Yesterday's late start, meant that we had to backtrack to get to one of our intended stops. I was less than thrilled about this plan, but since it was the one piece of history that the kids were absolutely adamant about seeing, we acquiesced, left New Hampshire and headed an hour south to Salem, Massachusetts.
The Salem Witch Museum and the monument are testaments to the sad reality of religious persecution in the 1600's. As we now know, none of the people killed were guilty of witchcraft, or anything like it.
For the most part, they were all christian citizens. They were killed in brutal and horrifying ways, simply because they were accused. In many cases, they were upstanding members of the church. Both the museum presentation and monument reiterated this - which is funny, because the entire town has capitolized on a different reputation. You can't take ten steps without finding tarot readers, tacky t-shirt shops, magic shops and "witch" memorabilia. There were people on main street dressed like this:
Yeah, that's not a statue, or a manequin, just a dude hanging out on a Sunday afternoon on Essex Street in Salem. And its not a mask. It's prosthetics and makeup and lord knows what else - but he was a legit nightmare. He managed to to sneak up behind me before we took this picture (and by Rico's laughter, I can assume that's the picture we should have taken). But WHO does this for fun on a Sunday afternoon? When we walked through a dark, death-row in an abandoned prison, I expected to be a little creeped out. When I'm walking past a deli next to a daycare center at 11:00 in the morning and this Cracker Jack comes after me, it's a little messed up. And he wasn't the only one. There were witches, wizards and pilgrims all over the place. Oddly enough, the pilgrims didn't even seem to notice the spooks this time around.
Even the chamber of commerce guy who gave us directions had a pointy-hatted witch embroidered on his polo. Rico posed by a statue of Samantha from Bewitched. Way to abolish the stereotype guys. Seriously?
We did make a short stop at Remember Salem,which has jack squat to do with rememberin anything in America let alone Salem. It' a shop based on the DiagonAlley shops in the Harry Potter series, so of course we stopped for cold butter beers, and toasted them outside.
Final verdict on Salem: eh. If you're really into the history, it's worth a stop. But it's like they're trying to dispell the rumors and push the hype all at the same time. I couldn't wait to leave.
But I was looking forward to our next stop, Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine.
I've wanted to visit Maine for as long as I can remember, and it was exactly the way I (and google maps) imagined. The shore near Cape Neddick was rocky and full of tide pools for the kids to explore. Neeks spent an hour "rescuing" snails by putting the dry ones into pools. We found starfish, crabs, barnacles and thousands of snails in the cold, blue water.
We left the cape in search of a lobster roll for Rico. We found one, which soon became three, at Shore Road Restaurant in York.
Rico says it is food of the gods, Kooka called it heavenly. Punk, who once wrote impassioned letters to the grocery store asking them to set the lobsters free, said this:
"If I were a lobster, I would be honored to die for this. It's that good. It's the best thing I've ever eaten."
So much for activism.
I couldn't even smell it without gagging, so tried a Maine blueberry soda instead.
Tonight we are hanging out at the Fairfield Inn in Concord, New Hampshire. Tomorrow will be Rico's birthday, and the real reason we started this adventure anyway - meeting up with his childhood friends inWoodstock, New York.
I'm not sure where we'll find a cake on our 4 hour drive through the middle of nowhere (google Concord to Woodstock, I'm not exaggerating.) But with the 467 stickers Neeks has used on this trip, I'm sure there will be cards.