Entering: Ipswich, Massachusetts

A sign for the Choate Bridge in Ipswich, built in 1764

A sign for the Choate Bridge in Ipswich, built in 1764

Here on the North Shore of Massachusetts, we are spoiled with the amount of classic New England charm and beauty we are surrounded by in our towns and cities. All of these places are accessible to one another either by highway or by scenic back road drives, which I prefer taking on nice days. This past weekend, we had one day that felt exceptionally fall-like (my favorite season) and it pained me to think about the possibility of spending the day indoors. I HAD to get outside, and I had the notion to drive to the town of Ipswich and walk around. I’m not quite sure what led me to choose this specific town (perhaps it was because during my time in college I rarely visited it besides to hang out at Crane Beach) but whatever the reason, Nick and I packed ourselves into my car and headed down Route 1A for a little Sunday adventure.

A beautiful breeze was blowing as we drove with the windows down. We made our way towards the downtown and I found a parking spot across from the police station. The great thing about visiting other places on Sunday? No parking meter fees ūüôā We started to walk around, the sun beaming down on us and barely a cloud in the sky. It was nearing the evening hours and as I mentioned, it was a Sunday, so unfortunately a lot of shops were closing, but that was okay. I just wanted to walk around and admire the scenery! We approached the Choate Bridge, constructed in 1764. ¬†There was a sign announcing this (see the photo at the top of this post), as well as an original carving in one of the stones.


I have always loved the thought of walking over these old bridges and knowing how many other generations of New Englanders have done the exact same thing. If you’re curious about the history of this bridge (or of Ipswich in general), you can read all about it on this fascinating blog, Stories from Ipswich.

We continued to walk and look at the different shops that the town has to offer. There is a shop to suit every interest in Ipswich, including many antique stores with one-of-a-kind finds!


I had to take a picture of the sign for this shop – my mom’s name is Carole and we don’t often see it spelled with the “e”!

As we made our way through the downtown, we spotted many restaurants and food places we would like to try if we hadn’t had a big lunch before coming to Ipswich. One of these includes SALT Kitchen and Rum Bar, a gastropub that I’ve heard great things about – and how could I pass up rum? It is my liquor of choice after all. We will certainly be back to see what it’s all about, but at the moment we were walking, all I could think about was ice cream in some form. As I had this in mind, we passed a sign outside of The Five Corners Cafe and Deli which advertised ice cream cookie sandwiches – my absolute favorite. I just about sprouted wings with how fast I went inside and ordered one, chocolate chip with vanilla ice cream. So delicious. I’m craving one even as I write.

Such a satisfying treat!

With treat in hand, I meandered along back the way of the car with Nick to see what else we could find. At the end of the street we parked on, we came across the Benjamin Grant house, circa 1735, on the corner. This house is a wonderful example of 18th century  architecture and has been very well-kept. I love houses in this exact style.

benjamin grant house

Across the street from the Benjamin Grant House was a grassy landing along the Ipswich River. We sat on a bench under a shady tree and watched ducks float along the river and enjoyed such a peaceful late summer afternoon.

pretty spot

Further along the street was Sawmill Point, which, according to the sign, “was the location of “gristmills, fulling mills, and sawmills powered by the Lower Falls of the Ipswich River.” I could just imagine the days when these mills were in operation, large wooden wheels turning, powered by the force of nature.


Before we had parked earlier, we had driven past what looked like a home from the 1600s and I was now determined to find it again. We kept walking, and it turns out the home is the Whipple House, built in 1677 for the wealthy Captain John Whipple. According to the Ipswich Historical Commission’s website (www.historicipswich.org), the house was saved from being lost to the ages, and was restored and moved in 1927 to the location where it stands today. Tours are available through the Ipswich Museum, which was unfortunately closing shortly¬†when we were there, but I will definitely be back to thoroughly see this unique and architecturally beautiful house!

The back of the Whipple House, built in 1677

The back of the Whipple House, built in 1677

Next to the Whipple House, we spotted a very unique miniature house or shed of some sort. I couldn’t stop looking at it – I felt like I was in a scene from the Hobbit! Maybe I haven’t researched hard enough, but I can’t seem to find any information about what this building is. If anyone knows any fun facts or details, please send them my way!

Such an intriguing little place! I wish I could find out more..

Such an intriguing little place! I wish I could find out more..

We mosied along after admiring these early American sites and passed by more scenic and historic spots:

The Hall-Haskell House, circa 1800. I'll be back to take a tour!

The Hall-Haskell House, 1819. I’ll be back to take a tour!

The Ipswich Museum, looking lovely under blue skies

The Ipswich Museum stands proudly under blue skies


Industry meets nature at the Upper Falls

I would love to come back to Ipswich at a date and time when I can really visit these historic properties and businesses downtown, so I will certainly plan on it. ¬†Also, if you’ve never been, there is so much more to Ipswich to discover than the small part that I’ve written about here: The Crane Estate offers Crane Beach,¬†truly a hotspot¬†this time of year, The Great House on Castle Hill where many hold fabulous events and weddings, and the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Russell Orchards, Appleton Farms and Marini Farm also offer New England fun for the whole family, as well as many other attractions I haven’t listed here. Be on the lookout for¬†another Ipswich post to hopefully come soon!


Revisiting the Past at the Ropes Mansion

I’ve had quite a large fascination with history since childhood. I would say it started around the age of six when good old Santa Claus brought me what I thought of as the be-all, end-all of Christmas presents, an American Girl Doll. For those of you who may remember ’90s girlhood, American Girl Dolls were a coveted item for us back then. Each doll represented a different era in history and came complete with outfits designed in the styles of that period, along with chapter books of their stories about living in their specific time.

The doll I got was named Felicity Merriman, and she was supposed to be a girl living in Williamsburg, Virginia in 1774 when the Revolutionary War was brewing. I started playing as if I lived in the 18th century as well, and slowly became fascinated with the other dolls and the whole panorama of American history, from the 1700s to just before modern day. I outgrew the dolls, but never outgrew the zeal for learning about the bygone years of our country. Moving to Salem, Massachusetts was really like heaven on earth for someone like me. There is literally a gorgeous old house around every corner, all with unique stories to tell.

Old (in this case, really old!) houses are everywhere you look in Salem.

Old (in this case, really old!) houses are everywhere you look in Salem.

