Just south of Newbury is a small Massachusetts town that has captured the imagination of America. Salem. The home of the Witch Trials of 1692. For decades the community has capitalized on this history and developed some crazy tourist attractions. We couldn’t figure out which museums would present an objective history so instead we opted to visit The House of the Seven Gables. Actually we have friends who have a family history link to the story. Nathaniel Hawthorne who penned the novel by the same name had a family link to the house and visited there. Our tour guide gave us history of the families that owned and lived in this house, how Nathaniel as a youth would visit his cousin here and listen to stories that he later wove into his fictional tales. Ultimately the property was purchased in the very early 1900s to save it from demolition. Curiously during it’s restoration a few features were added to match up with the narrative from the book such as Hepzibah’s cent shop and Clifford’s secret passage. Also on the property is Hawthorne’s birthplace giving us a little bit of insight into one of America’s classic novelists.




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Arctic Circle Ceremony

Arctic Circle Ceremony

After a few days of exploration in the realm of the Arctic Circle, we aboard the Jewel of the Seas celebrated with a Blue Nose Ceremony and will receive Arctic Crossing Certificates!

Magerøya Island

Magerøya Island

We made it to the Top of the World, or at least the northernmost land mass in Europe, Magerøya Island. On our coach tour we learned much about the natural history and the cultures of this starkly beautiful place.