Monday, October 22, 2012

Fall in New England

The Elizabeth Montgomery statue in Salem
Pilgrims on the street in Salem
It's true what they say. Fall in New England is the most beautiful season possible, with cool crisp days and diamond clear skies (sometimes!). The fall color I grew up loving in Ohio is everywhere. Shana and I have made it our business to get out & about to enjoy the season. Because my work schedule usually includes some portion of Saturday and Shana is staying with her stepfather on alternate weekends we have limited time to explore together, but we are trying to make the most of it. For our most recent free weekend together we planned a day of college football and a trip to Salem Massachusetts. I love Salem. It's a beautiful little town where there is a lot to do and see. During October it's crazy busy, but we went anyway because there was an exhibit of Ansel Adams photos we did not want to miss. It was the last weekend of the exhibit so we could not wait until November. It must be noted that parking in a city garage cost $16.00 (!) If you can visit at another time of year it will not be as painful or necessary to pay for parking. We had lunch at The Lobster Shanty, as featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, and were not disappointed. The Peabody Essex Museum was great. I hear that the gift shop there is wonderful, but I did not go in for a look. I really must minimize temptation! The PEM was also hosting a hat exhibit which was a delightful surprise, with vintage hats from many periods displayed next to modern creations of similar materials and a recreation of a millinery work room.
Provincetown Street Scene

Race Point Beach

U. S. Lifesaving Station
Yesterday Shana and I spent the afternoon in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. Provincetown is both charming and odd in about equal measure. You can visit the very nicest and most exclusive of galleries and the junkiest of T shirt shops in the same block. Restaurants vary from hot dogs at walk up windows to the very best of fine dining. We had an excellent burger and an equally excellent eponymous beer at the Local 186 (note the painfully hip website) then strolled along Commercial Street before driving down to Race Point to visit the beach and the Life Saving Station. Race Point features some of the most beautiful dunes on the Cape, and the beach is pristine and wonderful. Although it is on the Atlantic side the access does not include a steep climb down to the beach as is part of most of the Cape Cod National Seashore.  There is one access point where there is a hard surface access path which is much appreciated by anyone of limited strength or mobility. There are also conveniences including flush toilets and a bath house. In October the services are limited to a porta-potty, but the beach is virtually deserted and not less beautiful than in high season. Since I do not attempt to swim in the Atlantic at any location and Race Point is named for strong rip currents I find the beach equally attractive at all times of the year. We took Roxy with us so she could enjoy a beach walk as well. The U. S. Lifesaving Station was open this time and we got a good look at how those brave men lived.

Our day trips around the state have given me the excuse to avoid my fall yard chores, but I can't put it off much longer. Leaves are falling and my perennials are going to sleep.  It is clear that winter is coming. The Farmers' Almanac suggests we may have a cold one, and the old wives' tales insist that the huge crop of acorns we have this year means a cold winter. The huge crop of acorns is at the very least attracting the local turkeys to the yard. They were visiting Friday and knocked over my birdbath while they were here.


lacochran's evil twin said...

Great snaps! The first one with the person dressed in what looks like similar garb in some ways to the pilgrims (not the backpack, of course :)) and that last one with the window that shows the path that goes to the sea... how inviting. :)

jaykaym said...

I love, love, love the Peabody
Essex Museum. I found it quite by accident when I was trying to organize a fall tour of New England for a "spouse of" event when I had never even visited New England myself! Long story but the tour was spectacular thanks in part to a very helpful staff member at the PEM who helped me plan the whole thing once she heard of my dilemma.

And my Provincetown story is equally strange. When visiting there we ended up, quite by accident, in the middle of a parade honoring the Jamaican Bobsled Team. We were stuck in traffic and someone decided to direct us in the parade line-up. It was a hoot!

naomi dagen bloom said...

Here are two museums you'd probably enjoy--Fuller, a craft one, in Brockton, Mass. and the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

The latter offers different experiences, gives a view of how mill industry in that area was populated by French Canadians from farms...a Catholic school classroom with audio of priest advising children to ignore union organizing/strikes happening in their midst.

Years ago found beautiful shells Provincetown, not on the beach, but in parking next to it when we vacationed in Wellfleet.

zippiknits...sometimes said...

Thanks for the snaps, and for including the one of Roxie. Hope you got that water drained.

My dd has a friend who has invited her to apply for a job in New Hampshire, so it might be that I'll roll into your town someday to sample all these places you've been so kind as to mention.

btw, we are getting fall color in November, too. The nights have been going down below 40 - strange weather for here at this time. January is when this usually happens.