It's a Witchy, Witchy, World

Our Vacation in Salem, Mass

I'll get you my pretty, and your tour bus, too! Okay, I know last year I said I'd never visit New England again. After that trip from hell, can you blame me? I got lost at Logan Airport, lost my ATM card, had $20 of cash, and found out that Chelmsford was *not* local to Boston, as advertised. The weather was miserable, the place was a dump, and the airport was a horrific nightmare of lying sign banners and incompetent people. So why on Earth did we choose Salem for our tenth wedding anniversary?

Well, originally, it was to be Disneyworld. But that got too costly. Then our budget of around $1000 really started to restrict us. We thought of the Poconos, but that was too boring and cheesy. A cruise for $1000 was rather cheesy as well, and where would we go on that big boat anyway? For a while we settled on Las Vegas, but lack of decent travel packages finally sent us looking again. That's when Christine thought about Salem. And coincidentally, our fifth wedding anniversary was held at the Shaken Tree, a (now defunct) pagan bookshop and cultural center, where we renewed our vows in a pagan circle of a bunch of friends, led by the woman who introduced us, Elspeth. So this seems to follow through. Besides, Salem is like the witchcraft central, something that intrigued me, since I am a casual student of the occult and alternate religions. Christine wanted to see the graveyards, a passion of hers. So we delightfully found we could have a splendid vacation with more freedom of what we wanted to do in a small cozy town. We looked for cheap airfares, and we found Expedia gave us some excellent rates to Boston, and we rented a car to drive to Salem. We reserved a room at the Salem Inn, and searched the web for exciting sites to go to while we were there.

Our biggest problem was what to do with Christopher. We had a sitter that we usually used, but that fell through at the last moment, since she had to go somewhere else during that week. Our next door neighbor suddenly fell very ill, and so she couldn't take care of him. Thankfully, a convention friend, Sara (aka "The Magnificent Sarita"), had just graduated high school, and was available for hire. So we let her house sit in our house, and paid her to look after Christopher and the cats.

Well, finally the day came. Since my shift was all night, I simply worked through until 8am, and when I got off early, we picked up Sara, and then called a cab to go to Dulles. True to form, no cab showed up. I just have the worst luck with cabs. I have never been mean to them, and I always tip well, even if treated rudely. But whenever I call a cab, it doesn't show up most of the time, and I usually get some surly man who never seems to know where he is or where he is going. So we finally gave up, cancelled the cab, and drove to the airport ourselves. Earlier in the morning, I called to confirm our flight, and was warned "we are overbooked by 110 passengers, please come to the front desk and confirm your flight as early as you can." When we got to the airport, we found airport parking for four days in the economy lot was not only quite reasonable ($6/day), but a shuttle would drive us right to our gate. And in what would soon be a strange series of good fortunes, we found a parking spot right next to the shuttle stop. And the moment we got our stuff out of the trunk and sat at the stop, why along came a shuttle! So we got to the gate very early, which was good, because the line was awfully long.

When I first came to the DC area at age 5, my first memories of this place was Dulles Airport, which then was rather new. It had a windswept design, and instead of the planes coming right up to one main building, you settled your business at the main terminal, and then took some huge bus with an accordion-like suspension to one of three separate terminals away from the main one. That way they could fit in more planes. It was also the first airport I had ever been to with a covered ramp that hooked up to the airport door. Every other airport I had been to (and I had been to a lot of airports up until then) involved going down a long series of stairs fixed to the back of a truck. I was impressed and I didn't have to worry about tumbling down a long series of steep metal stairs to an oil-stained concrete tarmac that smelled like airplane fuel (ala Gerald Ford). Dulles hasn't changed that much. Yes, some stuff has been upgraded, notably the recent expansion and digital equipment showing the status of your flight, but so much is still the same. The colors of all the booths, the floor, and even the fonts used on the lettering is the same. It was all so futuristic-late-sixties, and since I spent a lot of my early youth in airports and airplane during that era, I have always felt like they are a familiar part of my personal history. And now I am an adult… ish. Okay, I still want goofy toys in the airport gift shops.

