Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Salem and NKOTB Concert (Staycation Day 2)

Are you ready to read about Day 2?!  Rachel and I were back at it for more fun.  Just call us professional sightseers because we sure know how to squeeze a lot into one day!  Read about Day 1 in Boston on the Freedom Trail here.

FYI - this is a long post but if you make it to the end there is a special treat. . . hint. . . NKOTB!!!!

Sunday morning, despite being tired from the previous day, we got up early to make the most of the day in Salem.  I have a confession to make. . . I had never been to Salem to "sightsee."  Can you believe that?  I had only been there once or twice for dinner.  Not really sure why but I was glad Rachel wanted to go b/c it was a great excuse for me to finally see it too!

We parked in a lot near the Visitor's Center so that we could stop there for some maps/guidance/etc.  The parking lot also just so happen to be next to this church, Saint Peter's Episcopal Church.  A service was going on but we stood quietly in the back to check it out.

Beautiful church with THE NICEST, MOST WELCOMING PEOPLE EVER!  Seriously, this lady who was seated in the back came up to us and gave us a brochure of the history of the church, the bulletin for that day and a little wooden cross. She invited us to stay for the service but we nicely declined.  The whole time another lady in the church was motioning us with her hand to come on in! 

We made our way into the Visitor's Center and met this guy who was also super nice.  He went above and beyond giving us advice about what to see and do in our limited amount of time.  His advice was so valuable to us and we literally followed his "map" exactly and saw everything he mentioned.  I love free advice!  He confirmed for us what we already knew - the numerous witch museums are really not worth the price of admission.  It was good to hear confirmation on this so we skipped them!  Gasp!  We had an awesome day and saw so much that we don't feel like we missed out at all.
We set out with a plan.  Basically everything we wanted to see/do was in a somewhat straight line for one mile.  So we were in the middle and basically just had to walk a half mile each way to cover everything.  It worked out well.

First stop was at The Salem Witch Trials Memorial.  There are 20 granite benches, one for each person executed for "being witches."  Each bench has the name of the person, method of execution and date.  The memorial was created and dedicated in 1992.

This cemetery is adjacent to the memorial.  It is the 2nd oldest burial ground in the United States and the oldest in Salem.  Many notable figures involved in the Salem Witch Trials are buried here.

Oh and we had to take a picture in the pillory. . . just for fun.  It was super uncomfortable - I guess that is the point! Ha! 

Throughout Salem there are witches and pirates everywhere.  Since Salem is on the water and was a huge port there is also a lot of "pirate history."  It was really fun to walk around and check out the area - there is so much to see and do!

We walked along the water and checked out the Custom House and the Friendship.  Did you know the Custom House is called that because that is where they collected taxes for imported goods (aka "customs")!?

Who knew?  I sure didn't!  The ship is a replica of the 1797 original and very pretty.  You can do free tours of both but since we were short on time we decided not to tour.

This was probably the most important stop on our tour. . . Ye Olde Pepper Companie which just so happens to be America's oldest candy company!  They've been making candy since 1806.  I love candy so we had to check it out.  I actually resisted buying anything because it was so hot and I knew it would melt.  Rachel picked up some gifts.

We also learned about Gibralters which were the first candy made and sold commercially.  I had never heard of this before!  Have you?  We were tempted to try it but it was a large bag and not cheap.  We didn't want to spend the money and then not like it!  I guess it is a sugar candy.  I'll have to sample another time.

We made our way across the street to The House of Seven Gables.  To me this is the most "famous" thing in Salem or the thing I've heard the most about.  Not sure why that is but we knew it was a must see!

It is a mansion built by Captain John Turner in 1668.  It was owned by Susan Ingersoll who was Nathaniel Hawthorne's cousin.  This home was the inspiration for his classic, The House of Seven Gables which he wrote in 1851.

There is a audio tour on the home but we passed on that (again due to be tight on time).  We were able to walk onto the grounds with a "visitors pass" to the gift shop.  So we were able to check it out and the whole area is so pretty.  I would definitely check out the tour on a future visit when I have more time. 

On the same street we had a beautiful view of the harbor and even found someone willing to take a picture of us!  That house and flag caught my eye. . . it was just so New England looking.  Love it!

Walking along the streets we were sure to check out a few shops.  We went to Witch Way so Rachel could pick up some postcards.  They had really cute and fun stuff.  I recommend it if you are looking for anything "witchy."

The restaurant, Witch's Brew Cafe, was recommended by the man in the visitor's center.  We weren't that hungry when we passed it and didn't want to take the time for a sit down meal.  It looked very cute!  Salem also has trolley tours which I think would be really fun to take! 

Our next stop was at the Witch House which is the only structure in Salem with direct ties to the witchcraft trials in 1692.  The trial judge, Jonathan Corwin, lived in this house.  They offer tours and I think it would be interesting to see the inside and hear more about his role in the trials.  Another thing to add to my "list" for a future visit!