One home that I’d always been fascinated with, probably because of my original love for the 1700s, was the Ropes Mansion on Essex Street. Again, for other ’90s kids, you probably remember how much we loved the Halloween movie Hocus Pocus, which took place (and was partly filmed) in Salem. Well, remember Alison’s house? Yup, you got it – that is the Ropes Mansion!

The Ropes Mansion stands proudly in its spot at 318 Essex Street in Salem, MA.

The Ropes Mansion stands proudly in its spot at 318 Essex Street in Salem, MA.

Unfortunately for me, shortly after I had moved to Salem for college, a fire at the mansion caused it to be closed for tours for six years. The only way I was ever able to see the mansion was from its beautiful outdoor gardens, where we would often stop when I went on ghost tours. Legend had it that the ghost of one of the Ropes women still haunted the house after dying from burns sustained when her dress caught fire in one of the fireplaces. Tragic, right?

Since my early days in Salem I’d¬†been eager to see the inside of this historic house, and recently my dream finally came true. In May of this year, the Ropes Mansion once again opened its doors to visitors, offering them a blast from the past upon stepping inside. The mansion holds¬†original furnishings and items owned by the Ropes family and lots of informational plaques, as well as knowledgeable guides throughout each room. The other weekend, my sister, her boyfriend and I decided to pay a visit to this renowned estate, but happily didn’t actually have to pay anything, as tours are free! Visitors guide themselves¬†throughout the home, but as mentioned above, docents are available to start your tour out with a history of the family and homestead, and answer any questions you may have along the way.

ropes family history

Sorry about the blurry image…the Ropes family lineage is shown on a wall in the entryway.

It was incredible to actually feel as if I was living in an 18th century home, something I’d been imagining for years¬†since my doll was in my hands. Seeing all the antique furnishings and home goods and learning about all of it was a perfect activity, one that really got us thinking about what life must have been like back then.

The most intriguing aspect, to me, was hearing and reading about the different family members who once dwelled in the home. I was particularly moved by the story of Elizabeth Ropes Orne, who lived in the home with her mother after her father died when she was a baby. Elizabeth herself died in one of the rooms of the mansion at the age of 24 from¬†tuberculosis. We actually stood right in the room where she passed away, and I felt pretty moved by it. There was a painting of her, with brown hair and brown eyes looking back at me. I have brown hair and brown eyes and am 24 years old, and I thought about the sadness of the whole scenario. I couldn’t imagine what she went through at my age, and subsequently, the pain of her mother upon losing her daughter at a young age, and with her husband gone as well.

But, it’s just a fact that old homes that¬†hold generations of family members must experience death within the walls. Not to be macabre, but it’s true. One of the stranger things we discovered about the home, and death in the 18th and 19th centuries, is that relatives of the deceased would often keep locks of hair as a keepsake. On display in one of the rooms were framed lockets that held the braided hair of Abigail Ropes, the women mentioned earlier who died from burns via a fireplace in the house. There was also a necklace worn by one of the Ropes women in later years made of human hair (whose hair, I’m not sure), and a lock of hair from Elizabeth Ropes Orne, cut from her head during her toddler years as an affectionate gesture of her mother. I would have taken photos of these remembrances, but it honestly kind of creeped me out so I didn’t! I was surprised that all the hair looked to be in such mint condition for being hundreds of years old. I’m not very science savvy, so I’m sure there is some kind of explanation behind this.

If you’re looking for spooky, that was definitely the area of the mansion museum for you. If you’re into the paranormal, nope, I have no personal ghostly encounters to report, although my sister did start to feel very uneasy in the room that Elizabeth died in. I was there for the history side of things.

Outside of this, we explored a leisure room where a piano played by Elizabeth with her self-labeled music book sat on display and beautiful antique furniture was set up as it might have been in its hey day.


Isn’t this piano gorgeous?

leisure room

My sister reads an informational board describing what the room she is in was used for…leisurely activities!

We walked into an exquisite side room filled from top to bottom with the family’s ornate china and glassware collections.

china cabinet

We got to touch antique kitchen tools and try to guess what they may have been used for (I was only right on one thing!) and see how the kitchen closet was stocked.

old kitchen tools

We were able to view multiple dining room sets, one set for Christmas dinner as it was in the 1840s and one set with plates each stamped with a rule of etiquette for dining in the 19th century. I definitely would have been thought of as a poor guest, I’m sure! I only ever eat with my elbows on the table, after all.

christmas dining table

One dining room table set for a Christmas feast in 1847.


A second dining room table, because when you live in a mansion, why not have two?

A second dining room table, because why not?

Upstairs were the bedrooms with plush beds that I think would be a nice cure for my insomnia if I were to have one in those styles!


We also perused the bookshelves with many historic tomes, and I felt a bookworm jealousy at the large collection.

ropes book shelf

This is just one out of several book shelves in the mansion!

Outside, we and other visitors admired the renowned gardens Рthis is certainly the best time of the year to stroll around them, with flowers of every color imaginable in bloom. It was a breathtaking end to a tour I had been waiting years to take, and one that endlessly satisfied my thirst to learn more about the 18th and 19th centuries and those who lived through them.

black eyed susans

Black-Eyed Susans stand proudly in the Ropes Garden.

If you’re just as engrossed with history as I am, I highly recommend checking out the Ropes Mansion. Visiting is free, and is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays (seasonally) from 12-4 P.M. If you go, let me know¬†about your experience traveling back in time!


The Ropes Mansion – 318 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 01970

A Great Guest Experience at Maine Stay Inn & Cottages

Kennebunkport, Maine in early spring

A view of the water in Kennebunkport, Maine on a cloudy day in early spring

Recently, Nick and I had an experience that I will never forget¬†– our first stay at a bed and breakfast. After this, I truly don’t think I want to stay in a regular hotel ever again! It was that amazing.

For Christmas, Nick had given me a voucher for a weekend-long stay at the Maine Stay Inn & Cottages in Kennebunkport, Maine. We had until the end of April to use it, and although I had wanted to go right away and get the fun started, we decided that early spring would be a better time as a kickoff to the nicer season. Neither of us had ever been to Kennebunkport or stayed at an inn, so this was a first time deal for us both.

