Sunday morning, I set out around 10 am for the roughly hour-long drive to visit my friend Gemma in Leverett. I had never visited her in her hometown before or been to that area of Massachusetts, so needless to say I was excited. On top of that, it had probably been over six month since I’d seen her in general due to different schools and tough schedules.

The drive was scenic because the area near and around Leverett is relatively rural; I passed several cornfields and farms on my way to her.

When I got to her house, we wasted little time figuring out a plan for the day. Both of us were extremely hungry because it was almost 11:30 a.m. and we had held off on breakfast. To ameliorate this situation, we hopped in her car and drove the short ways to Amherst, where we stopped at The Lone Wolf to eat. Gemma seemed surprised that we got a table immediately; It was usually packed on the weekend with college students.

We both ordered iced coffees and the eggs two ways. I had mine scrambled with home fries and white toast. She had hers poached and swapped the bread for sausage. We ate quickly because we were obviously both ravenous and caught up on the past few months of our lives between bites.

After leaving The Lone Wolf, we drove past her house in the opposite direction. She wanted to show me a bookstore that she thought I’d love. It was called The Bookmill and was situated in an old-looking house on a hill in a town called Montague.

The interior was warm and inviting with plenty of comfy chairs and couches for reading, browsing, or studying. We spent a good deal of time picking through the used books; they were organized into specific sections based on topic and sometimes author’s last name which made the hunt easier. I spent time in the poetry and fiction sections before settling on a $6 book called The Gravity of Sunlight by Rosa Shand. Gemma ended up holding off on getting anything just then.

Before leaving, we stopped at the little restaurant attached to the bookstore called The Lady Killigrew Cafe for more iced coffee, since the day was scorching. We ate outdoors at a little table overlooking a river. Below is a picture of the interior of the bookstore itself and our cafe perch.

Once we had finished, we headed with bathing suits in hand to our last stop: a little lake swimming area that Gemma knew of that she said was rarely crowded. We drove through beautiful woodsy areas to get there and walked awhile in the woods as well to reach a rock from which we could enter the water. There, we spent several hours cooling off, chatting with our feet in the water, and enjoying the sunny day. We spoke mostly on self image and future plans, as well as our uncertainties for the next year.

Around 3:20 pm we headed back to her house. When we arrived, we had a little food (some bananas and water) before I had to be on my way back home. I left at 4 pm and enjoyed a leisure drive home without any issues with traffic.

I am excited for the coming weeks of travel. Going new places always energizes and reminds me that the world is a much bigger place than I sometimes give it credit for. Next weekend I will be visiting DC with my roommate/best friend Maeve to see some other friends who are in the area for the summer and in a few weeks I’ll be off to Utah and Wyoming for a family trip to see some National Parks. Stay tuned for more travel diaries in the near future!

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