Valley Light Opera
Every November the Valley Light Opera puts on a high-quality production consisting of entirely of volunteers, so ticket prices are always quite reasonable. Productions almost always are Gilbert and Sullivan. The 2007 performance was The Mikado. Everyone must audition. I have heard performances are just as good as professional ones.
Until he passed away from cancer in December of 2008, my Dad loved to be a part of this each year. He even managed to perform as late as November of that year.
Amherst: My home town
"Amherst: the landscape"
Amherst is a beautiful town to grow up in. Many houses have wonderful views of the landscape, including my Mom's house. I had not fully appreciated this beauty until I moved out of Amherst and now go back to visit my Mom. It's especially enjoyable when I bring Ryan to come and visit "Gramma." Every single year, the fall foliage is bright.
Amherst and the Quabbin Reservoir
"Welcome to the Berkshires"
Nestled in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts, Amherst is at the center of what is known as the "5-college area." While only 3 of the colleges are actually located in Amherst (The University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College), two other colleges are located nearby (Smith College and Mount Holyoke University). As a result, the usual trappings of what you might expect in a college town are present. But drive just a few miles out of town, and it's not at all hard to find some breathtaking views.
"The Quabbin Reservoir"
One of the best "natural" places to visit in the area is actually a man-made lake called the Quabbin Reservoir. The Quabbin, which serves as the water supply for Boston and eastern Massachusetts, actually used to be a valley until 1938, when the area was dammed and flooded. State Police take great precautions to ensure that pesky terrorists don't sully this vital water supply. However, it appears boats are allowed on the reservoir. Maybe my parents should double-check their water filter...
I have a great desire to visit here frequently, but that is in no way influenced by the fact that my in-laws live here. ;)
Amherst-The "H" is Silent!!!
Amherst is one of my favorite towns in New England. I lived here for a summer. Rent was cheap, I was able to get around without a car. You can have a quiet and relaxing time here, studying, visiting Puffer's Pond, swimming, hiking, etc. Or you can have some fun. Being a 3 college town, there are always parties to be found, excellent lectures to attend, movie showings, art exhibits, etc. I really like this "farm and country" type mix, and have definately considered making this place my home once again.
I lived in Amherst for two years while attending grad school at UMASS (ZooMASS!) I just love this picture which is of my backyard. Western Massachusetts is just lovely...Many fond memories...will try to add more soon...