When thinking of a gift for me, Nick¬†had decided to go the route of the inn because he knows how much¬†I love history and¬†old homes. It wasn’t always that way. As a child, I grew up in a new home and thought that most old houses looked foreboding, haunted and scary. Once I moved to Salem, MA, one of the most historic places in America, I began to appreciate these vintage homes for their amazing architectural character and back stories. They are all so unique in their own way, nothing like the suburban development style I was used to. Since moving out of my childhood home, I have lived in a large brick building from the 1920s, an old Salem ship captain’s house from 1802, and currently live in a home¬†built in the 1890s with some great¬†angular walls and ceilings.

The majestic Maine Stay Inn

The majestic Maine Stay Inn

Because of this fascination with antique houses, I was extremely excited upon our arrival at Maine Stay Inn as I saw the large, exquisite home, painted white with black shutters and featuring a beautiful wraparound porch and cupola at the top. The home was built in the 1860s by a merchant sea captain named Melville Walker, and he lived there with his family when he wasn’t at sea (read more about the history here). The home changed hands and went through some renovations over the years, including the addition of the surrounding guest cottages, and it is now owned by Judi and Walter Hauer, the very sweet¬†innkeepers.

The inside of the house was even more gorgeous than the outside. As we stepped past the door, the smell of freshly baked cookies and coffee wafted through the air, and we found ourselves in a serene living room style area with light blue walls, a cozy window seat, a painting of a ship above a fireplace and plenty of reading material.


Shortly after entering, we were greeted by Anna, one of the inn staffers. She offered us the cookies and coffee, and introduced us to the home. We received an informational packet about places to go and events to check out that week around Kennebunkport. We were also able to flip through a binder on the main table that held menus for many of the popular restaurants in town. Anna then walked us down a hall, through the coziest little kitchen and to our room. I was instantly in love.


The room had such classic charm with pretty maroon colored paisley wallpaper and a controllable fireplace over which a painting of a Victorian couple hung. The four poster bed ended up being the comfiest we have ever slept on.


The bathroom was clean, bright white and modern, exactly how I like bathrooms to look. I love old as I said, but the bathroom is one area I prefer to look new. Nope, not a fan of clawfoot tubs and creepy sinks with separate hot and cold spouts. Our room even had a private deck attached, as well as a private entrance although we couldn’t use that¬†as it was still blocked by¬†a large build-up of ice from the rough winter New England had been hit with!


On a shelf were wine glasses, a plate of fresh fruit, cheese, crackers and sparkling and regular waters. I had brought a bottle of pre-made sangria, so I poured it into the wine glasses and added the fresh fruit. Nick cracked open a beer, and we cheers’ed to an amazing stay ahead!


We actually ended up spending more time at the inn than out around town. We truly felt at home there. Each morning, guests can enjoy a home-cooked breakfast served by Walter, Judi and staff at either 8:30 or 9:30 a.m. We chose 9:30 each time because we like to get as much sleep as we can. The breakfasts were delicious, and being seated at tables with other guests allowed us to meet some other couples from across the country, which was a wonderfully interesting experience. And those cookies I mentioned? Well, they are a staple of the inn! Each morning, noon and night, they were always at the ready in the living room and I certainly took advantage of that ūüôā

I cannot say enough about how awesome it was to be a guest at the Maine Stay Inn & Cottages, and how great Walter and Judi are. Walter would greet us by name each time he saw us, and it was such a simple gesture but one that made us feel happy and cared about – an experience you can’t get at a chain hotel. The surroundings are absolutely perfect if you’re looking for a romantic, relaxing getaway, any time of the year. Nick and I will surely be back for the summer season!


Maine Stay Inn & Cottages – 34 Main Street, PO Box 1800, Kennebunkport, ME, 207.967.2117

A Day at the PEM


Observing the beautiful paintings of historic ships in my favorite part of the Peabody Essex, the East India Marine Hall

You don’t have to leave New England to take a trip through history around the world. You don’t even have to venture into Boston. All you have to do is spend a day at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts and you will feel like you just spent time abroad!¬†On Saturday, Nick and I were in Salem and decided to pay a visit to PEM. I had been there during my days as a Salem State student, but wanted to refresh my memory and see what new exhibitionss they have nowadays.

We arrived and purchased our tickets, $18 each for adults. Student tickets (with I.D.) are $10 each, $15 for seniors, and children 16 or under are free. If you know a high schooler (or are one!), this is actually an awesome educational activity to take advantage of for no cost. I took my younger sister here when¬†she was a teenager and she really enjoyed it. If you’re lucky enough to be a Salem resident, you also have free admission with I.D.

There is a lot to cover at PEM, so we hit the ground floor running. Well, not really running…more like walking quietly. We observed the American Art, Maritime Art and Asian Export Art rooms first. These rooms were Nick’s favorite, as they featured a great deal of model ships and seascape paintings. I love all things nautical, so I enjoyed this area as well. I also liked looking at the paintings of historic figures and reading the descriptions to learn who they were. It was interesting to see the ornate antique furniture and imagine the pieces standing regally in homes of old.


A perfect miniature replica of a ship sits proudly in its case

After thoroughly walking around these exhibits, we headed upstairs. The stairs surround a beautiful cafe called the Atrium Caf√© with a variety of foods, snacks and drinks, and tables under enormous skylights that the beautiful late winter sun come sparkling in. PEM also has its own restaurant called the Garden Restaurant with a seasonally-changing menu. We had just come from lunch at the Hawthorne Hotel, so we weren’t hungry but if we were there would have been plenty of options!


The Atrium Cafe provides the most beautiful lighting as you eat!

Arriving upstairs, there were more galleries focusing on American and Asian/Indian art, as well as Native American art. We were fascinated by it all. We walked around the special exhibition gallery “Someone Else’s Country”, featuring photos by Jo Ractliffe. These photos, taken of the effects of the lengthy Civil War in Angola , were truly moving.

We went back downstairs to the Art and Nature Center and headed into a unique and engaging exhibit called “Branching Out: Trees as Art”. I have also loved learning about and looking at the beauty of trees, and how they differ from place to place. Even driving an hour away, you will encounter trees that were not found in Point A of your destination. On display were various works of art made with a multitude of trees as a medium. There were also interactive areas, which are my favorite parts of any museum. I like to be involved! There were a bunch of small logs tied together, and using some drumstick-like objects, we were able to bang around on the wood and hear the beautiful, tribal sounding music it made. There was a game featuring a board with a tree layout and cute movable characters made of wood. One player reads questions about trees, and if the other answers correctly, they get to move their character to the corresponding color. I won!


