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5th Anniversary Trip

Our Wedding And Beyond

Wednesday, May 28th
We left right after work and drove through the night until we got to Connecticut.  It wasn't exciting, and there are only four photos (and none terribly exciting), so I'm skipping that day all together.

Thursday, May 29th
We meant to get up early.  We wanted to get on the road and get our vacation started.  That didn't happen.  We checked out of the hotel late and by the time we were ready to leave, it was lunch time.  We drove around trying to find a nice small town restaurant to eat at, without much luck.  We ended up at Subway where I had one of the best veggie subs in quite awhile.

Back on the road where we drove until we got to Massachusetts.  We stopped at the visitors center, which was the same visitors center we ended up at in November.  This time we looked at all parts of Massachusetts and as usual, picked up brochures for every place that interested us with the intention of going through them that night and figuring out what we could do.  We also visited the food court nearby and on the way out I found the most adorable little purses.  Not that I needed a little purse, but I thought it would be great for vacations for carrying camera, chapstick, lotion, etc. without lugging around my regular purse.  Turned out to be the best $8.00 I spent the whole time.  I used that purse the entire trip and was able to carry everything I needed including water and Duck with only one hand.  You'll see it in multiple photos.

We decided our first stop would be Southwick's Zoo.  They close at 5.  We got there at 3.  They told us we could have until 6 to browse the zoo, though the brochure said you should give yourself at least 4 hours there.  We figured we could definitely do it in three.  It took awhile.  We actually had to be ushered out of the zoo at closing time because we were still browsing.  One of the best things about this zoo is that they have a Deer Farm.  Which is basically a big area of woods and trees where the deer can roam free.  It is all fenced in and you are free to walk through and interact with the deer.  Many are still weary of humans, but we got one who came up to us.  They have feeding machines throughout and we were able to feed the one friendly deer.  What an awesome experience to be out in the deer's natural environment and be able to walk through.  I absolutely loved this part.

There were so many animals there, including the world's largest rodent, huge tortoises, and even Ring-Tailed Lemurs, which are absolutely adorable and I think would make an awesome pet.  Duck made quite a few friends.

After spending most of the day driving and the rest of the day at the zoo, we were hungry.  We settled into a lovely hotel room and then went out for dinner to Bigaboo Creek steakhouse or something like that.  We also splurged afterwards and got dessert - so good, but man we were full.  Our stomachs suffered for all the food we shoved into them.  A quick family photo with the fake moose out front and then we were off to the hotel to totally collapse into bed.

Friday, May 30th

May 30th was our fourth anniversary.  The day started with us checking out of our hotel and settling down for breakfast.  Yummy!  We decided we would head over to an Armory museum that sounded interesting.  When we get there, I am picking through my things to decide what I should take inside with me when I realize my cell phone is missing.  A frantic search ensues when I figure that I must have left it behind at the hotel.  I place a call and am told they will send someone up to the room to look for it.  I am anxiously awaiting the call back, worried that they won't find it.  Having just lost my camera on our last trip to Gettysburg, I am worried my cell phone won't be found either.

We decide to go into the Armory Museum while waiting for the return phone call.  I actually found the Museum very interesting.  And who knew that Armor could weigh 30-70 pounds or more?  How did people even walk?!  It was so interesting also to see how far armor came.  It used to be that your face was just covered with a piece of cloth and your arms were revealed.  Lots of progress made it so that virtually any open spot was covered in some fashion by metal to reduce the chances of being hurt.  Even horses would wear armor.

While looking at some of the hand held weapons I was fascinated by one weapon that was very long and looked like it would be hard to control.  It had spikes sticking out of the end and I couldn't imagine having that land on your shoulder or head.  I was feeling the spikes to see how sharp they were when I got yelled at by a museum employee.  Apparently the weapons were not to be touched.  Who knew?  Everything else that they didn't want touched was behind glass or behind ropes.  If I see something out in the open with no "No Touching" signs, I touch it.  I'm like a child in that way.

Towards the end of the Museum we got the return phone call telling us that they had found my phone.  Whew!  A 20 mile trip back to the hotel resulted in the safe return of all my phone memories.  We decided next to visit "Udderly Delicious" an ice cream joint.  We were having a pre lunch snack with the intentions of having lunch later, which we can do since we are adults.  I think we ended up skipping lunch that day because our snack ruined our appetites.  LOL.  Guess those things you're told as a child are true.  But I had a very good Death By Chocolate cone and Jamie had a mixed swirl soft serve cone, which we enjoyed outside on the deck, so I think it was worth it.

Our next stop was a wildlife preserve.  Basically a walk in the woods where you could see all kinds of wildlife.  And wildlife we saw!  There were chipmunks everywhere!  We also found the frog pond and saw some very cool frogs.  No beavers or unique birds or anything else though.  Just chipmunks and frogs.  But we did have a very nice (humid and hot) hike through the woods.

