Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday of our Wedding Week: Salem Museums and Our "Rehearsal Dinner"

This morning I woke up and said, “I wish we could just have a day to ourselves so we could relax and sleep in.”  Good old practical Adam started in with, “We CAN’T!  My family is only here for a week!  We can’t just take the day off…”  Not in a combative way, more in a, “Please don’t make this an issue way.”  And I felt bad because he missed my meaning.  I was having so much fun with Adam’s friends and family this week!  What I meant was I wished that these 7 days with them before our wedding could have been more spread out.  That way I (and everyone else, really!) would feel more refreshed and ready for the next busy day.  He was relieved that I was still prepared to keep going with the week’s worth of family entertainment, hehe.

So this time we invited Adam’s family and friends to our place in the morning.  Even though we’d need to go back there for real Salem site-seeing, the day we invited them around last time was too late in the evening for them to really relax.  They got the tour but seemed too tired to settle.  So I got up a little early and made cookies, set out mugs for a hot drink, and washed some fruit for Sarah.  It was a bit hit; they ate all but one cookie!  And as a little entertainment I broke out Dancing with the Stars (with the dance mat for the PS2) for a little demo.  Sarah was the only one brave enough to try it.  Poor girl didn’t have a chance; I had a lot more practice than her, hehe.  Adam and then Aled did the controller on co-op mode with each of us girls.

At that point, I asked his mum (who didn’t seem to love shopping in Boston yesterday) what she’d like to do.  I told her that there are cute little shops around in Salem, but then again, there’s a trolley tour, museums… “Museums.”  She answered.  So I checked out times, costs, and street addresses, and we head out.  Once again, Aled knew how to get there by walking.  And once again, we had a beautiful day to do so.

We went to the Witch Museum first, and arrived exactly on time for a tour.  The first part consisted of sitting in a room and hearing a voice talk about the progression of the trials, as different vignettes were lit up.  Though the statues were grotesquely old, it was an interesting enough talk, and I felt like Adam at least got a better sense of how it all went down.  He was surprised how FEW were convicted.  There were exponentially more burned in Europe.  So I got to explain that what made it a big deal was how human nature allowed it to happen.  People thought it was about religion.  Really, it was about people giving into their animal instincts.  Everyone was afraid of everyone else.  And the root of it was fear borne from protecting the children.

We had to spend a little time in the gift shop while waiting for the second part of the tour.  I had fun looking at all the corny trinkets.  Sarah tried on a witch hat and no one batted an eye, which was funny in itself.  I remembered my sister’s request for a bridesmaid gift:  “Something with a skull on it.”  There were a couple things that definitely fit the bill there.  But instead I settled on a copy of the poem, “The Raven” with a little figurine that said, “Nevermore.”

After the second part of tour was a walking tour, next up was the Peabody Essex Museum.  It was an easy walk from the Witch Museum.  We were all ready for a drink and light lunch.  His dad tried the clam chowder (finally!) and liked it okay, and our sandwiches were pretty good.  Just as we were finishing, a special presentation happened to be starting, with Native American singing and dancing.  Seats were in high demand, so we were lucky to have them, but unfortunately we had so much to do that I felt we didn’t have time to sit and watch.  I led everyone through the Asian art, then the maritime exhibit, just as I’ve done with my fourth graders nearly every year. 

Then we went to the “Water Exhibit” which was a temporary one in the children’s interactive area.  We had fun with the lit up  irrigation system and the smoke machine, and I got my own art displayed (for a few minutes) at the watercolor tablet.  That was interesting; it behaved like watercolor in terms of pressure.  But it was designed to fade away so the next person could have space to draw.  Then we went to a temporary exhibit on modern Native American art, which was of course extremely varied.  Some great, some kind of silly (like a tower ofblankets).  There was a really cool lit up piece that I wanted a photo of, but this was one of the no-photos areas.  Shame about that since Aled nearly brought the whole thing down when he tripped on a wire on the floor that connected it to the ceiling, hehe.

We finished around 4:30 and then it was time to head back.  Adam and I went home to change for our “rehearsal dinner” and soon found ourselves completely frantic trying to leave at 5.

We actually arrived at Winter Street at 5:15, which was the latest we wanted so it wasn’t too bad.  The drive there was a little quiet because I hadn’t had time to really do my makeup, wrap the bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts, or check over the “task list” for everyone.  I had planned to do a nice design on easy to dress it up but in the end we were too rushed.  But we made good time driving to Billerica, and arrived pretty much right at 6, which is when Aaron made reservations at The Pongal.

As promised the décor was nice.  Aaron arrived first and then mom, and finally Faye arrived about 10 minutes late.  After we ordered I said a brief thank you to everyone for coming, and then presented David and Faye with their gifts, which they seemed to enjoy.  David joked, “What do I have to do in return,” and I said “Actually…” and presented them all with their lists.  Only mom had questions.

The dinner itself was very good (though mine was too spicy for me) and people mingled pretty well.  I snapped a couple photos before we left.  We returned to Winter Street to drop everyone off, and at our request Sarah and Aled snapped a few photos before Adam and I returned home.

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