The Peabody

At the PEM: The world is in the palm of my hands!

A rocky start to the day at breakfast. Joseph and I were seated quickly, but they were very busy. Somehow we got overlooked. I was being patient (after all, it is vacation), but Joseph was not. When he saw the server taking the order of a couple seated after us, he jumped up and said something to the server. I wasn’t sure if I was embarrassed or glad. I think it was a toss up between my good girl stuff (and not wanting to make a scene) and feeling disrespected.

However, as soon as the server realized it, she apologized and took our order. Sometimes that kind of thing could lead to even worse service, but not this time. The woman took extra care of us. Before we left, Joseph called her over, gave her a generous tip and apologized. I was surprised when she told Joseph not to be sorry; she would have done the same thing. Actually, what she said was that she would have been the one steaming and would have been even more ticked off that her spouse wasn’t doing what Joseph did. The whole thing ended well.

Having already put our suitcase in the car, we walked down the street to the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). The first thing we saw, on the street and part of a PEM exhibit, was Stickworks. It’s a series of stick blobs that people could walk into and around. The kids were having fun in and out of them – and a few parents were too!

Ship made by prisoners with bones from meats

We walked about a block past Stickworks to the museum proper. When I got there, I was expecting it to be a standard museum and we’d be for an hour or two. Wrong! It turned out to be pretty fabulous!

First we took a brief tour to get the lay of the land. It included a lot of nautical information (Salem is a harbor town). Lots of history there, especially about the women who stayed at home waiting for their captain or crew spouses to come home – never knowing if they would.

During the tour the guide walked us past something she called the Chinese House. It was the second time I’d heard that name. When we checked it at the ticket desk, we were told there was an extra fee for the Chinese house. At that point, it didn’t mean anything to us. Also, I didn’t know how much time it was to see, so I didn’t think much about it.

Shell Dress at PEM

Between that and our timed tickets for the Ocean Liner exhibit, we toured the museum. So many cool things. I was especially captivated by this shell dress. It was so pretty!

From the Titanic

Next, Joseph and I went to the exhibit on Ocean Liners. As a long-time watcher of old television shows, the ocean liner often played a big role in many plots in the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s. In the 1960’s, airplanes replaced ocean liners.

This wooden plaque was from the Titanic. It washed ashore and is one of the few true Titanic pieces.

But when you think about ocean liners, don’t just think Titanic…think An Affair to Remember – Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.  The exhibit was good, but went faster than we thought.

Joseph and I thought about going to the Chinese House, but we weren’t sure we had time. Typically we visit my friend, Robert, and his partner, Michael, in Ogunquit on our way to Portland. I was texting Robert and not getting a response. I didn’t want to leave the Peabody early, but I also didn’t want to miss Robert.

Finally, Robert texted back. Turns out he and Michael bought a restaurant in Ogunquit a few weeks ago. They had two people call out for one of the busiest weeks of summer. Both guys were working that night. Robert suggested after Labor Day would be better. That suited Joseph and I to a “T” because then we could stay at the Peabody…

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What are the Maine Diaries?

The Maine Diaries is a fun look at my annual adventure to New England where I unwind from normal life and reconnect with myself.

I was captivated by the Maine Coast on my first trip there in the late 90’s. In the years since, I’ve traveled up and down the coast from Kittery to Calais but I spend most of my Maine time Downeast. I love the adventures I have and the chance to unwind from the world and restore my inner clarity. I chronicle my experiences in The Maine Diaries.

Maine Diaries

Every year Annmarie Kelly embarks on a trip to Maine where she reflects on her life, the years challenges and successes while seeking solace and adventure in the beautiful Northeast wilderness.

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