We headed out to Salem first thing. I navigated, Jason drove, and we only had one minor incident where we ended up going in a circle because Siri wasn't keeping up with us. Jason even got to experience his first rotary, although I don't think it counts because there were only 4 roads feeding into it.
We got to Salem about 10 and headed to the Visitor's Center. The lady in there gave us perfect advice and steered us toward the attractions that were not commercialized. We started with the burying grounds and Witch Trials Memorial.
The Memorial is a small park surrounded by a rock wall. There are benches jutting out, one for each person put to death in 1692. Each is inscribed with a name, date of death and method of execution. One man was pressed to death. Look it up. It's pretty awful.
As you walk in, the sidewalk is inscribed with quotes from the victims.
After the Memorial, we went to the Salem Witch Museum, which is housed in an old church, of all places. You go in and sit in a nearly pitch-black sanctuary. They tell the story of the trials using very dramatic voices and music and life-size dioramas. It was informative, but creepy as hell, (No photography allowed inside. Boo.)
If we'd had more time, we would have explored more about Nathaniel Hawthorne, who made me cry my junior year in high school because he was so boring.
Here's the house that The House of the Seven Gables is written about. We didn't go inside. We needed to get to the beach.
We left Salem and headed to New Hampshire, where my parents spent their college years. We were a bit perplexed by the sign just over the border. There was an exit specifically for this purpose.
New Hampshire is beautiful and we drove around the Rye area for a while trying to find a place to park and to get to the beach.
I had to force Kyle to pose for this. He wanted nothing to do with getting in that chilly water (sharks.) BUT, I have a photo with our feet in the Pacific, and I wasn't leaving without taking the same photo in the Atlantic.
Kyra was the only one gutsy enough to really get in. She never fully went under, but she got a few surprise splashes here and there.
After we left Rye, we drove to Durham so that we could see where my dad went to college. The University of New Hampshire has a beautiful campus!
After a quick drive around campus, where we couldn't find half of the things that my dad wanted us to find, and frustration levels were getting high, we went to Dover to have dinner with Jason's cousin Laura. Yes, we had lobster (I needed a lesson on how to eat it.) And hamburgers. And hot dogs (it was national Hot Dog Day.) And sweet corn. And strawberry pie.
The kids got to swim with Tedy, the black lab. It was the perfect end to a busy day!