Saturday was a trip up to Salem, "Witch City". It was an easy drive out of the city, passing through lots of smaller towns until we reached the coast. For a while, Salem was the largest port in the US, with the largest business being fishing. We got lost a few times and had to turn around after crossing the bridge to exit the city, but eventually we got a parking space near the Salem Commons.
A walk through the park in the rain, and we found lunch at a Mexican eatery, then we toured the Salem Wax Museum. Lots of life-sized displays of early trading life and the horrors of the trials. It was OK, but there was a pretty horrid statue that they were raising money to bronze. We just said no to that. We then toured one of the cemeteries, looking at graves from the 18th century, including that of Judge Hathorne. That was followed by the Witch Village tour which started in this odd gift/magick shop which mixed kitch with Wicca stuff. Our guide was a friendly young man who linked all sorts of early religious traditions to witchcraft and spun conspiracy theories about the Church's vilification of local healers in order to corner the market on medicine. It ended with a stuffed dragon display and a speech about how dragons are like guardian angels. It was cute but I had to stifle many laughs.
On Sunday, Annelies and I brought the car back to Harvard Square, then went to downtown Boston to visit the science museum. It was fun; we got to see early computer artifacts and a demonstration of the world's largest Van De Graff generator. We also got to see the Planetarium program on supernovas in chairs that leaned way back. That was followed by a walk to the North End, a district filled with Italian restaurants. We found a nice family-owned place for dinner where I had very spicy farfalle pasta with piles of mushrooms.
It was a really great trip, made even better by the ability to visit with my girlfriend and see lots of the city and surrounding area together. She comes back to Austin in a month, and I'm really excited to be able to go do more with her soon!