Jencation winter 2018, was very special. My little sister KT was my travel partner! She had surprised us with a visit over the summer (with my mom), and Josh mentioned how great it was to see us bonding together. This reminded me that my sister has always been a true friend, and that we hadn’t had a lot of time together over the last few years, especially since I moved to ATX. We had a lot of laughs.
I’ve always wanted to visit Salem, MA, made popular back in the late 1600’s thanks to the Salem Witch Trials. I’m all about dark and spooky. I knew how to best entice KT to come along, by promising to visit the Sam Adams Brewery in Boston. She really likes beer. (I do not.)
SHE. WAS. IN. We had about 2 months until wheels up.
We both arrived to BOS before noon, where the weather was expected to remain cold and wet throughout weekend. I bought matching scarves in our grade school tartan and greeted my lil sis with a big hug. Our adventure was about to begin!
I’m usually a planner. I tend to do a lot of research and make reservations; I think it’s a mom thing. This trip I wanted to just be a little more organic.
We spent our first afternoon wandering in the city of Boston. There’s much to do and see, one day was not nearly enough. We had a great UBER driver that clicked off the meter, took us around downtown to show us some sites, and gave us some suggestions. To get a little history lesson, we decided on a walking tour called the Freedom Trail. We didn’t consider that we’d be walking around with our luggage, in the cold and wet, but we had a lot of laughs, and got to see some great historical sites. Our guide was very nice, talkative and thorough.
Oh and photo opps, KT is great with photo opps.
We grabbed a mid-day lunch at Cheers, walked the market, then headed to the Trillium Brewery, (which had recently relocated- more walking and laughs) where our very attentive beertender found something that I actually quite enjoyed. I drank 3/4 of it! GO ME!
Growing up we never relied upon PT. Of course we took the commuter train from Boston to Salem, very budget friendly. With help, we managed to purchase tickets, went to the wrong platform, ran to the correct one with seconds to spare before the doors shut. As we sat, the train was moving!
About 45 minutes later we arrived in Salem, and walked in the dark to our hotel. Checked in, dropped bags and headed out to take in the nighttime sights and grab dinner. Note: November and winter in Salem – it’s colder and wetter, there’s not a lot of night life after 7pm.
That night we slept well. Lights out around 11pm. This night owl was pooped!
Day 2 We grabbed breakfast at a local spot, did a bit of shopping. We went to the oldest candy shop in the US. We had bought tickets for the house tour, where we learned much about the history of Salem, the people who lived there, and the tales of this city. I was super happy that there was a bit of sunshine, so we made our way to the wharf and walked along the shore. We visited another microbrewery, and had beer#2 somewhere in all of this.
Surprising highlight of our trip was Christmas in Salem House Tour. This 3 day tour granted us access to homes that are usually unavailable to visit any other time of the year. I loved seeing all the old homes, and KT enjoyed all the Christmas decor. A perk of the home tour, is the free trolley. We got all sorts of extra historical tidbits thanks to our sweet driver.
Our final day, more wet weather- perfect for some cemetery time, we visited the Salem Witch Memorial. We finished up in Salem at the Peabody Essex Museum. Back in Boston, we readied for our flights with one last stop at another local brewery. Beer#3
At the airport, one of my candles set off a TSA alarm. My bags were searched and items scanned and rescanned. When asked about my purchases, I advised them that: “We’re coming from Salem and these candles are supposed to be used for spell casting, you know, witch crafting and magical stuff like that…” I thought I was pretty funny, I got a sideways glance, a half smile from the very serious TSA Officer and then was handed my stuff.
Due to the weather, both our flights were delayed. We got to spend an extra bit of time together at the airport terminal before heading to our separate gates.
This sistercation was really great. KT was such a great travel partner, and in return I drank beers with her! Maybe we can find another place to meet up in over the next year or two!