New England

Salem, Massachusetts-

Day 3 of the trip and we headed up to the Boston North Station, bought our tickets, and then hopped onto the train to Salem, and only 30 minutes later we were there.

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We wondered out the station, purely pretending we knew where we were going. The architecture in Salem was stunning, the first side street was lined with romanesque pillared buildings, the next with the 'traditional Salem' black wooden houses.

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We spent some time in the Salem Museum, relearning the story of the Witch trials, thanks to some human-sized figures and sets, in the basement of a high street building. Whilst waiting for our museum tour spot, we checked out the local second-hand bookshop and a good old tat shop. We walked down to the waterfront, took in the amazing architecture, and walked down to the House of the Seven Gables, and naturally, as travellers on a budget, checked out the view from the outside, rather than the inside tour.

We got slightly lost and ended up finding the Salem graveyard before we made it to the Witch Trials Memorial. The Memorial was a beautiful little corner, with headstones and flowers for each of the Witch Trials Victims.

 The home thing I didn't realise before I went to Salem, was that the area where the witch trials occurred, is actually in the next town along, rather than in modern day Salem.  And the site where all the hangings happened? There's a Walgreens there now. We finished up our trip to Salem walking back down near the waterfront district, back through town past rows and rows of the houses you can only explain as New England Homes, past the Witches house, and the Jail House and eventually back to the train station and back to Boston.

Must see: One of my highlights had to have been the Witch Trials Memorial, and the Witches house.
Regrets; Finding out that the original Salem wasn't modern day Salem - I would have loved to have seen more of the historical buildings.

Hartford, Connecticut-

We arrived in Hartford at 9am after an hour and a half bus ride from Boston. We dropped off our bags and started to wander around the city.
 We headed out for some breakfast and wandered around the city  town. It was very different to what we were expecting, were from years of watching Gilmore Girls we were looking out for the large houses and the Richard and Emily Gilmore's in the world. In reality, it was the Connecticut state capital, and everything screamed that. We were surrounded by men (and disproportionately women) in business suits.
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We wandered through the Connecticut State Capitol Park, admiring the new State Capitol building and the monumental size of it, especially as we then went to the old State House for a tour. Which, in all fairness was educational, but I still don't understand all the chains of the US government. We checked in to our hotel, had a quick nap, and then headed out for a walk to the Mark Twain House. 
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It's the most beautiful house, tucked away from the street. I definitely have house envy of his outdoor verandah/conservatory area. It wasn't the best neighbourhood to walk through, but the house was definitely worth it! Where we stayed: We stayed at the Red Roof Inn, which was conveniently opposite the bus/train station, and only a five-minute walk from Bushnell Park, and 10 minutes from Downtown Hartford.
Must see: Definitely the State Capitol - Americans like their architecture! 
Regrets: Not researching Hartford more! We definitely expected what we'd seen on tv (big houses, the wealth, Emily Gilmore!), and it is the opposite. Or at least the area we explored.








New Haven, Connecticut-

New Haven was a little dream town. It was one we first heard of through Gilmore Girls, and I'd fallen in love without even seeing it. It's a beautiful, quaint sight, with the main green surrounded with gorgeous old buildings, and the feeling of wealth and intelligence all around. 
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We headed straight for a truly American experience for lunch - Shake Shack, but as if we were smart Ivy League students. The afternoon was spent sitting in the park, enjoying the spray from the fountain (I don't think I actually got used to the heat in the States!) and yet again, pretending we were Ivy League Students. Dinner, naturally, was from the Ikea we'd spied our hotel window. We did go in with the premise of needing to buy scissors and spent a good hour looking around. And you can't go to Ikea and not stop for Swedish meatballs, can you?

We had an early night, and got up early ready to explore!  New Haven Day 2 was dedicated to Yale! It'd been a Rory Gilmore fuelled dream to be able to explore Yale, and it was a dream come true! We walked past all sorts of buildings, pretending we knew where we were going, or what we were really seeing, apart from the beautiful architecture.  We didn't find any lecture theatres, which was a shame. They would have been worth a stop and listen in!

We naturally found some shops, and explored a little further, before finding the Yale Bookshop, and the massive selection of merchandise. And bought way too much stuff.

We eventually pried ourselves away from the collegiate beauty, had some dinner from the diner joined to the hotel, before going for an explore down the New Haven waterfront, before an early bead before NEW YORK!



Where we stayed: We stayed at La Quinta Inn - with a massive hotel room!

Must see: Yale of course!
Regrets: Not sneaking into a Residence Hall!

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