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How perfect is it that on my first day back to work following a New England trip in which I went to Salem Hocus Pocus is on back to back? I’m loving it. Now I just have to decorate for Halloween. If I could catch the Sleepy Hollow cartoon and Charlie Brown everything would be perfect. I also wouldn’t hate on some Halloweentown.

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Ron brought me these flowers for our anniversary before we left for vacation and when we got home today, more than a week later, they’re still gorgeous.  I don’t know where he got them from, but he definitely got his money’s worth.

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For the last night of our trip, Ron and I stopped in Bethlehem, PA. It’s about halfway from Massachusetts to home so it made for the perfect stop. We stayed at the Hyatt, mostly because it was within walking distance of shops and restaurants. After being in the car for more than 5 hours, it was nice to just park and walk to dinner. The hotel was amazing and we had a great dinner at Bethlehem Brew Works. The town was nice, but a little crazy because it’s Celtic Classic weekend, a massive three-day Celtic festival. I hear the area really gets into the spirit of Christmas though in accordance with its name.

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I have seen a whale and it was amazing! Today, Ron and I explored the town of Gloucester (Glostah to the locals) before taking a whale watching tour and yes, I used a Groupon. It was awesome. The boat ride was long and choppy, probably close to two hours before we found some whales, but once we did they were worth it. We saw both Minke whales, which are smaller, and also a humpback whale named Nile. Nile came super close to the boat, probably about 50 feet away and really put on a show, diving and surfacing several times. She also lifted her tail which was a big hit. I took a ton of photos and this isn’t the best by far, but it isn’t the worst either. I never want to put the best on the net unwatermarked for all to see, and take. Anyway, whale watching was an amazing experience and now I can finally say that I’ve seen a whale. Pretty cool! I definitely recommend Cape Ann Whale Watch if you’re in the Gloucester area and want to check out some whales. They were knowledgeable, really emphasizing education and whale preservation, and they offer a full galley with drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and snacks (chips, candy, hot dogs, ramen, etc.) Plan for a trip that takes up the better part of the day. We left the dock around 1 p.m. and got back at about 5 p.m. but it was so worth it. We loved every minute of it and definitely recommend it.

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Do you recognize it? I’ll give you a hint. We left Maine this morning and spent the day in Salem, Massachusetts. Figure it out yet? It’s Allison’s house from Hocus Pocus, where they have the big Halloween party in the movie and the little girls fly off on the witches’ brooms. I love Hocus Pocus so seeing sites from the movie is pretty fun. We also found the Dennison House, which actually appears larger in the movie than it seems in real life. We haven’t found the school where they try to burn the Sanderson sisters in the kiln, but apparently it was an elementary school that closed the year after the movie was filmed and is now apartments/condos. And it wasn’t all Hocus Pocus stalking in Salem today. We also took the trolley tour, which gave a really good history of the area including the famous people who once lived there and we visited two witch trial museums and spent time in Pickering Wharf checking out the shops and boats. Tomorrow we’ll spend most of the day in Gloucester, taking a whale tour, which I’m really excited about, and also checking out the area, specifically stuff from “The Perfect Storm” and beaches/lighthouses. I’ve never actually seen “The Perfect Storm” so I’m going to have to Amazon it when I get home. And, of course, I think it’s time to pop in the Hocus Pocus DVD as well.

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Today, Ron and I took advantage of some outlets in Freeport (basically the town L.L. Bean paid for) and then visited the Allagash Brewery. Ron did a tasting and then we took a tour and learned all about the beer making process, which was pretty interesting, even for a non-beer girl like me. For instance, did you know that it’s a common misconception that cooling down a beer and then heating it up will skunk it? Actually, light skunks beer and fairly quickly. The only bottles that help to block out light are brown bottles. Green, blue and of course clear all allow light in, thus allowing the beer to skunk. Today marks our last day in Maine. Tomorrow we head to Massachusetts, but we definitely want to come back. We’ve loved our visit and would really like to see Bar Harbor. And, I would really like to see a moose, in their natural habitat of course and not crossing the road in front of our car. I don’t know how Equi would feel about coming into contact with a moose. But tomorrow it’s Salem, Boston and Gloucester. I’m praying for safe travels and am feeling so blessed to take this trip. It’s nice to see and experience places that we’ve never been to before.

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Continuing with our Maine vacation, Ron and I took a harbor tour this morning via boat in Portland and, after visiting several places in the Old Port, visited Old Orchard Beach. The place was rather quiet, but looks like it could be rocking in the summer. It even has an amusement park right on the beach along with shops and restaurants on the pier. I’d definitely like to see what it looks like in the summer when everything is open and people are milling about. Although we learned today that the water rarely exceeds temperatures in the low 60’s so I doubt there’s a lot of swimming going on, even in July and August. I could probably be okay with that though since I mostly like to sit on the beach anyway and hardly ever get in the water during our annual week in the Outer Banks. I’d rather soak up the sun than fight waves.

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We’re in Maine! Today, Ron and I headed from New Haven, CT to Portland, ME. We’re staying just outside the city and are pretty centrally located to check out some of the nearby towns. Today, we visited Kennebunk Port and had lunch at the Maine Dinner before heading to Scarborough, Cape Elizabeth, South Portland and Freeport. We haven’t decided what we’ll do tomorrow, but I hear there’s a lifesize chocolate moose that will definitely earn a visit.

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Ron and I are officially on vacation! We’re not taking a cruise this year, opting instead to spend time in coastal New England. Tonight we’re in New Haven and tomorrow we head to Portland. It’s a little chilly up here, but absolutely gorgeous and I’m sure we’ll have a great time. I’m praying for safe travels and a great trip and feeling so blessed to be taking this vacation. I can’t wait to see some whales and eat some lobster.

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Congratulations Jon and Erika on your big day. Thank you so much for making us a part of it. We had an amazing time and it was a gorgeous ceremony and reception. The DIY details were so perfect and created such a unique event just for you all. Hope you have an awesome honeymoon!