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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!