Monday, August 25, 2008

Back From Salem--Part I: eat, drink, sleep

We had a great time in Salem. Every time I go, I learn more and more. I have a lot to report on but think it best to divide events among several different posts. First, before delving into the more spiritual stuff, I'd like to go over some of the basics. (I should point out, that besides the fact this is an ad free blog, I have no commercial interest in any of the establishments or products I discuss).

Once again we stayed at the Salem Waterfront Hotel, on Derby St near the marina. I like Waterfront Hotel, as it's located near some great sites in Salem (of course, if you stay in Salem just about every site or attraction is within a 10 minute walk). The rooms are clean and airy. I plan on staying there again. One slight negative: they discontinued the complimentary 'continental breakfast', which used to be pretty good. If you're on a budget that's something you might want to consider.

A block away from the Hotel is the Salem Beer Works. I love brewpubs, but the Beerworks has some of the best tap beer I've ever tasted. GreenGhost, Zelda and I prefer the ale profile with beer and this joint has some of the best pale ales I've ever tasted. Some have won awards. Also very good is the seasonal "Black Wing Stout". This year I got to try the "Hawthorne Hefe Weizen"--it was great. Now they offer 'growlers' to go and we took advantage of that (burp). The food is well prepared American pub fare--although a little pricey, the portions are generous. They serve food till late, but on weekends the place can get crowded in the evenings.

Another fine establishment is O'Neill's Irish Pub. It's a great place to have a pint of Guinness. The portions are large and the prices reasonable. The staff is pleasant and make you feel at home. They often feature local musical talent. On my previous trip to Salem, I picked up "Ye Mariners All", a wonderful CD collection of sea shanties and traditional ballads. As we sat down and the band began to play, some of the tunes seemed familiar. It turns out two members of "Ye Mariners All" (John Rockwell and Larry Young) were jamming with the band that night. Making a long story short, one of the band members dedicated the song "Rolling Down to old Maui" to me! Wow! Am I a groopie yet? Btw, I want to thank GreenGhost for her inspired desire to visit O'Neill's that night.

Speaking of GreenGhost, she is vegetarian and pursuing a 'raw food' strategy in her diet. I have to say that Salem is a bit behind the times in that department. Asking for something as mundane as soy milk in a coffee shop brought stares like we were from Mars! But with a bit of looking around, we were able to find two places that were quite good. Jaho Coffee and Tea is a real stand-out. Besides great coffee and tea (wow, the 'bubble tea'!), they offered great wraps and sandwiches. Yes, they certainly heard of soy milk. Another place was Fuel Coffee and Juice Bar (no website I could find, they are at 196 Essex St, phone 978-741-0850).

That's all for now, next I'll get to the good stuff. In closing, here's the lyrics for "Rolling Down to old Maui" (and here's an mp3.):

ROLLING DOWN TO OLD MAUI

Once more we are blown by the northern gales
Bounding o'er the main,
And those green hills of them tropical isles
We soon shall see again.
Five sluggish moons have waxed and waned
Since from the shore sailed we,
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui.
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui.

Through many's the blow of frost and snow,
Bitter squalls and hail,
Our spars were bent and our sails were rent
As we braved the northern gale.
Those horrid isles of ice cut tiles
That deck the polar sea
Are many. many leagues astern
As we sail to old Maui.

Through many's the blow of frost and snow
Our good ship bore away,
But in the midst of a moonbeam's kiss
We slept in St. Lawrence Bay.
For it's many's the day we've whiled away
On that cold Kamchatka Sea
But now we're bound from the Arctic ground
Rolling down to old Maui.

It's an ample share of toil and care
We whalemen undergo,
But when it's over, what care we
How hard the winds may blow?
For it's homeward bound, that joyful sound,
And yet it may not be,
But we'll think of that as we laugh and chat
With the girls of old Maui.

(copy write goldenhindmusic)

3 comments:

green_ghost113 said...

Gene - it was a great trip. Thanks!
I just want to mention --
To anyone who happens to be Vegan & plans on heading to Salem I highly recommend going a few extra miles north & eating at a place called Rawberts Organic Garden Cafe
http://www.organicgardencafe.com/
It's in a town called Beverly (we were coming from Danvers at the time and it seemed like everyone plus their mother - and even their grandmother - was dead set on cutting us off).
The traffic getting there was a bit dicey, but it was well worth the effort.
They have an extensive menu from vegan burgers, wraps, salads, & pizzas to fabulous juices & smoothies AND amazing desserts.
Everything was made fresh & was organic & RAW! It was mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!!!

Riverwolf said...

Who knew soy milk was so exotic?

Yvonne said...

We love your blog!

You have been nominated for the "I love your blog" award by MetaPagan.