January was a rough month and although it’s the middle of February now (hello, Valentine’s Day!), I am going to make the effort to catch up on some posts.

A few weeks ago, after getting in a fender bender in my new car (yeah, January was sweet), I took a trip with my mom to western MA to visit grandma for the day. We went out to Mount Holyoke College, which has a beautiful campus, and strolled the Talcott Arboretum. Here’s a few tantalizing pictures of the plants inside the tropical greenhouses, still standing since 1899!

The main rotunda


Part of the orchid collection

These are like tiger lily orchids; they were my favorite

Bromeliads, or epiphytes, commonly referred to as 'air plants', hanging; their spores fly upwards and latch onto 'host' plants or other fixtures, and they will continue to grow without any root system; Spanish Moss is also a bromeliad

Dr. Seuss-like pom pom tree

The roof of the main greenhouse; reminds me of the book/movie 'Secret Garden'

Introspective amongst the greens

It was about 15 degrees outside but closer to 79 degrees humidity inside the greenhouse; the roof panels are still handcranked throughout the greenhouses twice a day

My mom & gma being cute

Right next to the Arboretum is the Mount Holyoke Art Museum as well so we stopped in there and I snapped a few pictures, which I don’t think I was supposed to do – whoops!

Bierstadt's 'Hetch Hetchy Canyon'; this painting was the inspiration to Teddy Roosevelt to organize the Park System!



After a tantalizing display of flower power and art, we made our way to lunch. My gma treated and took us to a pretty cool bar/restaurant in downtown Holyoke, Johnny’s Bar & Grille. We had a rip-roaring hilarious good time, my gma told us crazy stories about Prohibition and other good time tales. We also had phenomenal meals. I had some variation on an Asian seared tuna salad and my mom had a California Cobb or something similar. Tasty!



In the spirit of not letting a gift certificate go to waste, we had ordered fried pickles as well, which were dank of course, but my gma had never had them before! She raved about them and we sent her home with the leftovers! The restaurant was pretty good; I would revisist when I’m in the area for work for sure!

It really feels like spring today (when hasn’t it this winter though?), and looking at these pictures again makes me excited for real spring to come! What is your first mental association with spring?