But when we finally got to the front of the line, we were told "Oh, you could have gone right to the gate. Please do so next time unless you are checking in baggage" (our family is the royal parliament of carry-ons, we hate checking through luggage). We took the bus to our terminal, and waited at our gate. We ate at the Burger King there, right next to the "Airport Chapel." Maybe all airports have these, but this was the first time I had ever noticed one. I guess what threw me was the sign for it was one of those "universal people" signs. You know the kind, an over-stylized human male who has a round cigar-like body with no feet or hands, and a perfectly round dismembered head floating gently above his shoulders. In this stylized picture, it was kneeling, I suppose in prayer, but it almost had a sinister look about it, like someone kneeling at the chopping block. Like some weird cult was sacrificing these little stylized people for their inky black souls.

Our plane was not overbooked. It was, in fact, fairly empty. Christine and I got a whole row to ourselves. The flight went without mishap, and we landed at Logan. Logan has really cleaned up. I guess the construction is done. We waited for our Thrifty Car rental bus, and one arrived shortly. While we were waiting, however, we noticed it was really, really hot. Shouldn't it be cooler up north? Well, apparently a huge heat wave went through the area, and stayed the whole time we were there. When the bus picked us up, we watched as some woman seemed to be upset that the rental lot was not *at* the airport, but the bus trip would take 8, maybe even 10 minutes to get there! Man, what's your hurry?

Our heavenly, beuatiful car... notice the halo... When we got to the lot, more good luck. They were out of the cars we ordered, so they bumped us up "two levels," and we got a luxury car. Oooooh… it was nice. A Mitsubishi Diamonte, a sort of "low end luxury" car. But it was nice, leather seats, sunroof, awesome stereo, and so on… well, we *thought* the stereo was awesome, until we got underway and turned it on and hear this annoying grating noise come from the back of the car. The automatic antenna was torn from its housing, and lay like sick curly-cue down the side of the car. But thankfully, as bad as it looked, that was the worst that was to happen.

Then we got lost. That was hard at first, because Salem is a straight shot up Route 1A North, but it was when we actually got to Salem that we got lost. It turns out the directions to the hotel sort of ended when you got to Salem, they were more directions on how to get to Salem. Well, for about an hour, we drove all over Salem, which as bad as that may sound was yet another run of good luck, because we got to see where everything was.

Salem wasn't like we thought it would be like. We thought it would be a spare scattering of historic areas amid a small countryside. It was… well, for those of you who live in the Metropolitan DC area, more like Old Town Alexandria. Or maybe like an old-world European town. It was a cluttering of old houses, intermingled with non-matching store fronts, all in various stages of rebirth and decay. Traffic was fairly thick down these streets, which never really got to more than 2 lanes wide. There were modern looking places, ancient looking places, and a LOT of places that looked like throwbacks to the 1970's. Then you had the usual smattering of one-way streets that came up at very inopportune times. Phrases we uttered were along the lines of, "Hey, if we go down this street, and make a left, we'll get to the pier and… OH MAN! We can't go left there! I guess we'll make a right here, and then make three more rights and… A DEAD END? Why don't they label these things BEFORE you go down them???" Oh, and one more annoying thing, the main streets are not labeled. You can be going down a street, and wonder which street you are one, but you never know. The *side* streets are labeled, but not the main ones, so you have to wait until you come across a store front with the full address on the front of them. And we had no map of Salem yet.

We finally found our inn, and our luck was true again, we found parking, no lie, AT THE FRONT DOOR. Just like in the movies! We were so stunned. In this overcrowded road system from hell, we found a parking spot right at the front door. We looked to see if we could legally park there, we were so stunned. We could, and stayed parked there for the rest of the trip. We had also found out that Salem is not a long walk from one end to the other, so we didn't really even need a car.

We went in, and approached a surly young woman at the desk. She gave us the keys, and we went to out room. Luck was with us again. It was on the first floor (there were no elevators in this Inn), room number… 13. Yes, Thirteen, and it wasn't a gimmick, the room next to us was 12. Wow… that was really cool.

The room was okay. It was an old house from the 1690's, so we expected it to be a little rustic. The doorknobs didn't work properly, the floor sloped, and everything looked like it had about 50 coats of paint. But there were some modern amenities, like a TV, running water, air conditioning, and so on. The TV was small. I know that sounds like a stupid thing, but it was one of those tiny kitchen TV's with a remote, and it was in a far corner of the room, secured to a very low TV table (meant for a much larger TV). But of course, we didn't come here to watch TV. The bed was very large… but very soft and springy. It felt comfortable at first, but after sleeping on it, our backs hurt a lot in the morning. They had a mini-couch in there, too. But it was so small, when you sat on it, it wasn't big enough for your legs. But the great thing was the Jacuzzi. We feared, after one bad hotel incident years ago, that the "two-person Jacuzzi" advertised would be really a standard sized tub with jets that hung over the side. But this was truly a two-person Jacuzzi. It was the real thing, deep and large. And it had its own room, which was only slightly larger than the Jacuzzi itself. Basically, you opened the door, and stepped into the Jacuzzi. But to save space, they also installed a shower head. This may seem like a good space-saving idea, but they placed it too low (it was at chest height for me) and it was kind of weird taking a shower in a deep bowl. The Jacuzzi worked fine, but when you turned it on, all the lights dimmed heavily, and it was no shock to us when one night, it blew the circuit (and couldn't be repaired until the morning).

