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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So, I completely dropped the ball on the remainder of my Northeastern roadtrip.





Maybe I will go back and fill everything in, and maybe I will not. :/ Who knows.

Since then, however... I have traveled to some favorite places, that I have yet to document here, at The Irreverent Traveler. Until now......

November 30-December 5th, 2010.... I ventured to Sedona, AZ to see a friend, and to hopefully discover a Sedona I had never seen before. As you might guess from reading other entries... I am not crazy about crowds, and I don't usually LOVE what everyone else LOVES. It's usually acceptable and fine, but I almost always LOVE something else......

This trip was no exception.

I stayed in a very weird, but quaint enough place called Sedona Pines. (There was pretty much nothing wrong with the place, aside from no wi-fi which did end up being both a blessing and a curse....). But, the main thing one should know about Sedona Pines, is that it is VERY CLOSE QUARTERS. It is too small for people who are not lovers OR for people who did not share a room together as children.

I happen to be really obsessed with travel trailers. Airstreams especially, which are very cozy spaces, so this very cozy space didn't bother me at all. Someone who is used to having lots of space likely would NOT have appreciated Sedona Pines. It's kind of... a "fancy" (and very clean, albeit outdated) trailer park.

My favorite thing about it..... is the location, which is far far away from the nightmare-ish things that Sedona has to offer. You cannot see Red Rocks from your room, but everywhere you can see Red Rocks (almost) you are surrounded by annoying tourists. So---THIS is why I always love something ELSE. The other side of town is perfect for people who like something else.

Speaking of "something else",.... I managed to find a gem of a little Mexican restaurant. Javalina Cantina. A Hole in The Wall, for sure....but I definitely recommend it, if you don't want to be gauged by the silly prices of Sedona, or wait forever and ever for the "fanny packs and tenny shoes" to get their table. The first thing I liked about it is that it was hard to find. If a place is hard to find, then the
"spoonfed" crowd is usually somewhere else. Somewhere touristy. This place is not touristy AT ALL. The food was average, greasy Mexican food. It had a neighborhoody feel, and was a fine place to drink a margarita. Neon signs, and bright colors....And as I mentioned... it was very reasonably priced for what it was. They didn't get very good reviews on tripadvisor.com---but, I feel like those people reviewing the place,....walked in there expecting to get their "world rocked" or something. To me, it's obvious that this is not the kind of place where worlds get rocked. The food is fine. Not terrible. Not fabulous. The atmosphere is relaxed, not special. If you want to be satisfied enough, with a little bit of a buzz.... and leave no more than 25 bucks behind in SEDONA.... this is the place.

I loved going to Heart Of Sedona Coffee for my morning pick me up and 'Interwebs Jones'. People were nice enough, but no one wanted to "chat", and I liked that. It just seems like almost every time I go get coffee somewhere, it is really obvious that I NEED coffee, and that the person behind the counter has HAD PLENTY. ??? This was a nice mellow introduction to the world of "I think I'm awake now".....

So, back to the main reason I loved my "modular unit" at Sedona Pines: LOCATION.

I'll say it loud and proud: I LOVE JEROME, AZ. I am way more of a Jerome person than I am a Sedona person. Jerome seems to actually BE what Sedona wishes it was. No offense to Sedona...and I mean--- they are definitely 2 different places with 2 different vibes.... but Jerome actually IS mystical, mysterious, artsy, gastronomically advanced,.... inhabited by real artists.... Artists who can hack it. Living on a mountain, high in the sky. Among a population of four hundred n' something. Interesting, educated, passionate people who are obviously "tired of the whole thing". They prefer island life. These are my kind of people. The "fuck that shit" kind of people. I don't know.... Jerome is just..... magical, screw you, beautiful, gritty, elite, punk rock, down home and totally frightening.... all at the same time.

