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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wynotts Wands - Salem - Massachusetts

5 Wynotts Wands - Salem - Massachusetts 1

While on our loop around Salem, second-oldest nephew pointed out Wynotts Wands, makers of fine wands since 1692 (not really). After all, if Salem is capitalizing on its notoriety for witchcraft, stands to reason that someone would cash in on wizardry and Harry Potter.

Butter beer anyone? Actually, it's Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer, neither it, nor Wynotts Wands, is affiliated with Harry Potter. Not that anyone really pays attention to that disclaimer.

Because really, when you have a wand shop, it better look like Ollivanders! (And like Ollivanders, there is no apostrophe in Wynotts.) The shop limits the amount of visitors inside at one time, which was actually refreshing to escape the crowds during October in Salem, but meant a brief wait before being allowed to enter.

Not affiliated with Harry Potter, although the Deathly Hallows logos on the wand boxes in the window contradict that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ye Olde Pepper Companie (America's Oldest Candy Company) - Salem - Massachusetts

4 Ye Olde Pepper Companie (America's Oldest Candy Company) - Salem - Massachusetts 1

After grabbing a quick breakfast at Red Line Cafe - Salem - Massachusetts, second-oldest nephew and his friend and I headed to the waterfront. After a spin around the House of the Seven Gables and the house in which Nathaniel Hawthorne was born, we headed across the street to Ye Olde Pepper Companie, which opened in 1806 and is America's oldest candy company. A chance to get some edible souvenirs with a side of history? Can't pass that up!

According to their website, Ye Olde Pepper Companie began after Mary Spencer sailed from England to Salem and was left destitute by a shipwreck. Her neighbors donated supplies, including a barrel of sugar when they found out she was a confectioner. She made lemon and peppermint Gibralters, which are initially hard but then soften after several weeks and taste like an after-dinner mint. She first sold her candies on the steps of church and then with a horse and carriage. After she passed away in 1835, her son, Thomas, took over the business, but shortly afterward, he inherited a title in England and sold the business to fellow confectioner, John Pepper. Thomas and Pepper had worked together to create Black Jacks, molasses stick candy that would appeal to more masculine tastes to contrast with the feminine Gibralters.

Pepper's son, George, took over until selling his business at the turn of the 20th century to George and Alice Burkinshaw, who were, respectively, assistant candy maker and candy packers for Ye Olde Pepper Companie. The fourth generation of Burkinshaws still operate the candy shop today.

The left side of the building is where the candy is still made by hand today. The right side is the candy shop. October's high season in Salem meant a very packed store. There was basically only room to enter, walk around the center table, choosing wares along the way, exiting after a loop.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Red Line Cafe - Salem - Massachusetts

3 Red Line Cafe - Salem - Massachusetts 1

Why are you waking me up at 6 a.m.? I groaned to second-oldest nephew when he asked what time I wanted to get up. Still operating on West Coast time, he had plugged the meter for the car when I had promptly turned off my alarm and continued sleeping.

By the time I finally got up, the breakfast restaurants that I had bookmarked had lines out the door. It's high season in Salem! Tons of people were already walking around in costume, and all the sit-down restaurants were mobbed. So after striking out at a few places, nephew suggested Red Line Cafe for some sandwiches.

Monday, October 20, 2014

"Bewitched" Statue - Salem - Massachusetts

2 Bewitched - Salem - Massachusetts 1

As second-oldest nephew and I walked back from Lobster Shanty - Salem - Massachusetts, we passed by the "Bewitched" statue of Elizabeth Montgomery. There had been a steady line of people all evening, waiting to take pictures with the TV witch, but at this bewitching hour, no one was around.

A statue of a fictional witch in a town known for executing real-life "witches"? Tacky and insensitive or kitschy tourist draw?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Lobster Shanty - Salem - Massachusetts

1 Lobster Shanty - Salem - Massachusetts 1

I had a bunch of miles that were expiring soon and with an open invitation from Gourmet Pigs to come out for a visit, decided to do just that for my birthday since I hadn't gone on a big trip in a while. Five days after I booked my flight, she received a media invite to Sacramento to tour a cattle ranch.

Could I change my ticket?

Not without incurring a hefty change fee. Plus, I wanted to go to the Keene Pumpkin Festival that weekend.

Would I mind if she went? She could leave her car for me if I wanted?

Well, sure, in that case, that actually worked out better because I could go up to Salem and spend time with second-oldest nephew.

Evidently, Salem is more happening than I realized. Since my flight came in late, I Googled around for some options and saw that The Lobster Shanty was open until 1 a.m.

Doh! October. Salem. Witch trials. Halloween. It's Salem's high season.

According to the T-shirts, which said, "The Lobster Shanty -- warm beer, lousy food, surly waitresses, rude bartenders, cranky cooks," I think it's supposed to be a dive, but service and food were just fine.