Author Archives: Nichole S.

Throw Yourself to the Wolves

When I did my “Picks” post yesterday I wanted to include a fun event at the one and only Wolf Hollow, but I wasn’t able to confirm until this morning that it is indeed happening.  Didn’t want to steer anyone in the wrong direction!

This Sunday, May 24th, Wolf Hollow will be hosting “Family Fun Fest”.

The event takes place from 11:00-3:00 and includes activities such as:

Educational presentations every hour

Children’s games and activities

Pizza from Ipswich House of Pizza

Snow cones from the Kona Shaved-Ice Truck

AND, last but certainly not least, free samples of local brew served up from the Ipswich Ale Brewery. Not for the kiddos though.

Read all about Wolf Hollow HERE

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Nichole’s Picks for 5/23 and 5/24

Pick #1

They’re open, they’re open.  Thatcher and Finn have been asking me for weeks when Maritime Gloucester will be opening for the season and I can finally tell them…and you…that their aquarium and exhibits are opening for the season on May 23rd!

Check out Maritime Gloucester HERE!

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Pick #2

The Newburyport Spring Festival!  Read all about it HERE 

Held Sunday & Monday of Memorial Day Weekend. Celebrate the season in downtown Newburyport! Enjoy great live music, art, fine crafts, and food from Newburyport’s best restaurants.

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Pick #3

The Peabody Essex Museum.

This is always a fantastic place to spend the day, but I’m super intrigued by a new exhibit that they have on display and I can’t wait to go see it.

Read about the exhibit here:  Stickwork:  Patrick Dougherty

Check out more of the artist’s incredible work here!

Patrick Dougherty bends, weaves and flexes saplings into architectural sculptures that dynamically relate to the landscape and built environment around them. Over the last 30 years, he has created more than 250 works throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Constructed from saplings collected by area volunteers, the natural structure will provide dramatic counterpoint to the highly finished wood-frame Crowninshield-Bentley House that dates to the early 18th century. This is the first time PEM has commissioned an outdoor sculptural installation.

From the PEM website

From the PEM website

For a more comprehensive list of family activities please visit our friends at North Shore Kid

Welcome, Chief Horvath

Rockport is happy to welcome Police Chief John Horvath.  Chief Horvath takes the reigns from Interim Chief of Police, Jim Mulligan.  Chief Mulligan was welcomed aboard after Rockport’s long-standing Police Chief John “Tom” McCarthy retired this past fall.  Most recently, Chief Horvath has served as the Chief of Police at UMASS Amherst.

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Dining at Davio’s

MarketStreet in Lynnfield is doing it right.  It isn’t merely a place to shop, bowl, walk, or dine…it is absolutely a destination.  It’s a reserve-a-few-hours-and-make-a-day-of-it kind of place.

The other day, after a bit of shopping, we sat at the bar at Davio’s and enjoyed some really fantastic snacks.

Check out their MENU here

See what else MarketStreet has to offer HERE.

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Motif No. 1 Day

My coverage of Motif No. 1 Day doesn’t necessarily reflect how much fun we had!  If you missed it this year, make a point to be there next year.  Kudos (and then some) to the organizers, volunteers, performers, vendors, and everyone else who played a role in this tremendous community event!

Here are some of the photos that I did manage to snap while being pulled in three different directions…literally…thanks to two boys and a dog.

Huge Sale at Palazola’s

Live Blogging!

Live Blogging From Motif No. 1 Day

Great Fun!! Come on down!

Feathered Friend

The most passive, and obviously injured, seagull was on campus for the past couple of days.  It wasn’t possible to tell exactly what was wrong with him (or her) but, it seemed clear that it couldn’t fly.  Thatcher and Finn fed him a can of tuna fish, which he happily gulped down, and then a co-worker took him to a veterinary clinic.  He was so gentle.  Fingers crossed for the poor little guy (or gal).

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Nichole’s Picks 5/16 and 5/17

As with last weekend, Pick #1 was a piece of cake!

Get out and get your Rockport On!

Pick #1

MOTIF NO. 1 Day is a can’t miss day of fun, for sure!

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PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR EVENT DETAILS!

AND, HERE FORE A FULL SCHEDULE OF EVENTS!

Pick #2

Such a great month of events for you history buffs…or for anyone who hopes to share this piece of American History with their children.

Revolutionary Revelry in Lexington

SATURDAY, MAY 16th

Lexington Battle-Green BBQ Festival
11 am – 7 pm, $

Let the Battle Begin!  BBQ and Summer Food Vendors, New England Craft Beers on tap and Live Music! Admission benefits The LABBB Collaborative Schools for Special Needs Students!
Once inside food and beer may be purchased from vendors.

$5 Admission Fee, Kids 13 and under enter free! Food cost additional
At the corner of 1557 Massachusetts Avenue and Woburn Street, Lexington
Lexington BBQ Battle

Artists En Plein Air
10 am -2:00 pm, Free

Local artists will demonstrate their skills along the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway.  Watch as they create unique pieces and discuss their artistic process.

