After receiving the wrath of Mother Nature this past winter, we New Englanders finally saw the light at the end of tunnel yesterday with our first 70 degree day of the year! There was no possible way I was going to be inside, so I called up Shiloh and we met up in my favorite place to walk around in the sun – Salem, Massachusetts.
There was not a cloud to be seen in the sky as we walked through the Common after arriving. The dogs were playing, kids were laughing, birds were chirping and all was right in the world. I was so happy to finally be able to wear a skirt and sleeveless shirt. I am not a fan of cold weather clothing! Neither of us had gotten our morning coffee yet, so we headed to Jaho, a cozy café on Derby Street. I ordered an iced vanilla latte and Shiloh had a hot caramel latte with soy milk. I also ordered a banana coffee cake muffin to tide me over until lunch, since I hadn’t eaten breakfast. We decided to take our items and walk down the street to eat them at Derby Wharf, overlooking the ocean.
The water was so blue, as if a watercolor painting had come to life. The smell of the salt water and warmth of the sun on our shoulders was a welcome feeling that we had missed all winter. It is always so strange to me how here in New England we can be bombarded with feet of snow, and it seems as if nice weather would never exist again. Then, all of a sudden, the snow is simply a memory. However, I can’t say I ever miss it in the slightest once it melts. Better off being a memory, in my opinion!
After sitting on the wharf chatting and catching rays for nearly an hour, we continued our walk. We headed to the pedestrian mall where we popped into Wicked Good Books and Pamplemousse, then traversed over to Chestnut Street, my favorite street to walk down in the city. It has the most gorgeous old homes, and was a very prominent neighborhood in the 19th century. After working up an appetite strolling around, we searched for a restaurant with outdoor seating. Those are luckily not hard to find in Salem!
We chose Gulu-Gulu Café for our lunch spot. I am ashamed to admit that in all my years in Salem, I had never tried this renowned establishment! I’m happy I was able to change that yesterday. Gulu-Gulu has an astounding beer menu to please any beer fanatic’s palate. I like fruity beers (sorry, those of you who are against them), and Shiloh pointed out a strawberry kind on the list called Früli, a Belgian white fruit beer. That sounded satisfying, so we went ahead with it. It was unlike any beer I’ve ever drank. It actually tasted more like a Jolly Rancher and was the best of both worlds for me, as I had been wavering on the decision to order a beer or a cocktail. As our waitress said, “Nothing better than sitting outside on a warm day with a Früli!” We agree!
There were so many delicious food options on the Gulu menu, but I chose to go with the Istanbul panini, which features smoked turkey, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Shiloh is vegetarian, so she ordered a cranberry salad. There are lots of mouthwatering items on the menu for vegetarians, so if you are one, I highly recommend Gulu-Gulu Café. My panini was so fresh and filling and came with a small salad and chips. Shiloh devoured her salad as well. Not much beats quenching your thirst and hunger on a patio in a beautiful city while getting a bit of a tan at the same time!
After our meal, it was time for Shiloh to head home to prepare for her yoga class. I had nothing else on my agenda until 5:30 pm, so I stuck around the area after walking her back to her car. I drove over to the Salem Willows, one of the prettiest and most relaxing spots to walk near the water as well as to play arcade games and have some classic boardwalk foods. While I didn’t eat there, I did enjoy the greatest views of the ocean around. Seriously, just look at the shades of blue!
After visiting the Willows, I still had time to kill so I decided to head over to Beverly and stroll along Independence Park to collect some seashells. There are plenty to be found there.
I stood overlooking the vast ocean and just took in all the beauty. I can’t even really express how it felt to be staring at such a stunning scene after months of “hibernating”. How lucky we are here in New England to be surrounded by such indescribable nature – I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!
Featured (in order of mention):
Jaho Coffee & Tea – 197 Derby Street, Salem, MA, 978.744.4300
Wicked Good Books – 215 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 978.594.1938
Pamplemousse – 185 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 978.745.2900
Gulu-Gulu Café – 247 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 978.740.8882
Salem Willows Park – 167 Fort Avenue, Salem, MA, 978.744.0180
Independence Park – Lothrop Street, Beverly, MA