Category Archives: Family

On The Waterfront — a new TV show premieres Tuesday 7/22 on Cape Ann TV

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

On the Waterfront is a brand new, original production from Cape Ann TV. The show takes an in-depth look at the Cape Ann ecosystem, highlighting the people and businesses that rely on the ocean for survival. The premiere episode features the lifecycle of the clam. Shep Means, a clammer from Essex and Gloucester hosts the show. Join Shep as he goes digging on the clam flats and the beach, stops by Essex Shellfish to weigh them up, then visits Intershell to see them shucked and packaged, and finally to Woodman’s to fry them and eat them.

Air times on TV are:

Tuesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm

Wednesday, July 23 at 9:00 am and 8:00 pm

Friday., July 25 at 11:30 am and 8:30 pm

Saturday, July 26 at 9:00 pm

Sunday, July 27 at 9:30 am and 11:00 pm

Divots, Chukkers, and Mallets….Oh My!

It being Sunday and all, I thought I’d remind you of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon during the summer.  Polo.

I know as much as anyone that it is hard to tear yourself away from the beach, boat, deck, or backyard BBQ on a sunny afternoon during the precious and all too fleeting summer months, but, if you’re up for something a tiny bit different, taking in a Polo match is really quite fun!

I’d like to add, however, that better than simply doing it….is doing it right!

The best way to do it is to gather a bunch of your friends, grab a chunk of tailgate space on the sidelines, pack the picnic of all picnics, stuff a cooler to capacity and have a lovely afternoon.  Despite popular belief, holding your pinky up while drinking is actually optional.  The polo crowd is quite mixed and quite lovely.  Ummm….and to any single ladies who happen to be reading….you could probably find a less attractive bunch of athletes elsewhere. Just saying. I should add that there are some pretty rad female players too.  I, for one, would LOVE to learn the game.

My boys enjoy walking around and meeting the players and ponies before the match begins.  I’ve yet to meet a player who wasn’t friendly and more than happy to let the boys ask questions and meet the horses.  They also get a kick out of replacing the divots in-between chukkers….often times barefoot. (Insert mild shutter….horse poop and all).

Myopia Polo

Do your homework here…if you care to.

Harbor Loop Concert Series 2014 with Groove & Mari Martin and The Lucky Boys. 7.17.2014

harbor loop 1 update
Click on the photos for a larger view or slide show.

Groove Therapy ( Mark Pelosi, Jeff Arnold, Brian O’Connor, Vinny Briguglio and Leo Francis) opened the evening. Many high energy songs. Lots of hoola hooping and dancing going on. Mari Martin and The Lucky Boys (Mari Martin, Vinny Briguglio, Mark Retallack Bob Enik Roger Brockelbank closed out the evening. Jazz, rock and roll filled the air for hours. It was a perfect night for a concert and so much fun!

Zimbabwe? Zimbabwe.

I was talking with a friend the other day about how our young children are like little sponges and we shared stories about the crazy amounts of information that they are able to learn…and I remembered this little video.

I count my blessings every day that Thatcher and Finn are in love with learning and that they appreciate all that is being introduced to them at the Harborlight-Stoneridge Montessori School.

Thatcher took this video of Finn practicing a song that he learned to remember all of the countries in Africa….and then it leads into his actual performance with his Preschool class….during which, he clearly needs to pee and it appears he is breaking a sweat trying to remember the words.  He is also busting out some of his father’s mad dance moves :)   Undeniably my husband’s child.

And…along those same lines…

Here is a link about the epic failure of Americans to label a map of Europe and, likewise, of Brits to label a map of the United States.

 

Does it Get Any Better?

I can imagine that it may get old listening to me drone on about how unbelievably awesome it is to live here on Cape Ann, but forgive me, because I’m about to do it again.

Last night, onboard the Lannon, I had the pleasure of meeting some people throughout the evening that I had never met before and whom I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with.  There was the “always trust a Burnham” friend who insisted that my super moon photos are inaccurate (whom I hope to prove wrong with a photo of the moon near the Annisquam Yacht Club that I’ll attach in a minute)…the “excuse me ma’am” friend who, while he made me feel like I was 90 years old, also made me smile each time he walked by…..a possible new dentist….a really nice gentleman and FOB who used to live in the same home on Pebble Beach that my husband grew up in, etc.  I love meeting new people and each of those conversations enhanced an evening that was already pretty phenomenal because of the company of existing friends, a gorgeous evening, and an amazing venue.  Ummm….and a rum drink in a coconut.  Come on, really!  Several people asked me the same question…”What do you write about for GMG?”  I found myself at a loss for a decent answer at first, but at the end of the night, I found myself saying, “I cheerlead for how crazy cool Cape Ann is.”  Seemed like a good enough answer.

