New England


The Ultimate Road Trip Playlist!

road trip

Road trips are a fun way to spend the day during the warmer weather.  You get to see new places, make new memories with family and friends, and of course crank some tunes. Whether you’ll be in the car for hours, or only for a quick drive, having the right music can make the trip much more enjoyable.  To help you avoid digging through CD’s and scrolling through all of your songs on iTunes, we’ve come up with a play list of classic songs and newer hits that are sure to be popular with all ages.

With a mix of oldies, newer pop songs, and classic rock, this playlist is sure to please everyone in the car during your trip, no matter how long it is!  So roll the windows down, blast the speakers, and enjoy!

Photo By: Aidras

 

 

 

 

Spring Day Trips In Massachusetts

newburyport

Have a day or two off and want to go somewhere new?  Take a day trip to one of these great spots across the state!  Here in Massachusetts we’re lucky that we’re within driving distance of the beach, mountains, and city.  Take advantage of everything the Bay State has to offer this spring and check out some of these fun destinations on your next day off!

Newburyport – This seaside town is the perfect destination if you want to take in a sea breeze this spring.  There is a boardwalk right on the water that visitors can stroll along while stopping in to the many shops, museums, boutiques, and restaurants that line the streets of this quaint town.  Want to take in the outdoors?  There are many activities available including fishing, boating, taking a walk through the nature reserve or one of the many parks, or head to Plum Island and take a swim.  There’s enough going on here to keep you busy all day, and every member of your family will find something that interests them!

Mohawk Trail Region – The Mohawk Trail region is made up of many towns in Western Massachusetts including Deerfield, Barre, North Adams, and Greenfield that offers activities for all ages.  It’s the first scenic road in New England and has 63 miles of spectacular mountain views to take in!  This is a perfect destination for outdoor people, and attractions include zip lining, golf, fishing, boating, hiking, swimming, and much more.  There are also antique stores, galleries, museums, and historic sites for those that aren’t quite as outdoorsy.  Feeling really adventurous?  Try white water rafting!  There are many options across this region, depending on where you plan on traveling.  With so many options over such a large area, you’ll need to plan out an itinerary before you head out, so check out all that the Mohawk Trail region has to offer!

Boston Freedom Trail – Take a ride into Boston and brush up on some history this spring!  The Freedom Trail is one of the most popular attractions in the city, and it will bring you to all of the must see locations along the way.  This is Boston’s most popular walking tour and you can either book a tour with a costumed guide who will give you all of the historic information relevant to each landmark you pass by, or if you’re looking for a more casual setting follow the trail yourself and read the historic markers along the way!  If you do buy a ticket for the tour, it is valid for any day and time, tours are offered 12 times daily from April-November so there are plenty of options.  The trail will lead you all over the city, from the Boston Common, to Beacon Hill, to the waterfront, to the North End, and all the way into Charlestown, it’s the perfect way to experience every part of the city!

We’re very lucky here in Massachusetts, all of these destinations are only a few hours away from any point in the state, and are all perfect for day tripping with the whole family!  Next time you have a day off head to one of these spots that you typically wouldn’t venture to, you’ll make some new memories and have fun with the whole family while enjoying the outdoors this spring!

Photo By: Dougtone

Driving In The Rain? Follow These Safety Tips!

rain driving

Although us New Englanders are used to driving in the wettest, slickest, and foggiest conditions, we can always use a quick reminder on how to safely drive in the rain.  The most important things to remember are making sure you are visible to other drivers and that you yourself can see.  These tips will keep you safe and are great to share with friends, family, and co workers!

  • First, make sure that your vehicle is rain ready.  Make sure that your wind shield wipers are securely attached and not bent or deteriorating, after a rough winter like the one we just had, it may be a good idea to replace your wipers.  You should also check and be sure that all lights are working, especially your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, as it is extremely important to remain visible to other drivers.  As soon as you get in your car, turning on the headlights should be the first thing you do if it is raining.
  • You should also check your tires before driving in the rain, make sure they have enough tread and aren’t bald.  Bald tires can not grip the ground or create traction which makes it much easier to hydroplane.
  • Did you know that hydroplaning can occur at only 30 MPH?  Slow down!  Driving in the rain is dangerous enough without speeding, it may even be smart to go slower than the posted limit, depending on the severity of the weather.   
  • Keep your distance from other cars, especially large trucks since they can splash up some major water and mud that can make visibility even worse.  It’s also a good idea to keep about three car lengths between you and the car in front of you while driving.  Stopping takes longer when it is raining, and if the roads are slick it can be even more difficult to stop in time, and if you rear end someone you are technically at fault!
  • Try and avoid driving through large puddles, the water can cause some hefty damage to the brakes or electrical systems in cars.  If you do happen to go through a large puddle, test your brakes once you are through just to be sure they are working properly.  If you find your brakes are not working, they are likely too wet to function and the only way to dry them out quickly is by lightly tapping on them repeatedly to generate heat and dry them.
  • If you find your windows fogging up, turn on the defroster to clear off the windows.
  • If you follow these tips you should be able to safely get to and from your destination in the rain, however accidents happen.  If you do find yourself skidding out when it’s raining, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to go.  If you have a car with anti-lock brakes, hit them firmly while steering the car where you want to go, if your car does not have anti-lock brakes, do not use the brakes.
  • Always remember, if it is raining so hard that you can’t see, pull over!  It’s better to wait the rain out than to endanger yourself or other drivers.