A fellow museum-goer saw us playing the tree game and thought it was the perfect photo opportunity of us

In a connecting room, there was an area dedicated to learning about different birds and creatures. There was a spot for “air plants”, which seemingly grow off a base straight into the air, and observers could try drawing these plants in a variety of different ways. Nick and I tried to draw them using the technique in which you look only at the object and not down at your paper. We didn’t do too bad – the plants themselves looked like discombobulated fireworks anyway!


What do these Air Plants look like to you? Fireworks? Octopus?

After working on our drawing skills, I wanted to go back upstairs to what had been (and still is!) my favorite part of the PEM, the East India Marine Hall. According to the website, the hall was built in 1825 by the founders of the museum, the East India Marine Society. You can see portraits of these founders displayed on one of the walls in the hall.


The ornate windows of the East India Marine Hall. Can I live here?

It is an absolutely gorgeous space with high ceilings, large windows letting the natural light in on each side, hardwood stairs and a grand staircase. Besides paintings of the founders, it holds items from the room’s beginnings, and some astounding figureheads from historic ships.¬†When I’m in this hall, I can imagine living in the time of its founding, when ships roamed the world and elaborate parties would have taken place in that very space. You can actually still rent out the East India Marine Hall for nighttime events.


Imagine being in a time when ships pulled into port with these prominent figureheads standing to attention

After spending time in my favorite hall, we ventured onward to “Storyteller: The Photographs of Duane Michaels”, an exhibition running until June. I will be honest in that I don’t know much about photographers, but I was engrossed by Michaels’ works. I was inspired by the fact that he often wrote poetic captions to go along with each picture. Since I am a writer, I appreciate a story-photo combination. His work with the use of varying exposures, especially in representation of a spirit or energy, really drew me in. The photos from later in his life show Michaels trying to come to terms with mortality, and along with the captions, will surely make you ponder.

In the gallery on a table there was a book called “The House I Once Called Home”, a series of his photographs and stories of each, depicting the house he lived in as a child and what had become of it. Next to this book was another from the museum, asking us to write on an index card what we would photograph if we were to return to our old homes. After writing it down, we were to place it in the holders on each page of the book, making it a collective tale of memories from hundreds of people. It was fascinating to read such intimate details of a stranger’s home, yet feel the love they had for this place. I wrote that I would have photographed the massive tree in the yard of my childhood home that dropped pine cones as I sat under it, and the lilac bushes in the backyard.


Books of memories – what would you photograph from your childhood home?

Although we could have continued to enjoy all that the museum had to offer for hours more, we had dinner and drink plans and had to be on our way. We will certainly be back to the Peabody Essex Museum, as it’s ever-evolving with new exhibits regularly and awesome events for the community and beyond. Next time, I am definitely going to purchase a ticket to visit the part of the museum called the Yin Yu Tang, a 200-year-old Chinese house astoundingly shipped to the U.S. and built back up at PEM. Knowing that there is a world-class museum right in Salem, Massachusetts is just another wonderful aspect of New England to mark on the list!

The Peabody Essex Museum – East India Square, 161 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 978-745-9500
Open Tues-Sun, 10am-5pm, and the third Thurs. of each month, 10am-9pm. Closed Mondays (except for certain holidays).

A Perfect Day in Portsmouth

We¬†have now officially entered that time of the year when New England turns into a frozen tundra. Last month¬†was pretty¬†mild, but I knew the freezing cold days would be upon us sooner rather than later…and here we are! I used to let the cold affect me greatly, rarely setting foot outdoors for longer than was absolutely necessary. Nowadays, I’m trying not to be one of those people who complains about the cold every second,¬†and rather than let it make me miserable, bundle up and enjoy all the weather that Mother Nature throws at us!

I embarked on my journey of embracing the cold last week when my friend Shiloh and I paid a visit to the beautiful seaside city of Portsmouth, NH. As we walked through the streets, bundled up from head to toe with the coastal wind blowing every which way, I didn’t even mind! It was like that scene in the movie Home Alone where Kevin runs outside and screams, “Do ya hear me?? I’m not afraid anymore!!” (even though he still is). Freezing weather, you can’t keep me down! Our arrival in Portsmouth had coincided with lunchtime, so we decided to find something to eat. This was Shiloh’s first time in Portsmouth, so I listed off the various restaurants I’d tried and liked, but we continued to look¬†for a place that was new to the both of us. We came across The Works Bakery Caf√© on Congress Street, and after glancing at the affordable and tasty-sounding menu on the door, decided this would be it.


The Works was a warm, cozy respite from the bitter cold.¬†Avocado lover that I am (thanks, Amanda, for making me realize that you shouldn’t judge a food by its appearance!), I ordered the Turkey Guacamole sandwich, which also came with red peppers on artisan bread. Shiloh ordered the Farmers Veggie and Cheese sandwich with a cup of Cream of Broccoli soup. We took a seat by the window to enjoy our meals, which were so fresh-tasting and the perfect portion size to fill us up.

Shiloh, ready to eat!

Shiloh, ready to eat!

After lunch, it was time to gift hunt¬†for my mom’s¬†upcoming birthday. We passed by the Portsmouth Candle Company, with a window display of pretty, unique items. My mom loves candles (I don’t know many mothers that don’t), so we went inside and perused the store. It was filled with not only candles, but home decor, lots of soaps¬†and various trinkets. I remembered that I had gotten my mom quite a few candles for Christmas, so I got her a delicious Coconut scented soap in vibrant packaging. Shiloh’s younger sister’s birthday was that week as well, so Shiloh purchased a necklace filled with “fairy dust” for her.


After our stop at the Portsmouth Candle Company, we headed over to Attrezzi, a store that my mom loves and where I knew I could find something else for her. Attrezzi sells a variety of items ranging from kitchen tools¬†to wines, gourmet sauces and dips to home decor, and even jewelry, fashion goods, lotions and more. I’m pretty positive you could find a gift for almost any woman (or man who likes to cook) here!

Just a few of the many items Attrezzi has to offer

Just a few of the many items Attrezzi has to offer

We browsed around the first floor, then headed up to the second where there were what seemed like endless flavors of sauces and dips to sample. Between the two of us, we tried them all! My favorite, and the one I decided to purchase for my mom, was an amazing sweet yet savory pumpkin honey mustard dip. Pumpkin is a year-round flavor in my eyes. On our way back downstairs, we were offered cheese samples which we happily accepted. There were a variety of cheeses and I would have sampled many more had I not been so full already. I once held disdain for any cheese that isn’t melted, but after my pleasantly surprising experience at Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, NH, I will never again say no to taste-testing it!


