The thing about getting from Portland to Boston in the middle of a global pandemic, in spring, is that while the distance is not long, it certainly took us a while. Made more complicated by the fact that we could have driven the entire distance in one day but we chose not to.
The first interesting thing to note when we left Portland is that we drove through Biddeford, which at the time, we knew nothing about but went literally slack jawed when we saw the beautiful old mill buildings and the waterfall that runs through the center, the waterfall that was once used to help power the mills. I found out later that one of my favorite Christmas Movies was filled here. Holly Star is an independent film that used to be on Netflix but I think it has since been taken down.
We drove through to Newburyport in a very cozy inn and had a delicious hot meal in a pub a short distance from the inn. And I got hardly any pictures of the entire experience because the weather was so bad, it was dark and raining and cold and we mostly just played cards in our rooms and drank tea.
Our stop the next morning was to see Gloucester I think because we wanted to have high tea. But as we got closer the weather got worse, we not rain, and wind and then some snow. And by the time we got to town either everyone had shut down due to weather, or due to covid. So we settled on finding breakfast and heading toward Boston. Though funny enough finding breakfast even proved to be challenging, likely because of one or both of the reasons mentioned above. We eventually found a worker type diner that was serving breakfast, and once again it was delicious and cheap. I highly recommend Zeke’s Place if you are in the area, they were so kind.
The next day we headed back out toward Boston, stopping of course in Salem. For one reason and one reason only. To visit Max Dennison’s house. In reality I wanted to see all the filming locations for Hocus Pocus, but as it turns out Salem is not the nice small town portrayed in the movie. Rather it is a terrifying tourist trap town with too much traffic. It is one of the few places I can say with confidence I don’t want to return. I am sad though that the House of Seven Gables was closed (covid) because I would have loved to see the interior. Instead I just did my usual sneaking about the premises trying to get a good picture.
The thing I didn’t know about Salem going into the visit was that it is a suburb of Boston. We decided we needed a slower pace so we moved on to the Boston Airport to return our rental car, stow our bags at our hotel and catch the train downtown. And you would think I was kidding but there was legitimately less traffic in Boston than Salem.
Admittedly I didn’t love Boston the first day. The weather held strong and by the time we figured out how to use the train, buy tickets, get downtown, hit a couple book stores, it was dark, I was soaked and frozen. I also got stalked by a women on presumably a large about of drugs that kept just shouting “CAPE COD”. I was in fact wearing a hat I bought earlier in the trip that said Cape Cod on it, but it wasn’t the best welcome into a new city. Luckily the next day turned out to be beautiful and I truly did love Boston. But more on that next time.
So that was our slight misadventure, that really did turn out wonderful getting from Portland Maine to Boston. And that concludes the thing about getting from Portland to Boston, next time I will wrap the trip up with gushing remarks about Boston.