Monday, July 12, 2010

New England Trip Recap

I mentioned in my previous post that I'd just returned from a trip in New England so I thought I'd share where we've been.  My parent own some land with a small rustic cabin in northern Vermont.  We all just love it there because its so serene, tranquil, unspoiled and peaceful but since its a 10+ hour drive and we've got 2 small ones in tow we hadn't been there in 2 years.  We decided to go for it a few weeks ago and stayed on the local ski mountain for the 4th of July weekend.  We were rewarded with some spectacular fireworks.  I forgot my camera as usual so I didn't take pictures for the first part of our trip until I just decided to buy one for traveling.  Here's a shot of a small stream on the Vermont property.  There's a lot more water here in the spring when the snow melts.  I love all the moss and ferns here in the woods.

Next, we went to Maine.  We wanted to see Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park.  Below is a picture of one of the beaches in Acadia.  The beauty of the landscape there just doesn't come through in pictures. 

And after many failed attempts, one good family photo on that beautiful beach ...

This hike up rocky steps was so much fun but we didn't make it to the top.  I got a little nervous going so high with my girls as the trail got steeper and narrower so we eventually turned back.

The following morning we took a cruise on a 4-masted scooner.  It was 100 degrees at home in Virginia but we were all freezing on the ship.  With the water being 50-something degrees, it was cold out there.  Up go the sails!

Sails up!  Knowing nothing whatsoever about sailing, I was surprised that they did this all by hand.

Now, a smart person would have taken a picture of the ship but I was too busy worrying about my girls drowning in the 50 degree water.

It was beautful out there though.  I wouldn't mind having a house like this ...

Speaking of homes, back on land I took a few pictures of homes in Bar Harbor.  Love this classic New England house.

Here's an ivy covered house.  We also drove through the area where Martha Stewart has a home.  Beautiful houses there too!

Huge house ... and a simple white picket fence. 

My husband took a ride in a bi-plane and got to fly it! 

With my incredible fear of heights and flying in particular, I kept my feet firmly on the ground.  Just looking at pictures like this gives me vertigo.

On our last day, we spent a little more time in Acadia.  I loved this beach where there was no sand but tons and tons of stones ranging in size.

Yet another beautiful view ...

Our hotel was on the edge of the ocean and when the tide was low, there were thousands and thousands of blue mussel shells on the beach.  I took the photo below when the sun was bright so it washed out the color some but the shells were a gorgeous bright blue blanketing the ground.  I collected a few of these and hope I have some success making another shell wreath out of them.  A sort of DIY souvenier.

Our last stop was Salem, MA.  Maine to Virginia was way too long of a drive so we chose this as a pit stop.  Driving from ME to MA there were TONS of antique stores, but I think every time my husband saw one, he'd drive faster lest he have to stop and let me out to look!

Upon arriving in Salem, I found it to be a bit of a creepy place with some interesting people and places.  Some of the shops were kitchy and fun but some that I went into, I just turned around and walked out of.  Occult is not my thing.  Walking around, we stopped at this old cemetary.  Some notable Salem residents were buried here but none of the condemned "witches".  Sadly, they were all buried in unmarked graves and not given proper burials.

The headstones from the 1600s had skulls on them ...

Now as creepy as this is, what I didn't realize was that a lot of the tours are even creepier.  I thought that a trip to the Pirate Museum would be innocent enough but didn't know it would be pretty dark.  I, myself, got a pretty good scare from someone posing as a mannequin in the dark.  After that experience with my terrified little ones, I set out on my own while they napped on a fast forward tour of the town. 

The Witch Dungeon - a reconstruction of the prison where the accused were held was even darker - so dark that my pictures aren't worth sharing.  I did, however, manage to take a photo of a witch trial reenactment.  The accuser is on the right and the accused is on the left.
I found my modern mind wondering how it was possible that anyone believed the accusers.  Then, I saw this reenactment.  The accuser was pretty convincing given the dramatic display.  Combine that with their devout beliefs and fear of witches at the time and you understand how mass hysteria can occur.  I will say that its very sad to see what happened here to innocent people.

Next, I went to the Witch House ... Not really a Witch House but everything in Salem seems to have "witch" attached to it.  It's the 17th century home of one of the trial judges.

Next, I ran past the first church in Salem on my way to ...

The House of Seven Gables ...

I couldn't take photos inside but this was such a beautiful property and I couldn't help but fall in love with the seaside gardens ...

Regarding the interior, it was interesting how the oldest, original section of the house was very simple and unadorned and had low ceilings.  Most people (myself included) usually think its because people were smaller then.  The truth is that ceilings were low to preserve heat.  The expanded sections of the house were much more elaborate with more expensive decor and higher ceilings.  As the owner became more prosperous, they were less concerned with conserving heat.  

The biggest claim to fame here is that Nathaniel Hawthorne (who wrote The Scarlet Letter) was a cousin of someone who inherited the home and he spent time here.  He wrote a book called The House of Seven Gables that was influenced by this house.  His birthplace (below) was moved to the property.


So, there you have it.  3 states in 10 days in a nutshell.  I really needed to get away but after all this time away from home, I couldn't wait to come home.  All the time by the sea also has me thinking about seaside decor.  I think some stormy grey paint may be in my future. 


  1. I'm so glad you decided to buy another camera. These pictures are wonderful. My family have been to Arcadia National Park and tell me it is beautiful. Your pictures make me want to go there. And I am jealous you got to go to The House of Seven Gables! I've wanted to visit there since I read the book over forty years ago! Beautiful pictures, too. Thank you for sharing your vacation!

  2. I love the Canadian east coast and would love to explore New England one day. We always had the most fun with our kids on rock beaches like the one you showed as we would collect rocks, throw rocks, build things with rocks, climb big rocks etc. I love the lighting in your photo as well. Thanks for the tour.

  3. Acadia is one of my favorite places. Sounds like a great trip! You really covered a lot of ground.

  4. Awesome! I would love to visit there. That headstone is amazing.\

  5. Well, you officially made me homesick!! I now live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, but I grew up in NH and lived in Portland, Maine prior to moving here. I loved your post on your new apron too...I went to college in the next town over from St. J!! So many great memories...I can't wait to take my own trip back east next month!!!

    Nice Blog :)

  7. There is nothing quite like New England in the of the most beautiful areas in our wonderful country. Love the photos of the 'typical' NE coastal picturesque. Love that old rope bed in the Witch House, beautiful. Thanks for sharing part of your vacation with me!

  8. I don't like flying and that picture made me dizzy LOL!

    What beautiful houses you photographed! Looks like a wonderful trip!


  9. Very interesting tour... love the old cottaged covered in leaves...


  10. I thought all of Salem was quite nice...we visited in Oct08...The House of Seven Gables was fantastic! Looks like you guys had a good vacation.

  11. Melanie!! Nice way to recap your trip!! Thanks for sharing!! Loved every minute of it!!!


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