Category Archives: road trip

The Elms (Newport, RI)

Holidays and mansions.  Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.  That is what the folks at  the Newport mansions are offering all their patrons.  As part of the holiday season, the Newport mansions have been decorated for the season.  The $29 tour includes 3 of the mansions (The Elms, The Breakers and The Marbles).  But, I was only able to see The Elms Mansion.

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The mansions aren’t the only ornate buildings in the area.  Some of the homes in the area are very pretty as well.  Before you arrive at the mansions, you can peak at the pretty houses in the neighborhood.

When you enter the mansions, you are given an audio player with headphones to use as part of the self guided audio tour.  Indoor photography is limited to certain rooms (usually they don’t allow photography at all in the mansions but they relaxed their policy slightly for the holiday tours).  I might have sneaked in a few more photos from the rooms that weren’t authorized for picture taking.  It’s actually kind of a good thing that they limit photography because you could easily be inundated with things to photograph.  One room seemed more beautiful or interesting then the previous room.

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Photo taking is allowed on the exteriors of the mansions and the grounds of the buildings.

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The mansions are available for tours throughout the year.  So, if you can’t make it there during the holiday try going another time when it is less busy.  If you go to the holiday mansion tour, it is only during daylight hours.  Parking can be difficult, especially if you arrive later in the day.  But, you should be able to find parking somewhere in the area if you can’t find a spot in the parking lots at the mansions.


Haunted Decorations (Salem, MA)

There’s something magical about Halloween.  It’s a time when adults can still pretend to be a kid again, even just for one night.  Even the most mature, sober person can forget their responsibilities and relive their carefree days just a little.

For the remainder of the week, I will be posting the remaining photos from my trips to Salem, MA.  In this edition, I am posting photos of the various decorations, some other miscellaneous things and, of course, a few dogs from my travels in Salem.

Salem is known world wide for getting into the spirit of Halloween.  Everywhere you look, there are decorations of the season.

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Besides the vendors selling merchandise there are also games and other fun types of activities.  This particular activity was meant to see if people could maintain eye contact with a complete stranger and possibly make a connection, even on just a platonic level.  It sounds like a good ice breaker to me.  The comments about the activity on the board are very interesting and humorous.

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Salem is also creative in how they tie the season to other causes like this witch who encourages people to keep Salem “wicked” clean.

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Even Witch’s Brew Cafe got into the mix.

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Other stores and attractions, many open only for the Halloween season, decorate for the season.

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Some stores have humorous names without even realizing it.  Of course, this is a name of a hole in a barrel that often contains alcohol.  But, it may have a double meaning..

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This is why Salem is so great.  The people even  get into it.  This resident decorated his or her residency and put out a can for donations for the Lion’s Club.

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This ghostly figure was seen in Salem harbor.

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Salem is also known for its art and not just during the Halloween season.  There is art everywhere it seems.  These paintings on Essex Street portray a mermaid and a fish-type creature.

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The dogs in Salem also get into the Halloween spirit.  It’s hard to tell from a front view but Astro had tarantulas drawn on his fur.

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Molly was quite the cute pumpkin.

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Oz was dressed as a Cadaver dog for Halloween.

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I will continue my Halloween in Salem themed photoblogs throughout the week.  Thank you for stopping by and Happy Halloween!

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Howl-O-Ween Costumed Pet Parade (Salem, MA)

Dressing up for Halloween is not just for humans.

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And there were plenty of pets on display Sunday in Salem, Massachusetts, to prove this.

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Sunday, the dogs, and a few cats, took over Salem at the Howl-O-Ween Costumed Pet Parade.

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The costumes ranged from the scary, like this dog bone skeleton

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and this shark

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to the funny like this pooch dressed as Beetlejuice.

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In fact, a lot of animals dressed up as other animals and insects.  Like these bees

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and these bat dogs

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or this elephant

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There were also an octopus, lobsters, a spider and even a squirrel riding a dog.

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Some dogs decided to dress more like humans like Sherlock Bones.
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and this working class dog

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Some dogs wore more creative costumes, like this Chia-pet

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and this wolf in sheep clothes

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and Goldilocks

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And for those of you who thought dinosaurs were extinct, think again

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There were also a number of pets dressed as fictional characters such as Chewbacca and Superman/woman (with a tutu no less) and a super hero.

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Sleeping beauty was also at the parade.

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And of course, what would a Howl-O-Ween parade be without a witch?

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There were also some sports themed costumes

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And some food themed costumes like these hot dogs and taco

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Dogs were not the only participants.  There were these two brave cats.  One was dressed as a sailor and the other cat, Briggs, was just a spectator

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Although all the participants were winners winners, the prize for best overall costume went to “Max” from the his “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” outfit.