Once we left Attrezzi, I was feeling in the mood for a drink. I suggested R√≠ R√°, an Irish pub that I went to on St. Patrick’s Day (I have had a weird obsession with all things Irish/Ireland lately). A fun fact about¬†R√≠ R√° that I learned from their website is that it was “built entirely from authentic pub salvage sourced and meticulously restored in Ireland before being shipped to its new home in Portsmouth”. Imagine that – authentic is right! Even our bartender hailed from the Emerald Isle, accent and all. Shiloh and I both ordered a “Cinnamon, Spice &…”. This drink was made from Bailey’s, Goldschlager and Stolicnaya Oranj, topped with cream and powdered cinnamon. It certainly tasted like a winter drink to me, and was strong and sweet. The bartender informed us that this was one of their newer drinks, as a few drinks had been recently added to the menu. It was a good one!

It was dark by the time we left¬†R√≠ R√°, but I wanted to try to walk to the water even though it was colder¬†now that the darkness had set in. We didn’t quite make it there, but we did happen upon another very interesting shop that I couldn’t resist – Pickwick’s Mercantile. Looking in the windows, the store seemed to beckon me inside, especially with its sign illuminated and reflected onto the sidewalk by a spinning spotlight. Opening the doors, it was like we had gone through a time machine into the 1800s – the shop held so many unique wares, displayed in a fashion similar to what I imagine stores of old featured. Upbeat fiddle music was playing on the speakers. I loved it all! I am a history fanatic, and Portsmouth is so rich with history that a shop which brings that old-timey feel back is a perfect idea.

Stepping into Pickwick's is like stepping into a store of the past

Stepping into Pickwick’s is like stepping into a store of the past

I could have spent hours perusing the imported perfumes, chocolates, children’s toys, books, toiletries for men and women, letter-writing materials…too many things to list. Even the employees were dressed in a vintage manner. I purchased a few lotions with a retro-looking apothecary label on them, but would have bought more if I had longer¬†to look! I wish I had taken more elaborate photos, but I was too busy admiring everything. I told one of these employees how awesome I thought the store was, and he told me that there is a Lady Pickwick’s store further down the street. I will definitely be marking that as a must-see on my next trip to Portsmouth.

Men's goods on display

Men’s goods on display

Once we left Pickwick’s it was too cold to continue on with the night, and we had to get going. Despite the cold, I thought this was a very happy and successful trip to Portsmouth, and I was glad that Shiloh enjoyed her first time to this historic city. I have the feeling I’ll be back very soon, as I plan on ice skating at least once this winter on the brand new Puddle Duck Pond rink! For now, it’s been fun, Portsmouth!

Featured Places (in order of mention):
The Works Bakery Café Р9 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, 603.431.4434
Portsmouth Candle Company – 62 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, 603.430.0353
Attrezzi – 78 Market Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, 603.427.1667
R√≠ R√° Portsmouth –¬†22 Market Square, Portsmouth, NH 03801, 603.319.1680
Pickwick’s Mercantile – 64 State Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801, 603.427.8671

Calef’s Country Store: A Classic of New Hampshire

elf store front

Lately I had been itching to visit somewhere I’d never been before, but I wanted to stay pretty local. I racked my brain and suddenly the idea of going to an old-fashioned general store popped into my head. I’m not really sure where this thought came from. (Maybe it was subconscious, from all the general store scenes in the Little House on the Prairie type books I had read as a kid). Regardless, my mind was made up.

I googled the topic and found the perfect article from NH Magazine, “A Guide to New Hampshire’s General Stores”. I scanned through the article and remembered that I’d already visited the Mont Vernon General Store (so well-run and adorable), and the others were a bit too far for how willing I was to travel that day. I decided on the first store in the article, Calef’s Country Store in Barrington, NH.¬†According to the article, and to history, Calef’s was started in 1869 by a teacher named Mary Calef and it still stands thriving today with the same warm, homegrown feel providing a blast from the past to all who stop in. This historic general store is famous for its cheddar cheese, which is better know as “Calef’s Snappy Old Cheese”. I’m not a huge fan of cheese that’s not melted, but I knew I wasn’t going to be able to leave the store without trying it’s claim to fame. Without further hesitation, I was on my way!

displayWhen I arrived at Calef’s I saw that it not only featured the general store, but an attached shop¬†full of handcrafted candles and adorable decorations produced by a local company, Elfmade. Just the name is quaint! Anything in this store would be perfect for providing a cozy, country style to any room in the home. The Elfmade candles were my favorite part of the store to browse. They come in all sizes with fun names. There was even a candle called “Elf Farts”! In case you’re wondering, elf farts smell like a Christmas tree.

candle display

elfmadeI¬†picked out a few candles – Country Apple for myself, Pumpkin Spice for my mom and Guardian Angel for my grandmother. I unfortunately didn’t get an Elf Farts candle at the time, but I’m sure a few people will be getting those from me as funny Christmas gifts! I also purchased a cute, handmade magnet for my new fridge that has the Proverb “A cheerful heart is good medicine” written on it. I figured it would put a smile on my face every time I groggily open up my fridge for breakfast in the morning.

main storefront

calefs soupsAfter perusing the Elfmade shop, it was time to see what the main general store was all about. I was greeted on the right side of the entrance by a glass case full of tasty looking treats like donuts, muffins and cookies. I had to use my willpower not to immediately purchase one and eat it as I browsed. The shop was jam packed full of delicious and unique food items, baking and soup mixes, sauces and dressings, craft beer and so much more, with many of them actually produced by Calef’s. There was also a wall space dedicated to products from Northwood Naturals, a great local company based out of Northwood, NH that makes all-natural skincare products (I have a few!) as well as other all natural products and cleaners from other companies.

wood stove

An original stove has survived the past century!

A bookshelf featured books mentioning the history of Calef’s, among many other unique stories and facts. The next room was dedicated to penny candy style goodies. All the bright colors of the candy in the jars certainly was appealing to the eye. In the next room, I saw what all the buzz was about. Customers were excitedly testing out the samples of all the different cheeses Calef’s makes and sells. In front of me, big blocks of every kind of¬†cheese I could imagine were wrapped up, ready to be taken home and devoured. I felt a little uncertain because of my aversion to blocks of cheese, but a certain flavor caught my eye – maple bacon. I had never heard of maple bacon cheese before, but I loved 2 out of the 3 ingredients so I went for it.