The first day we decided just to crash, since I was rather tired, and it was getting late. We were hungry, and found out in Salem, everything closes early. We found a pizza place still open that delivered, called the Engine House. We later found out that it was called that because it was in an old firehouse that was re-decorated into a small strip mall. We ordered, and they delivered, much to the dismay of the person at the front desk who called us to say the pizza guy was there, but he wasn't allowed to come to us, we had to come to him. Her manner on the phone was with such disdain and repugnance, that it seemed ordering in was a major faux pas. But their own restaurant, called "Cuvee" or something like that, was a pretentious French snoot parlor, with plates around $20, and a very restricted, unappetizing selection. It was also where our free continental breakfasts were served, and I might add, not connected to the house at inn at all. You had to walk out of the front door, down the sidewalk a bit, and down some worn, unbalanced stairs. When you ducked your head to co into the hobbit-hole, you were met by what probably was the slave's kitchen and quarters. It was very small, and more a Germanic style than French. The tables were very tiny, even with our continental breakfasts it was hard to fit two small plates and two cups of coffee without running out of room for anything else. The coffee was miserably bad; even my office coffee was better. This coffee was so bitter, and so weak, that even a lot of sugar and cream couldn't save it. But the pizza we ordered that first night wasn't much better. It was like congealed grease, and a bit heavy on black pepper and oregano. At least they delivered us two two-liter bottles of soda, and we made use of those during our stay (we had a small fridge in the bathroom).

We were up and sore (that awful bed) the next day, so we decided to have ourselves a walk around what we had driven and gotten lost in just the day before. We ate at the "Haunted Café," a kind of urban-hip type of joint you'd expect young folk to frequent. The food was good, and the atmosphere was done very well. It was sort of an Addams Family meets Starbucks kind of place. We spent that day travelling around, and saw some fairly interesting things.

Salem could best be described as a new-age mall. Nearly every block has at least one or two shops dedicated to the occult in some way, whether it was books, gems, shirts, or other assorted merchandise. Never in my life had I ever seen paganism with this much glitz. Many great things were for sale, but a lot more of it was simply tacky, tacky, tacky. Years ago, Rick MacKinnon and I had written a joke skit for Prune Bran called, "Crazy Al's Discount Pagan Warehouse." Now I could see what would have been a good backdrop. I saw pentacles in all shapes, sizes, and materials. They had cauldrons, amulets, and dream catchers. The whole downtown smelt of the mixture of 500 incense fragrances, all competing with each other in a cacophony is exotic scents. Even the official logo for Salem is the silhouette of the stereotypical hag-witch with the billowing clothing, warty nose, and riding on a broomstick. But not all of this represented paganism very well, honestly. Many stores obviously catered to the rich and bored of New England, offering out items that promised to give one power and riches if they lit this candle or cast this spell. It was sort of sad, really, that most stores carried books that spoke of teaching ancient demon summoning, along with more valid titles, like works by Cunningham and Buckland. One store was packed full of demi-pagan glitz, all the way to glitter on the floor. But we found some really nice places, one was a place called "The Pyramid," which was large, airy, and had a lot of more unusual things as well as the common staples. We fell in love with this store, and promptly spent over $100 there. I finally found a decent ankh, as well as a small pagan goddess symbol I had been searching for.

Oh, and before you go, you should know the story. I won't go into detail about it, and if you acted in a version of Arthur Miller's, "The Crucible," you know about this already. But for those of you who fell asleep through drama, history, literature, McCarthyism, and the homophobic 80's, here's a run-down of the little town called Salem:

Salem 1692. A Hatian nanny by the name of Tabitha starts telling bored little rich girls about ancient African spells. Soon, some of these girls play ill, and claim witchcraft. The town, also bored and living under a repressed Puritain regeime, thinks, "Hey, this is more fun than watching snow fall," and the town gets into it. Soon the girls "succumb" to the demons and devils that the project onto things they don't understand. Suddenly the girls start accusing everyone. Then everyone starts accusing everyone. "Spectral evidence" is allowed in court. By the time people come to their senses, 19 innocent people are hanged, and one poor man is pressed to death for refusing to testify. None of them are witches. Tabitha, ironically, lives. And continuing that irony, Salem becomes a haven for witches.

