Salem, a place we had all been looking forward to visiting. After leaving the Best Western and driving to our home for the next few days, Woburn’s Red Roof Inn (classy we know), we had a few hours of daylight left, so headed over to Salem. Rather than attempting to race round a museum before it closed we decided just to wander to get the feel of the place and to take some snowy pictures. Having missed lunch we were all rather hungry, so food was also on the agenda. Salem was, quite literally, a ghost town. Most of the shops, cafes and restaurants that we came across were closed. Eventually we found somewhere open and settled in for lunch/dinner. Afterwards, with our two hours of free parking running out, we headed back to Woburn.

After some internet research (“we should Google it” is becoming a bit of a catchphrase), we discovered that the distinct lack of activity yesterday might have had something to do with the “Snow Emergency” that had been declared. Although we had also discovered that most of Salem’s many museums are seasonal, we were pleased to see that “The” Salem Witch Museum was open. To be completely honest it was a bit of a disappointment. From the outside it looked pretty promising, and quite a lot bigger than it actually was, and it is in a castle! On entering we were told we were just in time for the next presentation, so we duly paid our $8.50 each and were shepherded into the presentation room. It was dark, only lit by a glowing red circle on the floor, containing the names of all those killed in the 1692 Witch Trials. We were instructed to sit on the right side of the room and we obediently took our places on the plastic benches. The presentation was pretty good, the room was filled with waxwork tableaux which were lit up in turn while a narrator explained the events of 1692. Once this was finished our “tour guide” took us into the Evolving Perceptions exhibit. Essentially her role was to briefly introduce each of four waxwork figures, then press a big green button to make them tell us their story. Once this was done, she said we could go back and look at the timeline at our leisure, and that the exit was through the shop. Wait… that’s it?! Indeed it was, so 40 minutes later, and $8.50 each poorer, we had finished our tour of The Salem Witch Museum. Having expected the museum to take several hours, we were slightly at a loss as to what to do. We wandered around town for a while, then headed for lunch. Lunch marked our first real diner experience. Luckily for me Lizzie ordered first, and I was able to benefit from hearing the guy tell her that she needed to say how she wanted her eggs and what kind of bread she wanted. I managed to order my eggs and toast without feeling too much like a stupid English tourist, (over easy on brown toast, if you were wondering) and we sat down to our meal. (I must admit however, that although I ordered them confidently, I really had no idea what my “over easy” eggs were going to look like…) After lunch it was time for more wandering, a tarot reading for Lizzie, a discovery that the other museum we were hoping to see was seasonal, and a walk to the waterfront to see the USS Friendship and to take pictures of the Custom House. Returning to the hotel, Lizzie and I decided to brave crossing the road by the hotel to the mall opposite in search of some swimwear for Liz (the hotel had a pool). TJMaxx proved unsuccessful on the swimwear front, but our big find of the night was Sports Authority, where we headed in search of swimwear but got sidetracked by their camping department and vowed to return with the car to buy our camping supplies for later in the trip. Unfortunately when we returned on Sunday morning the sale had finished. FAIL. Luckily however, I made friends with Don, the manager, who was a great deal more useful than the hot, but slightly out of it Sales Assistant who we initially asked for help. Don used what came up on the receipt as “Manager’s Discretion” to discount both our tent and our sleeping bags back to the sale prices of the previous day. In addition to this we also walked away with a Queen size air bed and a battery powered pump (we were surprised and amused that this was cheaper than 2 roll mats, but there you go), a 16litre coolbox, a folding camping pillow each and possibly our best buy, a CoZee each. “What is a CoZee?” I hear you cry… basically a giant fleece blanket with sleeves, a very cheap and static fleece blanket, mine actually sparks! Thanks to Don, we managed to save about $50… we love you Don!

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