Monday, May 30, 2011

Day trip to Massachusetts take two!

On our second day of Massachusetts adventuring, we headed out to Springfield - the city of firsts.  Just for fun you should look up Springfield, MA's wikipedia page.  The number of things invented in this town is just ridiculous.  What first drew us to Springfield was a conversation we had with a bartender in Glens Falls.  She had shared with us that it was her grandson's birthday, so she was taking him to the MA city for the weekend to visit the Dr. Seuss Memorial Gardens.  Upon hearing this I was instantly devastated that I hadn't heard of it earlier, and beyond sad that we'd run out of time to go ourselves.  "Luckily," the navy must have been listening, and granted us the opportunity to visit! (Silver lining, anyone?)

After some research we found out that they have what they call a museum "quadrangle," where you pay one flat fee ($12.50 a person, or $10.75 with military discount) to visit five museums in one day.  Of course we couldn't pass up a deal like this, and it made driving an hour just to see statues of Dr. Seuss characters more reasonable.  
Being a Green Eggs and Ham enthusiast, a picture with Sam-I-am was the highlight of the trip for me, but it was all pretty amazing.  The statues are excellent, and watching the excited kids run around the main characters of their favorite books is a great way to spend the afternoon.  As for the museums themselves, we only actually visited two - because of time, and because one was closed for repairs.  The Science/Natural history combo museum was by far our favorite.  It started out a little shaky with some rough exhibits of taxidermied animals, but by the end we more than enjoyed our time there. 
Life size T-Rex in the dinosaur exhibit!
The second museum we visited was the art museum.  It was definitely less than stellar.  Our biggest complaints were the lack of original art (nearly everything in their main room was a replica of the original piece), the lack of definition between Japanese and Chinese exhibits (they were mixed in all together, without information cards to let us know what was what), and that the majority of the museum was under construction until 2014!  The highlight was actually the architecture and detailed woodwork of the building itself.  Since one museum was closed all together (the Connecticut Valley History museum that houses the actual Dr. Seuss Exhibit :( ), and the art museum was pretty torn apart, we probably would have been upset had the tickets cost any more. 

Since we were starving and the regular art museum had major shortcomings, we decided to skip the modern art museum and find somewhere to eat.  Unfortunately, Springfield was majorly a little rougher around the edges than we had expected, and nearly everything in town was either closed or boarded up, so we went out on a limb and decided to stop in Hartford to eat on our way home instead!
Colin throwing up his "spud" gang sign :)
The only thing we really knew about Hartford is what we had heard on the news, which was gangs, gangs, gangs, and more gangs.  Nearly every time we turn it on (both in CT and NY) there is something about gang violence in Hartford, but we figured there had to be some good parts somewhere.  After a quick check of my foursquare app on my brand new iphone (woo!), we decided to eat at a hamburger restaurant called Plan B.  We figured it was fitting considering this was our literal "plan B" for the day.  Not to mention the reviews were nothing short of "this is the best burger I've ever had" etc. etc. 

After sitting down to order our plan b burgers, we found that those reviews were more than accurate.  These burgers are so good they could turn even the strictest vegetarians back to meat (I'm looking at you, Ms. Ross!).  Not only do they make their own ground beef in house, but they also use all natural free range meat (see picture below), and it definitely pays off.  We were more than pleasantly surprised.  It was definitely a risk we were glad we had taken. 
That pretty much concludes our memorial day weekend!  We took today to catch up on some reading and relax before closing out the evening with Kung Fu Panda 2 (Colin loves him some Kung Fu Panda).  It's getting so warm here that we actually had to use the AC in our room today, which is something we definitely didn't pack for, and the cat's surely weren't ready for (as seen in the picture below :D), but we're still loving the sunshine.  Here's to hoping this week yields some answers about our future!! Keep your fingers crossed!

Click in to see more pictures of us frolicking around the Dr. Seuss gardens!

Colin and Yertle

The Lorax!
Our attempt at a self picture with our buddy Lorax

Oh the Places You'll Go!

Colin with his BFFs Grinch and Max

The Dr. himself and Cat in the Hat

Colin and Thidwick

Thing 1 and Thing 2

Not Dr. Seuss related, but still cool - the original founder of Springfield


  1. Oh wow, I didnt know of the Dr Seuss Memorial Gardens either! Rogan would have loved to go! I love all the statues!

  2. He would have loved it! It was so fun! And everything at the science museum was hands on - definitely great for kids! You guys would have loved the burger place too! It was truly the best burger I've ever had, and they have the most beers on tap of any restaurant in CT. It was pretty crazy. All of the beers are American microbrews. Colin was in heaven.