You will hear this story everywhere you go. You can't escape it. It's like the town is permenantly purging itself of guilt every two hours somewhere in town for tourists.

We also met a lot of witches. I am not sure how to tell you to "find" a witch, there is no form of "gaydar" or something for pagans. But there were a lot of "open" pagans, and so I would assume, many more closed ones wandering about. But suffice to say, the open ones were really open and out there. Many wearing large pentacles and amulets, some dressed in black, and almost every one we met was really, really cool.

We stopped at several historical places during our pleasant walk. We went to the Witch House, which was actually the oldest house still standing in Salem. During the witch trials, it has been owned by one of the judges. It wen through several owners through the next 300 years, including being a drug store at one time. In the 1930's, the renovated back to the old style, and turned it into a historical landmark. The staff was very fannish, very garb-wearing SCA-type of people who knew how to present history. When it was over, you went through their tiny gift shop.

Another place was Witch Village, where you could also view the Salem Wax Museum via the "Hysteria Pass," a ticket to see both at a reduced charge. The Witch Village was nothing more than a Haunted House during the off-season. It had a large gift shop, followed by a tour of the history of witchcraft presented by a real live, honest-to-goodness witch. Our guide's name was David, and he was a large young man, wearing black, and spoke much like a funeral barker. He was a practicing witch and Native American shaman. He didn't say much I didn't already know, but he was very nice and presented witchcraft in a good light, apologizing once in a while for the Haunted House décor. "No, really, we don't sacrifice animals, unlike this skeleton is doing while suspended from rusty springs…"

The Wax Museum was forgettable. It was a bland arena where they boxed you into this room, painted black with while running lights lining the corners of the walls where they met the floor and ceiling. The walls were cut out, and behind the glass were wax dioramas which lit up as a taped recording played out each scene, representing the history of Salem… up until 1800 something. I thought it was sort of sad that they thought nothing interesting had happened since 1820 or so in their town, but what was even sadder was the Broadway-style narration, which was played just a little too loud than the speakers were designed to play. The voiceovers were accented with harsh sound effects similar to those used in really bad horror movies from the 1950's. And the scene would light up on audio cue, showing still replicas of historical figures in frozen poses. The whole thing was also kind of dumbed-down, so it really didn't say anything more than any of the other tours did. After you left, you passed through a place where you could do gravestone rubbings and learn how to tie nautical knots. Then, of course, you were dumped into the gift shop.

Behind that was the Old Burying Point Cemetery, that housed some of the oldest dead bodies anywhere on New England soil (that didn't come from the original native residents). Most of the tombstones were made from slate or shale, and were chipping and falling apart. But the cemetery was so… peaceful! I know it sounds ghoulish, but Christine and I like wandering around cemeteries, although she really gets into the whole thing. Also there was the Witch Trials Memorial, dedicated to the 19 hanged (and one pressed to death) during the accusational hysteria. I sat and read while Christine wandered and meditated.

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More Museum Photos
We also went to the Salem Witch Museum. Now, if you like Wax-like diorama shows, this one is much, much better. It goes through the Salem Witch trials in gripping detail. You start in a dark room with a lit red circle in the center. Then the narration starts and certain parts light up, but they aren't cheesy and glitzy like the Wax Museum. It is done in good taste, and I think better captures the essence and horror of that fateful winter. And when it was over, yep, you guessed it, dumps you into the gift shop.

So we decided to have a quick and cheap dinner at a the Lyceum Bar and Grill, which was not cheap at all. We suddenly found out, "Bar and Grill" does not necessarily mean "cheap and fast." It was very upscale, with $20 plates and we were so underdressed. We were not treated as such, so I tipped the waiter well for his diplomacy. But that was the MOST expensive meal I have ever ordered. But in its defense, I was excellent food.

The next day, we went whale-watching. We took a walk in the early morning, only to realize we forgot our coupons. Oh well. We found that there was do direct way to get there, and we ended up almost scaling a fence and jumping off a small wall to get there. But we got there, paid for our reservation, and I think minutes after we had our tickets, a HUGE line formed, which added to more of the great timing luck list that was growing daily. We got on the boat, found a prime spot on the bow, and set sail. The trip there was uneventful, except for one group of witches.

