massachusetts


Best Place to See Spring Bloom in Massachusetts

Spring has finally arrived! As the weather starts warms up, Massachusetts begins to bloom with flowers. Enjoy the beautiful start of spring at these amazing gardens and parks!

1. Boston Public Garden

Located in the heart of Boston, the Public Garden offers rotational plantings throughout the spring and summer months.  One visit wont be enough to see the blooming trees and fresh flowers. As the first public botanical garden in America, this green and flowering oasis in the heart of a great metropolis has become a Boston icon. After you stroll through the garden, be sure to ride a swan boat to get the full affect of this beautiful park!

2. Mount Auburn Cemetery

This National Historic Landmark provides wonderful flowers, and amazing blooming cherry trees. Well known both for its architectural elements and the fame of some of its interred residents, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Oliver Wendell Holmes, the cemetery brings in more than 200,000 visitors a year.  With so much to uncover, Mount Auburn hosts walking tours, bird walks, special lectures, and even early morning excursions.  Plan ahead for a group tour, or enjoy this beautiful, serene place on your own leisure.

3. Bridge of Flowers

Opening back up this April, this gorgeous bridge stands alone as one of a kind.  Thousands of bulbs, perennials, annuals and flowering shrubs come into bloom on it over the course of the year. The flowers and plants have been around since the early 1900s when a group on women transformed the old trolley bridge into a bridge of beauty. Start on the Buckland side surrounded by bright plantings, and slowly make your way across the river enjoying all the plants and flowers. Once you’re on the Shelburne side, enjoy the Stone Spring and River Bench.

4. The Berkshires

Enjoy mountain air, rare mountain wild flowers and beautiful open fields this spring at the Berkshires.  Known for its mountains and beauty, this part of Massachusetts has so much to offer!  One great place to hike and see spring in bloom is Bartholomew’s Cobble.  It offers a rugged and exotic landscape that supports 800 species of plants while offering terrific mountain vistas. Looking to mix things up from hiking? Travel through one of the many beautiful scenic bike trails to see wild flowers, and amazing river views.

5.  Keller Rose Garden Of The Emerald Necklace

The Emerald necklace Conservatory offers six parks spanning 5 miles designed over 100 years ago.  Part of the National Register of Historic Places, it’s well worth a visit this spring for strolls and bloom gazing.  The Kelleher Rose Garden, part of the Back Bay Fens, offers great views of spring plantings.  Located by the World War II, Vietnam and Korean War Memorial, the garden is a popular picnic site for many.  Recently restored, this beautiful garden will definitely surely impress!

 

Best Places to see Spring bloom

Top 5 Skiing Mountains in New England

It’s going to be a gorgeous weekend to go skiing! New England is luckily enough to have some of the best ski resorts in the country.  We choose our favorites based on a variety of different criteria including largest resort, to most family friendly.  Here are our top 5 mountains within a 3 hours drive from Massachusetts!

Best Family Friendly Mountain
Loon Mountain in New Hampshire

Located in the scenic White Mountain National Forest, this mountain offers beautiful scenery and ample snowfall. Loon offers wide groomed trails, tree glades and steep moguls. At night take advantage of the variety of shops and restaurants. For those of you who need a break from skiing, the resort includes an ice castle, a winter zip-line, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snow tubing and an adventure center.

Runs: 61

Most Terrain Parks
Okemo Mountain Resort in Southern Vermont

Okemo’s accommodates skiers of all levels. With an almost equal balance between beginner, intermediate and advanced trails, everyone is sure to find the perfect run. For boarders and freestylers, the park offers 8 terrains parks, including a Superpipe. Okemo’s trail network spans over five distinct alpine areas, and let’s not forget it has one of the highest vertical drops in southern Vermont of 2,200 feet.

Runs: 120

Biggest Mountain/ Resort
Killington Resort in Southern Vermont

The biggest resort on our list spanning 6 mountains providing 155 runs, with the longest run 6 miles. Killington’s terrain is extremely diverse, ranging from gentle groomers, learning areas to steep mogul runs and gladed trails, as well as some of the best terrain parks in the northeast. With 5 base lodges around the resort, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Killington’s fine dining options.  By the end of the day, if you aren’t wiped out from the amazing skiing, take advantage of Killington’s awesome nightlife.

