Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Citywide sprucing up...........

Where did everybody go..........

...................................before / after
In Salem, we take clean streets seriously and in April, the city has a "clean sweep" program that is guaranteed to get the whole city spic and span, and just in the nick of time before the visitors flock to our city in large numbers. After a long winter, where sand, debris and remnants of last year's fall leaves pile up and become spring's nasty curbside mess, the city's streetsweeper goes into action and eventually gets to every street in Salem. Of course, the entrance corridors to the City become the first targets of this month long passage to a cleaner Salem and Winter Street 1A, is one of the first. Certainly, most all of us that have been around for a while know the drill and the schedule and have moved the vehicles off the road as instructed. And as usual, there will be a few residents that will be quite puzzled tonight as to where they last parked their cars. Then, the realization will set in and the hunt begins with a call to the police department to find the lot that they have been towed. Although it is well publicized, some just don't pay attention. Fortunately, all our guests are securely parked in our lot......Thanks to Donald, who is the ace parking policeman here.............
And on the weekend it's Green Day.....Salem Recycles
bring it on down........

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 North Shore Medical Center Cancer Walk………

Team: There's Something About Mary
Ada and Jen are excited to once again rally our team, “There's Something About Mary” in support of the North Shore Medical Center’s Cancer Walk on Sunday, June 20th, 2010. While Jen’s sister Mary continues her treatment and is so excited her recent tests show great promise and improved heath, she certainly appreciated all her friends and supporters last year that uplifted her spirits by walking with her and for donating so generously to an organization that has helped HER and so many more diagnosed with this disease. Without a doubt, we want to make sure we do our part to insure everyone gets the support they need, just like Mary.

There is much to celebrate this year, this being the 20th year of the walk, and we certainly hope to have a major presence once again. While it is only our second year, we are pump to have a bigger turnout and to again raise funds beyond our expectations. Last year it became clear that raising $11,375 came about because we got started early and were fortunate to have so many folks join our team, donate, and also set up Firstgiving fundraising websites for our team. With Facebook and email addresses, we are all connected more than ever and when we personally invite people to donate, it means so much more. Jen and I are hoping you can help us in our efforts to give back to the community and will join us, and Mary, to raise as much as we can for this worthy cause. For sure it’s all about the numbers….. the number of people that can be helped by supporting this event.
Ada has registered our team: There’s Something About Mary and has created a website for fundraising via the North Shore Medical Center’s Cancer Walk Website at:
And…for every donation raised, Ada will again hold a drawing for a TWO(2) NIGHT GETAWAY for Two at her Bed & Breakfast, The AMELIA PAYSON HOUSE.
Basic Details: Donate $25 and your name is entered once. Donate $100 and your name is entered four(4) times…. and so on…
The drawing will be on June 30th and the package will be good for one year, exclusive of October. Of course, we will add museum tickets and other goodies as part of the offering as well. So… get all your relatives and friends to donate and Ada will host the winner in fine style.

We are so excited to be a part of this annual Salem event and hope you will be too.

Ada May Roberts & Jennifer Wessell
Team: There’s Something About Mary
978 744-8304

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Massachusetts holiday shared by history buffs and the sports world

April 19th this year, and most usually the 3rd Monday in April, Massachusetts hosts one of the most famous running events in the world, the Boston Marathon. But really, it’s Patriots' Day, a holiday unique to our state where we celebrate and reenact on this day the battle on Lexington Green between the redcoats (British) and a ragtag group known as patriots. Also, Patriot Day events in nearby Concord host a mid-morning parade with lots of fife-and-drum bands and groups of Minutemen from surrounding towns, followed by ceremonies at Old North Bridge and the repeated firing of two brass cannons.

The events of more than two centuries ago in April 1775, now commemorated as the Patriots' Day holiday in Massachusetts, marked a turning point in the long struggle between England and her American colonies. In a march of protest and petition, which turned into revolution and independence, the fighting on April 19, 1775 foreshadowed the rebellious action of the American colonies in ultimately creating a new nation, the United States of America. Originally celebrated on April 19, Patriots' Day was moved to the third Monday of April in 1969.

114th running of the Boston Marathon
Beyond Lexington and Concord, Patriots' Day would probably be just a bank and government holiday for the most part if we hadn’t added, 114 years ago, the 26 mile run known as the Boston Marathon. (26,000 runners this year.) And while we usually have someone staying with us connected to the event; a runner, family/fans of a runner, or media, this year it’s a welcome mix of previous guests and visitors that are attracted to Salem as their destination, and not the events in either Boston, Lexington or Concord. Add to all that, the Red Sox are playing at Fenway Park this morning (11am) and you most certainly have unmeasurable crowds in Boston, which may have directed a few of our guests away from the big city and to Salem, a suburb town with just as much history and charm as any of those other communities, minus the crowds. For me, I think I will just watch all of this excitement on TV in the warmth and safety of my kitchen….a place where I can channel surf from one event to another...... A arm chair spectator; no traveling or searching for a parking space required.

The route of the marathon covers all these communities.....

