The trip from Boston to Salem takes about 45 minutes. So, we were quickly out of the city, and into the adorable, yet infamous, town of Salem. After parking, we walked through the town and made our way over to the Salem Witch Museum. Since I had been to Salem before, I suggested to Joern that the witch museum would be a good introduction to the history of the city and the Witch Trials. As I remembered, the museum did not disappoint. I was reminded of this dark period early in our nation's history. The Witch Trials seem to be a study in mob mentality, as well as highlights some of the beliefs and prejudices held by Puritans living in Salem.
After the museum, we explored the adorable town center. We also witnessed part of the show, Cry Innocent, a re-enactment / audience participation Witch Trial. We decided not to go to the part for which you needed to pay, even though I wanted to see it. But, I will put it on my list of things to do by myself, or with a bigger spender, next time I am in Boston.
After a bit of miscommunication, we decided to head out to Cape Ann, which turned out to be a wonderful decision. Cape Ann, on the northeastern coast of Massachsetts is absoluely incredible. We first drove into Gloucester to find a hotel. We found a beautiful hotel, the Ocean View Inn. Our room had an absolutely fabulous view of the Atlantic!
After checking in, we drove around, and found ourselves in Rockport, known for being an artist's colony. We wandered around the downtown area, and out onto Bear Skin Neck, lined by adorable shops, and out to a lookout point in the harbor. We even thought about going on an evening schooner ride, but unforunately, we couldn't find anyone in the office- which is one of those wonderfully quirky expriences only to be found in small town America.
We had a difficult time finding an open restaurant, but finally settled on the Portside Chowder House. It was awesome to enjoy my lobster while looking out at the harbor.
On Wednesday morning, Joern, battling jet lag awoke to a beautiful sunrise over the Atlantic and shot some beautiful pictures from our hotel balcony.
Once I was up, we set out out for the beach. We went to Good Harbor Beach in Rockport. The beach far exceded any expectations. The sand was soft, the beach was gigantic, and the Atlantic was COLD! But the cold didn't seem to deter anyone. We joined the hearty souls, and spent a good 20 seconds in the water before our feet started to go numb.
After enjoying the sun, and finally going for a 10 minute up to my waist swim, we headed into Gloucester for the afternoon. Our hotel works with a whale watch company, Captain Bill and Sons. They booked us onto an afternoon whale watch. We arrived from the beach about half an hour before the whale watch, which gave us some time to explore this wonderful, historical port city.
We explored along the water as well. Saw the Fisherman's Wives Memorial, the Fisherman's Memorial, and the sign for Gorton's.
The whale watch took off from the dock at 1:00. We were told that they had good sightings in the morning. Since this was my fifth whale watch, I thought good sightings meant sighting a dorsal fin, a fluke print, or in a really lucky case, an actual fluke. I had no idea what an incredible show we were in for! Once we left the harbor, we started seeing water-spouts from the whales about 40 minutes out. The tour leaders decided not to stop for these whales though, as we were not yet in Stellwagen Bank, a site known for excellent fishing and whale feeding grounds. As we entered Stellwagen Bank, again, more water-spouts. Sadly, this is also when the camera battery died- thank goodness the company offered a CD with pictures from the trip! This time, we neared them, and found a pair of humpbacks. They were beautiful! As we moved on, we came upon another humpback feeding, and we were just in time to catch it's fluke as it dove. As we watched this beautiful whale, off in the distance, a whale was breaching. As the boat drove towards the whale, then past it, I figured out why. We could get much closer to another breaching calf. Okay, he wasn't a total baby, one of the crew said he was like a teenager. It was amazing, he must have breached 10 times! We were able to see so much of this whale's face, and gigantic body. We were up so close to the whale, you could feel the impact as this incredible creature crashed down into the water. There are no real words to describe the sight, but it was an experience I won't soon forget!
After the whale watch, we went to get dinner. After dinner, we returned to Rockport for some delicious ice cream. We spent a lovely evening on the deck of our hotel enjoying the beautiful moon and the sound of the waves crashing.
I awoke on Thursday feeling completely relaxed yet quite sad that our lovely break was coming to an end. We returned to the beach for a few hours. This time, we spent about 20 minutes in the water. It was actually a lot of fun!
From the beach, we returned to Gloucester, so that I could buy a sweatshirt. We then went back to Rockport for the rest of the afternoon. We did some shopping, enjoyed a coffee at Helmut's Strudel (Helmut immigrated to Rockport from Austria- what a life!), and tried hard to file every last sight, sent, and sound into our memory banks.
Our trip from Boston to Cape Ann was really a wonderful look into some of the wonderful places in New England! I think Joern really enjoyed it. I know I did!
Welcome to our life!
Hi, I'm Allison! I'm a thirtysomething, freshly baked, stay-at-home mom. I'm originally from Connecticut, now living in Germany, hence the name of the blog. I live in southern Germany with my German husband and our baby boy. Life has turned out to be nothing I ever expected, and am so incredibly happy with it! We certainly do have a lot of laughs! I hope you will enjoy following our new experiences raising a little half American/ half German in a little German town.