I returned back from my latest jaunt up to Salem, Massachusetts late Friday night after having a totally fantastic overnight trip that was filled to the brim with wonderful things to see and do. I've got lots and lots of pictures to edit but that's a good thing as it means I got to see lots and lots of things to take pictures of and boy, do I have stories to tell once I get the time to properly write them!
For example, I had the opportunity to go back over and do a private walk-through of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion - aka The House of the Seven Gables - with a fine gentleman named Alan who is their very knowledgeable and talented Curator. We ended up spending just a little over two hours walking and talking and taking pictures (something that is normally not allowed) and I can't thank him enough for all that he showed me. Alan has also made me want to start reading more of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works as well as reread "The House of the Seven Gables".
The picture above is the main room of the Ingersoll-Mansion decorated as it might have been for Christmas. See that couch just peeking out from behind the Christmas tree? Hawthorne sat on that while writing "The Scarlet Letter" - something I thought was very cool! There's a lot more to the mansion as well as the birthplace home of Hawthorne which sits on the same property and as soon as I get my act together, I'll be telling you all about it at The Distracted Wanderer. Just give me some time to edit pictures please!
Following my wonderful time with Alan, I had a quick meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel to discuss a very exciting project that I can hopefully write more about soon and then met up with my friend Juli so that we could get a preview tour of one of the homes on the Christmas in Salem Historic House Tour. Juli and I were lucky enough to be treated to a tour of the home by one of the homeowners who did an absolutely stunning job turning her house into a showplace that deserves to be featured in "House Beautiful" rather than just my little old blog.
The gorgeous white tree above was jokingly referred to as the home's "mall tree" but I gotta tell you, that would be one very upscale and swanky mall! If you think that one tree is nice, wait until I show you pictures of the the other three trees in the home as well as all of the other beautiful Christmas decorations throughout. Juli used the word 'smitten' in reference to her husband's reaction to the house when he saw it and I've got to agree with him completely as smitten I was - and enchanted and awed and ... well, you'll see!
Following our private house tour, I drove Juli back to work and then I did a quick bit of shopping at Treasures Over Time, one of the eclectic little stores that Salem is chock-full of, in search of a few Christmas presents. I had a gift certificate that I had won from Destination Salem to use and it seemed like the perfect time! With a few Christmas presents to bring back to Connecticut we me, I then went back over to the Hawthorne Hotel to grab a quick bowl of Steve's Seafood Chowder (just as delicious as I remembered it to be!) before meeting up with Juli again to take a trip to the rooftop of the hotel. Why? To meet up with Santa and a couple of his "elves" of course!
When Santa arrives in Salem each year, he does it up right by descending from the top of the Hawthorne Hotel into the enthusiastic crowd below with the assistance of the Salem Fire Department and that's why these guys were up on the rooftop - click, click, click! Watching Santa being greeted by the throng of children below, I almost felt like I was watching the ball drop in Times Square as I don't think the crowd could have been more excited. I'll be posting more about that also very soon!
From the rooftop Juli and I then made our way back over to the historic McIntire District to visit the other four houses that were participating in the Friday night preview of the Historic House Tour. Making our way in and out of the homes along with the rest of the good-sized crowd, we got to see even more beautiful rooms and decorations. And yes, I'll be posting about that also once I get my act together and photos all straightened out. Like the House of the Seven Gables, photography was not permitted on the tour but I was given special dispensation by Historic Salem, Inc. to take pictures and I am honored to have been allowed to do so.
Finally, after what was a whirlwind day of activity, I went back to the home of Juli and Walt where we had a delicious meal of pasta and kohlrabi (the plant that looks somewhat like an alien) before I had to make the drive home in anticipation of working an overtime shift on Saturday. As always, as good as the meal was, the company far exceeded it and it was tough to put my coat on and head out the door but alas, home was calling and I couldn't ignore it.
Now ... to get to that photo-editing so I can share some of my trip with you. It's my goal to make you love Salem as much as I do and I certainly don't mind trying!