We left out of there fairly late and decided to head off to Salem.  Of course we hit rush hour traffic on a Friday night which was not pretty.  Jackie (our 2nd GPS) rerouted us so we missed most of the highway traffic jam, but it still took awhile to go anywhere.  Plus since we had skipped lunch I was nearly starving and we found a place to eat right about the time I was ready to hurt someone from sitting in traffic, so we stopped.  It was a very fancy place, thankfully with no dress code, or else they just felt sorry for us and let us in.  A quick look at the menu resulted in not finding even one vegetarian dish or even any side dishes.  I asked our waitress if there were any vegetarian dishes I was missing and she said no.  I thanked her for her time and Jamie and I were getting ready to leave when she said she could talk to the chef for me to see if he'd be willing to make me a pasta dish.  The chef agreed (very sweet!) and I thanked her profusely.  Our waitress was incredibly nice and we had a very great meal with dessert included (we are not special - everyone got this).  And the check was surprisingly very little when we got it.  Before we left we spoke to the manager and I expressed my gratitude that the chef made something special for me and I told her how wonderful our waitress was.  She said the next time we came I could ask for that same dish.  Little did she know we live seven hours away.

After dinner we drove through to Salem and spent forever trying to find a hotel to stay at.  We finally stayed at the Salem Inn for a hefty price, but the room was just so cozy and we had a jacuzzi tub, which we relaxed in that night.  There have been rumors that the hotel is haunted.  I only had one weird experience which was in the middle of the night the floor next to Jamie's side of the bed kept squeaking.  I lifted my head and looked over but Jamie was asleep and the noise stopped.  When I put my head back down the squeaking started again and quickly stopped when I lifted my head.  I didn't hear it again after that.  It could have simply been a hallway noise though.  I guess we'll never know.

Saturday, May 31st 
The end of May.  What a busy, long day we had.  We went down to the basement of the Salem Inn for breakfast.  And what a great breakfast it was.  For a free breakfast, there were all kinds of things to choose from.  I had some yummy pastries and fruit.  No pictures though.  :(

We checked out of the Salem Inn and went to the Witch Dungeon Museum, which oddly enough I have no pictures of.  We went inside and it was a tad too cool for me so I went back out to the car to get my coat, only to remember that I left it at the Salem Inn hanging on the handrail.  The weird thing is that I hung it there so I could sign the receipt and I told myself as I was hanging it there that that wasn't a good spot for it because I would forget about it.  And sure enough that's what I did.  Sigh.

The Witch Dungeon Musuem was really great.  They had a little skit for us taken from the records of the actual witch trials and the actresses were really good.  Then we took a tour through the dungeons under the building.  None of them were original since the real dungeons were in the next town over, Danvers (which at the time was still known as Salem, and then later Danvers changed their name because they wanted to distance themselves from the history of Salem).  But the dungeons were dark and muggy.  It wasn't uncommon for them to flood and for the people to be stranded in there with 50 other people.  It didn't smell that great, so we've been told.  If you were wealthy you might have a bed, but most people couldn't afford one.  You always had to pay for your own dungeon costs though.  You were held in dungeons against your will until your trial and you had to pay the costs.  Most families could barely afford the regular costs, let alone beds.  Very sad.

A quick trip back to Salem Inn to gather my coat, and we went off to the Pirate Museum.  I got some cool pictures of pirate flags.  They were all different and so fun.

We went to the Witch History Museum next, which I also have no pictures of.  It wasn't that exciting.

After that we walked through Salem and stopped for lunch at a little restaurant we stopped at in November where I got a veggie wrap and Jamie got a (huge) personal pizza.  Such good food!

We walked down by the water after lunch and wanted to tour one of the ships we wanted to do last year.  We had quite a wait till the next tour, so we walked along the water where it was much warmer than November, but still cool.  We met two dogs on our walk.  One was eyeing Duck pretty heavily and was very interested in him.  His owner let us get his picture with Duck.  On our way back in we passed another dog who also liked Duck, so I let him smell Duck and then he bit Duck and tried to run off with him!  Thankfully his owners made him give Duck back!

Just as the thour was about to start the skies opened up and we got drenched.  But the tour of the ship was still cool and I volunteered to steer.  Usually only one person would steer and thankfully there were two of us as it was much more difficult to turn that wheel than I would have imagined!  (We didn't actually steer of course, we were docked.)

We toured the Customs House on the same tour, which was pretty uneventful.

We had thought about staying in Salem for the night, but pretty much everything else we wanted to see wasn't open for the season yet, so we left and headed down to Plymouth.  It's sad when you make that turn around to head back home.  :(

We stopped for dinner at Gino's Pizza that just happened to have a birthday party going on.  It was noisy and filled with kids who thought the whole restaurant was their play area.  They almost ran some guy down as he walked back to his table with his pizza.  They also had fake plastic swords and proceeded to beat each other with them.  All of this and I only heard one parent say something to her child.  We ate quickly and left.

We stopped at the Welcome Center in Plymouth where we met a very, very bright and informative lady who just about told us about every attraction in town.  Most things were closed for the night, so we just walked down by the water again, watching the ships and enjoying the quiet.  We went down to see Plymouth Rock, which is (or was, I don't know if it still is) covered by a wooden box to keep it safe while they did renovations on the structure around it.

