Summer in Salem

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Every time I leave my forested home in favor of the coast, I imagine what it would be like to move there permanently. Nothing appeals to me more than the idea of spending every day by the ocean – or at least being within a short drive of the seaside. As a consequence of such visits, I also find myself rekindling my fascination with maritime art: spending weeks afterwards brushing up on New England’s seafaring history!

Though it’s been almost six months since my husband and I went to Salem for a mini-honeymoon, I’m glad that my academic circumstances prevented me from posting these photographs until now. Those wildly hot August days meandering past the Atlantic seem even more appealing in January!

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We arrived in Salem with noble plans for our romantic getaway: a full afternoon at the Peabody Essex Museum, endless ice cream breaks, multiple meals at our favorite vegetarian restaurant, a day out at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, walks on the various shorelines within driving distance, and perhaps even a sunlight boat ride on a replica of a historic schooner. (This itinerary, I think, captures our shared interests perfectly.)

Even though the elements decided to be merciful for our wedding day and spare us from high temperatures, however, we didn’t enjoy such luck for our trip. Our mini-moon corresponded with a horrid heat wave that swept all across Massachusetts, and the thermometer seemed to permanently read numbers well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The museum visit and ice cream still seemed appropriate, but we worked quickly to adapt our plans to involve as little time outside as possible.

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We spent one glorious day meandering up the Essex Scenic Coastal Byway via car – with the air conditioning keeping us safe from the brutal weather. Most of these photographs feature the unexpected filter created by our car’s window: since we decided to see as much as we could without stepping outside! On any other day, I’m sure these beaches would have been absolutely covered with people; that morning, they seemed as devoid of life as that seventeenth-century cemetery.

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I consider myself very lucky to have a travel/life partner who’s flexible, spontaneous, and loves the ocean (while disliking the heat) as much as I do. At the very least, considering that our intended destination for our “big” honeymoon is far more northerly in latitude, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about a heat wave again!

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