I highly recommend having a pizza at Belgian Jennie's. They have a delicious situation there..... where you can get your own small pizza with one topping for something awfully affordable 6-7 bucks, I think. They also had wi-fi, whether or not they have it on purpose, I'm not sure.... But, sitting in the window.... having the most delicious pizza in the universe, drinking delicious red wine, and tap tap tapping away on my laptop was the most fabulous time I could have had after a long day and night in Jerome. It was Artwalk, after all....

Ahh, yes...Jerome Artwalk. Before I went to Belgian Jennie's, I went to my first Jerome, AZ Artwalk. Wherein.... local shops, bars, restaurants, galleries.... remain open at night, offer you beer, wine, champagne, snacks....and you get to peruse the art, or their wares.... or their fares... It was fun to stroll around Jerome with other people after dark. The streets typically seem quiet after 8 or 9, the other times I have been.

All in all a fantastic trip to Northern Arizona.

If you are looking for a great time with those gorgeous rocks,.... without many tourists..... in Sedona, I found that Lower Red Rock Loop Road, around 11am on a Sunday.... was pretty free of fanny packs and 'tenny' shoes. I had several great little hikes without being disturbed once....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wicked Ass Boston, Massholes!

After a perfect day at the beach with cherished friends, I headed towards Boston...or more specifically Jamaica Plain (the locals call it JP), to meet up with a fellow Couchsurfer named Lesli.

Lesli sounded really cool on her profile.

She's a pastry chef who is into antiques, and knows Boston well.

She sounded way cool on the phone, and seemed really laid back in my "fly by the seatness".

I arrived late-ish....9:45pm, or so....and she was welcoming and kind to me even though I got there so late. She was nice enough to drive me around the city, and on this drive I would take a photo that would later become a birthday gift: A night shot of the Boston skyline from Cambridge.

Her house was comfortable and full of deliciously selected antiques. The room I stayed in reminded me of my room when I was little. It had a gorgeous white wrought iron bed and was doused in high end bedding. The breeze came through my window as I slept like a baby....

Driving in, I noticed a mythic looking cemetery....which was ultimately a highlight in my Jamaica Plain exploration.
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Sugarplums danced in Lesli's beautiful and silent house, only to wake up to the richest, most delicious cup of French press coffee, and a homemade pumpkin muffin....covered in pumpkin seeds. THANK YOU, LESLI!!!

Lesli told me I would really enjoy the cemetery. She mentioned how peaceful it was to walk around.... It looked so spooky when I was driving in at night, but I was totally up for it after my recent brushes with the paranormal, and my desire to see at least part of the area on foot.

The walk was all goodness.

Flowers, flowers, flowers. 75 degrees. An unforgivably perfect day.

My walk through Forest Hills Cemetery was one of the most surreal, and pleasantly sobering walks I have ever taken. It was truly astounding how long these tombstones had been there....
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Lesli was nice enough to let me park my vehicle at her place the next night while I would stay in the virtually free ($60. a night + points) hotel room I had acquired with Starwood points.

The Sheraton on Dalton St. was very clean, well preserved, and couldn't have been in a better location.

My friends were staying at The Colonnade across the street...and we were RIGHT next to a great little Dive bar- Bukowski Tavern, and if "beer only" isn't your thing: a sparkly bowling alley (blacklight/underground/full bar)...Kings Bowling Billiards and Lounge is RIGHT next to Bukowski..... Not to mention the best deal on parking I've seen (Thanks, Tam). ($15. if you move it in the morning, $30. Max.)

Tam and I joined my friends from Austin at the wrong JJ Foley's (in the South End) .....first.....then, took another cab to the right one in downtown crossing. The gang was there celebrating my friend's 40th birthday, and his brand new engagement. Cocktails were had, laughs were laughed....and after a T fake-out (it wasn't running after almost everyone paid)...we hopped in a cab with someone who knew the same people as my Bostonian Birthday friend. A late night dip in the Sheraton pool ensued, followed by a photo session at The Christian Science Center: an undeniably handsome spot for snapping late night photos.

The next day, Tam and I headed to Provincetown, MA....at the tippy tippy tip of Mass.