So, for kicks, allow me to recap the last seven days….as if anyone really needs me to highlight how crazy awesome this community is.

In 7 days’ time, we have gotten up close and personal with no fewer than 20 humpback whales (both on the Hurricane from Cape Ann Whale Watch and a smallish center console boat courtesy of some very good friends). We spent a super fun evening with those same friends to celebrate my husband’s birthday, took their boat around the backshore (some of the most beautiful coastline in the world if you ask me), had lots of delicious food and drinks at The Studio, stopped at the Mile Marker, and saw an incredible sunset over Thacher’s Island on the way home.  Two days later the kids joined us as we all enjoyed a day that took us out of Rockport Harbor, around the backshore again, into Gloucester Harbor, out to Stellwagen Bank, to the Cape Ann Brewery, down the Annisquam River, for a evening swim at Wingaersheek Beach, a “meet and greet” with Tyler on the Pin Wheel from Wicked Tuna (who came over because he thought we were having boat trouble when he saw the kids waving to him…How nice is that?!), around Halibut Point, and back home into Rockport.  My boys have hauled lobster traps with “Uncle Dave”. We have spent time at what the boys call “our beach” right at the end of our road.  Meeting friends at Old Garden Beach is always one of our favorite types of summer day and never gets old.  To see my boys growing up alongside the children of good friends and playing with them summer after summer…all carefree and sandy is too good for words.  We have gone on the Gloucester Harbor Water Shuttle…twice….with two different groups of friends…and the boys were thrilled to help impart a bit of their knowledge of the waterfront.  Both of those harbor tours ended with fun meals and laughs on outdoor decks.  Does it get any better?  We spent an afternoon at Capt. Carlos and another one at the Studio (which will never get old).  We had a play date at Maritime Gloucester for probably the thirtieth time… and loved it as if it was the 1st.  We’ve ordered smoothies and simply driven around town…because, for some reason, that NEVER gets old for the boys.  We’ve watched boats unload and watched fisherman mend gear.  We’ve walked through Rockport, hung out with United States Navy, had a few ice creams along the way, bought cupcakes at Rockin’ Cupcakes on Bearskin Neck for Freddy’s b-day, and sat by our new fire pit at night.  Oh, and of course, took an incredible evening sail on the Thomas Lannon.  For real…quite a week.

I write this not to bore you with a-week-in-the-life-of-the-Schraffts, but rather to demonstrate how a completely normal week can unfold with ease in one of the world’s best communities.

Go get your summer on, peeps.  Embrace this place for all it has to offer!

Maritime Glouceter

The Lannon

Rockin’ Cupcakes

The Studio Restaurant

Gloucester Water Shuttle

Mile Marker

Capt. Carlos

Cape Ann Whale Watch

 

 

 

New update for the Harbor Loop Concert Series 2014. Tommy and The Toys will be playing instead of Choctaw Rocket on 8/7/2014

harbor loop 1 update

 

Updated/correction for The Harbor Loop Concert Series 2014
Gloucester, Ma.
Tommy and The Toys will be playing instead of Choctaw Rocket
The bands are scheduled for these dates, but things happen and unfortunately are subject to change.
Special thanks to Bradley Royds for putting this together and for the info. Plus all those that are involved with making this event happen.

 

Harbor Loop Concert Series 2014 ~ The list..

harbor loop poster 2

Special thank you to all involved, Bradley Royds, Harry (Skip) Pardee, Frank Hawks, John Silviera ( the sound guys), Walter Peckham, the Police, the Mayor: Carolyn Kirk, Suzanne Egan, Gail McCarthy, Peter Van Ness, Lucky, Will Hunt, Sheila Orlando…the bands, and everyone who lives in and/or loves Gloucester…

It’s a community effort!

