Sunday, May 03, 2009
Trip report number one
Even though I had a stomach bug that kept me in bed more than I would have liked, I had a really good time in Salem and Boston with Andrea. The weather was gorgeous and there were so many flowers and trees in bloom. And I just love the whole atmosphere up north. I could really see myself living in Massachusetts. If only I wasn't so scared of the winters.
But it is so different there. In Salem, they don't have lights at the crosswalks to tell you when to go and when not to go. When you are walking along the sidewalk and you get to the crosswalk, the cars simply stop and let you go. And the drivers don't even seem at all annoyed at having to do so. They just stop. In Texas you'd get run over by a two-ton pick-up truck and the driver wouldn't even stop to render aid. And the courts would honor him for doing so.
Salem is beautiful and is full of museums and historical sites dedicated to their unsavory history of having hanged a bunch of innocent people for witchcraft on the word of some bored 11 year-olds. There are shops full of arcane paraphernalia and witches weeds (clothes, I discovered, of the robe and skirt variety). Psychic reading and tarot card shops line the streets. And there are cats everywhere. I ran into probably six cats in the 24 hours we were in Salem. A Black cat came right up to us when we were walking around near the House of Seven Gables. It makes sense though. Cats and witches, right? Seems that although the famously hanged witches were not actually witches, Salem has become somewhat of a haven for Wiccans. They have a population numbering in the thousands. Not sure it makes sense, to move to the town notorious for witch hunts, but there you have it. Salem really has witches now and hopefully they go out and taunt the graves of the bastards who killed the innocent ones.
We went on a Ghost tour, with a tour guide in costume, and walked around Salem at night, visiting a cemetery and several haunted houses. Our guide talked about the haunted history of different houses, most having to do with the witch trials. It was cheesy, but fun. And I won a shot glass. The guide gave a prize to the person to answered a question correctly first. The question was "How many people were burned as witches in Salem." The answer is zero since they were all hanged, except the one they 'pressed' or crushed to death. So I won a Salem shot glass. Yay me.
Above is a pic of our tour guide in front of the Clue house. Apparently the Parker Brothers are from Salem. And there was a grisly murder in this mansion that involved the victim being bludgeoned with a wrench and stabbed with a knife. And there was a major court case that argued whether is was the pipe wrench or the candlestick. Turns out the victims daughter was to marry a man her father didn't approve of. So her fiance hired a man to kill him so she would not be cut out of the will. The daughters name? Mrs. White. So the Parker Brothers made a game of the whole thing and we all still play it. It this true? I haven't googled it, but it sure sounded good on the ghost tour.
We stayed in a lovely B&B called the Morning Glory and our host, Bob, was as delightful a man as I have met. Very warm and welcoming. And our room was sweet and comfortable. We talked with him a little and he confessed playing up about the B&B being haunted because he gets a lot of people asking. He says people want to come to Salem and stay in a haunted house. So he says yes if they ask if it is haunted. And he put a creepy kid painting in each room. Cause old paintings of kids are creepy. They just are. He says every once in a while he goes in to clean after a guest leaves and finds the creepy kid picture has been taken down and placed facing the wall so the guest doesn't have to look at it. Funny. Here is the kid painting from our room.
Boston is a gorgeous flowering city that is so pedestrian-friendly. I could really get used to the mixed residential/commercial layouts and the subway. It is unreal to me that you could actually live somewhere like this and not have a car. And not miss it.
We stayed in a gorgeous row house B&B that was not too far from Boston Common and the start of the Freedom Trail. I loved walking the trail and visiting the historic sites and enjoying the weather. Here is Andrea and me on Boston Common just before we headed off to walk the Freedom Trail.
And here is the street our B&B was on in Boston. There was block after block that looked just like this. It was gorgeous. I would love to move there, but would surely be unable to afford this neighborhood. I got the distinct feeling we were in a very expensive area.
More Boston/Salem stories later when I have time. I promise!