Friday, April 16, 2010

O Canada

Celebrating Canada today.
They have a very pretty National Anthem

While our opening day was to be Friday, April 16th, what a pleasure to have some neighbors from the north country ring our bell yesterday afternoon looking for accommodations. Affectionately referred to as "walk-ins" Donald had the pleasure of welcoming two gals from Montreal that decided to spend their last vacation day in Salem before driving back to Canada. They chose the Amelia Payson House for lodging and we were glad to spring into business regardless of any official opening date. You never know when someone might stroll into Salem and decide to stay, so Ada's Girl Scout rule is, "be prepared". Although Ada was out of the house, she knows Donald is one of the best ambassadors Salem could have and he could talk most people into staying forever if they didn't have lives to get back to. Whipping out that visitors guide, he can overload you with choices of restaurants, attractions and shops. Sometimes we have to remind him that the visitors are not here to see him and maybe he should let them get to sightseeing......At breakfast, he serves a mean cup of coffee and ample conversation as well. He has an engineering background, but I think the stereotype doesn't fit, least over the years, he's learned the gift of gab from Ada.......

........a fun first day to our 26th season.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

We finally made it.......after zig zagging 4000 miles to get back home.

Now....just some flowers in the window boxes and our Pineapple Flag aflying and we will be ready for the 2010 Season.

Celebrating their 26th year, Ada & Donald Roberts are excited to be back doing what they love; running their Bed & Breakfast, the Amelia Payson House. There’s nothing like a winter hiatus to recharge ones mind and passion for a life’s work and a true labor of love. While the length of our journey is considered a milestone in the industry, we couldn’t imagine doing anything different; a do over for sure. Now, even though we have reached retirement status, we look forward to future years at the B&B, one at a time, and all the people we are yet to meet. It’s a lifestyle we have come to love and we truly appreciate all the wonderful and faithful guests that have contributed to our 26-year success. Hope to see you all soon..... (Where's Donald? He's getting those flowers in the window boxes and hanging that flag, of course....)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Virginia, West Virginia & Pennsylvania

Another glorious day for traveling, but today we will make a few stops to enjoy the landscape, feel the warmth of the 80 degree sunshine and to smell the flowers blooming all around us.

Meems Bottom Covered Bridge....After trains, Donald likes scouting out covered bridges. We found this one noted in a travel brochure. Located off I-81 at exit 273 in Virginia.

One of the best-known covered bridges is the 204-foot single-span Burr arch truss known as Meem's Bottom Covered Bridge in Mount Jackson. The Meem's Bottom Bridge was constructed in 1892-93 from materials cut and quarried nearby for the massive arch supports and stone abutments, which extended 10 feet below the riverbed. It was deeded to the Highway Department in the 1930's in return for assuming its maintenance. This long span over the North Fork of the river carried traffic for more than 80 years before being burned by vandals on Halloween 1976. After salvaging the original timbers, the bridge was reconstructed and eventually undergirded with steel beams and concrete piers. The bridge was reopened to traffic in 1979 and is still in operation to date. One of the many stops along the Wilderness Trail in Shenandoah County.

West Virginia is certainly blooming everywhere you look.

Small farms and country homes like this one are scattered all along our route in Pennsylvania. Ada liked this one. Looks like it would make a nice B&B, where you could feed the animals before breakfast...and fetch your own eggs too.

Our final overnight stop is Wilkes Barre, PA where the sun sets not only on the day, but also on the wonderful winter hiatus we enjoyed in Arizona. Refreshed after a great vacation, we look forward to arriving back in Salem tomorrow and resuming our B&B lives for another great season, and all the wonderful people we are yet to meet. Year 26 and still counting. Hope you come by for a spell...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring has sprung, all over the countryside.....

Today we headed inland and traveled the scenic byways of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia. Spring is busting out all over..... it's allergy season.

Almost heaven, it's Virginia.
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley.

The rolling hills all along route 81 showcase Virginia's pastoral countryside and mountaintop vistas. It's ear and eye popping.........

Monday, April 5, 2010

On the road again....crawling back to Salem.

After visiting family in Florida for five days over the Easter holiday, we're back on the road again. Now, this is the final three days of what has become an endless journey crossing the USA from Arizona to Massachusetts and it seems like everyone else decided to head north today as well. Whether it is snowbirders, spring training baseball fans, or spring breakers, the highway is bumper to bumper on I-95. Canadians, New Yorkers, Jersey girls & boys and folks from every state along the east coast are making the pilgrimage north, and sharing the road with so many RV's, campers, and vehicles towing trailers of all shapes and sizes. Even the trucks don't stand a chance today. And, don't even think about stopping at the rest area. No parking spaces, so most vehicles are forced to just drive through.......As seasoned travelers, we are like camels and have packed grains and nuts to keep us alive. Scouting out the good gas prices seems to be the game of the day. Do we get some in Georgia or do we wait til we hit South Carolina? Ada doesn't care where, but there has to be a Dairy Queen there..........
By 5pm most of the road warriors leave the highway and are looking for accommodations. Fortunately, having traveled this route for so many years now, we know how important it is to have room reservations and are thankful we are resting easy tonight...........
Tomorrow is another day, and we will be heading in a northwesterly direction, and away from I-95...... Roanoke, Virginia, here we come.