Our last day in Massachusetts was spent on the coast. Jason was born in Gloucester, and still has some family there. We couldn't make a trip all the way to Boston without a visit, so we got up CRAZY early (so early that a very cranky wife and her anxious husband had a minor disagreement. ahem.) to catch the train to Gloucester.
Jason's godmother was so sweet to let us borrow her vehicle for the day. She stocked it full of maps, points of interest, water, and some keepsakes for our day of exploration. We headed out straight down to Salem, about 30 minutes from Gloucester.
I was sadly unimpressed. After so much history throughout the week, and seeing how New England embraces the old, I was very disappointed to see how commercial Salem was. I LOVED studying the witch trials in high school and college, and was really looking forward to seeing it in person.
There were multiple museums, but they were difficult to enjoy with a palm reading or tarot card reading place attached to each museum. We did try out the 40 Whacks Museum, the story of Lizzie Borden:It was just ok. A VERY fake crime scene, and the textbook story was hung on the walls. The only thing that seemed still genuine from the witch trials was the cemetery that the "witches" were put to rest. However, it was sadly stuck behind a strip mall and a psychic reading place. Sigh.
We did walk over to Nathaniel Hawthorne's house, and saw this beautiful sight on the way:
It was crazy expensive to tour Nathaniel Hawthorne's home, so we just admired from the outside out of fear of another disappointed tour.
We ate lunch in Salem at an AMAZING hot dog place. Seriously, who would have ever thought that you could dress a hotdog in so many ways? We headed on back up to Gloucester, to take a look at the city before dinner.
We stopped at the Fisherman's Port, and took a picture of this really awesome statue in honor of the fishermen that lost their lives at sea. Some of Jason's relatives from many years ago have their names on the plaques that surround this statue. It was really neat to see.
Gloucester was 100% the stereotypical New England city. I LOVED it. The boats were everywhere, the lighthouses were everywhere, the seagulls were everywhere, it was fantastic. It was everything I would anticipate New England would be, and I was so thrilled to see it. Insert: I will admit to a small nap in the vehicle during part of the tour due to the extremely unreasonable wake up call earlier that morning. I'm not bitter. :)
After touring the city for a couple of hours, Jason fulfilled my "vacation" aspect and took me to the beach.
New England beaches are NOTHING like I have ever experienced. Every beach I have ever been to have included bikinis, tanning oil, sunglasses, and anything else to aid in the tanning process. Good Harbor Beach was so calm. So peaceful. So RELAXING. People were there in jeans and flowy shirts just to read a book. People brought their dogs for a relaxing walk. There were very few people there to soak in the sun. Instead, they were soaking in the ambiance. It was nothing I have ever experienced, and I loved it. I've also decided I will own one of these homes some day:
After a beautiful time at the beach, Jason and I headed over to his godparent's beautiful home for a nice Italian meal. It isn't an Italian get together without spaghetti! :) YUM! I love "real" spaghetti. Sauce in a jar just doesn't cut it.
We spent several hours with his family, but it was sadly time for us to head back into the city. Jason's godmother drove us back in so that we wouldn't have to wait on the train, and Jason's godfather sent us back with a gift of his very own homemade wine. Let me tell you, this red wine was INCREDIBLE! We used it to celebrate our last evening in Boston.
We flew home the following afternoon, but not before stopping back off in Little Italy for a dozen cannolis to bring home. Our flight home was less than pleasant, but that was due to the misleading information that our airline gave us. Note to all airlines: If you put out your landing gear and put them on a runway that ISN'T my final destination, it IS a stop. I don't care what you say. A nonstop flight only puts its landing gear out for my final destination. Please take note.
Jason and I truly had a fantastic trip. We always said that Boston would be our last "big" trip before beginning a family. Little did we know that we would begin our family just a few short weeks later!!