Day 1: Marblehead, Salem, Gloucester, Rockport

Trip Start May 13, 2012
Trip End May 19, 2012

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Where I stayed
Days Inn, Kittery Maine
What I did
Nahant, Massachusetts
Marblehead Lighthouse, Marblehead Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Rockport, Massachusetts
Bearskin Neck, Rockport Massachusetts

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, May 13, 2012

I LOVE going up to New England. I feel like it's a second home to me. However, I didn't start off my trip on a good note. My plane departed Dulles at about 6am but there was a slight problem. As we were pulling away from the terminal, the cabin lights wouldn't shut off. At first, the stewardess was asking if anyone cared if the lights stayed on. Most of us didn't mind, we just wanted to get to our destination. But I guess they didn't want to risk it, just in case something went wrong. So we had to go back to the terminal and wait for maintenance. They turned the plane completely off and restarted it. After over an hour of waiting, the problem was fixed and we were on our way to Boston. I finally arrived at 9am and headed to Enterprise to get my rental car. They couldn't find my reservation which was a little annoying since I had made it over a month in advance. When they finally got it squared away, I got in my rental car and attempted to drive out of the lot. However, the lady at the gate stopped me and was checking the paper they had given me. She was acting like I stole the car! Finally after wasting more time (since I obviously didn't steal the car.....out of all the cars there, why would I steal a Yaris haha), she let me go. So, my day had not been going well.

I drove out to Nahant, which is just a short drive from Boston. It's a nice little area on the water and has great views of the Boston skyline. It was cloudy and foggy so I couldn't see much. So, I decided to head up to the North Shore. I stopped in Marblehead and checked out the lighthouse. There were lots of tourists here but I got some great shots of the water and the lighthouse. Next, I went to Salem. It has definitely gotten more tourist-y since I've been here last. I went to the House of Seven Gables and took the tour. I kind of just wanted access to the property to take a few pictures since I had already taken the tour before, but I guess if I wanted to get to the property I had to pay for the tour anyway. It was nice to take the tour again and the tour guides were very informative. I also went to The Burying Point which is an old cemetery where some of the judges from the Salem Witch Trial are buried, so it was a cool place to check out. Other than that, Salem has Witch Museums and Witch tours you can take, but they are all kind of cheesy and aren't really worth spending the money on. It's a little sad that Salem has gotten to this point, I wish it would have stayed a little more historic. However, I did come here on Halloween a few years back and it was pretty crazy. People definitely go all out with their costumes, and that is something definitely worth seeing.

After I left Salem, I drove up to Gloucester which is one of my favorite places on the north shore. I went by the town hall, which is a really cool looking building, but it was under good pictures there. SO disappointing because it is such a nice building. Next I went to the fishermen's memorial and Our Lady of Good Voyage Church. The side roads around Gloucester are crowded during tourist-y times, and are a little hard to navigate, but if there is no one out on the roads it's not too bad. I also stopped by Good Harbor Beach, which is one of the best spots in Gloucester. It used to be a secret spot, but it seems a lot of people have found out about it. The beach is lovely and there are nice houses built along the rocks. A great place to hang out and watch the sunset or sunrise.

After leaving Gloucester, I went to my other favorite place on the north shore, Rockport. I LOVE ROCKPORT! It's a cute tiny little town, but can be very tourist-y on the weekends. I was here on a Sunday, and there was A LOT of people out, especially near the shops in Bearskin Neck (and the parking was very limited!). Motif #1, located on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, is a fishing shack well known to students of art as "the most often-painted building in America." Built in the 1840s as Rockport became home to a colony of artists and fishermen, the shack became a favorite subject of painters due to the composition and lighting of its location as well as being a symbol of New England maritime life. This building was also featured in the movie The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds (although in the movie they were in Sitka Alaska, and this building is in Massachusetts). After taking a few pictures of Motif #1, I walked down Bearskin Neck which is a pedestrian street full of shops and ice cream and fudge stores. At the end of the street, you meet the ocean and there are lots of rocks to sit on and just look out over the water. So serene. It is one of mine and Josh's favorite spots in Massachusetts.

I drove from Rockport and passed through Newburyport. Not much to do here, so I just took a few pictures of the local church and then left. I stayed at the Days Inn in Kittery Maine. It was pretty decent for a Days Inn (definitely not like the dumpy one I stayed in in Louisiana!)
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