An afternoon of Marblehead magic!

Nov 5th, 2009, 10:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 96
An afternoon of Marblehead magic!

This was the last stop of our fabulous 3 week trip to America.

We had left Peterborough in the late morning of Mon 19 Oct and followed, as best we could, the Google map instructions towards Marblehead. It took us a little longer than the suggested time, but most occasions where we thought we were wrong or lost turned out OK, and where we had indeed taken a wrong turn, the exit we used to rectify the situation also worked out well. (Thank goodness!)
The number of street name changes and turns needed to get into Marblehead is pretty mind boggling and was a bit stressful there for a while, but later we learned that it happens to everyone!

We checked into the Harbor Lights Inn, which we had booked online prior to leaving home, and the owner recommended ‘The Landing’ for lunch. So after the thrill of the unexpected snow of Peterborough, we now found ourselves sitting outside in very warm sunshine, glass in hand, enjoying yet another beautiful clam chowder with brilliant blue skies overhead, a harbour full of yachts, seagulls squawking and a view to some expensive looking properties across the water. Life can be tough sometimes!

After lunch we had a lovely wander along the tiny, twisting streets of Marblehead, absorbed by the plaques on the houses detailing the history of who built them and for whom. The majority were 1700’s. My instant thought was that the town reminded me of the old movie, ‘The Ghost and Mrs Muir’, probably because of the sea captain link. It also evoked memories of the small fishing villages of Cornwall, England. It is a quiet town, with some amazing upmarket shops in very picturesque settings.
The architecture is wonderful. I took photos of so many properties and would love to live in many of them. The real disappointment, however, was the number of electrical wires strung across the roads and in front of most buildings, which really detracted from their beauty.

We also had a look at the historical exhibition in Abbot Hall, especially “The spirit of ‘76” – billed as America’s most loved painting. Lots more wandering around, and snapping away and then a welcome coffee at the terrific Atomic Café where, once again, some locals struck up a conversation with us. (No doubt, because of our supposed ‘accents’!) We have met some really lovely, friendly people on our travels.

Harbor Light Inn is a very old building but restored beautifully with traditional furnishings, comprising a sitting room or two, a small bar and two dining areas. Our room (32) is large, on the top floor and has wooden beams giving it an ‘old’ English look.

Dinner was at ‘The Barnacle’, a short, pleasant walk away. DH had the lobster and made a real feast (read ‘mess’) of it. It was a lively place with nice food and a barman who literally jumped the bar. Another couple of days here would be lovely so that we could explore Marblehead Neck and other foreshore areas – but we needed to be home for a Saturday night concert that was booked before this trip.

Tue 20 Oct

Enjoyed breakfast in the dining room and had some brief discussions with other guests as we wanted to see the harbour again in the hope that the sun would be on the houses of the other side. Sadly, it wasn’t. With hearts in our mouths and another set of instructions from the receptionist, we gingerly negotiated the myriad of turns needed to get us to the Avis depot in Peabody a short, but tricky distance away. Avis staff then drove us to the Logan Express bus depot as there was non way known we would have driven to the airport. Suffice to say, that was a brilliant decision. 25 stress free minutes later we were self checking at United Airlines for the start of a long trip home.
mazj is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
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What a nice way to end a lovely trip, so glad you shared with us. Thanks
emalloy is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,589
So happy to hear that you had a wonderful trip to Marblehead. I happen to live in this wonderful town!

Lovely pictures!
janiekins is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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In summer, I love eating at the outdoor tables at the Barnacle -- the tables are too small, the plastic chairs are wobbly and threaten to collapse, and the food is good but not gourmet. The view is stupendous. Also,the bar is a very friendly place.

Several years ago (we weren't there at the Barnacle at the time), a nor'easter (a strong storm common to New England) hit the Marblehead-and-beyond area -- waves shattered the windows in the dining area. The hardy diners (perhaps enlivened by generously-liquored libations) retired to the bar area to watch the show for hours.

The town has gotten more expensive and is less and less settled by descendants of the original scalawags and more by yuppies but in places retains some of that attitude.
islebethere is offline  
Nov 6th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,162
Glad you liked Marblehead. It is one of my favorite areas on the North Shore.
Jackie is online now  
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