The first highlight was our accommodation in Salem, MA. We rented a two-bedroom first floor apartment in a Victorian home for the week via Airbnb. It was our first time booking with them and it won't be the last.
For starters, it's an easy process completed online and with Airbnb you're not booking a hotel room. You're reserving a room, apartment or entire home (your choice) from a real person.
Airbnb describes the process this way:
What is Airbnb? Airbnb is a community marketplace where guests can book spaces from hosts, connecting people who have space to spare with those who are looking for a place to stay. Through their experiences on Airbnb, guests and hosts build real connections with real people from all over the globe.
We couldn't agree more. After pulling up to the address (provided after booking to ensure the host's privacy) we were greeted by Arthur S., a lifelong Salem resident. With a cheery smile and outstretched hand he said, "You must be Dianne and John!"
Even though we had our own key, Arthur explained he'd dropped by to plant some flowers at the front of the house and would be pleased to show us around. We learned the house was built in 1914 after the great Salem fire and that it had been in his family for decades.
We were also pleasantly surprised to find our hosts had gone above and beyond to welcome us. We found milk and orange juice in the fridge, ice cubes in the freezer, a delicious apple crumb coffee cake from a local bakery sitting on the kitchen table. Also in the pantry were the basics to keep every guest/cook happy: coffee, tea, olive oil, butter, sugar, Vermont maple syrup, etc. Within minutes we felt at home, unpacked our bags, and while I checked my email John flipped on the cable TV.
Ah. Home Sweet New England Home!
We spent some time with our daughter and son-in-law, but as they had to work most days that left us plenty of time to explore on our own. We enjoyed the Peabody Essex Museum and even returned for a second visit, but still did not view all of the galleries or exhibits.
|Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.|
A short drive from Salem is Beverly home of the annual Arts Fest Beverly. There was something to see and do for everyone of every age at this street art and craft exhibit, including one retired furniture maker...
Marblehead, founded in 1629, is 18 miles north of Boston and just east of Salem. Famous for its contributions to the American Revolution, we fell in love with its narrow, winding streets and 17th and 18th century homes.
The harbor, home to more than 2000 boats, has earned Marblehead the title of "Yachting Capital of the World".
Our final day in Salem we toured The House of the Seven Gables credited as the inspiration for the 1851 novel, The House of the Seven Gables, by Nathaniel Hawthorne. John said the combination of my claustrophobia combined with the narrow secret passageway connecting the main floor to the attic was worth the price of admission alone.
|The House of the Seven Gables, Salem, MA.|
That may have been his favorite thing, but mine was the flowers and window boxes. They were everywhere...
Last but not least, is this Salem wall painting. Can you spot the real 'boy' climbing the rope? Me thinks he's sixty-three going on three!
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