The clouds parted, the heavens shone down upon me and angels sang – I had finally found a block cheese that I not only liked, but was certain I could become addicted to. I snuck in a few more samples. Unfortunately, there were no pre-wrapped blocks of the maple bacon flavor left and it was busy so I didn’t feel like asking specifically, but I knew I’d be back again and would snatch up this flavor.

cheese samples

Care to try a cheese sample?…Or five?

I observed what other foods were being sold besides cheeses. You could purchase a sandwich to eat right there on the tables of the front porch or take home different pasta and chicken salads. There were also¬†different ice cream flavors for sale, along with hot dogs, fresh olive oil, a pickle barrel, prepackaged foods you would see at a convenient store and much more. I decided to try the chicken salad with walnuts and cranberries. It was the most amazing chicken salad I’ve ever eaten. The cranberries gave it the perfect touch of sweetness, and there were big chunks of chicken which made it so much better than the sometimes mushy chicken salads that you sometimes find.

On my way out of the store, I couldn’t help myself and bought a big m&m cookie (my favorite kind). It was a satisfying ending to an afternoon spent at one of New Hampshire’s most historic general stores, and I’m glad that I was able to help Calef’s Country Store continue to thrive!

Calef’s Country Store and Elfmade at Calef’s are located at:
606 Franklin Pierce Highway, Barrington, NH 03825
www.calefs.com | www.elfmadecompany.com

A Prelude to Halloween in Salem


We have almost completed our first full week of October, and the month would not have had a proper ringing-in without a trip to my favorite place, mentioned multiple times on this blog – you guessed it, Salem, Mass!¬†Each day of¬†October in Salem is dedicated to Haunted Happenings, a compilation of numerous events taking place throughout¬†the month that are related to either Salem’s history or Halloween.¬†If you’re not a fan of crowds, I would suggest trying to take a weekday off for your Salem adventure. But do note that during Haunted Happenings, a lot of fun activities are held on the weekends, so you may just have to brave the masses if you want to experience it all!

I’m not too put off by crowds, but I happened to have Monday off and decided it would be great to visit Salem that day. The streets weren’t crowded at all and there was not a cloud in the sky. My¬†goal was to fill my afternoon with some kind of activity and do it for cheap. I managed to accomplish this goal for under $20!

When I arrived in Salem, I was craving a beverage from a real coffee shop. I made a stop into the very cozy Red Line Cafe for a hot chai latte (priced around $3.50). I then¬†decided to see which Haunted Happenings events that day sparked my interest.¬†There was not too too much going on because it was a Monday, but I read about a tour called “Cemetery 101: Grave Matters” from Salem Historical Tours and that certainly captivated me. No matter how long I’d spent living in or around Salem¬†(5 years) or how many historical/ghost tours I’d been on (at least 7 I would guess), there is always more to learn, and I hadn’t toured any of the historic cemeteries yet. This hour-long tour would teach the group about the imagery on historic headstones and backgrounds of several of the Salem residents buried there. One adult ticket was $10, which I was happy to spend on some further knowledge. I went to the tour office on Central Street and purchased my ticket ahead of time.


Dream home!

I had about an hour and a half to kill before I had to venture back to Salem Historical Tours and meet up with the guide. It was the most beautiful fall day, so I just decided to walk around the city. I visited¬†my favorite neighborhoods within the McIntire Historic District. It’s a free adventure in itself, just viewing the lovely old homes of Salem decorated for autumn. I made my way down Chestnut Street and Broad Street, stopping to take pictures on the way. One house on Chestnut Street had the most grand entryway, complete with a happy group of Jack-o-lanterns.


I hadn’t eaten breakfast, and was seriously hungry for lunch after my walk. I didn’t need a full-on meal because it was just me, myself and I dining. I had yet to visit the Flying Saucer Pizza Company on Washington Street, but I had heard positive reviews. I walked through the front door and a friendly waitress greeted me. I told her I was interested in just a slice, and I wanted to sit outdoors if possible. She told me the slice of the day, and I really wish I remember what it was called (I can’t find it on their online menu). It featured the usuals like sauce and cheese, but it was topped with salami, bacon, pineapple, extra virgin olive oil¬†and garlic. Hawaiian pizza is my favorite, and this sounded like a Hawaiian pizza on steroids. Count me in.

The view from my lunch table.

The view from my lunch table.

At Flying Saucer, the waitress will serve you even if you’re only getting a slice. So I sat outside enjoying the day while waiting for it to be ready. A little side note here: If there’s one thing writing this blog has taught me, it’s not to be¬†afraid to go and just hang out by yourself. I used to have a really strange fear of sitting in any sort of restaurant alone, but now I don’t even care. I’ll be my own lunch date, and I’ll like it! Anyways, when the slice was presented to me, I was thrilled that it was the size of two large slices of pizza and smelled heavenly. The toppings were plentiful. I could have devoured the whole thing, but I took my time savoring it…and also because I still had a decent amount of time before the tour started!

After I did finish my lunch and pay the bill (around¬†$6.00 with tip and my final purchase of the day), I headed back over to the Salem Historical Tours office. I was the first to arrive from the tour group and became introduced to our tour guide, Bob. He spoke about just how much he loves this job, which made me happy. I love seeing people who love what they do! The other members of the tour arrived, and there were only five of us in total. I liked this, because other tours I’ve been on have been weekends with many more people. I thought a closer interaction with the tour and guide would be beneficial in really learning.

We headed over to the Old Burying Point cemetery on Charter Street where the tour was to take place. I’d never been within the gates of the cemetery prior to this, but had stopped outside of it on a ghost tour with my family. For those who believe in ghosts, my sister was able to capture a phenomenal paranormal picture that still haunts my mind to this day. She has no recollection of taking this picture, and it did not appear on her camera until we uploaded the photos to her computer. I’ll have to find it and upload it here someday. If you’re into the supernatural thing, I suggest you stop by this cemetery after dusk one night!

This stone appears to be sinking into the ground! Ahh!