Runs: 155

Most Environmental Resort
Jiminy Peak in Western Massachusetts

Jiminy is the only one on our list in Massachusetts, and the only resort in America that generates their own energy by using alternative wind power from their Wind Turbine. A great mountain for beginners and for those who want relaxing runs with over half the runs on beginner trails. Don’t let that deter those of you advanced skiers. Jiminy peak offers advanced and expert runs on challenging terrain that you can easily get to from a ride on the six-passenger express ski lift to the summit. And if you can’t get enough skiing in during the day, stay for a night ski!

Runs: 45

Best Pricing Offers
Stratton Mountain Resort in Southern Vermont

Stratton is offering a great deal of 2 one-day lift tickets for discounted rates. Recently revamped, guests can now enjoy new snowmaking, grooming, new trails, and newly remodeled lodging and dining. With 100 acres of glades, and 95% snow making coverage, skiers and boarders are sure to be pleased. But, for some reason if you are not happy with the mountain, Stratton offers a “Great Snow Guarantee.” Ride the trails for an hour, and if you aren’t satisfied, Stratton will give you credit towards another day.

Runs: 97

ski mountain NE copy

How to Drive Safely With Snowbanks

The four blizzards in three weeks have left mountains of snow all around New England. Removing the snow has been challenging for towns everywhere, and with nowhere to move it all, the streets have becoming increasingly clogged. Travel lanes have been reduced from four to two, and two-way roads are now one way. Particularly small streets are so clogged up that even sidewalks cease to exist! If they do, they’re so narrow even the smallest of people have a hard time passing the massive snow banks. With nowhere else to walk, pedestrians than take to the road, resulting in further unsafe road conditions.

Here are a few safety tips on how to drive with massive snowbanks:

1. Drive SLOWER. Although that seems like such obvious advice, it really is so important.   In the winter, tires don’t hold to asphalt as well as they do in the summer. A mistake becomes much harder to correct with snow on the ground. Braking distances become longer, and the ability to dart around quickly in traffic decreases. Even when the roads seem cleared up, it’s still important to drive slowly due to decreased visibility from the snow banks. Many the snow piles tower way above 3 ½ feet- which is eye level for most drivers. The safest way to cross is to slowly come to a stop and then inch out to see if a car is coming. Even if you know that there is a stop sign for the intersected street, they might not able to see it due to the snow banks.

2. Make sure you windows are de-iced so you can properly see cars coming. Not only is driving with iced up windows incredibility unsafe, it is also illegal. You can quickly ice proof your windows by spraying them the night before with three parts vinegar and one part water. The acetic acid in vinegar will lower the melting point of water and preventing it from freezing. If you don’t get to it at night, spray the mixture in the morning to make scrapping much easier.

3. Check the pressure and tread of your tires. Too low pressure or bald tires can be extremely dangerous, especially in snowy weather. Having low pressure can cause heat build up, which can cause the tire to pop at high speeds. Most gas station have air pumps that will let you gauge the pressure and add more air if needed. Bald tires, or low tread means less traction to the road, especially in rain or snow. You can check this by placing a penny (the edge with Lincoln’s head pointing down) in one the grooves of the tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires.

4. Drive with your lights on. With snowbanks blocking drivers view, having your lights on with help make you known to other drivers. Even if the sun is out, if it’s snowing always have your lights on. With visibility so low when it snows, having your lights on will help you see other cars coming, and help drivers see you.

Massachusetts has had a record-breaking month with snow, and it will take some time for it all to melt. Keep these tips in mind so you can safely navigate around the snow covered streets!

Driving with Snowbanks

It’s Contest Time!

spooky spot

Today’s the day, our holiday contest officially begins!  Find us on Facebook and take part in our “Spooky Spots in Massachusetts” contest for your chance to win a $50 gas card from MassDrive!  Think this spot looks familiar? “Like” our post on Facebook and comment with your guess to be eligible to win!  We’ll be posting one of these mystery pictures every Wednesday in October, and at the end of the month we’ll be choosing two lucky winners to each win a $50 gas card!

