It’s laughable how long it’s taking me to post about my literary pilgrimmage through New England and on down the east coast back to Western North Carolina. Especially considering it happened in JULY. But such is life.
Here are the links to the first three days of the trip, which had me doing novel research, writing, hiking, and researching at different literary and historical spots in Massachusetts: (with photos!)
Literary Pilgrimage & Road Trip: Day 1 (or, really, Day 1/2)
Literary Pilgrimage Day 2: Orchard House, Dickinson Museum, Mt. Holyoke
Literary Pilgrimage Day 3: Hiking Mt. Holyoke & on to Vermont
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Literary Pilgrimage Day 4: My Graduation from Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing Program, and my family and I hit the road.
Graduation day at the Vermont College of Fine Arts’s MFA in Writing program was an absolute joy. How could it not be, surrounded by friends, family, and faculty who truly love and care about you, your writing life, and your creative work?!
Graduation was held in Alumni Hall, just off the campus green. Afterwards, we grads were feted at a champagne reception–my daughter insists I tell you that there were CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES–in historical College Hall atop Montpelier’s Seminary Hill (once site of a Civil War hospital, among other things). It was a chance to celebrate, and to introduce my family to my VCFA friends and faculty member-mentors, many of whom have become dear friends. My husband and two daughters were there–they had driven up from North Carolina, in a rented minivan), plus my mother (who’d driven with them) and my father (who’d flown in, smartie pants that he is).
It truly was a joy for my family members to meet the people I’d spent so much time with, and talking about,
over the past three years. And, as a bonus, my baby girl took her very first steps at the champagne reception! Talk about a good omen for a future of storytelling.
Afterwards, we spent one last night at Betsy’s B&B in Montpelier. The next day, after a scrumptious breakfast at Betsy’s, my parents hit the road for a day in Burlington (they’d fly out later), and I, my husband and our girls headed out for the first leg of our journey home, towards Salem, Massachusetts. First, though, we made a quick stop to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, in the countryside outside of Montpelier, where we filled up on maple ice cream.
Our first stop: Robert Frost’s farm in Derry, New Hampshire,
where he wrote many of his most famous poems. We had a picnic lunch and wandered the property. For a literature geek and English prof like me, watching my oldest daughter go bounding over Frost’s fields was a thrill.
Literary Pilgrimage Day 4, coming soon, will be all about our stay in Salem, Massachusetts–Salem Wharf, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Witch Memorial–and our visit to Concord, Massachusetts–Minute Man National Park, Old North Bridge, Concord Museum, Paul Revere’s lantern, and much more!
Some extra pics: