Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Smiths Go Northeast Day 2: Amherst, MA---Providence, RI

On our way to dinner our first night, we saw a sign for Dinosaur Footprints!  That went on our list for first thing yesterday morning!  Dinosaur Footprints is a well preserved area with a short trail allowing you to explore dinosaur footprints that have been fossilized!
Putting their hands in the prints left by dinos!
Trying to match the dinosaurs' stride
This was such a cool thing to see, but very challenging to photograph well...  Jackson's three fingers are inside a three-toed dino print!
And, now Graham!
Our wedding-ring fingers inside a dino footstep!
Our next stop was the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, but we had some time to kill along the way, so we stopped at Amherst Common School for a couple caches.  There was a great boardwalk and walking trail on the grounds.
I was SO excited to finally arrive at the Eric Carle museum!!!
There were two main galleries.  One was full of Eric Carle's artwork from his well-known children's books and the other contained pictures by other well-loved children's illustrators.  The Eric Carle-specific gallery had puppets that corresponded with his books as well as a scavenger hunt!
Jackson (and I!) had a spectacular time hunting for various details in the different pictures :)
Posing by the inspiration for Graham's first birthday party!
After touring the galleries, we watched a short film that brought one of our favorite stories to life: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!  
We headed to the art room next where we all were invited to create our own Eric Carle-inspired tissue paper collages!
This was SO fun!  We each got to create two different ones :)
A Very Hungry Caterpillar reading nook!!!  There were bookshelves on either end and benches inside the caterpillar!
The very famous butterfly :)
I LOVED everything about this museum, and Jackson was very interested in it all too.  Graham's attention span waned, so he and Josh went outside to play in the sculpture garden while Jackson and I wandered the galleries again and watched a video narrated by and starring Eric Carle all about his process for creating pictures.  It was AMAZING!  We ate our picnic lunch in the sculpture garden and collected our tissue paper collages before heading out to our next stop!
A well-deserved snooze on the way to Rhode Island!
While researching Rhode Island, I quickly found out there are quite a few carousels around the state!  I believe there is a carousel "challenge" to ride them all, but we didn't have time to hit them all.  We chose Carousel Village at Roger William Park in Providence as our spot to experience the historic carousels :)
Daddy got to ride with Graham :)
Such happy smiles from this ride!
Boundless Playground was near the carousel, so we let the boys run off some steam while we made a plan for the rest of the afternoon/evening.  We decided to go check in at the next hotel and replay the night before.  Josh took the boys swimming while I researched dinner and set up our room!  Tonight's pick wasn't quite as big of a hit, but we moved on to the Riverwalk in downtown Providence after dinner for some pretty sight-seeing.
While I was researching our trip and choosing our route and dates, I really wanted to work it so we would be in Providence on one of the nights for WaterFire--in the summer about 100 floating bonfires are lit throughout the river on certain nights.  Unfortunately, we just couldn't get our days to line up so we could be there to see it.  I really would like to go back and see it for sure!
But, we had a good time wandering along the Riverwalk, and finding a few geocaches along the way ;)

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