I try to get my kids interesting things for Christmas. My husband and I eliminated traditional gift giving in favor of travel and experiences when the kids were around middle school age. His business was always at a lull between Christmas and New Year, so we were able to get away. One of my favorite and most memorable trips was Rome for Christmas. Although I am not Catholic or particularly religious, I appreciated the grandeur and festivities of Christmas at The Vatican. Those pictures are on my photo page. Another wonderful trip was New Years Eve at Disney World. I loved dancing to Cuban music with Alex (the luxury of embarrassing your kid). It was about spending time together, experiencing the world and not collecting more stuff. Even after his death, I try to continue the tradition of get togethers and travel.
Both my kids love to travel and have made trip without Mom and Dad. Amanda studied abroad in Cyprus for a summer and Alex spent three weeks with his friend Andre in Sao Paolo and Rio. Alex flew to LA to meet a then girlfriend who was attending Fashion school there and his friend Andre who was seeing his father who was in town from Sao Paolo. So, this year I am thinking of Bob Dylan tickets for Alex at the Met in Philadelphia. He actually lives on the same block. For Amanda and Jimmy, a night in Salem, Massachusetts. Yes, a HALLOWEEN night in Salem. This proved to be more difficult than I thought.
I let the kids know of my intent and Amanda and Jimmy were thrilled. They are looking to explore a bit of New England and Amanda really wants to go to Connecticut. They were taking my advice to stop in Mystic, Connecticut which is 2 hours south of Boston and 6.5 hours from were they live in NOVA (Northern Virginia near DC). Then a few days in Boston with the Isabella Gardner Museum and a history tour as part of their agenda. Then they planned a night in Salem. I offered to pay for their night in Salem as a Christmas present.
I started doing some research and found most of the hotels and airbnbs in Salem booked. The only ones left were $500 plus a night or rated very poorly. I was astounded. I started doing some research and found that booking sooner rather than later is the best approach with one person suggesting that almost a year in advance is ideal. I told them that I am sending them money and they said they will figure it out. They are looking for a flexible road trip and may be making several stops along their predetermined route.
I began looking into Halloween in Salem and found the site http://www.hauntedhappenings.org which had a lot of useful information and a link to an app. Some of the festivities include fireworks over the water on Halloween night, ghost tours, a parade and so much more. There are several sites I would suggest such as the Salem WItch Trial Memorial, the Hocus Pocus house, the statue of Bewitched, the Salem Witch Museum, the Salem Witch House, House of the Seven Gables, and The Old Burying Point Cemetery. If you are so inclined to visit some witchy shops, include Laurie Cabot, the official witch of Salem. Whether or are looking for fun or to experience a dark period in US history, Salem is worth the visit.
I’ll be updating later on as Amanda and Jimmy’s trip commences. Happy Hauntings from Salem!