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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Salem, Ipswich, and Portsmouth... more from our New England vacation

Holy smokes it's been awhile!  Finding the words to go along with this post have not been easy as our lives have taken on new adventures since returning home.  I've been working on this particular post for days and gathering these pictures together has  left me trying to remember where we were, when we were there, and what we did.  Bare with me as I try to remember and relive our vacation from nearly a month ago.

After we spent some time in Boston, we made plans to make our way up to Old Orchard Beach in Maine.  There are many sights to see along the way and we stopped in several of the quaint, east coast towns to see what each had to offer.

I believe our first stop was Salem, Massachusetts.  If you don't know your history, it's where the witch trials were held in the late 1600's.  Spooky things creep me out, but seeing this town was something I didn't want to miss out on.  

Witchy things were everywhere!  From Tarot readings, to medicinal herbs, to voodoo dolls... they had it all.

We walked through the historical (and spooky) cemetery where several people associated with the witch trials had been buried.  The photo below isn't one of them, but I thought it looked cool.

grave stone-0472

We toured the Witch House where Jonathan Corwin lived.  He was on the jury who sent the 'witches' to death and the house is the only structure left in Salem with direct ties to the trials.  It was actually pretty cool to walk through knowing that you were walking on the same wood floors as he did so many years ago.

We walked down to the bay where we found this cool ship.

salem ship-0480


and we came across an alley way that had this cute sign.

lobster shanty-0476

When we decided that it was time to leave Salem, we headed north to the small little town of Ipswich, Ma.  I believe it was one of the earliest settling grounds for immigrants and is also one of the prettiest and most peaceful areas of our whole trip.

There were a few things we wanted to do while we were there... one of them being Castle Hill.  The drive up to this beautiful place was picturesque... rolling hills, huge estates, lots of horses behind bright white fences, marshes, and farms.  I couldn't stop looking out the window.

When we arrived at Castle Hill, we intended on taking the tour of the inside.  Unfortunately, we came on an 'off' day and weren't able to do so.  Instead we walked the grounds and took in this massive place imagining what it would've been like living here back in the early 1900's during the summer months.  I'm sure it was wonderful!


If you continue along this green path, it will eventually take you right to the Atlantic Ocean.  I'm sure the Crane family who built this castle made the trek quite often and enjoyed picnics on the sandy beach.


We walked as far as the stone wall you see below. 



We explored the hillside and saw a wild turkey, and then headed back up the hill towards the castle to check out the Italian gardens.



It was all so beautiful and peaceful and I really would've enjoyed that tour.  One more excuse to come back to Massachusetts!


We had worked up quite an appetite so after Castle Hill, we went and had fried clams at the Clam Box.

clam box-0514

It was the cutest little place and I'm pretty sure it was featured on one of those Food Network shows.  I tried to keep the kids happy while we waited for our meal, and was relieved when it finally came.  However, my fried clams left me wishing I had ordered something else.  Is it just me??



After lunch we headed north to Portsmouth, NH.  What a darling little city!!  We arrived around five, and there was so much to see and do that we decided to stay the night and check it all out the next day.
smelling flowers-0511

I can't even begin to tell you how great the shopping was... mostly because I can't remember which town had what.:)  I do know that they had this store full of Le Creuset kitchenware and I was in pure heaven.  How does one even decide on a color?!

the ultimate

We stopped by the Portsmouth Brewery and gift shop, had some delicious ice cream at a cute little parlour, and dipped into a few more shops here and there.  It was such a fun place to be that it was hard to leave, but we did knowing that Old Orchard Beach, was just around the bend.

maria in flowers-0516

More soon!

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