On our way back to our car the ghost tours were lining up for the night so we decided to join one spur of the moment.  It had gotten pretty cold very quickly and I didn't have my sweatshirt with me.  The skies were also pretty menacing and we weren't sure if we were going to get pummeled with rain.  We didn't have time to go back to the car for either so we toughed it out.  The rain did stay away, but it was very cold.  We had a great tour though, with a very insightful tour guide and caught quite a few (good) orbs.  Not dust or bug orbs, but real orbs.  Very cool.

After our tour, on our way back to our car, we stopped for dinner at Ziggy's, who only takes cash.  So we had to leave and couldn't find anyplace else we really wanted to try (it was late and we were tired) so we found a bank instead and returned to Ziggy's.  A cheesesteak and a veggie burger later we had Ziggy's desserts and headed back to our hotel room which was so cold for me I turned the heat up to 90.  Of course when I woke up at 2 am we were a sweaty mess but at least it finally warmed up!

Sunday, June 1st
I can't believe it's been almost two months and I still haven't finished posting our travel blog yet.  Only one day left after this.

June 1st I wake up and go in the bathroom to shower.  Duck and Ralph are left sitting on the chair and Jamie is sleeping.  I come out of the bathroom and Ralph is laying on the floor.  Duck is on the chair and Jamie is sleeping.  Very odd!  Jamie looks at the clock and asks me why I'm up at 7, I tell him it's 8.  He swears the clock was an hour off the night before, but it magically got fixed.  Perhaps a ghost in haunted Plymouth who likes to play jokes?  Who knows.

It was friggin' hot out!  We decided to have breakfast at a little neighborhood joint where we had terrible service and were about to leave when finally a waitress came up to ask if we had been helped yet, and we said no.  She went inside to get our waitress.  Still nothing.  A few minutes later she decided to be our waitress since apparently our real waitress was a flake.  Breakfast was great after that.  I had some sort of granola cereal with fruit and Jamie had some sort of meat (of course).  We enjoyed breakfast outside in the heat.

We went off to visit the Mayflower II after that.  It is apparently a reproduction of the original Mayflower.  Not overly exciting, but definitely an important part of history.  While browsing through some stores afterwards (where I was able to find and buy a floppy hat because I left mine at home and the sun was so hot), a terrible storm was on its way in.  People were running for cover, and we decided to take our chances, so we sat down by the beach and watched the menacing clouds.  Finally a few drops showed up and then left.  No storm, but if I remember correctly, the temperature did drop drastically after that.

While sitting by the water we had a couple ask if I'd take their picture in front of the Mayflower and then asked me about Duck.  We explained Duck to them, which they thought was so cool.  I really wish we had gotten their picture with Duck.  They were the first ever to question us about him.  It seemed like an important time in Duck's existence.

We then headed off to Plimoth Plantation, which was a very cool learning experience where native americans would answer your questions about the way they live and they had a small set up similar to what their towns would have looked like at the time the Pilgrims arrived.  On the other part of the plantation were the original settlers where they acted as though they were back in the original time period and you could see how their towns and houses looked.  I asked a lot of questions, like always.

After this it was time for dinner (I think we had dorito's for lunch) and we headed back to the touristry part of Plymouth and ate at a mexican restaurant where we again got to eat outside.  It was really lovely there.

We stopped to get a hotel for the night and stayed at the James Carver Inn, which was supposedly haunted, although we had nothing abnormal happen.

We settled into our room and then left to go back out to catch a history tour with the same company that had done our ghost tour the night before.  I don't remember the story behind King Henry VIII, but I do remember he was mentioned in connection with Plymouth and some of the same facts I had just mentioned in a paper I wrote about his five wives were mentioned.  Very cool when things you learn from college are brought up in the real world.

We were exhausted at the end of the tour from so much walking that day.  We spent some time talking to the tour guide who was originally from Maryland, and then we went off to an ice cream joint he recommended where we got milkshakes.

Back to our room where we collapsed into bed.

Monday, June 2nd
There was a lot of driving today in an effort to get home.  We stopped for breakfast, of course, walked around Plymouth some more, stopped so I could put my feet in the Plymouth beach.  We went to the ForeFather's Monument where some weirdo guy was standing behind it perfectly still.  Was he trying to act like he was part of the monument?  Who knows.  We didn't stay very long and left him behind.

We went to the Lizzie Borden house in Rhode Island, which was so cool.  We stopped for lunch at the Crow's Nest, which is where we ate in November on our way home from Salem.  At the Crow's Nest, our waiter gave me pasta with clam sauce even though I just wanted pasta with marinara sauce.  I explained to him that I don't eat meat and he assured me it was fine since it was just seafood.    He ended up taking it back and made me the pasta I wanted.  We stopped by the location of TAPS from Ghost Hunters, which was uneventful.  None of the vehicles were there, and they were closed, so we kept driving.  I didn't get to see Steve. 

We continued driving for hours and finally exchanged anniversary gifts when we got home.