There you have it!  Now you can head out into the rain a little more prepared than you were before, and can share these important safety tips with other drivers!

Photo By: faungg

Be A Force Of Nature!

storm

Did you know that we’re in the middle of National Severe Weather Preparedness Week?  Perfect timing considering this storm that’s currently hitting the east coast!  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) partnered up to designate the week of March 3-9th as National Weather Preparedness week and are urging Americans to Be A Force Of Nature.

There are three steps to being a force of nature; first you need to know your risk.  Here in Massachusetts, our biggest risks are from snow and flooding.  Storms can have a major impact on families across the state; from losing power, to damage caused by the wind and flooding, there are many risks that come along with these storms we have here in Massachusetts!  Make sure you are checking the weather reports regularly as well, we all know how unpredictable the weather in New England can be.  Click here to find out how you can protect your family and be better prepared for emergencies!

The next step to being a force of nature is pledging to take action!  Sign the Pledge To Prepare and take the first step to making sure you and your family are prepared for severe weather in your area.  This pledge includes filling out your family communications plan, putting together an emergency kit, and keeping important valuables and papers in a safe place.  Another tip to keep in mind; make sure you have multiple ways to get weather alerts!  You should make sure that your phone is able to receive wireless emergency alerts and sign up for alerts from different emergency management officials.  You might also consider obtaining a battery-powered radio that you can listen to for updates if the power goes out.  You can sign up for email and SMS alerts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration here.

Finally, be an example!  Once you know your risk, and have taken the pledge to Be a Force of Nature, be an example!  This is the final step of being a force of nature and is arguably the most important.  Share your knowledge on any and all social media sites and let your friends know what you’re doing to prepare for upcoming storms!  Social media and today’s technology make it easier than ever to share our experiences and knowledge with friends and family, so spread the word!

Know your risk, take action, and be an example for friends and family!   Another way to prepare for a storm?  Give us a call at MassDrive and get a quote for homeowner’s and auto insurance! Extreme wind and flooding can cause major problems for you, your home, and your car so make sure you have the appropriate coverages in the event of any damage!  Achieving a Weather-Ready Nation is a major goal, but it’s possible with help from all of you!

Photo By: Cara StHilaire

 

 

Fight Off a Case of the Winter Blues With These Events in February!