The drive through Truro was cool and worth the trouble. I saw my first real historic lighthouse, and it was definitely awesome. As in: awe inspiring.

The disappearing cliffs of Truro are upsetting and lovely.... When I stared at the cliffs, I wondered if the sea would eventually consume the lighthouse......

Provincetown, MA was the Madonna-loving, shopping, culinary, artsy gay area I had hoped for..... Tam and I had delectable seafood items and a couple of margaritas by the sea. It was pretty much perfect, thanks to Monica at The Surf Club. (They have terrible reviews on Tripadvisor, but...go on a Monday, silly---and ask for Monica!) Fried clams and Lobster Quesadillas are both excellent choices.

The drive back, Tam drove the whole way (thanks again, Tam)....and I was lulled to sleep by the road---but we made it to my car and I spent one more night in the nice hotel, following a free line of bowling thanks to Kenny. Kenny, wherever you are---thanks for letting the 4 of us join you gratis..... I will dream of rolling balls and pounded pins before I get up and schlep it to Portland, Maine.

Pictures coming soon.......

Steve Martin stole my heart again. In Newport, RI this time....













After my much needed break in Mystic, CT.... I headed back to Newport, RI to catch Steve Martin do his bluegrass thing.

The show was at the legendary International Tennis Hall Of Fame.

What a beautiful venue.... but, before I get into all that---JUST KNOW that if you park across the street from the venue,...they DO NOT validate parking... So, you have to go buy some gum at CVS to have your parking ticket validated, and then you have to do it again and again every two hours.... I dropped the ball the second hour, and ended up paying $12. to park on top of the $95. ticket to see the show (which I had purchased long before the trip---so it isn't included in the per diem situation).

The venue: Well,...not to tip off any jerky bad people....but, the "security" was EXTREMELY LAX. So, when I realized that no one was searching anything I feigned a need to grab my jacket and went ahead to grab my camera and flask in addition to the "much needed" jacket.

When you walk into the I.T.H.O.F., you are greeted by a pack of charming old guys who are seething charisma. One of them started singing Nancy Sinatra to me, due to the green boots I was wearing which were indeed "made for walking". Following the giggling Navy Jackets, you see the most manicured and beautiful grass tennis court you will ever see. Wimbledon isn't as gorgeous as this. It smells green and floral... Drinks and food are available. Mixed drinks, $7, beer and wine $5., Sodas, $2.

I paid full price for my first drink and eventually said fuck this. I then bought a couple of Diet Pepsis and rocked my virtually undetectable flask which mimics a palm-sized perfume bottle.... It saved me some money, though illegal. Do not do this if you have no finesse whilst breaking rules :).

I was ushered to my seat by another sweet person who obviously lives a happy life in gorgeous Newport, RI. My seat was Row E, Seat 41. I thought, COOL!!! I'll be on the 5th row.

NO.

It was on the FIRST ROW of my section---so nobody was between me and the love of my life, Mr. Martin.

The girl that started the show, Sarah Jerosz, was an amazing talent. Her voice and songs were truly humbling and fantastic. To start this huge show off with just herself and a guitar was just incredible. What grace and courage. She was probably 22 or something.

After another guy came out and I spent a great deal of time waiting for the Port-O-Let....it was time for Steve.

He looked so great.
Light suit, white hair, smart glasses...fit......younger than I remember him looking the last time I saw him.... WOW.

And his banjo skills did not disappoint whatsoever. Whipsmart song lyrics and the musical skills of a savant,.... naturally. I expected nothing less. He blew me so much further away than I thought he would. Funny, talented, handsome.....

I got a whole lot of pictures that were just okay, because they wouldn't let you just sit right by the stage and click until you got a great one. You had to be quick and sly about everything. I did get some video footage of the tail end of King Tut. IT ROCKED SO HARD, PEOPLE!!!

My friend, Nancy, was kind enough to host me one final night....before we had a Clam bake/ Lobster boil on the beach the next day and I had a blast with her after the show, as usual......
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The next day was really fun.

