A Bewitching Beginning…

Happy New Year, everyone! What a beautiful and exciting few days this year has been so far- filled with incredible food, great company, and plenty of rest and relaxation in the coziest of settings. I’m back to work and back to blogging regularly now that New Year’s Eve/Day has come and gone- and my planner is already filling up with parties, gatherings, and dinners in the coming weeks ahead! I can’t wait to share stories and photos from my upcoming adventures.

But first, I have to talk about my New Year’s weekend! It was perfect!

I had mentioned at the end of my write-up about 2022 that Troy and I planned on heading to Salem, Massachusetts to ring in 2023. We stayed at The Salem Inn– a historic little bed and breakfast in the heart of downtown Salem that we had last visited for New Year’s Eve 2015. What we hadn’t expected was the inn providing us with the exact same room we had stayed in back then for this most recent trip, too- complete with the in-suite whirlpool tub and a fireplace. It was serendipitous- and we took some time to recreate photos we had captured eight years ago so we could compare them side by side.

Before we settled in for a night by the fire, though- the two of us got dressed up for a dinner reservation we’d made at nearby Ledger Restaurant & Bar– a swanky eatery located where the former Salem Savings Bank had been. Troy always looks dapper in a suit so I knew I wanted to dress to impress in my unofficial color of 2023- donning an over-the-top sparkly emerald mini dress by Grace Karin with nails to match and black heels. Luckily, it was actually pretty warm outside- so I remained quite comfortable during the walk to/from our room and restaurant.

The food was unbelievably good. I’d indulged in truffle carbonara followed by a peppermint mocha crème brulée in-between cocktails- and while I was quick to devour my dessert- I made sure to snap a picture of the pasta because it was absolutely worth remembering.

After dinner, and with only a couple of hours to go before midnight- Troy and I headed back to the room to curl up in front of the fire and watch the ball drop on TV so we could count down together. Pure magic.

On New Year’s Day, after sleeping in a bit and grabbing breakfast in the inn’s hidden little dining nook (so adorable!) we took advantage of the warm and sunny morning/afternoon to stroll around Salem, grab lattes at Brew Box, and check out different shops/historic sites that Troy had never seen before- like the Witch Trial Memorial and the “Blue Trees” near the Peabody Essex Museum.

We also stopped by the Salem Ouija Museum so Troy could see it while he was on the East Coast. Some of you may remember it from when I visited this past October!

As the day wore on and it began to get a little cooler outside- Troy and I opted to take the back roads back to the Pioneer Valley- a picturesque and nearly three hour drive lined with gorgeous houses, vast forests and stunning abandoned buildings that would just come out of nowhere that we just had to park and look at before it got too dark outside.

And to round out our evening, we stopped at the Montague Bookmill- which I’ve also written about! – and grabbed dinner at nearby Rendezvous in Turners Falls before it was time to call it a night and get ready to kick start our resolutions for 2023 the following day.

Overall it was the best way to begin a brand new year. I was so content and happy!

Troy has, sadly, returned to California as of earlier this week- concluding his three-week stay through the holidays that has been a pure delight. I’m looking forward to seeing him again this year, travel plans pending- but I’m already so hopeful and excited for this year ahead- and I’ve got plenty of posts planned.

Later on this week, I’m sharing a gem of a new ‘Local Loves’ courtesy of Brattleboro, Vermont!


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Hi! I'm Ashley. I'm a blogger and a radio personality with a makeup and shoe addiction based out of Boston and the Pioneer Valley. These are my (mis)adventures.

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