Good luck!

  • Entry Instructions:  Each person may enter by clicking “Like” on the MassDrive Facebook page and comment on the photo each week with their guess for the location in the photo. You may also enter the Contest by sending us the requested information by a postcard or letter addressed to “Spooky Spots In Massachusetts Contest” to our mailing address at 241 A Street, Suite 400, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110. Please include your submission and how to contact you by phone, email and mailing address.  These complete Contest Rules may also be obtained by sending us a request at our address, above.
  • All entrants must be Massachusetts residents and age 18 or older.
  • Only one entry per person per post. No purchase of any MassDrive product is necessary and will not increase the likelihood of winning.
  • Entrants may not submit content that contains any elements that violate a third party’s copyrights or trademark rights; or depictions of any individuals that have not granted permission to appear in the entry.
  • The contest will begin on Wednesday October 1, 2014  and will end at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, October, 29th.  After a photo is posted Wednesday of each week, entrants will be eligible to enter their guess until the photo location is revealed. The contest winners will be selected by MassDrive based upon the accuracy of each entrant’s guess and the amount of correct answers throughout the month.  It will be judged upon adherence to our contest rules.  The winners will be announced in a post on our Facebook page the following day.  The winners can inbox us with their address’ and we will mail the gas cards to them.
  • The contest winners will each be mailed a $50 gift card to Exxon Mobil.
  • Employees and family members of MassDrive or Next Generation Insurance Group LLC are ineligible to enter.
  • MassDrive reserves the right to cancel, modify or suspend the Contest, if in its sole discretion any problem prevents the Contest from running as planned.  All entrants must agree to release and hold harmless MassDrive from any claim by the entrant associated by entrant’s participation in the Contest.  MassDrive is not responsible and cannot be held liable for technical errors or other things that may prevent the promotion from running as planned.  MassDrive also reserves the right to substitute the contest prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the advertised contest prize is not available.
  • These Contest Rules shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, excluding its conflicts of laws provisions.
  • All entrants must agree to release and hold harmless Facebook from any claim by the entrant associated by entrant’s participation in the Contest. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Autumn Adventures!

apple picking

Who doesn’t love the fall?  The weather cools down, football is on, and pumpkin flavored everything is back!  Oh, and not to mention all of the exciting fall activities there are!  If you’re trying to plan the perfect fall day with friends and family, we’ve got you covered, check out these different options for fun things to do across the state to get your fix of fall!

Apple Picking – This classic fall favorite never gets old, and is perfect for friends and family of all ages!  Here in Massachusetts we’re lucky enough to have tons of apple orchards to choose from.  What could be more fun than spending a sunny fall day outside, picking some apples, and then heading home to make fresh apple crisp?  Many of them offer pumpkin picking as well, so you can get all of the ingredients you need to make some amazing fall treats in one spot!

Corn Mazes – Whether you’re looking for something different to do with the kids during the day, or want to get spooked out just in time for Halloween, corn mazes are sure to be a hit with everyone.  Many of them are interactive, have trivia questions to help guide you, and all have their own unique themes!  Check out some of these corn mazes in Massachusetts and enjoy!

Haunted Drives – There’s nothing spookier than being on a dark, dismal road rumored to be haunted, especially around Halloween!  Do you dare take a drive down a road like this in Massachusetts?  As one of the oldest states in the country, we are also known as one of the most haunted, so you never know what you may see if you’re brave enough to venture down one of these spooky spots.  Take a look at some of our recommendations for haunted drives in Massachusetts, but don’t blame us when you have nightmares!

Farmers Markets – Looking for some fresh ingredients to use in your fall recipes?  Farmers markets are a great spot to find fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, flowers, maple products, cheeses, meats, eggs, honey, and much more!  Spend the day strolling through the aisles of natural products with friends, a date, or even make new friends.  Stock your fridge with yummy snacks and treat yourself to the taste of fall!  Don’t know where to go?  We’ve made it easy for you!  Here’s a list of farmer’s markets in Massachusetts.

