Tag Archives: Holyoke

Mount Tom State Reservation, Holyoke, Mass.

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Seeing that we were already on a “recreational adventure” to the great state of (legal recreational marijuana) Massachusetts, we stopped for some natural highs at Mt. Tom State Reservation on the drive home to Connecticut. I remember night skiing, under the lights, when I was a youngin’.

The drive we took (yes, we were drive-hiking on this visit) thru the park just before the sun started to set, was filled with so much natural wonder and memorable scenery and greenery that even I, an avowed (and par-for-the-course, lazy) pothead, am compelled to write this 5 star review, if only so that more of my fellow nutmeggers may have the same experience.

The most strenuous climb was handled by the Prius, but the most scary climb was up the wooden observation tower, with views over seemingly the entire Western half of the state of Massachusetts. If it was still open, and winter, and I still had the gear, and the weather was perfect, it was conceivable that I could still ski down, I told my girlfriend.

And then we drove home thru (and with!) the trees.

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Nick’s Nest, Holyoke, Mass.

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This past summer Raven and I dined at two restaurants in Western Massachusetts that have been open for so many years that my grandparents had actually dined there back when they were dating in their youth: the Student Prince and Nick’s Nest. And what I learned is that both of these badass places have been stayin’ alive by the strength of their unique and delicious offerings, upon which nostalgia is just the mustard on the dog.

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This paragraph is for hotdog lovers. Coming from somebody who loves roadfood in general, hotdogs in specific, and has a laser-like focus on eating hotdogs, for a decade in Chicago, and two plus decades on the East Coast: you have to go to Nick’s Nest for the hotdog. The Nick’s Nest dog is has a unique golden buttery umami-ful flavor profile, with a gentle snap, on toasted bun, that’s in complete harmony with their signature chili.

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The cheese fries are awesome. What else is there to say? Nick’s Nest is old school counter service. The speed of the hotdogs means although you are able to eat for a full meal, the efficiency may make it feel more like a snack. I’m not a doctor, but I would prescribe at least a minute of breathing deeply after each hotdog is ingested, to allow the brain to best absorb the gentle snap of hotdog satisfaction.

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And then order some ice cream.

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