After our motorcycle trip in England and Wales in April, we decided to do a motorcycle trip on a Memorial Day Weekend to New England for comparison. It was no surprise there was a huge contrast between the two. The weather was the complete opposite and we finally know the reason for their bitter British humor. The roads in the US are definitely as wide as the people here. All in all, it was good start to our summer motorcycling around New Jersey besides the little adventure of the bike not being able to start ( luckily, there was a hill ) on our way home.
See & Do
- Chuang Yen Monastery: We spotted this hidden monastery on our way to Massachusetts. The moment you stepped onto the grounds, you will be struck with a moment of zen. There is a path with all kinds of tiny Buddha statues on the side leading to the main temple, which houses supposedly the biggest Buddha on the Western Hemisphere. Behind that, the road leads to Thousand Lotus Terrace where dead people’s ashes are stored like the spices in your pantry. After coming down from the stairs, you will see Seven Jewels Lake with a nice gazebo for you to nap or read a book. If you look carefully, there are koi fish and turtles in the murky waters.
- Bash Bish Falls: On our way to Adams, we stopped by here for a moderate hike to the tallest waterfall in the state of Massachusetts. We took a shortcut by parking on the New York side so our legs can still function for the rest of the motorcycle ride. The trail from the Massachusetts side is much steeper and leads to the same exact falls. The waterfall is not exactly on your Niagara level but at least you can take a dip under the falls with your bathing suit on.
- Ashuwillticook Rail Trail:Just when you think the West Side Highway bike path in Manhattan is a cyclist’s heaven, you will certainly change your mind after biking on this scenic nicely paved rail trail that is 11 miles long. On some parts you are riding through forests of trees as if you are rushing to a romantic rendezvous. On other parts of the trail, you are biking next to a lake that is so pristine that you can see the backdrop of the mountain landscape in the lake. We rented our ‘Bianchi’ bikes from a local mom-and-pop shop Village Bike Rental that is right next to the rail trail.
- Mohawk Trail: Despite the rain, we took the motorcycle for a spin on this route which was recommended by Haflinger Haus’s bartender the night before. Luckily, some parts of the trail were dry as if it was oblivious about what’s happening in nearby towns. We were able to enjoy the snake-like winding roads in the mountains with a breeze we have been longing for after a 90-degree ride the day before.
Eat & Drink
- Cousin’s Pizza: This stop was as random as how I would have picked number 16 on the roulette. And I can safely say that we took home some chips with us. We shared a chicken parmesan sandwich and two slices of plain pizza. They were as authentic as an Italian-American grandma’s cooked meal from Brooklyn.
- Daily Grind: Seems like a locals go-to place for breakfast. You order at the counter and they will make your order in that aged greasy commercial-use pan behind the counter. Great place to grab something in the morning while browsing photo frames for sale with random kids in it. We shared a plate of French Toasts and breakfast platter.
- Angelina’s Submarine Shop: This probably the smallest sandwich shop I have ever been. There are two girls behind the counter taking and making the order. The menu contains your basic deli sandwiches and the bread is as soft as cotton-candy. We shared a turkey sub and eggplant sub.
- PUBLIC eat+drink: We stopped by here after riding on the Mohawk Trail. This is actually in North Adams and the crowd seems to be younger and more diverse than Adams. The food was excellent with their Asian take on some items on the menu. They get their produce from farms nearby as well. We each had beef tacos that brought us back to Seoul and spicy chicken burger that brought us back to Saigon.
- Haflinger Haus: We grabbed some authentic German beer (Hofbrau) and local brewed IPA after arriving here. The beers were definitely rewarding after a long hot ride from New Jersey. The bartender is like the master from the Japanese show ‘Midnight Diner‘. He talks to people sitting at the bar and seems to know who’s who around town. He later introduced us to the owner of establishment and we learned about how he often travels to Germany and brings back Austrian and German cuisine to the restaurant. We had the Hungarian Goulash( owner’s grandma’s recipe ) and spaetzle( German version of macaroni and cheese). Both dishes were as German/Austrian as they can get.
- Haflinger Haus : There are several rooms on the second floor of the restaurant. Our room was well-equipped with basic amenities. They provide continental breakfast in the morning downstairs in a smaller dinning room decorated with musical instruments and relics dedicated to Mozart.
- 05/28/2016 to 05/30/2016