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Tennis Camp in Massachusetts
 
Sunset Over Lake Champlain
 
Burlington, Vermont
 
Lake Champlain Ferry to New York
 
Oh Canada!
 
Home Base in Historic Vieux-Montréal
 
La Basilique Notre Dame
 
La Place Jacques-Cartier
 
Evening in Vieux-Montréal
 
Excursion to Mont Royal
 
Detour to Le Parc Olympique
 
Exploring the Vieux-Port
 
La Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours
 
Farewell Québec

After having taken another cruise in 2004, I felt like I needed to visit someplace new in 2005. I had been chewing on thoughts of returning to Europe, but I couldn't decide on either the right place to go or the right way to visit. As the year hurried on and my indecision became more and more unbreakable, I began to risk not being able to go anywhere that year. So around June I felt like it might be fun to go back to tennis camp in Amherst, even though I had already done that in 2003. But since camp was only Sunday thru Wednesday, I realized there was opportunity for exploring more of the area. Upon studying a map, a large city stared back at me from north of the border... Since I had wanted to visit Europe again, what better place to go than to one of the most European cities in North America?

It's kind of funny... I spent Sunday thru Wednesday at tennis camp in Amherst, Massachusetts, which was the majority of my week away. Yet I have only one page here devoted to that time. Well, it is rather difficult to take pictures while playing tennis. But I didn't get into tourist mode until after camp was done. So here is a pic while driving in Massachusetts along I-91 north toward Amherst on Sunday, July 31.
This is view of the clay courts on the campus of Amherst College where the camp is held. I am not a big fan of the clay, since I'm so used to the hard courts in Texas. Unfortunately, I got stuck on the clay most of the time while there.
Amherst College really has a beautiful campus. Many of the buildings have an iconic New England style that thoughts of the Revolutionary era bring to mind. The first couple of days that I was there, the worst-case scenario happened: rain. It made scheduling practice nearly impossible, and the students were divided between multiple other local schools with indoor courts. We got our playing time in, sorta, but it was a real pain in the ass.
When I went to camp in 2003, major construction projects were underway on campus. Two years later, those projects had been completed, including new dorms about only a hundred yards from the courts. We stayed in this new dorm, and it was a very nice change from the old dorms that campers were previously stuck with way across campus. Overall, camp was very enjoyable again, even though I have failed to remember anything I learned!

On the rainy camp days, I was part of the group that went to the indoor courts at Smith College in Northampton, about 10 miles from Amherst. As we were driving through the town, I noticed a lot of people bustling along the streets, even with the rain. It looked like a very unique place to visit. Since it was on my way to my next destination, I stopped and took a look around after camp finished on Wednesday, August 3.
In August 2005, it was not even a year since Massachusetts' junior senator Monsieur Kerry lost the presidential election. His home state was firmly in his corner, and that certainly included Northampton. It was a beautiful town, but it had a distinctly left-leaning feel to it. Whatever the case, you sure could tell it wasn't Fort Worth, Texas!
I don't really know if there is anything significant about this church, but I took a pic because I thought it looked cool. Interesting thing I found while walking around... A bakery had an electric sign in the window that was running a continuously increasing tally of the cost of the war in Iraq. President Bush is not a popular man here! Anyway, with limited time to spare, I checked my email at an internet cafe, grabbed an ice cream cone, and left town to begin a lengthy northwest trek across Vermont.

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