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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Traveling the Back Roads

Do you ever get off a ramp that isn’t part of the mapped trip just to discover what is off that exit? An unexpected detour as you travel to your major destination often becomes the charm and beauty, making for a well-remembered road trip. A tiny shop, an unknown eatery or an undiscovered artisan off the beaten path gives you that sense of what Guy Fieri’s job ‘Diners, Drive-ins and Dives’ must be really like – in my book; awesome!

With the seasonal change fast approaching, autumn brings out extra loads of back road drivers. It’s part of the fall magic. Whether it is to partake in leaf peeping, country fairs or hay rides, when you meander along the back roads, the simmered down drive and sightseeing makes for a darn good reason to detour from the crazed Interstate.

Need some help discovering the lesser known highlights during the upcoming fall season? Check out this self-guided tour of artisans on October 1 and 2, 2011. Discover quaint Central Massachusett towns that may otherwise be overlooked to its bigger competitors of Vermont and New Hampshire. Plus you’ll still get to see the same spectacular New England foliage.  

And if you love tiny studios where you can find unusual wood creations, antique iron work, paintings, Alpacas (watch out –they spit!), woven rugs or bakeshops, there should be a flavor of something for the whole family. What makes it even better? It’s one of those rain or shine items for the fall schedule.

And if you want to add something additional to your trip to make you really feel like Guy Fieri, check out Picasso Restaurant and Bar in the charming town center of Barre, MA. This hidden jewel offers an interesting fare plus exquisite taste with the famous ‘locally grown’ slogan in their menu. But it’s not the typical – take for instance locally grown and produced Plum Chutney. Plus they make homemade pasta, homemade desserts - all this and more from a tiny restaurant that took up shop in the old Post Office that serves ‘eclectic traditional Mediterranean cuisine’. One suggestion: call ahead for reservations because this is a popular local destination with limited space.

So get on your shades, pack up the car and make for the back roads. Fall is upon us - it’s that time of year. And don’t forget Minnie Pearl’s advice. “Take the back roads instead of the highways.” Enjoy the last day of summer. Annie

Top image from the Back Road Studio Tour website
Bottom image of Guy Fieri and his line of sunglasses from the Internet

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)