Sunday, December 25, 2011

Boston Trip Day 4: The Witching Side of Salem

Day 4 started by getting up and ready for some bike riding with our Go Boston cards. Unfortunately, things didn't exactly go our way at first...
The electric bikes had moved from the pier to the main area so we spent $15 extra cab fair to figure out where the heck we were going. Then, it was supposed to open at 9am but there wasn't anyone there until about 10am. Finally, the guy showed and said he had a flat tire (yea, right, guy, that's the excuse I use when I can't get my bottom out of bed!). We got our bikes but Casey just wasn't very comfortable riding them in traffic so we turned them in... It was fun while it lasted at least. It was my first time on a bike in a while and I missed it.
So, then, we decided to go use our Go Boston cards to visit the Peabody Essex Museum, a very big and beautiful art museum. .... But they were closed on Mondays :) Nice, huh?!?
By that time we were hungry and ready for lunch so we went into the small mall area for some cafe food.
I got a grilled cheese but Kristi got a pizza and it was good! The people at the counter were kind of creepy though. They were definitely witches :)
And we had this lovely fellow come and greet us. Welcome to Salem for sure!
Then, since we were in the area we decided to head towards the witches museums on the other side of town but pass all the shopping while we walked, and stop for any cute places we saw. With Kristi and Casey loving to cook we had to stop here.
And I got all my souvenirs here! :) I love my souvenirs!
A picture of the shopping area.... The stores were so cute. I love those types, they beat any mall.
We stopped and had some Italian Ice... I had the pear flavor and it was pretty good.
Then we went to the "Witches House" which is the only house preserved from the 1600s. It belonged to a judge from the Salem Witch Trials and was set up like he was still living there with the antiques and all.
The entrance to the house has a totally different feel to it than the front...
The dining area in the 1600s...
The gigantic "chimney" which was used to heat everything with all the pots around it for the meals and water.
Then we headed to the Witches Dungeon Museum which has an actual dungeon underneath it. And it's most famous for its live reenactment of a witch trial.
As we were walking to the Dungeon Museum I noticed these witch symbols all over the street in front of the museums, so that you didn't park.
Inside the museum we paid our money and were allowed to pick a seat for the reenactment.
There were 10 of these posters around the sides and back of the theater. They had some really interesting information about the witch trials.
The reenactment was a bit short, I could have definitely watched it for more than 15-20 minutes. I guess that means it was good? :)
Then we went down into the "dungeon" where one actually was in the 1600s. It was a bit creepy, though, with lots of eerie mannequins in lots of disturbing historical realities. Women being chained and imprisoned...
The hysteria that befell Salem was just sad. To think what mass chaos brought to these innocent people was very depressing...but history does teach us.
They told the story of this man who could have just said he was "guilty" of being a witch and lived but instead he was crushed (alive) with rocks. Scary stuff back then! What were these people thinking?!?
Then we were finished on that side of town so we took a cab to the water front to tour the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. I love my National Parks/Historical Sites!
The Salem Friendship (ship) is really what there is to explore as far as the historical site is concerned. You can't enter the building on the left. They did have some other building tours across the street (you'll see in a minute) but they are on odd times and this wasn't our main attraction. I'll definitely return sometime to explore more, though. Once I get on my page in the 1000 Things book :)
The ship is the oldest ship still commissioned in the Navy and they take it out about once a month or so.
The cute sign... Lol
The science behind sailing a ship like this just astounds me!
Below deck it was more spacious then I imagined but still must be so hard to live like that!
The custom house was a main center for all the ships coming into Salem with their goods.
While walking to the House of Seven Gables we stopped in at the Witche's Brew Cafe to get a soda.
As we walked to the House of Seven Gables we saw this candy shop across the street. It had all sorts of original candy plus lots of chocolate-covered items. I got some of the Gibralters hard candy (first candy made in America) for my students, and I got some chocolate-covered potato chips. They were yummy!
The first candy :)
The shop is one of those "mom and pop" shops that have stayed in the family business for a hundred of years.
Some of the other candy they had that was original molasses.
Then we walked across to the House of Seven Gables to take their last tour of the day.
In the courtyard where we waited for the tour guide to meet us were these beautiful blue mums.
This was the house that Nathaniel Hawthorne was born into. After almost being demolished the historical society had it moved over to the House of Seven Gables so they could open it as a museum.
We toured the house, owned by a friend of Hawthorne's who he visited often, which gave him the ideas for the book. Hawthorne, himself, was a recluse and very shy. He didn't get any noteriety for his work until later in life. He also didn't marry until much later in life, either.
During the tour you get to see many different rooms in the house, set up like it was still the 1700s. At one point you go through this secret passage way up to the attic and it's a VERY TIGHT, NARROW squeeze. My claustrophobia was going NUTS but my friend Kristi held my hand and we made it through, lol. Another view.... I tour the gift shop UP. I found some really great literary resources and thank goodness, had already hit up Half Price Books for all the Hawthorne books I could find. :)
Then we headed to the Lobster Shanty for dinner. It was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives so Kristi found it for us since she knows how much I love eating at places like this.
They definitely weren't that bad but I did get a bit nervous. :)
I was in a brave mood so I tried the Perfect Storm, which was risky in that I had no clue what was in it!
(Sorry the picture must not have saved the right way...but it looks the same reversed.) I had the lobster mac-and-cheese and it was yummy! I definitely picked all the good lobster meat out since it was such a big portion.
And my perfect storm led me into a state of travel bliss. After dinner we strolled back to the Hawthorne Hotel and I uploaded some pics and got to bed, ready for another day of travel and back to Boston!


  1. Very nicely you mentioned your days in Boston. It would be nice if I am getting more details of N.Y. Deli and pizzas.

    Store Hours

  2. John, there are three pictures of NY Deli. The store from the outside of the mall, the food I ordered and the devilish (yet friendly) figure that greeted us while we ate. The pizza was defintely the best option. My friend ordered the pepperoni pizza and it was really good. Downside is they have small drinks and you have to pay for refills. But a great place! If you want more specific "tips" please feel free to look at my more detailed site at