This must have been a "generational family outing" of some kind, because it seemed to span three generations of witches. For those of you who know a little about the pagan representations of the goddess, let me put it to you this way: The "crone" was represented by a lady who decided to put on this "regal queen act" that was quite entertaining, actually. She waved at all the boats that went by, stating, "Helloooo," like Queen Elizabeth at a parade. The next generation was the more refined crew, but they had a confident air about them like many self-actualized pagans do. Wear the pentacle, but look normal otherwise. There is an old saying among the pagan movement, "We are everywhere." To those who have never traveled and worked with pagans, it is true, you would really be surprised how many of them there are. I would think only one in ten "look" the part (i.e. wear black with pentacles). Most dress like anyone else. They span all areas of the social scale. There are rich pagans and poor pagans. I work with two, and most likely more that I don't know about (the technology sector is ironically rich with pagans). I think the only way *I* could tell was that there were together, and they all wore pentacles. The young generation was represented by two quiet teens who definitely "looked" the part. Both were dressed in black, and one even had blue and black striped stockings, kind of like Alice in Wonderland. They were shy, and definitely in the "adults can be so embarrassing" phase of life.

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Slideshow of Truth
We got to some spots where there were some whales, and we saw some humps and crests. One of the biologists on board narrated everything, and you could see other tour boats and quite a few private boats milling about. After a while, you got to sense where they were going to surface because the seagull would start to gather where "bubble nets" would occur. Bubble nets are where a group of 3-4 humpback whales blow a circle of bubbles around a school of fish. This causes the school to panic, and bunch into a tight school. Then the whales swim up through the circle, mouths agape, and swallow anything in their wake until the reach the surface. The gulls know this, and swoop down second before the whales surface. Some gulls even get caught in the mouths.

Just before we left, one whale in particular started playing around, and flapping his pectoral fins about, slapping the water. We even got close enough to see him just below the surface. It's kind of weird, seeing something so huge that you know is a living, thinking, being.

After we got back, we wandered around town. Luckily Downtown Salem is only like a mile long and only half as wide. We stopped at a place where this woman gave Christine a psychic reading.

Now, I have been reading tarot for years. I wouldn't call myself some grand-master expert at the art, but I have two schools of thought that go with them. The first is that there is some supernatural aspect to it. I believe that because I do. But since I also have a doubting, skeptical mind, I have a second school of thought, and it's the cement that holds the faith all together. This thought is summed up as follows: Everyone has problems. Problems are caused by your style of problem solving not working. You have to learn a new skill to solve this new problem. Sometimes, the problem is so new or complex, that your normal skills of rationalization and objectivity are not working. The very least the cards can do is put your problem in an abstract random framework. At the very least you will look at your problem in a new way. Will it help? It will certainly get you out of that rut, which is why you weren't able to fix the problem in the first place. This is why the cards will often "tell you what you need to know" as opposed to predicting the future. Now, spiritually, I see predicting the future as a tangent on a curve. Mathematically, a tangent is a line that is perpendicular to the curve, pointing the way the curve is going *at that moment*. The curve changes all the time, like a squiggly line. The best a tangent on a squiggly line can do is show you, in general, where you are going. Since you make the choices in life, with help from spiritual guidance, karma, dogma, and whatever else you think alters your chosen path, you can always change this curve.

Now, with that being said, this psychic was pretty much a phony. Don't take this harshly, and I don't name her name for a reason I will give shortly. When I say phony, I mean she was trying to portray a paranormal power that I really don't think she had, because if she did, she certainly didn't use it for someone who pays $25 for 15 minutes with her (and she was comparatively inexpensive!). But I think the Gods want me to learn lessons in life, so I didn't approach this with this air like I was above it all, and I would expose this woman for a fraud. I would learn something.

At first, she looked like a mean, skinny, and overly tanned woman. Her hair tightened into a formal ponytail, and she peered at you over large glasses on the end of her nose. The setting was a very formal feminine, with expensive items in shades of pastel and white. A small Bichon Frise (a small white poodle-like lap dog) puttered about the place with a bored demeanor. But after we made an appointment and sat with her, we found her personality was very pleasant. She first did Christine's cards, which were done of a deck of playing cards that were circular, and had mystic symbols on the back. But the suits and faces were ordinary clubs, hearts, etc… The reading was fairly generic. She did some numerology, which was also generic. Then she asked a lot of questions, made some generic predictions, and then finished her act off with "object reading" from some of her personal belongings, Christine's wedding and engagement rings.

