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Posts Tagged ‘day out’

My guy and I love Salem, that famously witchy town a bit north of Boston. We spent a few weekends there in 2019, but hadn’t been back since March 2020, for the obvious pandemic and life reasons. But a couple of weeks ago, we decided to just go for the day – hopping on the commuter rail in the morning and coming back in time for dinner. It was, in a word, fabulous.

We started the day with iced chai and treats from Caffe Ducali (see above) and then hopped on the train. When we arrived, we did some browsing of favorites old and new: the bike shop, the comic-book shop, the fabulous consignment shop Re-find (where I always find the best stuff). We ran into an old friend of G’s and chatted a minute, then headed down the street for hot dogs. I almost never eat hot dogs unless I’m at a ballpark, but I made an exception for these:

Thus fortified, we wandered some more (stopping at Front Street Coffee for iced tea – it was hot!), then headed out on a bike ride. I love exploring new parts of familiar places with G, and we adore a good long bike ride. We ended up at Winter Island, which has campgrounds, a beach and ocean views.

We rode back to town and headed to Far From the Tree, Salem’s wonderful local cider house, for some sampling (G) and an old favorite (me). We have a cider-focused Instagram account these days, and it’s so fun to taste different ciders and compare notes.

After a ride back on the commuter rail, we ended the day where we began it: at Ducali for a delicious dinner. It was so lovely to revisit one of our favorite towns together. I want to go back (again).

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A couple of weeks ago, I attended my first networking event – a meeting of the Boston Women Communicators group, which is exactly what it sounds like. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the College Club (doesn’t that sound elegant?), with tea and cookies afterward and a guest speaker, Judith Nies, whose fascinating memoir The Girl I Left Behind was just published.

While there, I met Annmarie, a fellow job-seeker who is also a born-and-raised Bostonian. She offered to take any of us Boston newbies (there were several) on a personal tour, so last week I took her up on it. And boy, did we have a great day.

We met at the Prudential Center, whose 50th-floor Skywalk affords 360-degree views of Boston:

(This is the northern view; that mass of trees and green is my beloved Boston Common.)

(This is the eastern view, across the South End to Boston Harbor.)

After gawking at the views (truly stunning), we headed down to the South End in search of some mid-morning refreshment. We discovered Francesca’s on Tremont Street, which had twinkle lights, a laid-back atmosphere and delicious blueberry scones. My kind of place!

(View out the window…I love the little stencils, and we just sat and talked and watched the world go by.)

We then hopped a cab to the Institute of Contemporary Art, which is a little overpriced since only one of its four floors showcases any art. (We did not know this before paying.) However, the art we saw was appropriately cool and funky, and the gift shop was full of quirky things. We then took the Harbor Walk all the way around to Christopher Columbus Park, and headed into the North End (Boston’s Little Italy) in search of lunch.

Following the delicious smells coming from L’Osteria, on Salem Street, we headed in and ordered lunch (noting the group of older Italian men and women eating in the corner. Locals=a good sign). Annmarie had the mussels and I had some delectable manicotti – and they brought us FREE almond-flavored tiramisu with the check! Definitely a place to go back to with my Italian-food-lovin’ husband.

I hadn’t been to Charlestown yet, so we headed through the North End and across the bridge, and toured the top deck of the U.S.S. Constitution:

This is the oldest commissioned warship still afloat – and it’s seriously cool. (Annmarie and I didn’t take the full tour that day, but I went back with J on Saturday and we heard all about the ship from a tour guide and fellow Texan. It was fascinating – and FREE, which made it even better.)

Our day ended with a stroll into Charlestown proper (where my friends Mike and Lisa lived during their time in Boston), and we rested our tired feet at the base of the Bunker Hill monument:

Truly a fantastic day – yummy food, fun Boston spots I hadn’t seen before, and a lovely new friend. (If any of you come up to Boston, dear readers, I’ll be glad to give you my personal tour!)

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