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Waterfront Park (Woods Hole, MA)

The last leg of our summer’s swan song at Cape Cod was spent at Waterfront Park in Woods Hole.  Waterfront Park has several statues and sculptures.  The most recent statue is a memorial to environmentalist Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring and the Sea Around Us.  Both books are considered influential books in the environmentalist movement.  Carson had worked with Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) which is located in Woods Hole.

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The waterfront also has a shaded sitting area for the weary traveler to rest their bones.

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There is also a sun dial statue dedicated to Robert Crane, one of the original financial supporters of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  The sun dial was constructed so that you could tell what time it is from any direction.  And, yes, it is accurate. A somewhat elaborate explanation is included on the ground in front of the sun dial.

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The “Flukes” is a bronze sculpture by Gordon Gund.  Gund, a successful businessman, was inspired to sculpt The Flukes after seeing pilot whales off the coast.  It looks like more of a slide or play thing which explains the sign in front of the sculpture.  I suspect it is not much of a deterrent.

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The Waterfront is also the main point of embarkment for the ferry to the islands of Cape Cod, mainly Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

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The waterfront also has some pretty views of the water and pretty flowers.

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The waterfront park is also known for its friendly visitors.  I met this friendly guy named Charlie as I was leaving.

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Goodbye summer!  See you again in 2016.


Nobska Beach (Woods Hole, MA)

After a short stay at Scraggy Neck, it was time for our next stop on our Cape Cod Farewell Summer trip.

Our next destination was the Nobska Beach in the quaint village of Woods Hole in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  The Nobska area is so pretty and there are so many attractions because of its sheer beauty, I decided cover the Nobska area in two separate blogs.

The first thing that stands out at Nobska beach are the array of flowers and the makeshift trails at the beach (that and the lack of parking).  The only parking available is on the side of the road along the beach and a scant few spots in front of the light house (I’ll be posting photos of the light house in the second part of the Nobska photo blogs).

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Nobska Beach offers views of both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island.

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Boats and the ferry make frequent trips to the islands

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If you hadn’t noticed, one of the treasures of Nobska Beach are the rocks and the rock formations.       DSC_0561 DSC_0573     DSC_0658

But, to capture the real beauty of the views from the beach, it was necessary to walk down a narrow trail down to this modest rocky ledge.

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But, the ledge was wide enough for me and my camera.  And the views were well worth the extra effort.

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Nobska Beach is also home to a variety of wildlife.

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At the base of the beach there are two memorials. A memorial for Dennis Jeff Sabo lies under some plants, almost unnoticed.  The memorial does not give any more information than his date of birth, date of death and name.  A Google search yielded no results.  The lack of details about Dennis adds to the memorials’ mystique.

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The other memorial is dedicated to Neilie Anne Heffernan Casey.  Neilie was a passenger on Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. A memorial and bench bearing her name lay in the area now dubbed “Neilie Point”.  A beautiful reminder of an awful day.

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Scraggy Neck (Cataumet, MA)

After a brief but rewarding stay at Amrita Island, it was on the next destination on my Farewell Summer Cape Cod trip.  Scraggy Neck is a private beach in Cataumet, a village in Bourne, Massachusetts.

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The beach is usually monitored by guards during the summer season.  But, since summer was basically over, there were no guards when I arrived at the beach.

The entrance to the beach is grassy.  But, there is a makeshift trail you can follow.  The occasional flower stand in the grass

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The beach is long and it was high tide when I visited.  But, there wasn’t much of a beach head when I was visited.  The water did look clean and clear.

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Seaweed and shells littered the beach.

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Scraggy Neck is divided into two sides by a road that is frequented by joggers, bikers and cars.  It was on the other side of the road that showed off Scraggy Neck’s more scenic views.

A narrow path leads to the water.

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The fish is visible through the transparent water.

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This part of Scraggy Neck is mostly grassy.  So, it would not be the ideal area to lie out for a tan.

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Scraggy Neck is also a popular spot for boaters to launch from.

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After visiting Scraggy Neck, it was on to our next adventure….


Cape Cod Canal (Buzzards Bay, MA)

One last summer weekend.  One last chance to soak up the dwindling magic of summer.  What better way to laze away the remaining summer bliss than at the iconic Cape Cod Canal?

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The canal stretches for 7 miles for Sandwich, MA, to Buzzards Bay.  There are several entrances to the canal.  We chose the entrance near the end of the canal at Buzzards Bay.

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The views at the canal are one of the main attractions.

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Fishermen and fisher women dot the rocky edges of the canal and it is a popular starting point for bikers, runners and walkers.  The canal also is a bustling point for ships carrying a variety of cargo, particularly since it is so close to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  I caught one as it passed under the railroad bridge.

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Ducks and seagulls also find the canal too be a fun place to enjoy the summer.

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This lady thought I was spying on her.

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Well, until next summer…I’ll meet you at the canal.

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