Nancy broke her back getting and preparing food and beverage, as well as holding down the fort of a fabulous waterfront table at the cleanest, dearest little beach by her house.

After a long day of prep and stress,....I finally saw her unwind over homemade (by herself) mojitos and freshly cooked New England clams and lobsters.

I alas got to meet the elusive Grandma Bev I had heard about for 20 years, and she was as beautiful and delightful as I had heard.

We drove by this exquisite lotus pond before I gathered my things and began the trek to Boston.




video

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Into The Mystic.....



New friends: The waitress, Jeradina, who was totally cool to me for 1 day and 2 nights, and James Harris, the cute musician.
Cost: I dropped some cash in Mystic. Whoopsy. Time to get back on track with the peanut butter fold overs and creative entertainment that costs nothing. Per diem is in DIRE STRAITS.


The drive to Mystic, CT from New Haven is cake. A straight shot up the coast on I-95.
I rolled into town with no plan or lodging. Not really knowing if I would stay the night or keep rolling.....

Like many before me, I'm sure,...I drove straight to Mystic Pizza. What can I say? I'm a pop culture junkie who also happens to collect T-shirts for various reasons and purposes. So I had to get a "Slice Of Heaven" t-shirt because Julia Roberts has one. If it's good enough for Julia... I had no pressing need to get pizza there, because frankly--it's kind of a joke in these parts about how bad the pizza is at Mystic Pizza. Didn't want to waste my money on something bad that wouldn't serve me in the present or in the future....

From there I walked around the charming tourist-friendly area of main street. I asked around for places that were somewhat secret...and happened upon Margarita's...for: (drumroll)....a margarita. I must give their house frozens a thumbs up--and if you get there at happy hour, they have complimentary snacks for the purchase of a drink. ($6.50).

2 margaritas helped me get in the after 5 mindset, and after meeting a cute Connecticut man who wanted more than a beer with me... I decided this was my kind of town. And just for the record: No, I didn't.

I found Bartleby's. A high quality cup of coffee with free wifi. It was there that I found my (at first) subpar motel room...which I later traded for a better one on night two.

Yes,...a place I thought I would pass through ended up being a place for me to recharge and sit still for a moment.

I stayed at the Days Inn. $90. a night. They have a pool (which you cannot break into after hours :(). It's close to everything. Free breakfast until 9:30am. Good breakfast even (make your own waffle style), with juice, coffee, muffins, etc...

Night 1, I was dying for a shower. I booked the room through Priceline and hauled ass to take a shower so I wouldn't miss dinner hours at this place I spent the better part of my afternoon looking for....

The bartender at Margarita's, spoke of a secret called "The Mystic Mile"...I heard the letters DPI being thrown around. My GPS couldn't find the DPI, dammit. It was even an accident that I found it online. I'd pretty much given up when I typed in "The Best Food In Mystic"....Up came a list of unfamiliar places. One of which was called The Captain Daniel Packer Inne. AH HAH!! D.P.I. I fucking found it!!! So, like I said: I had about 45 minutes to find the hotel, take a shower, put my face on and make a B-line.

Alas, it was so easy to find once I knew the address! It was too easy in fact. Not on the main strip, it doesn't attract tourists who are not resourceful. Only ones who aren't satisfied with being spoonfed. Only ones who know how to ask the right people the right questions. And only ones who do their homework when they sit down at a computer.

MAN WAS IT WORTH THE WILD GOOSE CHASE.

The Daniel Packer Inne is a rustic old building that has likely been there since the 1800's?. It has a pirate-like lodge feel Old stones erect the walls and the tavern part (never even went upstairs)....is like a perfect crawlspace, that all of the locals readily accept as plenty of room for everyone who shows up.

I got there in the nick of time to order my first ever lobster roll. I have been hearing this term: lobster roll, since before I left Texas. "You gotta get a lobster roll, you gotta get a lobster roll.

So here I am. Manifesting wishes.