As we have seen in the past few months, this winter has been anything but typical.  The warm temperatures and lack of snow have made it difficult to enjoy a traditional New England winter by venturing out into the snow for entertainment.  However, there are plenty of events taking place across Massachusetts this month that will keep you entertained and help you fight off a case of the winter blues!
  • Are you a fan of Mexican food? The Rattlesnake Bar and Grill in Boston is holding their second annual Burrito Bowl in honor of the Super Bowl.  This event will bring together some of the top chefs in Boston and have them compete to create the best Burrito.  Each chef will create a burrito named after the city of their favorite NFL team. Attendees and special guest “referee” judges will determine the winner.  The event costs about $17 per person and begins this Saturday, February 4th from 1:00-4:00 PM.  https://poesburritobowl.eventbrite.com/
  • Even though the Olympic Winter Games do not take place this year you can still get your sports fix by attending the 2012 Bay State Winter Games from February 10-12th in the Northern Berkshire region of Massachusetts.  Sporting events include alpine skiing, figure skating, and masters ice hockey competitions.  http://baystategames.org/html/bsgwww/wintergames/index.html
  • Looking for an event that will get the whole family up and out this winter? Check out the Winter Family Fun Safari taking place Saturday February 11th at 1:00 PM in Milton, MA.  It is a free event and families can meet up at Houghton Pond before exploring the woods and going on a hike to Rutherford explore what happens throughout nature during the winter.  This is a great family friendly event that is educational and a great source of exercise!  http://friendsofthebluehills.org/?p=4139
  • Salem, MA is celebrating the season of love this year by hosting the 10th annual “Salem’s So Sweet” chocolate and ice sculpture festival.  Admire the beautiful ice sculptures lining the streets of downtown Salem before stopping in a local establishment for some chocolate and wine tasting! http://salem-chamber.org/salems-so-sweet-44.html
  • Want to really surprise that special someone this Valentine’s day? The Top of the Hub is offering a four-course prix-fix menu on Tuesday, February 14th from 4:00-10:00 PM. The event costs $125 per person (which does not include drinks, tax, or gratuity) and although it is a bit pricey the view from the top of the Prudential Building and romance factor can’t be beat.  http://calendar.boston.com/boston-ma/events/show/239027644-top-of-the-hub-celebrates-valentines-day
  • Nick’s Comedy Stop, located within the Theater District of Boston, is hosting an Open Mic Night Thursday, February 16th featuring some of the most entertaining up and coming comedy acts in Boston.  Stop by for a few drinks and laughs to get your evening started on the right note.  Tickets are $12 per person and the event begins at 8:00 PM. https://openmicfeb.eventbrite.com/?ref=ebtn&nomo=1
  • You may have thought pageant season was over after the Miss USA pageant last month, however luckily you would be mistaken.  The Miss Boston 2012 pageant takes place Sunday, February 19th at 5:00 PM at the Omni Parker House in Boston.  Contestants will compete for the chance to move on to the Miss Massachusetts pageant in June and will compete in interview, talent, swim suit, and evening wear categories. http://www.missboston.org/Miss_Boston_2012_Pageant.html
  • Explore the nautical side of New England this winter in Provincetown and meet Delilah!  Delilah is an inflatable, life sized North Atlantic Right Whale that guests can tour while learning about these rare and beautiful animals.  There are only 475 of these whales left in the world and over 300 of those whales visited Cape Cod Bay in 2011.  This is a free event taking place on February 24th from 11:00 AM-12:15 PM.  http://www.capecodmagazine.com/Cape-Cod-Magazine/Calendar/index.php/name/MEET-DELILAH-THE-RIGHT-WHALE/event/8313/
  • Before the start of baseball season and after the Super Bowl mania has come to an end, all of you sports fans can still get a taste of the excitement at the Golden Gloves Boxing tournament in Lowell, MA.  The event is held annually and takes place on five different nights throughout the month of February as contestants try to move their way up through the competition.  This event has launched the careers of boxing legends such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Micky Ward, and Rocky Marciano.  For ticket information visit http://www.lowellgoldengloves.com/3/online_payment.htm
Make sure that you enjoy the rest of this winter by getting up and out! Whatever your interests are, there is an event for everyone taking place this February across Massachusetts!

Rains Subside – Clean Up Begins Again

Mother Nature pulled a not so funny April Fools on Massachusetts residents. The rain finally subsided in New England yesterday bringing over 18 inches of recorded rainfall, a record breaking amount. Although dry weather and warmer temperatures are foretasted for Easter weekend the flooding rivers are not expected to fall as quickly as the clearing weather. Residents, engineers and public safety officials wait for the flood warnings to be removed and clean up to commence once more.

As some rivers have yet to crest other’s levels have just begun falling. The Assabet River crested at a nerve wrecking 7 feet Wednesday and remained at 6.8 feet this morning. The Concord River crested at an enormous 9.4 feet and the Charles River continues to rise expecting to crest at about 7.7 feet this afternoon.

According to the National Weather Service El Niño, a climate pattern surfacing in the tropical Pacific every three to five years and is to blame for the high levels of rainfall this past March. Rainfall in Boston lingering around 14 inches Tuesday makes it not only the rainiest March on record, but the second wettest month ever after a rainy August in 1995.

Rick Ferreira, the Tuanton Emergency Management Agency director, said this is the worst flooding he’s seen in the entirety of his career with the Emergency Management.

“This is much worse than a couple weeks ago. We’ve got houses with 3, 4, 5 or even 6 feet of water in their basements.” – Ferreira

Scott LacLeod, a spokesman for the state Emergency Management Agency, said the largest concerns yesterday were in southeastern Massachusetts, where flooding mandated closure of a major highway and cut off about 1,000 residents of Freetown when a bridge was made impassable. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation reported dozens of flooded roads and caution residents to drive safely while standing water remains on the roads.

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