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Winter Hiking in the Berkshires

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. ~ Helen Keller

This new year started off with a major change in our lives. Our beautiful daughter, our one and only, moved to California! Any one of you with children who have moved away know the feeling. We have been through this before when she went to college, but this time instead of an hour away, she is 3,000 miles away. We have to pull out all of the stops to stay and to be happy about this big move. Within 3 weeks, she has set up her apartment, had friends visit, and started to look for a job. She is happy and excited about this new adventure and we are thrilled for her too.

Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay. Dalai Lama

baby j

This little one, also known as ” little j “,  is the light of our lives! She fills the house with excitement, drama and great entertainment! Having her around full time, since she graduated a year and a half ago, has been really enjoyable to say the least. She is a such dear soul who is fun to be around. Her humor, sweetness, and creativity always inspire us. And, boy do we miss her cooking! Oh, did I mention she is beautiful too?


Here she is the day she moved. Saying goodbye to her car, Thelma. Thelma is not just a car, she has a personality too. Leaving Thelma was not easy for Julia. This little power house, ” jalapy”  took Julia through most of high school, college, and beyond ~ they had a bond! Poor Thelma found out Julia was moving, and switching to a new car named Fraiser. She decided the week before she moved that she could no longer go on without Julia’s love! She is on life support and hoping someone will adopt her, with all of her little quirks, and love her.

So what are us empty nesters to do? Keep busy, be extra healthy, and plan our next vacation to San Diego! That’s what we do!


One of the greatest things about living in the Berkshires is that nature is right outside our door, and the woods are only five minutes away! We need to be extra active this year, and this winter with the lack of snow, it has been great for hiking. I adore snow shoeing and we are pretty close to the smaller ski areas, so there is plenty to do when it snows too.

Nature is the art of God. ~ Thomas Browne

cobble 3

Hiking at The Tyringham Cobble about 6 miles away from Crabtree Cottage. 

cobble 1
summit 1
rabbit rock

After our hikes we like to come home, make soup, and light a fire! For the recipe for this vegetable curry go to my facebook page. Easy, healthy, and very comforting.

soup 2

Cuddling in front of the fire is magic after a vigorous hike!


Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

jeff laur's

Hiking again at Laura’s TowersTrail.  Because of the snow and ice you need your yaktracks for this. I wish we took pictures at the top of the trail. The lookout views are amazing.

The following pictures we taken hiking at October Mountain – a gorgeous woodland hike with streams.  Max and Margot are thrilled with all of these weekend hikes. Watching them navigate across a stream, or decide whether or not to jump over or go under a log is fascinating. These little athletes need nature and freedom from the leash on a regular basis that is for sure.

oct mtn 4
oct mtn

Need a little lovin’? Get a dog or two!


Last weekend was the best hike of all! We went on a Full Moonlight Guided hike at Hilltop Orchards in Richmond. About a 15 minute drive from Crabtree Cottage.  Although the orchard and trails had some snow, we were able to wear hiking boots. When there is deeper snow, they have a snowshoe hike. The sky was completely cloudy all day because of the big northeastern storm that hit NY, Baltimore, and DC, but we didn’t get any snow. Amazingly, the full moon showed itself for the entire hike. The hike ended with a bonfire, wine tasting, and entertainment inside the lodge. By the time we finished the bonfire, the moon was covered again by clouds. It was a quite a dramatic hike with the full moon guiding us. We will take this hike again – hopefully with snow shoes. It was a bit vigorous and fun. We had chit-chat, silent walking, and the setting of intentions that we released into the bonfire at the end. Then we tasted some of the wines in the wine tasting room, sat by the stone fireplace, roaring with warm flames, sipped on wine, and listened to a local musician. It was simple, magic, and perfect for our bodies, minds, and souls to be in the woods that night.

moon walk fire

Besides hiking we have eaten out a lot too! We have some of our favorite restaurants right here in Lee. All within walking distance to Crabtree.  Tonight we don’t really have anything to do, nothing we have to see at the movies, so we are going to The Lions Den, in Stockbridge. They have pub-fare and local entertainment. If we time it just right we might just get a seat in front of the fire.


And… I might just order my new favorite drink, inspired by my daughter Juliia;  gin and tonic (although I get it with club soda, to avoid the extra sugar) with bitters. I had never been on a bitters kick before. Imagine, that little baby at the top of this blog knowing about this! One of these does the trick and it feels healing because of the bitters, haha!

gin & tonic w:bitters

And lastly, a new recipe. I started making apple cakes around Christmas time. It became Julia’s favorite breakfast treat, and also what she wanted for her birthday just before she moved.  So in honor of our little j, without further adieu, the Crabtree Cottage Apple cake! Visit my facebook page. So far my guests have been loving this too!


Thank you for coming by my blog today. Part of my empty nest therapy is going to be some more home renovating. Not only to please us, but to please our guests too! Stay tuned. My new theme includes more black paint!