Lobster roll it is: Hot Lobster Roll: Fresh hand picked lobster meat sautéed with a sweet sherry butter. Served on a grilled seasoned roll with crisp lettuce leaves…$15.95

And I needed something green, so I went with the D.P.I. Dinner Salad: A delicate balance of red leaf lettuce and crisp Romaine topped with crumbled blue cheese, shelled pistachios, dried cranberries and cucumbers. Drizzled with our raspberry, champagne, and maple syrup vinaigrette…$6.95


It was easily the best meal I have had on the trip so far. Period.

Just before I was finished eating, the waitress----Jeridina (sp?) gave me a heads up that I was sitting where live music would be played.

Live music? Great food? Nice waitress? Cool building? Hard to find? No white tennies and screaming children?? They are going to have to kick me out of here. And they did. After I watched the entire show put on by the lovely and talented James Harris. We made fast friends, because I was intently enthralled with his performance that all the locals seem to take for granted. I even started a sad little tipping trend (only one other person followed suit)... James is a skilled hottie who did some Stones and Wille Nelson for me. Made me miss home.

Didn't get the best night sleep, but when I decided to do Brattleboro, VT between New Hampshire and The Catskills instead of tomorrow...I was relieved to get some good hard sleep here at the Days Inn.

I'd made a decision to take a vacation from my vacation and...sleep in a bit, have free breakfast, go back to sleep like a bear, wake up at my leisure...go to the Mystic Aquarium, spend the rest of the sunlight at the pool and update my blog. A nice chill day. After doing the aquarium, I felt no guilt whatsoever for spending the better part of my afternoon/evening at the Days Inn. Got a wild hair around 11pm....and decided to show up at James's last minute gig at The Ancient Mariner.

He sounded just as sweet, and treated me like we were old friends...

They closed early-ish...so I made my way down to The Daniel Packer Inne for the 3rd time. (Went earlier for dinner between Aquarium and swimming---had the cod....not nearly as delicious as the lobster roll). There was a FABULOUS jazz band playing until the wee hour of 1am, when only the D.P.I. is still awake.....

James ended up coming down there after his gig and we were able to chat a bit before I head on down the line.

At closing time, I slipped into the ladies room waiting line. An odd fellow started yelling at me, "What are you doing now?" "Where are you going?" "Where are you staying?" "Wanna hang out?" "Why not?"

He looked like the creepy bald guy from Midnight Oil.

I politely smiled and ignored him.

Went outside to chat with the other ejectees, and he followed. WOULD NOT LET UP about where (was I) staying(?).

I slipped back in before they shut the door to say goodbye to James, and the nice bartender asked me if I wanted him to sneak me out through the kitchen. He did, and I was on my way.

Saw Midnight Oil walking, and he even started waving his arms around like I was going to pick up his drunk ass and start making out with him. DUDE! Drunk, clueless, idiots are such drunk, clueless idiots!!!

Here I am getting all up to speed, and eager to see my man, Steve Martin, rock some bluegrass in Newport tomorrow (tonight). 5th row, baby. I'll let you know.

Sadly...no photos are allowed at The International Tennis Hall Of Fame :(.....

Photos of Mystic, CT coming asap....

Delicious Beer At Christy's.


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Where Roadtrips Continue.


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One Of The Couchsurfer Angels: Kirsten.


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The Birthplace Of The Hamburger Sandwich: Louis' Lunch.


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Sleepy Ferris Wheel....


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The Beach At The Boardwalk In West Haven, CT.


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Christy's.


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Rudy's Fries. A Local Favorite.


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The Crowning Jewel Of Live Music Venues In New Haven. (Besides Cafe 9.)


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Watermelon Sherbet At Ashley's.


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Yale.


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Bookin' It To New Haven, CT

The drive to New Haven, CT from Salem was just shy of 3 hours. I don't know why I scheduled everything the way I did...but I had beds waiting for me at the times that I did, so I just swallowed the fact that I had to back track a little.....