Snapshots from Whirlwind 24 Hours in NYC

UN Headquarters Dove of Peace ©Kim Smith 2014

UN Headquarters, NYC

Wednesday and Thursday were spent on a whirlwind trip to NYC for my husband Tom to meet with literary agents. Giovanni rana ©Kim Smith 2014Upon arriving Wednesday night, our daughter Liv took us to a wonderful Italian restaurant at Chelsea Market, Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, which specializes in pasta dishes. Every bite of every dish was out-of-this-world delish however, she and I both agreed that the Squid Ink Linguine, Broccoli Rabe, and Lobster entrée was extra-extraordinary. Giovanni Rana squid ink pasta broccoli rabe lobster ©Kim Smith 2014After dinner we explored the HighLine, which is only a short walk from the Market and is especially festive and fun at dusk.

HighLine Skyline ©Kim Smith 2014View from the HighLine

HighLine Night NYC ©Kim Smith 2014

The HighLine was bustling with young couples, old couples, families, friends meeting for dinner and drinks after work, and tourists, too. The gardens are exquisitely maintained and beautiful any time of year, day or night. How well the gardens are cared for is reflected in how very much they are enjoyed by visitors. The HighLine gardens are so appreciated that they even illuminate the flowers! Coneflowers HighLine night ©Kim Smith 2014

Chrysler Building night Highline ©Kim Smith 2014View of the Chrysler Building from the HighLine

The following morning, Thursday, I walked around Tudor City Parks in the UN headquarter’s neighborhood and then took Liv to a charming French restaurant near the theatre where she works.

Eastern Redbud foliage Cercis canadensis ©Kim Smith 2014Bold and beautiful heart-shaped foliage of our native Redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) at the Tudor City Greens

The trip was too brief but very successful though I have to warn our readers that if you are traveling by car to New York City, the construction traffic homeward in the northbound lanes was horrendous, on both Routes 15 and 95. It took us seven hours to get home!

*    *    *

Lambrusco %22Pruno Nero%22 Cleto Chiarli ©Kim Smith 2014 copy If you go to Giovanni Rana Pastificio and Cucina, you have to try their Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli, a wonderful sparkling red wine that is round and flavorful of fruit and berries, but not at all sweet. The color is an inky purple red and the wine is equally as rich tasting as its hue. Lambrusco “Pruno Nero” Cleto Chiarli is not your grandfather’s Lambrusco.

Lambrusco Pruno Nero is definitely worth seeking out and makes a refreshing summer beverage. I’ll mention it to Kathleen at Savour Wine and Cheese and perhaps she’ll give it a try at the shop. We’ll let you know if she does.

Kickin’ It in Rockport!

What a ball!   On Saturday morning men and women from the United States Navy joined forces with some young and eager kickball stars from Rockport.  The results were a mad game of Kickball!  The Midshipmen (trust me when I say I did some research to figure out the correct terms to use for these awesome men and women…but, since they were out of uniform, I’m at a loss) were unbelievable with the kids and, while the game was competitive, it was also hysterical to watch.  Children 6 years old and older were welcome to register in advance for the opportunity to play with and against the Navy.  At the end of the game they game some younger children (including the Finnster) a chance to kick and run the bases as well.

Thanks to all of those involved!  Lasting memories for these young kids for sure.

Looking For A New Place to Visit?

If you’re like me, and you have young children or grandchildren, you’ve probably exhausted most short day trip venues.  Don’t get me wrong, there are so many tremendous places to visit around this area and I feel incredibly fortunate to have such fun, educational, and diverse opportunities for summer fun at our doorstep! We certainly have our favorite stomping grounds that never get old, and that we’ll visit time and time again, but every once in a while, we plain ole want something new.  I feel compelled to add that the boys have also had plenty of down-time by just hitting the beach, riding bikes, and playing in the yard….but, we like to throw a day trip into the mix once a week.

With a seek and conquer attitude, we hit the road on Monday morning, determined to visit someplace we’ve never been.

Destination:  Kimball Farm, Westford.

Just a mere few minutes over an hour away….and loads of fun.  Oh, and clean! Our choice was a big success!

Kimball Farm has a bit of everything.  Bumper Boats, mini golf, a driving range, Pitch and Putt golf, an indoor arcade, batting cages, a small animal experience highlighting some rescued and orphaned animals, a seafood shack, and, of course, ice cream!

