Well our Salem trip is over and that is sad. I call this part one of our recap cause Colleen will be sharing her angels film photos once they get developed. In the meantime, I thought I would share mine. I did have some trouble narrowing them down as I am sure you will notice. I am very happy to report that it was a truly delightful weekend that exceeded expectations. I was a little worried that the masses of people I anticipated would ruin some of the charm of our trip but we very cleverly managed to avoid the hubbub when we wanted to. We got there on Friday morning and were able to get some of our tours and things in before it got very crowded and I definitely recommend that if any of you plan a trip to Salem in October, you manage to be there at least one weekday. The difference from Friday to Saturday crowds was huge. One of our best trip decisions was staying in the Hawthorne hotel right in the middle of the historic district. It was very traditional and cozy and they had complimentary apple cider available for us in the lobby any time we needed a fix. Which was often. I would guess Colleen in particular had no less than 7 cups of cider over the course of the weekend. So if anyone was concerned about our cider quota, you can rest your worries. I could also see the water from my room on the 5th floor which was an added bonus. We were located right next to a big park (which was used in filming for Hocus Pocus) and they had carnival concessions with caramel apples and fried oreos. We mostly wandered around for the weekend but did check a few key items off of our to-do list which occupied time between random explorations…
We checked out Pickering Wharf and the pretty ship.
We toured the House of Seven Gables which Nathaniel Hawthorne based his famed novel off of. It even had a secret passage that we walked through.
Corey cutely annoyed Colleen by grabbing at her nose while they stood in front of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home.
We saw the Old Burying Point Cemetery which was beautiful and creepy.
We checked out the Witch House but opted not to go in since we had just toured two homes from that period the day before.
We roamed around Allison’s house (from Hocus Pocus) which had a beautiful garden in the back. I was disappointed by the lack of pumpkins.
We walked down Chestnut Street which has all the fancy old homes and big trees with leaves that were satisfyingly autumnal colors.
We found another part of Salem harbor near a big park and enjoyed the view.
It just so happened to be right near Max and Dani’s house (another Hocus Pocus locale).
Then we drove over to neighboring Marblehead and were quite glad that we did. Cause it looked like this…
We pretty much spent the rest of the weekend enjoying the perfect fall atmosphere.
If anyone is planning a trip and looking for some more specifics, just let me know and I would be happy to help. I really can’t imagine a more ideal place to be in the fall than New England and Salem in particular.
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This time last year we were up to our ears in Halloween party preparations and while we get super excited about our yearly party, the time and energy we put into it also makes us feel super tired. At that time we made a decision that this year we would take off from throwing a big party and instead we would do something else fun and different that we don’t usually have time for in October. One thing that Colleen and I have always wanted to do ever since falling in love with Hocus Pocus and witch stories in general was go to Salem in October. It is definitely a bucket list item for both of us and so we decided to jump on the opportunity. If you can believe it, we actually had to make reservations close to a year ago and when we booked it, they were almost sold out of rooms at our hotel which is one of the only ones in Salem. We opted not to go right at Halloween but a few weekends earlier so we could enjoy giving out candy at our own houses. And so this weekend, we are flying up and spending a lovely October weekend in Salem and we are pretty much beside ourselves with excitement. Could there be a better place to be to celebrate Halloween than Salem? We are hoping not. If any of you have been and have any recommendations, please let us know. Apart from one tour and eating delicious food and drinking apple cider, we have no set plans for the weekend and instead plan to go where our feet take us. We will be back next week and I am sure I will have plenty of pictures of the festivities to share.
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Yesterday I had a kind of crappy day. Nothing serious but the kind of day that just puts you in a bad mood all the same. So I decided that I would bake last night and I also decided that when I went to Williams Sonoma to buy vanilla beans for baking, I would treat myself with the pumpkin patch loaf pan that I have wanted for a few years now. Take that bad day. I do what I want and you can’t stop me. Obviously one needs to make pumpkin things in a pumpkin patch pan and so I found a pretty great pumpkin chai bread recipe that seemed necessary. And then I made it and ate my weight in batter and watched Hocus Pocus.
I used this recipe for the bread and I made no changes to it other than adding a teaspoon of vanilla. Because I believe every sweet thing needs vanilla.
For the glaze I used this recipe but substituted 1/3 of a vanilla bean for the vanilla and added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, but I wish I would have added a touch less so you guys can benefit from my mistake here. It is still completely delicious.
from Betty Crocker
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 tablespoons warm water or more. I always end up adding a little more.
Mix until creamy and smooth.
I could not be happier with how it turned out. It is very moist and warm and spicy and delicious and if you guys ever have a bad day, I suggest that you make it as well. Or whenever really.
Truth time…I wish the pumpkins on the top of my loaf looked a little more like pumpkins and less like lumps. :/ Right? Maybe I am asking too much from my bakeware.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
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