Travel: Salem by Moonlight

At some point, “family vacation” becomes an oxymoron: Where do you go with teenagers? Ours acquiesced to Salem, Massachusetts, a town once gripped by hysterical youths diming out their elders. Sounds like fun!

We brought along the hound from hell, but the receptionist at the pet-friendly Salem Inn, an elegant conjunction of three Colonial townhomes, didn’t even glance at our 120-pound mutt as she handed me the key to our suite. It had exposed beams, a kitchenette, a Jacuzzi, a pullout couch and a daybed for the kids, a queen-size for us, and a petite balcony overlooking rooftops the kids recognized from the movie Hocus Pocus. They were downright tingly.

For a smallish town, Salem has a jumpin’ street life. We dined on lobster rolls and clam chowder outdoors at Lobster Shanty on Artists Row, two doors down from an African drum shop. Then we walked to the Salem Witch Memorial, a solemn stone tribute to the 1692 trials that left 20 dead.

In the darkness, we wandered out to the quays and admired the grand Custom House where Nathaniel Hawthorne once toiled. The next day, after the hardy breakfast the Salem Inn provides, we toured the House of the Seven Gables, which the kids dubbed “cool” thanks to the hidden staircase and a lively guide. I filled my daughter in on the plot of The Scarlet Letter, and she was properly outraged: “That is so unfair!” We bought Black Jacks and Gibralters at Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, the nation’s oldest confectionery. At the pre-1700 Witch House, there were grumbles of false advertising from black-clad Wiccans (who throng here from all over): The sole connection to the trials is that a judge lived there. But Salem has tons of tacky witch-related sites, including two wax museums.

We dined at Rockafellas, in a former bank, on crab fritters, more clam chowder, and pear salad, then descended on the Peabody Essex Museum, which the New York Times dubbed “a cross-cultural marvel,” with its maritime collection and the world’s largest assemblage of Asian export art. Equally impressive is the town’s architecture, with post-medieval, Georgian, Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate homes. (The circa-1808 Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast is gorgeous and centrally located.)

At midnight, we all took the dog out to the common where the witches were hanged, sat on a bench, and talked about truth and consequences. Our voices were whispers. Salem casts a spell.

Where to stay:
The Salem Inn, 7 Summer Street; 978-741-0680. Rooms from $125.
Morning Glory Bed and Breakfast, 22 Hardy Street; 978-741-1703. Rooms from $135.

Where to eat:
Lobster Shanty, 26 Front Street; 978-745-5449. Dinner for two about $60 without drinks.
Rockafellas Restaurant & Bar, 231 Essex Street; 978-745-2411. Dinner for two about $60 without wine.

What to do:
House of the Seven Gables, 54 Turner Street; 978-744-0991.
Peabody Essex Museum, Essex and New Liberty streets; 866-745-1876.
Salem Wax Museum, 288 Derby Street; 978-740-2WAX.
Witch House, 310 Essex Street; 978-744-8815.

  • ChandlerMc

    Andy and Marty (and others) have spent many months trying to get through to Vick that he needs to protect himself… President Obama makes one offhand comment to Nnamdi and NOW he gets it. Andy must feel like chopped liver.

  • Chris

    The president carries more weight. :) If Vick doesn’t slide, he’d better start watching the sky for drones. :)

  • Synsitter

    Obama obviously gave more thought to this than his economic and jobs programs. Wonder if he meets with his sports/vacation committees more often than he meets with his jobs council?

    • Sylvia Richardson

      When President Bill Clinton left the White House, he left a huge surplus in the Treasury which his successor promptly wiped out and, as a nation, we have been faced with huge deficits ever since! When President Obama assumed the Presidency, he inherited these deficits and, on top of that, we were right in the middle of a recession at the same time. It’s no wonder that he has had difficulties fixing the economy and creating the number of jobs that he envisioned when he was on the campaign trail. Yes, there were some things that he could have done differently, but he didn’t meet a hill of financial difficulties when he became President, he met Mount Everest and the Alps all rolled into one!
      By the way, I am sure that the employees of the American car companies are delighted that he didn’t give up on them because those companies are still in business and they still have their jobs, which mightn’t have been the case if it wasn’t for President Obama! I know, because I have several friends who were able to keep their houses and families together because he decided not to give up on those companies!

      • Kevin Synnestvedt

        Sylvia- First it is important to remember that Clinton’s success occurred after the Congress became Republican for the first time in 40 years. He was forced to move toward the right, reluctantly adopting policies such as the Welfare reform act which he signed only after vetoing it the first time. Now he claims it as his signature program. Clinton during his time in office never responded to the bombing of the USS Cole or the embassy bombings etc. These responses were left for Bush to deal with and the failure to respond at first may well have led to September 11th occurring. In addition Clinton inherited a good economy from Bush 1 and left an economy entering recession to Bush 2. It must be difficult for you to argue that Obama’s debt and deficit spending is Bush’s fault when his debt spending is 4 times greater than was that of Bush. In addition he has had a trillion dollar stimulus and incalculable money printed by the Fed to stimulate the economy to no avail. Congress just voted however to audit the Fed so eventually we will know something about just how big a stimulus Obama really has received.
        As to the car companies it is hardly a success that they still merely exist at the cost of tens of billions that will never be recovered by taxpayers. Allowing the free enterprise system to work means that these companies would have gone into bankruptcy and probably been in better shape coming out the other side than has occurred with bailout money and the legitimate creditors thrown out in order to reward the Unions. Liberals would like everyone to believe that conservatives would have simply closed the doors. That was never the suggestion. If however the auto companies were not strong enough to emerge from bankruptcy it probably means eventually ALL our bailout dollars will be lost and they will fail anyway.