It never occurred to me that there was crime in New Haven, and after visiting with my other Couchsurfers...I must admit I was a bit worried.

I called Kirsten and told her I was in the neighborhood, and she told me to come on over. She was very welcoming, and I enjoyed talking with her. I asked her about the crime, and she said...it was kind of "patchy". Which is what I heard prior to arrival....but not prior to making it part of my trip. "Like a checker board", I heard. One block, fine...two blocks later: sketchy. "If it feels sketchy, it is", I heard. :) Luckily, I am intuitive to a fault.

I decided to hit the town right away. I asked Kirsten some places she recommended, and enjoyed all of the areas she sent me.

Walked around Yale in downtown New Haven. She told me Rudy's was a staple and I had to get their fries...which come with your 1 choice of dozens of sauces for dipping. I got a small, with one sauce the bartender recommended...Pesto Mayo (even though I told her I wasn't a mayo fan...she said it was great), and one I chose myself for .50 extra: the curry ketchup.

The fries ($4.00+.50 for extra sauce = $4.50) were good---but, I have had better. I will say that the curry ketchup was SOOOOO much more delicious than it sounds, and I don't know if I have had a fry condiment that was so tasty. The ketchup was definitely the most notable reason to go to Rudy's (where people are Rude-y indeed. Not the bartender, but everyone else was disengaged like many people in the Northeast......not all, but MAN-NY)

Then, I went to Ashley's Ice Cream, per Kirsten's suggestion. I had the most delicious watermelon sherbet. GET THIS IF YOU GO. It was $2something for the smallest size which was more than enough.

Then, I had a beer at Christy's, an Irish bar. The bartender was cool, and recommended some nightlife places to go, as well as the boardwalk.


I was intrigued, and found my way to the boardwalk (in West Haven). It was nice. And crowded. And safe.

I headed back to Kirsten's and we talked over some beers with her boo, Paul. He was very cool too. They are smart kiddos with a cute place and I enjoyed hanging with them, and sleeping in their cool room with french doors, in their 1920's home.

The next day, I got up early enough and went to the "birthplace of the hamburger sandwich" with Kirsten. She hadn't ever been to Louis Lunch. It is famous, and all over the Food Network. We split a hamburger (which is all they have---the way they do it...and don't ask for condiments because it will insult them.) The line gets long, but we were among the first to arrive and didn't have to wait that long.

We split a Louis Lunch, so I could save room for Frank Pepe's famous white clam pizza. I have heard of this stuff for ages.

New Haven is famous for their pizza (which they often call, Apizza (pronounced Uh-Beets). Often covered in what real Italians call... fresh "Mootz".

Makes me want to learn I-talian, y'all!!!.

I go back to Kirsten's place with her, and pack my bags....because I just...felt like moving. It's nice to have wiggle room in your road trip plans. I was feeling---more like a small town, and like.... exploding my car's contents all over the place so I could regroup.

I left, GPS (on phone) in hand....and tried to make my way to Frank Pepe's on the way out of town. Heard that if I was going to get pizza---THIS was where I needed to get it. So, I called in an order before I drove there.

Well...... my GPS must have been picking it's nose---because my fellow couchsurfer had driven me past Pepe's, and the GPS was not leading me anywhere near where she drove me.

Before I knew it, I was in 40oz., glock 9, red bandanna-ville hoping I didn't get shot while I drove by.

I quickly made a U-turn and tore the side of my tire on the curb.

A big scary, deep, silver shit coming out of the sidewall tear.

Somehow, it was drivable...so I just kept driving to Pepe's.

I had to pick up my Uhh-Beets, y'know? Fuhhgettabowtit.

So I pick it up. Looks and smells other-worldly. Ask the dude at the register if he knows a place I can get my tire fixed.

HARK! There was a Firestone RIGHT THERE. I took my pizza in there and fed the boys behind the counter (my clam pizza wasn't getting any fresher)....Maybe it was a coincidence that they helped me right away when they were that busy....but I think it was the Pepe's.

I didn't even have to pay for it ;).