Brewery Tours – For those of you that are 21+, brewery tours are a fun, unique way to get an inside look into the world of craft brewing.  Most breweries will even let you sample some of their creations, and these tours are usually either free or extremely affordable.  There’s a wide variety of options to choose from too, from big brewers such as Sam Adams and Harpoon, to local ones like Cisco and Wachusett Brewery.  Take a look at this full list of breweries in Massachusetts.

Which one of these activities is your favorite thing to do during the fall?  With so many options it can be hard to choose just one, so why not try them all?

Photo By: Brian Birke

Furry Friend Friday With Penny!

penny

Happy Furry Friend Friday everyone!  Meet Penny, this three year-old hound is up for adoption through Greyhound Friends, Inc under their “Hound Friends” section.   This cutie hasn’t had the easiest life so far, she was picked up as a stray in Kentucky and brought to a shelter there before she was transported up to Massachusetts.  She has been with Greyhound Friends for a few months now and is ready for her fur-ever home!  Greyhound Friends is also home to Bolt, who I interviewed a few weeks ago.  Bolt would be the perfect dog for an older couple or family with young children, read more about him here.

So Penny, what is your favorite way to spend the day?

Well, as a hound I have a very strong nose and love to use it!  Getting outside and out and about is one of my favorite things to do, and I love playing with other dogs as well!  I’m a very active girl and have a lot of energy so I need to find a way to burn it off or I’ll go stir-crazy!

Do you have a favorite place to go for a walk?

Well here at the shelter they have an entire fenced in acre where we can all run around! That’s all I’ve known for the most part since I’ve arrived here in Massachusetts and I’m hoping that once I find my family they will take me on a lot of adventures so I can learn my way around and find all the most happening spots.

What about a favorite treat or toy?

I LOVE pieces of chicken!  That’s by far my favorite snack ever and usually I just get a few small pieces but I would eat a whole rotisserie chicken if I had the chance!  In terms of toys, I enjoy playing with frisbees a lot!  I’m very quick and some say I would even make a great agility dog!

Do you have any fears?

Not really, when I was out on my own on the mean streets of Kentucky I got pretty tough.  I had to learn to fend for myself and came across a few scary situations but got through them and now nothing can scare me!

What would be the perfect home for you?

Well since I am so young and active I would enjoy being with a young couple who likes to go on hikes or runs.  I would also love a family with older children that can play with me and goof off, or even a home with another dog to play with.  I’m a very good girl and know all of my commands, am house trained, and quite good looking if you ask me!

Penny why do you think pet insurance is so important for all pet parents?

Well anything can happen in life, which I have seen first hand so it’s better to be prepared for the unexpected!  As pets we can’t help ourselves if we become sick so we rely on our owners to take care of us, and sometimes our vet bills can be very expensive so pet insurance can make sure we are protected while saving you tons of dough!

Penny is right, pets rely on their owners to get them the help they cannot get for themselves.  When you adopt a pet, their health becomes your responsibility, protect them like you would any other family member and call us for a pet insurance quote today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Furry Friend Friday With Cybil!

cybil

Happy Furry Friend Friday everyone, we hope you’re staying nice and dry today!  My friend Cybil from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem is here to chat about her day to day life in the shelter.  Cybil is about 10 years old so she’s an older gal, but she still has as much spunk as a puppy!

So Cybil, what is your favorite way to spend the day?

I love cuddling and being around people, those are my absolute favorite things to do!  I would follow around the shelter staff all day if it were possible, that’s why I’m hoping I find my forever home really soon!  I would be the perfect snuggling companion and love to just sit near the closest person who will pet me.  Doesn’t get much better than a good belly rub if you ask me!  I also like to go for nice long, leisurely walks so that I stay in shape, it’s not easy looking this good!

Do you have a favorite place to go for a walk?

Not really, I am originally from Virginia so am not too familiar with my surroundings here in Massachusetts just yet, we have a play yard near the shelter though and that’s fun.

What about a favorite toy?

I’m not that into toys to be honest.  I would much rather spend my time out and about on a walk or sitting next to my favorite person.  I guess I just outgrew them and am more interested in people.