This stone appears to be sinking into the ground! Ahh!

tourguideSidetracked again – I won’t share every detail of the tour so you can enjoy it for yourself if you decide to, but we learned that Old Burying Point was where the rich folk of Salem were laid to rest.¬†Notably, Old Burying Point is “home” to a passenger of the Mayflower as well as judges during the Witch Trials, among many others. In Puritan times, the gravestones had very simple designs, as being elaborate in any aspect was against the religion and highly frowned upon. As the times changed, more intricate carvings appeared on the gravestones, such¬†as urns, willow trees and cherubs.

We heard tales of old burial rituals, such as putting coins on the eyes of the dead so they could pay their fee to the supposed ferryman who would take them into the afterlife. It appeared that visitors to the cemetery had started putting coins on some graves in regards to this. It was so interesting to learn about the history of a cemetery I had always been curious about Рand it was also the perfect spooky afternoon activity as a prelude to Halloween!

This man was buried on the outskirts of the cemetery - people were prejudiced against the Irish in those days.

This man was buried on the outskirts of the cemetery – people were prejudiced against the Irish in those days.

Hard to read the wording, but a somber moment – the grave of 3 children, represented by 3 suns. Medicine in those days certainly was not what it is today.

After the tour, I was pretty tired and wanted to head home before rush hour. It’s been said by believers that ghosts drain you of energy when they are near – could that explain it? Maybe it was all the walking I had done that day, but for now since it’s the most frightful month of the year, I think I’ll stick with the creepier explanation ūüėČ

Places Mentioned (in order):

Red Line Cafe – 188 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970
Flying Saucer Pizza Company – 118 Washington Street, Salem, MA 01970
Salem Historical Tours – 8 Central Street, Salem, MA 01970

Salem Round 2

Mom and I...Meredith took the picture!

Mom ¬†(on the left) and I…Meredith took the picture!

Every so often, my mother, sister and I plan a Girls Night. When I was living in Salem, MA, my mom and Meredith also fell in love with the historic city, and had often come for visits. We decided that Salem would be a great host location for this summer’s Girls Night on August 9th. The original plan was to head down on Friday, stay overnight at the Salem Waterfront Hotel and have a bit more fun on Saturday before heading back to NH. However, we weren’t quick enough in jumping on a reservation, and rooms filled up due to an event. All other places were booked as well. We decided to head down early afternoon and just spend the rest of the day and evening there, which suited me fine.

The weather on this day was perfect. It wasn’t sweltering, and it wasn’t cold. Just right for strolling down the streets getting some sun and popping in and out of shops. We¬†love the unique variety of local stores that Salem has to offer. Our first stop was Pickering Wharf, where we entered The Picklepot. This was a store filled with more cooking spices than I’d ever seen in my life, as well as kitchenware and even vintage cookbooks.

Our next visit was to Crafters Market Candles & Gifts, which was quite the enchanting shop. Amongst the many deliciously scented candles and numerous gift items, there were two sections dedicated to Halloween and Christmas decor. I didn’t spend too much time in the Christmas section, because to be honest, I’m not prepared to think about winter! But the Halloween section drew me right in. Halloween is my favorite holiday. I love that time of year, and the magic of it all. I get giddy just thinking about¬†decorating my apartment in “spooktacular” fashion this year.

photo 1 (4)

After my sister purchased a couple of birthday presents for her friends, I was determined to find Every Occasion Boutique, one of my favorite shops on Pickering Wharf with beautiful and fun jewelry, accessories and clothing. I went around in circles and could not find it for the life of me. Then, I realized that the store had changed names (and maybe ownership), but luckily still carried the same items. It is now called Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar and comes highly recommended by me to any fashionistas out there. I have my mom to thank for my lovely new earrings from the store, which I have worn everyday since (I was clearly in need of some new ones!)

photo 5 (2)

After leaving Ocean Chic Boutique, we were jolted out of shopping mindset by rumbling stomachs. I wanted to try somewhere I had not yet been, so we decided on Capt’s Waterfront Bar & Grill. The restaurant had decks overlooking Derby Wharf and The Friendship (which I had previously written about here). As you may know from past posts, I can never say no to a menu with fresh haddock on it, and this was no exception.


photo 3 (3)

The hostess was very kind, as was our waitress.¬†I truly appreciate the value of a team who provides excellent customer service! We started with a couple of drinks and an appetizer. ¬†My mom ordered the Raspberry Key Lime Rickeytini,¬†a brightly colored concoction that tasted as yummy as it looked. I ordered the Down Island Iced Tea, which is similar to a Long Island Iced Tea in ingredients. Our appetizer was a plate of zucchini sticks with an aioli sauce. Delicious! If you are to compare them to fries, the ones at Capt’s are more home fry style.photo 5 (1)

We had a wonderful time talking and observing the view. It is¬†the busy season at my mom’s work, so it’s rare for her to be able to get a day off. She had taken this one off and said that this was exactly how she wanted to spend it, on the water with good food and company. It made me happy that she was happy and that we were able to spend time together as a family.

View from Capt's deck

View from Capt’s deck

For entrees, I ordered the Fish & Chips, while my mom got the New York Strip Sirloin, and my sister got the New England Cobb Salad. Each of us were very satisfied with our plates and certainly had enough to make leftovers. I tried my mom’s steak, which was perfectly cooked, and I was almost jealous I did not choose that meal! Next time. To top it off, my mom and sister ordered the Deep Dark Chocolate Cake for dessert. I declined at first, because I don’t really like chocolate cake. However, I didn’t realize that this cake would be molten style, which for some reason I love. Needless to say, I probably ate more than both of them!

After our three-course meal, we felt like we needed some exercise. We walked down Derby Wharf, out to the little lighthouse and back. I always call this “my spot” because when I lived in Salem, I would often come out to the end and sit in peace and quiet, waving to boats as they passed. We enjoyed the calming sound of the ocean lapping at the shore before venturing back downtown.

photo 4 (2)

It was now becoming dusk, my favorite time of the day in Salem. It makes the whole city appear even more mysterious and beautiful. My mom had a request to visit Maria’s Sweet Somethings, a store that sells homemade candies and fudge, ice cream, and quirky gift items. The food lover in me was somehow able to reappear for an ice cream cone. Don’t ask me how, don’t ask me why, but yes, I still managed to have froyo after all that.

