"Life is not about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scenes from a sunny Saturday...

Warning: picture heavy post. Lots and lots of pictures...

We decided to go down to Salem Willows today to get out of the house. Almost every summer day of my childhood was spent at Salem Willows with my grandmothers, grandfather, and brother. Then on Sundays our entire family spent the day there, swimming, BBQing, playing...those were such good times. In the 70's and 80's Salem Willows was the place to be if you lived on the North Shore. It has remained fairly unchanged since then but yet it has changed. There are still a lot of families that go, but...it is different. A lot of times it does not attract the greatest crowd. When we were kids our YiaYia could give us a couple bucks to go to the arcade and we could disappear for the day without a worry. We jumped off rocks in to the ocean. We climbed slippery rocks with bare feet. In fact we ran around the whole park barefoot. Things like that wouldn't happen today. I would never go there with my nephew and let him run off out of our sight. I know it sounds dramatic and all...but the 70's and 80's really were the good old days!!! :-)

But really that is not the point of this post. The point of this post is to show you all the pictures I took today while we walked around the park. It was hot as hell today but as we got closer to the water there was a beautiful breeze. And when we went out on the pier the breeze got even better! Just like the mountains are peaceful and calming to me so, too, is the ocean. Seeing the waves lap the shore or crash on the rocks, looking at the boats bobbing on their moorings in the harbor. I could have stared at the water all day!

Kevin and I love to take goofy self-portraits. Today was the perfect day for it. My hair is looking so hot, no? haha There was no helping it...the breeze was whipping it all over the place!

There were seagulls everywhere. Though I am not a huge fan of birds and seagulls can sometimes look so grungy, like pigeons of the sea or something, I just loved the way these two looked on the seawall overlooking the harbor. And they let me get pretty close, too!

This is Salem Harbor. Off to the right of where I was standing is a small public yacht club with launches that take people out to their boats. Beyond the boats on the other side of the harbor is the town of Beverly, which is the town I work in.

Another shot of the harbor. Everything looks so hazy because it was fracking humid again today. See that bridge off to the left of the picture? That is the Beverly-Salem bridge connecting the two towns.

There are so many fisherman's buoys in the harbor, too, for catching lobster and crabs, and also for marking boat moorings.

That pier off to the right of the picture belongs to the yacht club. 

My boys! Can't take pictures without getting shots of my boys!

You can't really tell in this picture but this is a pretty steep slope down to the rocks and sand. It is not a big drop but you still have to watch your footing.

A closer shot of the dock at the yacht club.

Rocky slope leading to the water. A lot of New England's coast, Connecticut all the way up to Maine, can be pretty rocky.

The Atlantic is such a deep dark blue but it was super clear here. We could see the bottom.

Just a wide shot of the harbor looking toward Beverly and Manchester-by-the-Sea.

I just love seeing American flags blowing in the breeze. Against the crisp blue sky it looks extra special!

I think I posted this one already! Oops!

Those homes across the water are in Beverly and are beach front homes. See the expanse of sand in front of them?

All the boats bobbing in the breeze.

This was the pathway we were following around the Willows.

A wide shot of the Beverly-Salem Bridge in the distance.

Another silly self-portrait! You can see the reflection of Kevin's arm holding the camera in his sunglasses. We were relaxing a bit on a bench under a big hundreds of years old willow tree with Bailey resting at our feet!

Loved watching the gulls on the rocks!

There are lots of little coves around Salem Willows in addition to the main beach (which isn't really all that big either). Wouldn't it be nice to be curled up in a lounge chair with a favorite book right here listening to the gentle waves and watching the boats?! Of course you would have to scramble down a rocky slope holding all that stuff first...

But wouldn't it be worth it?!?

This was taken from the pier. If I had panned a little more to the right you would see the main beach. It really is looking kind of sad nowadays. Nothing like when I was a kid. It is a tiny beach anyway, surrounded by a wall. The wall now has lots of graffiti and the beach isn't kept all that clean. So sad.

Here you can see part of the beach and the wall around it. The beach may not be the nicest but look at that lovely old Victorian sea captain's home just beyond the beach! I always admired that house, even as a kid. A lot of the houses on the point are old sea captain's homes, as are many of the historic homes in Salem. Those were considered mansions back in the day. They are quite big, but not really mansions by today's oversized standards.

My boys again, this time on the pier! Bailey was too interested in what other people were doing to pose for me though!

Silly self-portrait time again. That area behind us breaks my heart the most. That is a cove right off the main beach. We played in there all. the. time. as kids. I doubt I would step foot in there now. It's looking pretty sketchy. Again, so sad...

Well, I hope you enjoyed the pictures! As I mentioned in my NH post, every day I am so thankful for the blessings of being able to live so close to both the ocean and the mountains. I can get to the ocean a lot quicker...about 8 minutes or so. But I am still happy I can visit the mountains and the ocean all in one day if I wanted to!


Christa said...

Amen sista! :) I love the fact that I live 5 minutes from the beach! I love water and the mountains also. Today was really muggy and miserable outside but eventually my body will get used to it I would think! LOL Salem Willow looks really pretty and another place for Kevin and I to go:)

New England Girl said...

Wow- this area looks SO beautiful. But I can also understand your sadness in seeing and sensing a change in it. Isn't that always the saddest, especially when you have such fond memories of the place?! I know I have a few like that around here, and like you, it too breaks my heart.

I'm so glad you shared these photos. Loved the goofy self portraits! :) I am finishing up a few posts to schedule, but then I am responding to your email. I've been SO bad at that. Sorry. :)

Anonymous said...

Great pictures, Kristen! It was a beautiful day, aside from a few showers, but the humidity made it feel like I was near the equator. Hope to see you and Kevin soon.


This is how I feel said...

Love this pics! Makes me a little home sick.. : ( When are you going to visit!?

marnie said...

What a perfect way to spend this humid day..at ocean's edge with a breeze.
It is sad that the areas of our childhood haven't aged well.
Love the self-portraits. You, Kevin and Bailey are looking good!!!

carma said...

you guys seriously live in one of the nicest places on earth! I love the couples pics. Your hair looks hot in that model windblown kinda way :D

Melissa Miller said...

Love all the gorgeous pics girl! :)
Taking in the sites are the best days for sure.

Leann said...

What great family memories. I know sometimes it's a little hard to see how things have changed, but it's also great to remember. The photos are great, I loved seeing the boats.

Thanks for stopping by The Old Parsonage, come back soon!


thatdesigngal said...

Sounds like an absolutely wonderful outing! Thank you for sharing!!


Aunt of 14 said...

I want to go visit the ocean again. I want to feel the peace it brings me. I love that you can go anytime you want with the two loves of your life, your hubby and Bailey! :) Thanks for sharing-- especially love the pictures!

Farmgirl Paints said...

Those self portraits aren't silly. If I didn't take pictures of myself that way I wouldn't have any! I hate asking people to take pictures of us.

Anyway they were great. Looked like a wonderful day. Very relaxing...time well spent with your guys:)

Tammy said...


BonnieRose said...

U are right, gorgeous pics.. wow! Love them!