New England 2017: On a rainy day, a walk around the Mt. Holyoke College campus.


The Odyssey Bookstore in South Hadley had Ivan Klima’s memoir in hardback at a very low price. I couldn’t resist.

As is my usual custom, I’ll be posting photos, commentary and links about our trip; the daily accounts will be back-dated to coincide with their occurrence. It won’t be the most thrilling reading, but in addition to whatever else NAC may or may not have become over the years, it’s still a personal blog, and you’re fully entitled to views of our holiday.

Mt. Holyoke College is a women’s liberal arts college in South Hadley, Massachusetts, just up the road from where Diana’s niece lives.

Chemist and educator Mary Lyon founded Mount Holyoke College (then called Mount Holyoke Female Seminary) in 1837, nearly a century before women gained the right to vote. Today, her famous words—”Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do”—continue to inspire Mount Holyoke students.

As the first of the Seven Sisters—the female equivalent of the once predominantly male Ivy League—Mount Holyoke has led the way in women’s education.

Mt. Holyoke College is part of the Five College Consortium.

Five Colleges, Incorporated is a nonprofit educational consortium established in 1965 to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions, which include four private, liberal arts colleges and the Amherst campus of the state university. The consortium is an outgrowth of a highly successful collaboration in the 1950s among Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, which resulted in the founding of a fifth institution, Hampshire College, in 1970.

Broaden the search, and education in the Pioneer Valley looks like this:

Five Colleges consortium
Amherst College – Amherst
Hampshire College – Amherst
Mount Holyoke College – South Hadley
Smith College – Northampton
University of Massachusetts Amherst – Amherst

Metro Springfield Universities
American International College – Springfield
Bay Path University – Longmeadow
Cambridge College – Springfield
Elms College – Chicopee
Springfield College – Springfield
Western New England University -Springfield
Westfield State University – Westfield

Graduate Schools
Conway School of Landscape Design – Conway, Easthampton

Community colleges
Greenfield Community College – Greenfield
Holyoke Community College – Holyoke
Springfield Technical Community College -Springfield

Perhaps the huge number of schools helps to explain the equally large number of bookstores.

It rained most of the morning on Friday. We’d already amassed steaks, vegetables and wine for an evening grilling, and when skies cleared, I went for a walk through the Mt. Holyoke College campus.

Later that evening, after the wine was all gone, Ben honored me with a final New England IPA. It might have been the best of all. These past few years, I’ve found big IPAs and like-minded hop bombs almost painful to drink. Invariably, they set my sinuses to shutdown mode.

However, on this most recent trip, I didn’t experience this reaction. Maybe the Pioneer Valley is better for my head than the Ohio Valley.

Friday was our final evening with Jen, Ben and Ruby. We said our goodbyes (for now), returned to the Airbnb, packed and made ready for the flight back from Hartford on Saturday.