In mid-April, my brother went on a trip to tour colleges in Montreal, New York, and Boston. I joined him, and while he went on college tours, I toured the cities. In Boston, I met with a friend of my grandfather's who took me outside of Boston to a small coastal town: Marblehead.
Before this trip, I had never been to Massachusetts. Marblehead was exactly as I imagined the east coast to look like; small, locally run shops and seafood restaurants overlooking the ocean. Marblehead has a motto: “Where History Comes Alive.” Walking the streets of Marblehead, it is clear that the motto does justice to the place. Small boats and the occasional yacht are evidence of the town's roots in the fishing and yachting businesses.
I went with my mom, who was chasing an interest stemming from her own early history. When she was little, her parents had a friend who would often send them chocolates from a store in Marblehead. As she recalls, they are the best chocolates in the world, so she set out on a pilgrimage of sorts to find the store and my sister and I followed along. We found the chocolate mecca, Stowaway Sweets, and left laden with treat bags.
As well as Stowaway Sweets, we went to a fish shack called “The Barnacle,” and it was there that I tried clams for the first time. The Barnacle is a great little restaurant. It is built directly into the rocks above the ocean on the harbor, and once inside the restaurant you have a view of the crashing waves from just about everywhere, including from the bathroom window. The cozy interior is filled with locals, and posted on the walls are paintings of seascapes and a copy of the menu from the early 1900s offering lobster for less than a dollar. We had the clams, both steamed and fried, and they were delicious.