You look pretty tough to me but is there anything that scares you?

Well I’m not really a fan of other dogs if they are pushy, not that I’m scared, just a little nervous around them if they start trying to jump all over me and I can get a little bossy.  I don’t mind other dogs that are older or more relaxed like myself.  Other than that thunder does frighten me a bit, during the last thunder storm I started to shake a little because I was nervous, and the staff put one of those Thunder Shirts on me and I was much better!

Cybil, why do you think it’s important for all pet parents to have pet insurance?

Well personally I am healthy as a horse, but I know that some dogs start to develop health issues as they age, much like people.  Even if your pet isn’t older, young puppies and kittens can find things to eat and get them into trouble and you never know when that might mean a trip to the vet.

Cybil makes a great point, it may seem like pet insurance is not necessary or only for older dogs, but the reality is that regardless of your pets age, anything can happen and they might accidentally wind up in the vet’s office because they ate something they shouldn’t have or got out of the yard and got hurt.  The possibilities are endless and having pet insurance will leave you resting easy knowing that your furry friend will receive top of the line care and you won’t have to break the bank, so call us today for a pet insurance quote and make sure your best bud is protected!

If interested in adopting Cybil, contact the Northeast Animal Shelter.  One of our past furry friends from the same shelter is still up for adoption as well, his name is Kyle and be sure to check out his interview here!

Furry Friend Friday With Kyle!

kyle furry friend friday

Happy Furry Friend Friday everyone!  We’re back at it and today Kyle was gracious enough to take some time to chat with me.  Kyle is a one year old terrier mix up for adoption at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA.  If you’re looking for your new best friend, look no further!  Kyle has been waiting for his forever home for a while now and is ready to meet his match.

So Kyle I hear that you are not originally from Massachusetts, where were you before you came to the Northeast Animal Shelter?

Well believe it or not I was in a kill shelter in California!  I’m glad I dodged that one, let me tell you!  I was lucky enough to be found by a rescue organization that works with the shelter here in Salem, and they scooped me up and transported me to the East Coast.

Wow what a scary situation, now that you’re safe what is your favorite way to spend the day here?

I love getting to leave my cage!  As long as I’m not in my cage I’m having fun, and I have a lot of energy to burn once I’m not cooped up in there.  I love to go outside and play fetch, that is my favorite game for sure.  After a nice long game, I like to curl up in the closest lap I can find!  I’m only 8 pounds so I’m the perfect lap dog!  My friends that work at the shelter take me outside with them sometimes and rub me while we get some fresh air, I love doing that especially now that the beautiful weather is here.

Do you have a favorite toy here?

Well as I said fetch is my favorite game, so I would have to say my ball is my favorite toy.  If you’ll throw it, I’ll chase it all day!

Is there anything you’re afraid of?

Well the kill shelter in California was a very scary experience, and even though everyone here in Salem is very nice I hate being in my cage.  I get so nervous when I have to go back in, it’s hard not knowing when I’ll get to go out again or play with my friends!  Sometimes I put up a fuss when I have to get back in, but I’m young so how can you blame me?  As long as I’m not in my cage I’m fine, but if my new family wants to crate train me it wouldn’t be as scary.

Since you’re not a fan of your cage you must be pretty excited when you get to go out for walks, do you have a favorite route that you take?

I’m just happy to be out and about and love to go anywhere!  We have a really nice grassy area near the shelter, and I love going over there to sniff and roll around in the grass, especially when it’s sunny!

 Kyle I know you’re young, but why would you want your new family to consider pet insurance for you?

Even though I’m young and healthy, anything can happen!  I’m very careful of course but anything can happen, accidents are accidents for a reason  and even though I don’t plan on getting sick or hurt, I’d want to be protected if something ever happened.

Kyle makes a good point, accidents are accidents for a reason, which is why it is always a good idea to consider pet insurance regardless of your pets age! All of our furry friends deserve the best care possible, so give us a call for a pet insurance quote today!  If you’re interested in meeting Kyle, contact the Northeast Animal Shelter, he would be the perfect companion for an active young couple or family with teenagers!