After¬†fulfilling¬†my mom’s request, I had one of my own. I wanted to walk down Chestnut Street, one of the most historic streets in Salem, and one that I’d always loved the most (I have a fictional piece in the works based upon this neighborhood). This street is filled with massive homes built in the 19th century, during Salem’s time as a wealthy seaport. I would love to live in one of them. My mom and sister weren’t as impressed – they have more modern tastes¬†than I. My dream is to live in a big old house one day, from the 1700s or 1800s. I love places that have an entire history behind them.

Once we completed this walk, we decided it was time to say goodbye to Salem and call it a night. The moon and stars gazed down on us as we crossed through the Common back to the the car. I had a deep feeling of contentment from a day and night surrounded by family and my favorite place. I’m sure a Salem Round 3 post will¬†follow soon!

Places Mentioned (in order):

The Picklepot – 75 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Crafters Market Candles & Gifts – 82-84 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar – 96 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Capt’s Waterfront Bar & Grill – 94 Wharf Street, Salem, MA 01970
Maria’s Sweet Somethings – 26 Front Street, Salem, MA 01970

Sunday Funday in Salem

For my first post, it seems fitting to introduce you to my favorite place, since I may talk about it a lot. Prior to moving back to live in New Hampshire full-time last year, I was a Salem, Massachusetts regular. I went to college in the Witch City, stayed a little longer, and never really wanted to leave the area. Life circumstances caused me to do so, but that does not mean that I don’t go back to get my fix from time to time! It’s my “happy place”, and I hadn’t gone in months. So, when my friend Shiloh asked me if I wanted to visit with her yesterday, I couldn’t possibly say no!

We parked in my old neighborhood because, well, it’s free parking there, and it’s next to¬†the lovely¬†Salem Common. We walked through the Common already enjoying the day, the sun beaming down on our shoulders. There weren’t as many adorable dogs in the park for me to admire as usual, but you can’t always get what you want I guess.

Our first stop¬†on our walk through the downtown was to go to Pickering Wharf. This part of the city is home to¬†unique waterfront shops and popular¬†restaurants like Finz, Victoria’s Station and Captain’s Waterfront Grill. Someday, I plan on taking my boyfriend, Nick, to Salem and having a date night at one of these.

We stopped in Every Occasion boutique, which has such a pretty collection of jewelry, clothes, bags, wallets and more. Although we didn’t make any purchases this time, there were many items that caught my eye which I’m sure I will be returning for. I’m obsessed with nautical fashion, which they have much of! Anchors? Love ’em.

After leaving the boutique, we decided to walk down the wharf towards the lighthouse. It was the perfect day to do this – while the sun was hot, the ocean breeze made it feel just right. Not to mention the awesome beachy waves in our hair brought upon by the salt air! The Friendship, described by Salem Web¬†as “a reconstruction of a 171-foot three-masted Salem East Indiaman built in 1797”, was docked at the Wharf and available to walk on and tour. I couldn’t remember the last time I had seen The Friendship available for free public perusing, so of course I wanted to check it out! It was amazing to discover the ship, laid out and stocked like it would have been in its original days, and imagine what it was like to be a sailor or passenger. I could just picture being mid-ocean, with the waves rocking, attempting to balance as you scuttle across the¬†floorboards.


I’ll be your captain today!

shipcabinWe were able to go below deck, where a park ranger told us about daily life on the ship.¬†There were bunk beds and hammocks hanging, and I thought that I would definitely choose one of those if I were to have to sleep there. I’m a history buff, so the tour of the ship was the perfect activity for me.



After going back in time on The Friendship, Shiloh and I just sat along a rock wall overlooking the ocean. The sky and the ocean appeared to meet in the distance, with a horizon of boats overlapping it. I truly miss living¬†this close the ocean, where I step¬†out of my apartment with a beach chair and a book, walk 2 minutes and plant myself in the sand. I’m a beach gal for sure. Just the smell of the ocean puts my mind at ease and makes me forget any worries or stresses.

Following our chat session by the water, we were feeling hungry so we ventured on over to Custom House Rotisserie. In all my time living in Salem, I never tried this little place, but I always wondered about it. I had passed by their storefront many times and the Thanksgiving Sandwich on the menu posted outside always caught my eye. Now, I am kicking myself for never eating here¬†before. Delicious! I didn’t care that it was 85 degrees out, I wanted a taste of fall, and I got it. I highly recommend this to any turkey fans out there (or stuffing or cranberry sauce fans).

Shiloh and I ate our food in their outdoor section. A nice breeze was blowing and we were able to cool off after a sweaty walk. Across from where we were sitting was the Old Burying Point, one of the oldest cemeteries in America. In this burial ground, amongst many others, you can find the final resting place of¬†a judge of the Witch Trials, John Hathorne (notable Salem author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather) and a Mayflower passenger. I have a ghost story about this cemetery, but we can save that for a later date!


I spy a woman from the 1600s! Actors in character make Salem even more fun.

After lunch, it was, sadly, nearing time to leave the city as Shiloh and I both had other Sunday Funday commitments. This wasn’t without a couple last stops – we visited Wicked Good Books on the Essex St. pedestrian mall, which newly replaced the former Derby Square Bookstore. It was beautifully renovated since the last shop was in business, with new hardwood floors and shelves surrounded by original brick walls, and soft classical music playing in the background.

The store featured a variety of books, including many used books which you can purchase for 50% off. A great deal for bookworms like Shiloh and I! Again, although we didn’t make any purchases, we will definitely be back to do so. I especially want one of their copies of The Scarlet Letter with awesome cover art – a modern day drawing of Hester Prynne and Pearl.

Lastly, as we were walking down Essex Street, we heard shouting and a man making an announcement amongst a crowd of people. It turned out to be a group of actors and actresses acting out the arrest of Bridget Bishop, one of the more notorious women accused and hanged in the Witch Trials. We watched this street play go on for a bit then made our way back to the Common. We said our goodbyes, and I left to go to my next stop, Nick’s apartment in Boston. I was sad to leave my favorite place, but I know I will be back soon! In August, actually, because my mother rented a hotel room for a girls weekend to include¬†me, her and my sister. I can’t wait for the fun times ahead!

Places Mentioned (in order):

Pickering Wharf Marina Р23 Congress St., Salem, MA 01970                                            
Every Occasion Boutique Р96 Wharf St., Salem, MA 01970                                                
The Friendship of Salem РDerby Wharf, Salem, MA 01970                                                
Custom House Rotisserie Р12 Liberty St., Salem, MA 01970                                              
Wicked Good Books – 215 Essex St., Salem, MA 01970