        • GiGi

          If you think Mitt the Twit care anything about you . You are in for a rude awakening. If you are not a millionaire, mitt don’t care whether you live or die. He can not even relate to everyday peoples.

          • Gladiator

            Gigi…and you think that Obama cares about you? You haven’t been paying attention…Now! Back to football.

        • Pooter

          Well said………..

    • Good Lookin ouT

      Part of the problem is a dependency on the Govt, or Politicians to get employed, Try Romney he’s a supposed job creator. There are plenty openings at Staples or the Sports Authority for career $7.25 an hour jobs.

      • Kevin Synnestvedt

        Having spent my career in the retail industry and having risen from a minimum wage job to running a $500 million per year business anyone who says that even entry level positions are “career positions has absolutely no understanding of working your way up. One complaint from employers across the board in the recent past has been that college graduates now want to start at the top with academic but no practical experience. Good luck with that concept. We currently have a president we elected under those exact conditions. Not working out too well is it?

    • GiGi

      You just another Obama hater and it doesn’t wear well on you.

      • Kevin Synnestvedt

        You know what the difference is between us? I will fight to the death for your right to hold that opinion no matter how ridiculous it is. You on the other hand will try with your liberal friends to prevent me from voicing my anti Obama/ pro America message.
        Who espouses American values, you or me?

        • Michae

          Breaking news – liberals are apparently anti-free speech. Source?

      • davewoo

        You mean there is someone who likes this Kenyan. His plans for American have sure screwed up the Country, nows he’s trying to screw up the Eagles. Please Mike, ignore him. Listen to Andy.

  • MarPhilli

    This isnt the 1st reference Vick’s made about his needing to protect himself. He’s aware of that fact. He knows he has to do that this season (protect yourself or DIE). Why would Andy feel like chopped liver because Mike responded to the President. Plus if it gets Vick to slide, it’s all good. Andy has other things on which he must focus, a lot is riding on this season.This is just a human interest story, people. Who wouldn’t be excited about have the President speak about their work? Don’t create drama where there is none.

  • Pooter

    Edit…Delete…EditDeleteSam Mitzel ‎”Most powerful man in the world! “You kidding me”? Why then would the most “powerful man in the world” go around bowing to leaders of other piddle little countries. What a disgrace! This statement certainly takes away a lot of the respect I had started to feel for Vick. Gonna be MUCH harder for me to root for my beloved Eagles. Guess I’ll wear my Eagle’s underwear inside out.

    • One5five

      You should with that kinda thinking!

    • GiGi

      Yes he is the most powerful man in the United States of America and THERE NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. We don’t care where or how you wear your Eagle underwear. You can wear them on your head if you want.

  • Andre wright jr

    When the eagles win the Super Bowl this year Obama will certainly be an eagles fan. Eagles goin all the way. This year they r the dream team..

  • MarPhilli

    I thought this forum was about football and the people who love, follow and understand the sport. There are so many other forums for us to discuss our political views. America will speak on election day, right? I already know who I’m voting for, most people do. Now, about football…..

  • Semper Fi

    A word of advise for OBUMMER Jan. 20, 2013, the end of an ERROR. You are a disgrace for a President. You also are a Liar and incapable of the know how to run this Country. You can never defend how deeply in debt you have put us. One can only hope God decides to take you soon. You ineptitude has set the African American people back 20 years. You have failed as a President like you failed as a Senator in the corrupt State of Illinois.

  • Scott Korin

    Vick, do us a favor and don’t slide if you see daylight. Go for the TD. Um, but if there is a body in the way, then slide.

  • Darryl

    It’s good to know so many sports fans have political views. After reading all of the comments left before me, I’m more decided now than ever before that our schools are failing us. Back in the dark ages, my schools taught “debate”. In a debate, we were never allowed to personally attack our opponents. It was taught as a civilized form of arguing your point against that of another. Continue to disagree, but be civil. We’re not Dems or Republicans, we’re Americans, and sink or float, we’re in the boat together.

  • BC

    I’m just pissed that Obama gave POS Vick the time of day. And yes I am an Eagles fan from Philly. But not a Vick fan.

    83 . In or about April
    2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK executed approximately 8 dogs that did not
    perform well in “testing” sessions at 1915 Moonlight Road by various

    including hanging,
    drowning, and slamming at least one dog’s body to the ground .

    84. On or about April
    25, 2007, PEACE, PHILLIPS, and VICK possessed various

    items associated with
    the continued operation of the dog fighting operation at 1915 Moonlight

    Road, including the
    sheds and kennels associated with housing the fighting dogs and hosting
    dogfights ; approximately 54 American Pit Bull Terriers, some of which had
    scars and injuries

    appearing to be
    related to dog fighting ; a “rape stand,” a device in which a female
    dog who is too

    aggressive to submit
    to males for breeding is strapped down with her head held in place by a
    restraint ; a “break” or “parting” stick used to pry open
    fighting dogs’ mouths during fights

    treadmills and
    “slat mills” used to condition fighting dogs ; and other items .

    (In violation of Title
    18, United States Code, Section 371).

    Forfeiture Allegation F him!

    • BC

      Worst nightmare would be for the Bird’s to finally win a Sup with him at QB.