Back on the road.....I would now sleep in Mystic, CT :)......

(Photos coming soon.....TAKES FOREVER.)

Full Moon In Salem, MA.












New friends: Sarah, fellow Couchsurfer.
Cost: ?? It was a few days ago now. I always did one meal from my cooler... but definitely tried some "must try" suggestions of Sarah's. I also premeditated a shopping spree in Witch City...which the cost of is NUNYA.

When I first arrived in Salem, MA...I had a good feeling pulling into town. A good feeling followed by total body goosebumps.

I immediately drove to Wal-Mart to change clothes, take a whore's bath, and put some makeup on...because I didn't want to meet Sarah looking like a girl who just rolled out of someone's couch and got in the car wearing no bra.

Mission accomplished without any guilt whatsoever that I was not a customer.

I rolled into town around 12pm or so. I decided to hit the town for some sights and shopping before I went to Sarah's. Found a parking spot downtown easily. YES!

Went into this witchy store I read about online called HEX. Don't let the name scare you off. It certainly has the spirit of Halloween and Voodoo all over the place...but it also has nice candles, soaps, oils jewelry and psychic readings.

When I went in and saw the woman reading in the window, I felt something kind of rush over me. I think it was fear. She had an obviously strong presence: Long black dyed hair, tons of bracelets up both arms, a ring on every finger....and a resonant charismatic voice.

The man at the counter was equally as charismatic. He had an East Coast accent, and a cute whistling gap between his teeth. He was adorably gay. (As opposed to annoyingly gay---you know the difference. Same difference exists amongst straight men. Annoyingly straight men are the worst.) Anyway, he complimented me on my cowboy hat (People just DO NOT WEAR cowboy hats up here), and he liked my tiger bag. We hit it off and started talking. I had chosen some oils to buy, and mentioned that I made my own sometimes too. The woman in the window was standing by us and said, "Ah,...you make your own, do you?". She had a mischievious sound to her voice and a knowing look. I liked her. She looked "real".

After several hours of walking around, I needed a break and called Sarah. She gave me directions and told me to come on over for a rest.

Sarah was way cool. She was incredibly knowledgeable about Salem's witch and maritime history. She knew all the groovy places in town and told me what to eat and drink where. I took her up on all of her suggestions....and she was right about everything.

Best alcoholic beverage: Blueberry Beer @ BeerWorks (just realized there is more than one Beer Works...but I don't think we have them in Texas). This place is not crawling with tourists either. And 3 people told me to get their burger, so I did. It was fantastic as well.

Best Breakfast And Coffee: Gulu Gulu. Iced Vanilla Latte and a DELECTABLE breakfast crepe, filled with bacon, eggs and the most amazing white cheese EVER.

Least Touristy Night Spot: Dodge Street Bar And Grill

Best Experience In Salem: A reading with Lori Bruno.

The woman I saw in the store, came up in conversation with Sarah. She definitely knew who I was talking about. She mentioned that this woman was quite reputable in the Psychic department. I HAD TO FIND HER AGAIN!!! I mean....I'm on this trip (for fun, to miss Austin again...and....) because I'm trying to figure out WTF is going on in my life, right?

I was able to get an appointment first thing, on my second day in Salem.

This woman dropped names of people from my life, and made no mistakes. She gave me personal messages from those close to me.... who have crossed to the other side. She told me I would fall in love between 9-19 months. She said I would lose weight :) and keep it off :) :) :). She knew my parent's astrological signs, and said that I come from a line of "gifted" people. She knew my heritage....my secrets, my wishes, worries, and victories. I was overwhelmed. I cried. SHE WAS TOTALLY INCREDIBLE.

A reading with Lori Bruno, At HEX in Salem, MA, is $40. for 20 minutes. I haven't ever experienced anyone this good. Loved her vibe.

I left the next day, and headed to New Haven, CT...... video

The Best Caprese Salad I Have Ever Tasted....


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First Time To Chew Octopus....


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Sauteed Octopus


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