Day Eight: Salem + Maine

This morning we drove 15 miles north to Salem, Massachusetts. Salem is most commonly known as the location of the witch trials of 1696. To prepare for the town we started reading Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem by Rosalyn Schanzer.

 As we drove into town, we stumbled upon the Salem Witch Museum, apparently Salem’s most popular witch museum. Although it was dated, it’s mannequin-like exhibits illustrated the facts we had learned from Schanzer’s book.

As we emerged from the museum, we came upon a surprise downpour. We quickly wandered through the town to find a restaurant to shelter us from the rain. After lunch, Jeff took Kiki to a haunted house (she begged to go!) while Kai and I explored further into town.

 Salem is a port town, that no doubt has some very interesting history, unfortunately it was all overshadowed by the witch trial events of 1696. Much of the town is very kitschy, dominated by modern day witch-types selling lots of crystals, herbs, velvet cloaks and the like. (I did not buy a crystal ball.)

Charter Street Burying Point


Part of the Salem with Trial Memorial

Kai and I stumbled upon the Salem Witch Trials Memorial ( next to Charter Street Burying Point. The memorial was erected to honor the 20 victims of the hysteria of this period and to remind us to not repeat the social injustices of the past.


Salem Whatf with Friendship

On the way out of town, we made a quick stop at the Salem maritime National Historic Site where I jumped out of the car and took a picture of the only three remaining wharves left out of the over 50 that lined the shore during the height of the shipping era.


House of Seven Gables

Not far down the shore we stumbled upon the House of Seven Gables, a 17th century ship captain’s home made famous by the 1851 Nathaniel Hawthorne romance novel of the same name. We skirted sound the fence and enjoyed the view from afar and then hit the road, bound for Maine.

A mere 70 miles north of Boston and we were in a the quaint town of Ogunquit, Maine. Ogunquit is an Abenaki word meaning “beautiful by the sea.”


Perkins Cove

After checking into our hotel and having a quick swim in the pool, we ventured into the tiny little community of Perkins Cove to find some dinner.


Lobster Roll and Seafood Chowder at the Lobster Shack

After filling up on lobster and chowder, we decided to take in a “cocktail cruise” on the local boat Finestkind. It was fabulous to cruise down the coast and look at some of the gigantic summer homes that dot the rocky Maine coast.


The girls are driving!

The girls got to go up to the bridge to drive the boat with the captain, while I stayed down below being reminded of how rough seas make me queasy. Luckily, I didn’t barf and we ended the day on a high note.

More of Maine to come.

Day Seven: Boston Part III 

After a nice long lie-in, paired with multiple episodes of The Real Estate Brothers, we hit Starbucks and then stopped hopped the T for a look at Cambridge and the Harvard campus.


John Harvard Statute

We got lucky and scored an excellent tour guide, Jake with “Hahvahd” tours ( @hahvahdtour). He showed us around campus and gave us some interesting facts on culture, history and traditions at Harvard. His commentary had the perfect blend of humor and history. If you ever find yourself in Cambridge, I highly recommend this hour long tour.


Shake Shack

After the tour we had a satisfying lunch at Shake Shack (@shakeshack). I had a black and white shake and a SmokeStack burger that was so delicious I might have to try to replicate it at home!


Memorial Hall Transcept

From lunch, we walked over to Harvard’s Memorial Hall, one of the most distinct building on campus. Jake had mentioned that it had the world’s largest collection of non-religious Tiffany glass. The building is in three segments. The northern portion, Annenburg Hall, flanked by walls of Tiffany glass, is a dining hall for Freshman. The southernmost portion, Sanders Theater, which seats 1166 and is known for its superior acoustics, has hosted many famous speakers yet is also a lecture hall for large entry level classes. We could only access the central hall, known as the Memorial Transept. It displays 28 white tablets commemorating the 136 Harvard men that died while fighting for the Union during the Civil War. Its large vaulted ceiling, walnut paneling, marble floors and gothic design are very reminiscent of Hogwarts.


Boston Tea Party Museum
Boston Tea Party Museum


After just scratching the surface at Harvard, we took the T two stops into Boston to see the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum. The Museum consists of two ships and interactive exhibit followed by a tea room and gift shop. It is staffed by costumed reenactors that made the experience come alive for all of us. Each of us were given a card that listed our name (the name of a real patriot) and how we contributed to the Revolution/Tea Party. After a brief introduction teaching us the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party, we were able to go on one of the ships for a tour and to toss some tea overboard. After the ship, our guide took us through an interactive exhibit that taught us about how the Boston Tea Party helped to spark the American Revolution. It was an excellent museum packed with information.


Seaweed Salad

After soaking in so many facts, we were all hungry so we got back on the T and rode over to Chinatown. We ducked into the first restaurant that we came upon, Montien, a Thai restaurant.


Make Way for Ducklings

After a light dinner, I wanted to see if we could find the Make Way For Ducklings statue in the Boston Public Garden, erected in honor of the book’s author Robert McCloskey. We found the statute and then wandered through the gardens visiting all of the sites that Mr. and Mrs. Mallard visited throughout the story, including looking at the infamous Swan boats. Kiki even came upon Mrs. mallard and her ducklings!

Our last stop of the day was the infamous George Washington statue on the west side of the park, which was conveniently located just a block away from the T stop which brought us back to our hotel in Cambridge.   We read Make Way for Ducklings and then went to bed.

George Washington Equestrian Statue


It’s been wicked pissah, Boston, but tomorrow we’re off to Salem to learn about the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.