I chose Monday because I had to head “up the line” to Danvers for an errand anyway…so, it was really only a 40 minute drive.  Once there, we spent about 3 hours having outdoor fun.  We could have easily stayed longer, but we love the driving range and batting cages at Richardson’s Dairy so we skipped those options and focused our fun elsewhere…promising them another trip to Richardson’s soon.

The Bumper Boats were the obvious winner for the boys.  I gave the win to the fact that the place was well-cared for, clean, and nicely landscaped and decorated.  A big family win all around!  Check it out for sure if you don’t mind a short drive!

Kimball Farm

 

As if Rockport Isn’t Gorgeous Enough!

Add some beautiful sailboats with nautical flags a flappin’ and some pretty easy on the eyes cadets all dressed in navy and khaki and Rockport just got even prettier!

Welcome back to town to the United States Navy!

See the full schedule of events for Rockport’s Navy Weekend here.

Image 1 Image

 

Lights! Camera! Nature! Movies by kids ages 7-12 @ Cape Ann Community Cinema Tomorrow (SAT 7/12) NOON-2pm

From Cape Ann TV’s Lisa Smith:

Lights! Camera! Nature! Come to the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Sat., July 12 at Noon to 2 PM , to watch nature movies made by kids ages 7-12 in the the Kestrel Educational Adventure Program.

Here is one of the movies being screened “Telephone Island”:

Welcome to Telephone Island a magical island off the coast of Gloucester, Ma and it is filled with fascinating animals. This movie was made in the Spring-Summer of 2014 by a student in the Kestrel Foundation’s Lights, Camera, Nature program. The program is led by Jessica Kagle and made in co-operation with Cape Ann TV where the students edited their movies. Screening of this movie and the others made in the spring program will be at the Cape Ann Community Cinema on Main St. in Gloucester, Sat., July 12, 2014 at noon to 2pm along with NOVA’s “The Incredible Journey of the Butterflies”.

It was a great night of music at the first Habor Loop Concert Series July 10, 2014~ Mamadou and The Jake Pardee Band

Beautiful evening, filled with expressive dancing, happy children, blues and world fusion music. The Jake Pardee band invited a special guest Dierdra Darrha to share her talent. She was very sweet performing a country kind of song.  I believe the crowd was pleased. Many thanks to Bradley Royds all the sponsors that make this event possible. Especially the sound guys Frank Hawks and John Silveira. Looking forward to the next one.

What the Fluke

I will swim with a humpback whale some day.

It’s at the top of my bucket list for sure.

I actually planned a vacation to Costa Rica several years ago for the opportunity to swim with the whales in Drake Bay, but sadly, no whales were in the area during my stay.

I have, however, had the opportunity to swim with wild dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, rays, black tip reef sharks, and manatees.  Each of those experiences are kind of sacred to me.  All are moments that I will never forget.

While swimming with wild marine life may not be everyone’s cup of tea, if you haven’t been on at least one amazing whale watch, you are missing out.  We are incredibly fortunate to have whales not far off our coast for a good part of the year.  I, all kidding aside, sometimes find myself laying awake at night thinking, “I wonder what the whales are doing right now?” Freak meter rating high, I realize, but true nonetheless.

So, today, knowing that the whales have been plentiful for the past several days, we went for a trip with Cape Ann Whale Watch.  How do I know they’ve been plentiful you may ask?  I follow their blog.

I had the opportunity to speak with both long time owners, Nick Danikas and Jim Douglass, in the parking lot prior to the trip.  Both are great guys who are pretty passionate about offering trips that leave guests with memories to last a lifetime.

Likewise, the crew and the naturalists are phenomenal and beyond highly educated on the matter of whales and sea life indigenous to our waters. Their enthusiasm was contagious.  Even the captain, John Karvelas, was excitedly pointing out bubble clouds as they formed on the surface of the water.  Bubble clouds are a method that whales use to trap krill and sand eels in a tight school so that they can emerge, mouths open, and swallow up a giant meal.

Today’s trip was nothing short of amazing.  To begin, we only had to head 11 miles off the Dog Bar Breakwater, which was a treat in itself.  After a short steam, we were literally surrounded by humpback whales.  I’ve been on many whale watches.  Both on local whale watching boats and on smaller private boats. Today’s trip was one for the record books.

Click Here for more information about Cape Ann Whale Watch

Hear are some of my favorite photos from today’s trip.

 

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