We left after that, and waited until we got down the street to talk about it. Almost all of the "predictions" were the generic kind The Amazing Randy rants about:

You get the picture. There were many other generic predictions, but those were the main examples. The whole thing seemed to be a :you are doing well, and will do better later" sort of thing. Christine was bummed, and I was a little too, because, well, you HOPE for someone to be really psychic. Two things she left out that we think any psychic should know, and that was we had a child and that Christine's mother had just passed away last year.

So just what *did* I learn from this experience? Something I already knew, but had kind of forgotten. This lady doesn't just do card tricks and some swami mumbo-jumbo, she does something else: she sells hope. When I do tarot readings, often I noticed that some people yearn to know the future because it gives them hope. They can't provide their own hope, so they depend on others to give it to them. And if you do have hope, sometimes it's nice to have a "professional" agree with you.

We also stopped by Laurie Cabot's place, "The Cat, Crow, and the Crown." She's supposedly the most famous witch in all Salem. This immediately set off red flags in my head, but again, I didn't want to pre-judge. But her place was a little too weird. First, it was pagan-ny, with little witchy sayings penned in gold all about ("Things just haven't been the same since a house dropped on my sister" and "my other car's a broom"). That wasn't so bad, but the main walls of the place were hand-painted with.. well, rather risqué, if not outright nude, pictures of herself. She had a staff of skinny young women, and I felt that more of a side-show was being presented. Like some corporate show with a hint of Vegas or maybe a little Broadway, covered with a stylized pagan façade, containing all the "required elements" or articles of witchery. I did get to see her, though. She was in some cramped corner out of the way behind an open curtain. She was sitting in a large chair, with the wall behind her accented with flowers and feathers. I recognized her immediately because of the… murals in the shop. Two young people (I assumed a teen couple) were getting a reading, so I didn't stare long, because I sensed this was a private function. But the glitz and schmaltz was just a little too unnerving.

It was HOT. We walked for a while, nearly burning up. We decided to take the Trolley back, so we headed towards the stop located at "The House of Seven Gables" (yes, the very one Hawthorne wrote about). We stopped at this great gift shop going out of business, and although the elderly man running it almost had nothing left, he was very pleasant and we spoke for about half an hour about the history of Salem since the 1930's, and he used to be a tour guide to boot! He knew all the ins and outs, and pointed out some places that we wished we knew about before we made our plans. We then went to the Olde Pepper Company, Salem's oldest Candy shop, and supposedly the first real candy manufacturer in the United States. The fudge was waaaaay too sweet. And when we walked out of the door, who did we meet? Garrett, a friend of ours from FanTek. At first I thought I knew his girlfriend, and it turns out I didn't know her, but I knew Garrett instead. Out of all the places on Earth, and out of all the time in the world, what are the odds? This sort of thing happens to me more than any of you would believe, I am sure.

We waited for the trolley, and it never showed (and it was the last one of the day). So we got some ice cream and walked aaaaalll the way back to the Inn. Man, if you want to tour Salem, stay at the Hawthorne, it's in the middle of everything. We must have passed it a dozen times through our wanderings. We stopped at the "Museum Place" (their mall), which even by small town mall standards, was tiny. But we went with one purpose only: to buy tee shirts from Witch Tees. Not only were they fairly cheap, but they kept giving up coupons, and they had sizes above XL. We must have spent over $120 there on about a dozen tee shirts, mostly souvenirs for our friends.

We got up early the next day, checked out, and drove back to the airport. They didn't charge us for the bent antenna. Soon we found ourselves very early for our flight at the airport, so we ate at "Cheers," a Boston bar with the theme of the TV show of the same name. Really cheesy. They play "Cheers" on the TV the whole time, but since there is no sound… well… whatever. The place opened late, and it turned out that half the staff called in sick, leaving two waitresses for the airport lunch crowd, and only one bartender.

We got on our flight, and had an uneventful trip back to DC. Our car was right where we left it, undamaged, and we drove home. Sara was there, and apart from the fact someone forgot to feed the cats all day Sunday, everything was fine. She got a good tip.

All in all, we had a good time, and will probably go back to see the things we missed, like the Pioneer Village, the Witch Dungeon, and some more of those copious gift shops. Oh, and more witches!

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