There’s an important lesson that all new parents must learn, and learn quickly: little ones are very early risers.
They are very early risers for seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, for years on end.
That’s why I’ve had only one dream since Trevor’s first weeks of life.
Just to sleep in.
For even one morning.
To wake up whenever I happen to wake up.
To sit up for a minute and yawn and stretch and then fall back into the pillows, totally relaxed.
To hardly even care if I drift off again for twenty minutes more, because I’m in no hurry and have nothing pressing to do.
I had this opportunity to “sleep in” on many, many weekend mornings before Tru, and I never realized that I was enjoying a wonderful, blissful luxury.
Well, I realize it now.
And it looked like my dream might come true when my parents offered to watch Trevor for a weekend.
Chris and I decided to have our first weekend away from baby, which I, of course, agonized over.
There’s some strange overactive region of my mind where alarm bells start blaring – even when I’m just leaving Tru to play on the floor while I go to make a quick call – that says “but you have responsibilities and obligations as a parent!” “you can’t leave him for a minute, or who knows what could happen!”
But if I can silence the panic in my mind for just a minute (!) my heart tells me it’s actually very good for Tru to spend time with his grandparents.
And also good for Chris and I to not answer to “Mama” and “Dada” for a little while.
So we found a spot not too far from home and booked a hotel.
We chose the Berkshires, which is a mountain region in Western Massachusetts.
I wasn’t expecting a lot from this rural area.
Our plan was just to enjoy a peaceful weekend and maybe, just maybe, sleep in.
But I was completely blown away by our hotel!
One minute you’re driving through the woods on an unpaved road, the next you’re walking up to a beautiful Italian mansion, complete with sculptures, fountains, sweeping arches and columns.
This hotel, the Wheatleigh, was built by a railroad tycoon in the late 1800’s and designed as a replica of a Florentine palace.
Wheatleigh has every modern amenity (glass-enclosed showers, soaking tubs, fine furnishings, luxurious linens), but the hotel has preserved the stunning intricate moldings and stone arches and columns.
I was blown away by the stunning beauty of our balcony, above.
In terms of blending Old World and modern architecture and interior design, the Wheatleigh is one of the more stunning hotels I’ve ever seen.
The view from our room spanned over beautifully manicured lawns, and onto the lakes and mountains beyond.
I never expected to stumble upon such a dream hotel just a few hours from home, in the mountains of Massachusetts!
The other thing we learned about the Berkshires: aside from the plentiful outdoor activities available (nature trails, kayaking, hikes up the mountains, etc.), there’s so much to to do here!
Our Favorite Things To Do During Our Weekend in the Berkshires:
The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home
The author of The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton, built her home in Lenox in the early 1900’s. Her home is interesting to tour, and you can wander through the beautiful gardens she designed.
The indoor/outdoor summer concert venue where the Boston Pops often perform is definitely worth seeing! This concert venue has indoor seating, but it’s open on one side. So lots of people (including many families!) set out blankets on the grass, light citronella candles to keep the mosquitoes away, and watch concerts under the stars! The grounds are beautiful to explore too.
I snapped the photo above, of the mountains at sunset, just before our concert started.
The Clark Art Institute
The Clark is a huge Renaissance -20th century art museum with American and European works spanning from Homer to the French Impressionists. The grounds are beautiful and there are tons of hiking trails mapped out. It’s possible to spend a full day here.
Norman Rockwell Museum
The Norman Rockwell Museum was my favorite. The museum features several rooms full of Rockwell’s artwork, along with really interesting and thorough information on his life. The museum also includes his studio, which you can tour.
And, yes, we slept in!
The heavy curtains blocked out all of the sunlight.
The hotel was blissfully quiet.
The pillows were that heavenly combo of feathery soft yet firm.
We slept until we naturally woke up at 8:30 am.
In the old days, this might have been early for a weekend morning.
But for us now, it was paradise!