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Happy Halloween From Literary Traveler!

October 31, 2012 in American Authors, American History, Bookstores, Classic Literature, Dark New England, Edgar Allen Poe, Famous Museums, Halloween, History, Holidays Literary Traveler, Horror, Horror Writers, Massachusetts Travel, New England Travel, Psychology, Short Stories, Stephen King, Vampires in Literature

Literary Traveler has been very excited about Halloween…and it’s finally here! To celebrate, we’d like to show off all the work we did in advance of the spookiest day of the year. All Treats.

Halloween Reflections – “Halloween is a time when the veil between the dead and the living was at its thinnest.”

Mercy Brown: American Vampire – “Like the vampire, tuberculosis visited ordinary communities seemingly at random – preying upon family members, slowly robbing them of their life and turning them into fevered ghostly individuals with a persistent bloody cough.”

The House of the Seven Gables – “If Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables house was once haunted by the uneasy ghosts of family (his ancestors were involved in the Salem witch trials), the resident ghost today seems to have the philanthropic and busy spirit of Miss Emmerton.”

The Hawthorne Hotel – “Despite general manager Judi Lederhaus’ assertions, hundreds of tourists stream into the stately lodgings ready to embark on a supernatural safari.”

The Psychology of Salem – “The most dangerous element of the teenage mind is the inability to grasp the concept of linear thinking. Some teenagers cannot see beyond immediate gratification.  This makes decision making tricky.”

Master of Creep: Edgar Allen Poe – “Poe created complete universes in which the reader starts to believe the narrator.”

The Salem Witch Trials – “In 1692, fear spread through Salem, Massachusetts like contagion, infecting the minds of the mainstream, and claiming the lives of those among the periphery.”

Literary Traveler Goes to Salem – “I mosey by a zombie playing the saxophone for a couple of onlookers and I am officially sold on the city of Salem.”

A Traveler through the Seasons

October 3, 2012 in New England Travel, Uncategorized

When fall comes to New England, as it does every year, there is a certain melancholy that comes with the change of season. It’s a subtle change, but one day you wake up and your feet are cold on the floor. You take out your down comforter from the closet, fold up your shorts and put away your sandals. The nights become darker quicker and you find yourself inside, craving hot stews and quilts.

Summer, those brief but glorious months of scorching heat and green, green trees, feels like a distant dream. And you mourn the hot evenings you spent sitting outside on the lawn all night, when you could dive into an ice-cold pool and come out still sweating. You miss that free-ness, that spontaneity that summer so boldly facilitates. You grieve.

The cold comes and you shut down, hunker down, walk faster and laugh less.  Part of you knows that this is who you really are: the cold defines us as New Englanders. Our summer identities are induced by an intoxicating elixir that eventually runs out. Ahead there is a long cruel winter of blowing winds and falling snow, followed by the ugly, muddy fever of spring.  We are but travelers through the seasons: spectators, observers. Nature holds the power to change, but we hold the power to note the change. We document it and we revel in it if we can. And we become fretful as the leaves fall faster from the trees, as everything turns  a breathtaking brilliant gold.

When you note these changes, try to enjoy each second, each small but significant movement that propels us from summer, into fall, and then, into winter. At this kind of turning point, I read the poet Mary Oliver–who, according to Maxine Kumin, “is an indefatigable guide to the natural world,” a literary representative of our relationship to it. I find solace in her poem “Wild Geese,” which addresses the specific loneliness that threatens to overwhelm us. She writes:

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes

Oliver reminds us to look to nature, not as an enemy but as a grander entity than ourselves. She suggests that we take the time to recognize the strength of Nature’s consistency, the power in its reliability. Through Nature’s constant motion, we spectators become a part of it.

The world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Here, Oliver gently encourages us–even when we’re lost and lonely, the world continues to turn. We are reflected in nature and Oliver asks us to remember how we fit, “in the family of things.”  So this fall, in place of grief, carry Mary Oliver’s pack of wild geese home with you. As the leaves turn brown and then disappear, remember: we are a travelers through the seasons, each an essential piece in the turning cogs of Nature.


Travel Deals to Satisfy your Wandering Mind

January 3, 2011 in Hiking, Mount Washington, New Hampshire Travel, Stephen King, travel deals

As I read our recent article The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I daydreamed about vast plains and endless trails. They led me to euphoric moments where I breathed in the pure air of the New England mountains. As my heart raced, I listened to the soundtrack of distant running water and chirping birds. These images were vibrant, as if I was right there, hiking on Mount Washington.

Located in New Hampshire, Mt. Washington is one of the highest peaks in the northeast. It reaches approximately 6288 feet, making it one of my hiking goals to conquer. I have always wanted to take on this rewarding challenge.

I found a great travel deal that offers a challenging hike, comfortable bed, amazing breakfast, and packed lunch for the journey. The Mt. Washington B & B is offering a fantastic two-night hiking package. In addition to a hearty breakfast and comfortable place to rest your head after a grueling hike, The Mt. Washington B & B also offers a guidebook to the mountain and the comforts of home.

Although Mt. Washington’s weather is erratic, it continues to remain a popular hiking destination. The most popular trail is the Tuckerman Ravine. It is approximately an 8-mile climb.

For the New Year, will you take on the challenge of hiking Mt. Washington’s vast plains and endless trails?  I certainly can’t wait to breathe in that pure New England air.

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