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Pioneer Valley Weekend Fun

I warn you this post has very little to do with books and everything to do with spreading the word about some amazing local highlights.

My sister was visiting this weekend. We managed to cram our personal favorites of the Pioneer Valley into the 48 hours that she was here. It proved to be one of the most enjoyable weekends I’ve ever had, and I highly recommend this schedule to those who might be familiar with the Valley, or planning to visit. The best part? They’re all independently owned/local businesses (and support other Indies as well). Here they are in the order we visited them:

Bela Vegetarian Restaurant, Northampton
– amazing all-Vegetarian food with options for wheat/gluten-free, dairy free, and Vegans The fact that both my sister and I are NOT vegetarians, but that this is still our favorite restaurant says a lot, I think. We HIGHLY recommend starting with a bowl of Miso soup, followed by the Italian tofu sausage with garlic & greens over spaghetti.

Ye Ol’ Watering Hole & Beer Can Museum, Northampton
– juke box, pool, darts, townies

Green Bean Restaurant, Northampton
– all local, all the time, delicious menu, changing local art shows on the walls, always a line, go early, eat a lot – also options of all eaters, whether Carnivore or Herbivore, Vegan, wheat/gluten-free, dairy free, etc. My favorite is either the Miso soup with brown rice and tofu with two poached eggs in it (trust me, it’s delicious), or two eggs scrambled with spinach & goat cheese, a side of avocado, side of bacon, and a scone with strawberry or raspberry jam.

The Montague Bookmill, Montague
– one of the best used bookstores around, it is an old mill building, located right on the river. A post on the books I purchased there will soon follow!

The Lady Killigrew Cafe, Montague
– right next to the Bookmill, I drool over their brown rice salad; sausage sandwich with cheese, apple, and mustard; and the chocolate mint cupcake

Turn It Up!, Northampton, Montague, Keene, & Brattleboro
– great place to find DVDs and music in all forms – CDs, cassettes, & records I picked up Them Crooked Vultures – highly recommend it if you like rock music. Also, Arctic Monkeys.

The Northampton Brewery, Northampton
– great beer selection, great food – Happy Birthday Marge! – try the Black Cat Stout Chocolate Cake, mmm.

Loonar Tattoo & Piercing, Hadley
– the 2nd time my sister & I have gone here – we’re big fans of Liz (and Al)

Pleasant Street Video, Northampton
– incredible selection of everything – new, indie, foreign, you name it

SooRa Restaurant, Northampton
– SUSHI – need I say more?

Esselon Cafe, Hadley
– delicious food & drink in a relaxed atmosphere, with round-the-year patio dining due to heat lamps! Their daily specials are amazing – my favorite lunch/dinner is a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough bread with tomato, avocado, & bacon and a bowl of tomato bisque soup.

To recap, that’s pretty much how to eat your way through the Pioneer Valley. With some books, music, movies, a game of pool, and tattoos thrown in. Enjoy!


About WildlyLived

Creating | Photographing | Reading | Traveling | Writing


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It came! It came! So excited to have received my gorgeous new @rebelgirlsbook book 2 in the mail yesterday! That's 2/2 GOODNIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS books that I helped fund via @kickstarter, and I would help fund a dozen more at least. Also thrilled @quailridgebooks already has our shipment on order so I can handsell these through the holidays. #indiesfirst!
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Review: Ally Carter has done it again! I don't know how she manages to so perfectly balance a kick-ass teenage girl with just a pinch of over-the-top girliness, but she nails it every time. Basically this can be considered a contemporary retelling of The Paper Bag Princess, where the prince is the US President's son, the princess is the son's former best friend/daughter of the President's former body guard, and the dragon is a Russian operative. Oh and the setting is winter in Alaska. And because it's Ally Carter, while the girl clearly saves the day and rescues the boy, she also ends up with the boy because teenage love conquers all.
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New review & a staff pick for @quailridgebooks: Guaranteed giggles! Clever illustrations, Captain PB (polar bear, not peanut butter), a literary fox, and three very silly lemmings. Perfect for all storytimes, with opportunities to do character voices. It also imparts the importance of learning how to read without being didactic. My favorite picture book of the year!
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