Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wedding of Mario and Elizabeth, Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts is just 17 miles north of Boston, home of the Peabody Essex Museum and what seemed to be hundreds of gift shops, scary museums, graveyards, tours, churches, psychics, statues, taverns and weddings all dedicated to the 1692 witch trials. This place isn't shy of its dark past as the Salem Witch trials are even now enacted at the Witch Dungeon Museum and other places we thought best not to bring Amy to. We were returning after two years to this small but touristy town because Marie's brother Mario was tying the knot with his girlfriend Elizabeth. We and 90 other guests were gathering at the Hawthorne Hotel in the heart of the town's historic district for the next three days. We had Amy with us for the weekend and she proved to be an excellent traveller and companion to me and Marie. We all gathered at Mario's home after we had settled into the hotel, meeting his and Elizabeth's friends and her family, coming from all corners of the USA and Canada. Amy made friends at once with the younger and older children there. As the wedding wasn't taking place until 6pm that evening we walked with Amy around Salem, explaining the history of the town and it's obsession with witches. As I have said the museums there were not really for her age group so we took her swimming at the Y, treated her to ice creams and let her play in the kids playground on the Salem Common across from our hotel. We also showed her a 400-year old graveyard, the Burying Point, where we explained to her the significance of the old headstones there. One noted person connected to the Witch Trials is buried there - Judge John Hawthorne, the 'Witch Hanging Judge' who died on May 10th, 1717 -  almost 300 years ago to the day we strolled over his remains. Our hotel was named after one of his descendants, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
US border crossing at Highgate Springs, Vermont
lunch at Applebee's, Berlin, Vermont

Amy with her tablet whiling away the miles and in a Stickwork 'bird's nest', Salem

'What the Birds Know' Stickwork by Patrick Dougherty

Amy at 'Maria's Sweet Nothings', the Burying Point graveyard, and supper with Elizabeth & Mario

our little bar maid, Hawthorne Hotel

Marie and Amy outside the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, Massachusetts

in front of Bewitched star Elizabeth Montgomery, Lappin Park, Salem

Amy at the 'Y', Salem, Massachusetts
MELT, another delicious homemade ice cream shop in Salem

Burying Point, Salem
That evening we descended on the hotel's ballroom for supper and the wedding ceremony, followed by drinks and dancing afterwards. It was a pleasant surprise to see Adam, Mario's son there, as we had been told he wouldn't be attending. Zoe unfortunately was absent. The ceremony was performed by the wife of Elizabeth's sister, a poem was read and the assembled guests were attached by a long maroon coloured ribbon as the wedding was conducted. I think everyone agreed Mario and Elizabeth were made for each other and we wish them many years of happiness together.  Before returning home the next morning all family members gathered in the hotel dining room for a farewell breakfast. With goodbyes and promises to return we left for Canada, hoping to see Mario and Elizabeth again soon and wishing them a safe journey as they prepared to fly out the next morning to the enchanting and beautiful Caribbean island of St. Lucia for their honeymoon.   gws

Elizabeth and Mario, Salem, Massachusetts

Amy and Adam

the ceremony

breakfast next morning!