I think this was my favorite part of Salem.  While I love hearing about the witch trials and think it is such an interesting part of history I love looking at old beautiful houses more.  This entire street of Chestnut Street has amazing homes and it is a registered national historic landmark.  This is a must see!  What I wouldn't give to live in one of the houses. . . yes please!

The Phillips House, also on Chestnut Street, is one of the mansions you can actually go in and see.  The Phillips family lived in this house and clearly there were very, very rich!  They emigrated from Ireland so many they are long long relatives of mine and part of this home belongs to me. . . I can dream right!?  The garage out back has their old carriage and cars.  Very cool stuff!

And then we were exhausted and hot.  Sounds familiar right?  It was not as house as the previous day but still warmer than usual.  We took a quick break for lunch.  Is there any lunch better than grilled cheese? Yum!  Oh and I'm obsessed with Richie's slush.  It is the best and whenever I see them I have to have one.  It hit the spot on this hot day.

Another highlight of the day. . . THIS DOG!!!!!!  Can you stand his cuteness? OMG!  Sampson is a red and white basset hound and looks just like the one we had when I was growing up.  I practically attacked the owner to stop so I could pet this dog.  Oh and you better believe I asked her if I could take pictures.  She must have thought I was a crazy lady.  I really wanted to dognap him.  So cute!

I loved Salem!  Such a cute town and SO much awesome history!  I look forward to going back and seeing more in the near future.  The whole witch trial is fascinating to me.  I think I need to reread The Crucible to refresh my memory about all the details. 

We had to wrap things up in Salem in the afternoon so we could make our way back to Boston for a very special concert. . . Boyz II Men, 98 Degrees and NKOTB all in one place!  What could be better than that?  Rachel and I did some "fashion" shots before heading out!  (By the way Rachel is wearing my dress, necklace and sandals - lol)!

There may have been some "wine-on-the-go" that came along for the bus ride downtown.  We are classy ladies! 

Prior to the show we went to a nearby bar to meet up with my cousin-in-law, Meghan (bottom left) who is very pregnant, her sister and her mom.  We had a quick drink before heading into the show.

We had major nose-bleed seats but who cares!  We could hear just fine so we were happy.  There was an end stage and a center stage which is the one all three bands used most.  This concert was SO much fun.  All three groups were great and sang all of their popular songs.

The final act was NKOTB (obviously) and they performed for a really long time.  They still know how to put on a great show.  They sang all of their fun songs along with a few local favorites like Sweet Caroline! 

I'm so glad we got to experience this concert.  It was just plain good old fun.  By the way Nick Lachey is hot and no I couldn't really see him but I just know.  Actually we saw him before the concert outside by his tour bus and he waved.  Rachel got a picture! 

So if you made it this far congrats!  Haha!  Just another one of my epic long posts.  It is so hard to do a short recap am I right?  I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in Salem and maybe learned something new too.

P.S.  Rachel and I didn't get home from the concert until almost 3:00 AM.  We went to a bar after the show and had a ton of fun so we stayed until it closed!  I haven't been out that late in I can't even tell you how long.  Boy were we tired the next day.  Check back soon to read about what we did!


  1. Your staycation is seriously amazing! I've always wanted to visit Boston, and now after seeing all the things you've been doing I'm bumping it up higher on my travel bucket list.

  2. Great pics!! Looks like you had a blast! I've never been to Salem - I should probably get there before the end of the summer :) xx

  3. Whatttt a fun time! Your pictures of Salem were great! NKOTB and Boys II Men were at the Marathon Benefit concert I went to too - they were all FANTASTIC. I seriously felt like I was reliving my childhood! Hahah :)

  4. Awesome day in Salem, beautiful photos. And what a great concert lineup!

  5. I used to go to Marblehead all the time and we'd go to dinner in Salem sometimes, but I've never actually done the sight-seeing experience either! There is so much history there and yet it's so close to home that I never really thought much about it.

    My friend flew up from Virginia to go to that concert with some of her good friends who live in the city. She had to be up at 4am the next morning to get her flight, but said it was worth every exhausting minute. Looks like you guys had a great time too!

  6. Your recaps are so detailed, I love it! It will help me when I'm working on my scrapbook!! :)

  7. What a fun trip!! Salem looks really awesome-- I'll have to make some time for it when we get up to Boston! Especially that candy store... :)

  8. I LOVED Salem. It was the type of seaside town that I had in mind when I thought of New England (before going). Since I've never been to any other seaside towns in the area it's still what I picture of the region. The homes, the history, the creepy appeal. OBSESSED!

    You look awesome in that dress and I'm glad the show was fun. I bet it was extra great since NKOTB were playing in their hometown.