Amesbury Adventure

Amesbury is truly lovely. It reminds me of a place out of Gilmore Girls, or a Studio Ghibli movie. I have some pictures here—maybe I’ll post a video at some point?

I did get there about 2 ½ hours early, partially by accident, partially to avoid rush hour traffic. I sat in the library until they closed at 5, reading Life of Pi and charging my phone. The library creaked with every step, and was filled with the sound of pages turning and children romping about upstairs. I then went on the search for dinner

Being  New England, churches rose from every street corner and many sidewalks were made of crumbling bricks. The main road I was walking down had plenty of artisan shops, selling plants, homemade clothing, chocolate…most were closing as I passed them, adhering to small town hours I wasn’t used to. I did manage to spend some time in Nest, an adorable store with all kinds of cute fashion accessories and things for the garden, and the interior made it feel like I was walking into a treehouse—or, perhaps more appropriately, a bird’s nest.

After that I was about to turn around and head back, because I was afraid of getting lost, but I was reinvigorated by the thought that I might never come back to little Amesbury (and if I did, it wouldn’t be for months), so I kept venturing, and found a lovely bridge stretching over a waterfall. I stayed there for awhile, thankful that it was warm enough that the waterfall was still flowing and didn’t feel like ice when the mist hit my skin.

All but starving now, I almost went into Pizza Factory but it was packed, so I ended up in a Chinese food place. It was good, but nothing more special than any regular Chinese food place. I still had about an hour, and almost everything was closing up—including the sun, which set while I was eating. I spent some time in a game store, Toy Soldier. There was a tournament going on in the back, and the cashier said it was a Star Wars board game called X-Wing. I ended up buying a game called GUBS, which I’ve since played with my roommates. It’s fun, but perhaps a little slow. The artwork on the card is very nice, and I’m glad to have bought it from the cute toy store.

Not a lot of time or daylight left, I walked down to a bench and enjoyed the relatively warm breeze. What struck me most about Amesbury was how safe I felt walking around. As I sat, two people came out of their businesses and locked the doors, and began talking about closing up shop and someone’s event they were hosting that weekend. It felt like something out of Mr. Rogers, or Sesame Street. So sweet, nice, calm, quiet, peaceful. It was everything a small town was supposed to be. Perfect for an introvert, too—plenty to do without having to be in constant contact with other people.

I learned to not be afraid of getting lost, to travel slowly and without a map, and that there can be great surprises—like hidden waterfalls—behind every corner. Also, that traveling alone can be a lot of fun!

That was my Amesbury Adventure. Check out some pictures! I might upload a video soon of this, including the waterfall 🙂


“The real Massachusetts”

Tomorrow I head to Amesbury, Massachusetts, with plans to leave with plenty of extra time to walk around and explore.

One of the biggest tips people give you when traveling is to skip on the touristy areas and go somewhere off the beaten path. As someone who lives in Boston, a tourist hub, Amesbury is very off the beaten path. It’s one of the northernmost towns in Massachusetts, right on the New Hampshire border.

Traveling and exploring doesn’t have to be somewhere super crazy-incredible. I found plenty of amazing places just driving around my hometown—places my parents never knew about. I was amazed to find there was a lovely pond just a quarter mile from my house, of which I never knew existed! My boyfriend and I drink coffee on the sand now and then, listening to the frogs.

I’ve never been to Amesbury, so I don’t know what I’ll find. But I do know it will be nice to be somewhere new. Location can make all the difference. A change in scenery can mean everything, especially when you spend 40 hours in a box of a cubicle and the rest of the time in a slightly larger box of a dorm room. And when I say slightly, I mean slightly.

I’ve always lived about 50 miles from Amesbury. I’ve also always lived about 200 miles from Pennsylvania but I’ve only been there once or twice. It’s strange how little we explore our own area. We travel to such far places, but never explore our own towns. I know more about Aruba than I know about Amesbury. Or Groveland, or Manchester-By-The-Sea, or Worchester, any of the tons of small Massachusetts towns that I always could have visited but never have.

Why not, though? It’s off the beaten path. It’s a traveler’s fantasy, these small towns no one knows about, away from hordes of tourists. “The real Massachusetts.”

Well, now I have a chance. An hour or two, hopefully, of extra time to find a bite to eat and explore the center of Amesbury,  before the event I’m going to in the library. Adventure, ho! and all that.

So, yes. Hopefully the sun doesn’t set too quickly. It’s setting around 5 or six now, so I might not get too much light. Luckily it’s been rather warm…though that’s sure to change soon.

What do you do, when you feel the routine of life setting in? Has anyone else done a bit of backyard exploring? Tell me your stories, I’d love to hear about other off-the-beaten-path, in-my-backyard stories. If it goes well tomorrow, I’ll be sure to do more!