a solo trip while writing about solo travel for a living!

It wasn’t expected to be like that. I had plans for a monthlong solo trip to Peru and Ecuador in spring 2020. I was expected to arrive the final week of March. but we all know how that turned out.

Instead, this month I stayed within my home state and traveled to the Berkshires, the westernmost part of Massachusetts, home to mountains, stunning towns, and a dynamic arts scene.

It was just a four-day trip, but I was out of practice. I planned nonstop activities so I could do proper research, and I would get back to my hotel exhausted. I barely slept (more on that below). and I missed some apparent things, like the fact that many coffeeshops in the Berkshires close at 2:00 PM during the week (why?! I need my afternoon caffeine!).

But I loved the Berkshires — and I relished getting to explore an unfamiliar place again. This trip was a terrific idea.

I’m looking forward to much more solo travel later this year — especially now that I’m fully vaccinated.

The view from Naumkeag in Stockbridge in the Berkshires.
Destinations Visited

Reading, Lynnfield, Burlington, Lynn, Marblehead, Peabody, Woburn, Plum Island, Newburyport, Lee, Stockbridge, Lenox, terrific Barrington, Bish Bash Falls state Park, West Stockbridge, Richmond, Pittsfield, North Adams, Williamstown, Andover, and Boston, Massachusetts

Taconic state Park, new York

Nashua, new Hampshire

Prague, Czech Republic

At Lynn Tech, ready to get shot number two.

Getting my second COVID-19 vaccine. I got my second Moderna shot near the end of the month, four weeks after the first shot. (Talk about the ideal t-shirt for the occasion! Thanks, Stitchfix!)

I’m pleased to report that my side effects were mild — I was slightly exhausted for 48 hours, though incredibly exhausted for about hour 24 through hour 27. The arm pain woke me up the morning after, but it wasn’t worse than overdoing it at the gym.

Still, even if my side effects had been much more severe, they would have paled in comparison to COVID itself. Please get your vaccine as soon as you’re able to.

Massive COVID improvements in Massachusetts and the Czech Republic. This month I viewed numbers in both places shrink enormously. It’s been terrific seeing all of my Czech pals get their appointments, too! turns out that for all the lamentations, the Czech Republic was only six weeks behind Massachusetts in terms of vaccine availability.

Spending time with family and friends. It was good to be home for the first time in 10 months and get in quality time with everyone.

Visiting the Berkshires! I loved this part of the world! My favorite towns were classic Stockbridge, funky North Adams, and terrific Barrington, “the Brooklyn of the Berkshires.” some of my top highlights were the Norman Rockwell Museum, hiking to Bash Bish Falls, Mass MoCA, Ventfort Hall, the Clark Institute, the Mount, cider donuts at Hilltop Orchards, dinner at the Prairie Whale, coffee at six Depot Roastery and tunnel City Coffee.

I’m planning on creating three to four messages about the Berkshires and am working on the first one best now.

More Massachusetts exploration. I actually went to Marblehead for the first time (how?! I grew up nearby!) and revisited Newburyport and Plum Island. I also had a good day in Boston, talking a long walk through Back Bay and the South end and going to my old haunts. The ones that remain, anyway.

TONS and tons of clothes shopping! I haven’t done much clothes shopping in years (I mostly rented in new York), and many of my clothes are on their last legs. I saved up for months to do a ton of shopping at home. I purchased a ton of stuff. I am a new fan of Madewell and found SO numerous designer deals on Poshmark.

Lewis the cat’s eight-week post-FIP observation bloodwork came out well. He’s got one much more round of bloodwork at the twelve-week mark, and if it’s still good, he’s officially cured on June 13! I can’t believe how far we’ve come.

Getting my reading glasses. I ended up choosing Warby Parker for my first pair, and honestly, they help a ton.

Planning international travel. You’ll see a bit onnullnull

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