 

Furry Friend Friday With Mya!

pit bull

We’re back again and today we’re bringing you yet another exciting interview despite the snow storm.  Today I got to interview Mya, and let me tell you she is a very lucky girl!  Mya lives out in Arizona with one of the sales representatives from our office in Phoenix, so fortunately for her she’s hasn’t had to step foot in any snow!  I let her know that those of us here in Massachusetts are very jealous of the beautiful weather they have out there!

So Mya, what is your favorite thing to do?

Well, I am a very curious girl.  Anywhere I go I love to explore my surroundings and investigating every new sight and smell.  I also love being around my people, they are so much fun and are always doing something interesting or eating something new, I’m sure you can imagine how much I love finding scraps of left over food if they spill some around the house.  After thoroughly investigating my surroundings, I like to take a nice long nap.

Do you have a favorite toy that you like to play with?

My favorite toy is my pink monkey!  She is my best friend and I try to bring her everywhere with me.  Whether I’m taking a snooze or hanging around outside, my pink monkey is by my side.  My people always play with me and sometimes they even try to throw my monkey, but don’t worry; I always run after her and pick her up as fast as I can!

Is there anything you’re afraid of?

Well I’m not afraid of much, the only thing that makes me nervous is my brother, Andre.  We don’t live together, but I still get to see him a lot because my owner and his owner are brothers!  Ironic isn’t it?  Anyways we got into a little scuffle when I was younger and he is a lot tougher than I am so I try to stay out of his way.  I’m not saying he’s mean or anything, sometimes he just doesn’t know his own strength and gets a little too rough.  I just hope people aren’t afraid of me, I’m a pitbull and we may look tough, but I’m really just a big love bug and wouldn’t hurt a fly!

What’s your favorite place to go for a walk?

I love walking all over our neighborhood, the weather here in Phoenix has been perfect for dog walking lately!  There’s a grassy field near our house that we go to a lot, I love running around and playing fetch on a nice warm day!  Even when it gets hot out, it’s not as humid here as it is for you all in Massachusetts!

Do you have any health concerns?

Not at the moment, I am a very healthy young girl!  The only time I had to go to the vet (besides yearly check-ups) was after I got into that scuffle that I already told you about.  Like I said, sometimes my brother just doesn’t know his own strength and it started off as playing but eventually I ended up at the vet’s office and needed a few stitches.

Lucky for her owner, Mya is a happy healthy four year old girl.  However, dogs of any age can get injured accidentally, whether it’s by another dog or something else, and the vet bills that follow such injuries can be expensive!  Give us a call at MassDrive for a pet insurance quote, there are no restrictions on any type of breed so all cats and dogs (including pitbulls) are welcome!

 

 

 

MassDrive Winter Week!

Massachusetts Winter Week

Although it hasn’t really felt like a true New England winter yet, it is January and the peak of wintertime here in Massachusetts. As the temperatures drop, you may be tempted to stay home, but the great thing about winter in Massachusetts is that you certainly don’t have to – there is plenty going on throughout the state that will make you want to throw on that down jacket and join in the fun!

Here at MassDrive, we’ve compiled the best and most fun winter activities around Massachusetts this winter to share with you so you can make the most of your wintertime. Stay tuned throughout the week for posts here on the blog with fun activities for a snow day, the best skiing within driving distance and a listing of awesome winter events. Don’t let the cold scare you away – these activities are definitely worth a little chill!

Whether it’s hitting the slopes, enjoying a winter festival or building a snowman in the backyard, there is plenty to do during the colder season around Massachusetts. Follow us on Twitter for updates each day, and follow #mdwinterweek to join in on the conversation. You can also Like us on Facebook to participate in polls, share your winter photos and let us know what you look forward to doing every winter!

To get started early, you can check out this great website for awesome Massachusetts events this winter: http://www.bostoncentral.com/events.php. Otherwise, stay tuned!

Do you have a favorite wintertime tradition? Make sure to tell us about it in the comments!

Photo by BostonPhotoSphere

Ready for a Quote?
Get A Quote