At Minuteman Commuter Bikeway sites between Hancock and Woburn Streets, Lexington
Lexington Tourism Committee

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures
10 – 4 pm, Free

Hidden Treasures includes 45 towns in the Freedoms Way National Heritage Area. Free activities for intergenerational audiences to explore this area’s history, culture and nature. Lexington shows off the arts and culture “hidden treasures.” This event will spotlight Pop-up Art displays and performances, as well as guided, and self-guided walks around town and conservation lands.
Hidden treasure maps have been created for you to follow.

Along sections of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and at sites throughout Lexington
Freedom’s Way

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SUNDAY, MAY 17th

Lexington Battle-Green BBQ Festival
11 am – 7 pm, $

Let the Battle Begin!  BBQ and Summer Food Vendors, New England Craft Beers on tap and Live Music! Admission benefits The LABBB Collaborative Schools for Special Needs Students!
Once inside food and beer may be purchased from vendors.

$5 Admission Fee, Kids 13 and under enter free! Food cost additional
At the corner of 1557 Massachusetts Avenue and Woburn Street, Lexington
Lexington BBQ Battle

Freedom’s Way Hidden Treasures
10 – 4 pm, Free

Hidden Treasures includes 45 towns in the Freedoms Way National Heritage Area. Free activities for intergenerational audiences to explore this area’s history, culture and nature. Lexington shows off the arts and culture “hidden treasures.”  This event will spotlight Pop-up Art displays and performances, as well as guided, and self-guided walks around town and conservation lands.
Hidden treasure maps have been created for you to follow.

Along sections of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway and at sites throughout Lexington
Freedom’s Way

Unscheduled and Unplugged

I don’t know about all of you, but I have found…this year more than ever…that our “down time” is fairly nonexistent.  We leave home at 7:15 to get to work/school and most days the boys and I aren’t home until 5:00.  Hockey was 5 days a week from October to almost April and now there’s baseball, t-ball, and some flag football.  Throw in some meetings, appointments, errands, etc. and we are out straight.  When we get home it is a somewhat mad rush to tackle dinner, showers, guitar practice, and packing the necessities for the next day (I am thankful every day that they don’t have “real” homework yet).  If there was a moment to spare the boys’ “go to” for most of the winter had been to grab their iPads or some zombie time in front of the TV.  I’d be lying if I said that I minded.  Facts are that I needed time to get things done and they’re incredibly active all week long…so I did’t fret when they stole those moments of screen time at all!  As the weather got nicer, however, I started to cringe a bit when they would hunker down, iPads in hand, to zone out.

So….I couldn’t have been happier to come home from a run the other night and see them playing an ever so simple, and full of giggles, game of hopscotch with the neighbors.  I sat on the curb to watch…and once I overcame my embarrassment that they had somehow made it to “almost 6″ and “almost 8″ years-old without ever having played before….I took a few minutes to appreciate the moment.

Warmer weather has brought more hopscotch, bike riding, and some serious games of catch!

If Eyes are the Windows to the Souls…

If eyes are the windows to the souls, what are front doors to the homes that we love?  I have a quirky affinity towards front doors.  When we can’t afford to do the renovations that we’d so love to do, I find myself sprucing things up…or maybe just mixing things up…by throwing on a fresh coat of paint, changing a wreath, looking for door knockers, etc.  I am also somewhat obsessed with quarterboards….but that is a blog post for another day.

These are a few that have caught my eye recently.

Creeping

While you can’t go wrong with the scenic eye candy no matter where you walk or run in Rockport, I find myself torn just for a split second each night at the end of my little road.  If I head left, I go past Old Garden Beach, down Atlantic, all through town, through the Mill Pond Park, up to 5 corners down 1/2 of Broadway, behind the fire station, through some neighborhoods, up Summer Street, past the school, and home.  If I head right, I go onto the Old Garden foot path, follow it to its end, onto Marmion Way, past Gap Head, by Straitsmouth Cove Landing, do the Straitsmouth Way loop, back onto Marmion, up and down the streets parallel to mine, and home.  6 one, 1/2 dozen the other.

It is all pretty amazing.

Tonight, I went right. I couldn’t help but spend a little time creeping as I went.  I’m pretty envious of those homes that have Thacher’s Island and Twin Lights right there in their backyards!

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Nichole’s Picks: May 9th and 10th

I’ve fairly certain that I’ve never had an easier time coming up with a perfect first pick!

Pick #1

The Gloucester Public Schools Art Festival

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Come one, come all to the Gloucester Public Schools Arts Festival on Saturday, May 9 from 11am – 3pm.

This fabulous showcase of art, music, theater, dance and technology from grades pre-school through 12th will take place throughout downtown Gloucester all day long. A ukulele concert, drama workshop, poetry reading, ballroom dance demonstration, art displays, and an outdoor community painting project are just a few of the day’s offerings.

Check out the Gloucester Education Foundation for more information HERE

AND…see the entire SCHEDULE OF EVENTS HERE

Pick #2

Ride the Water Shuttle

Cape Ann Harbor Tours, Inc.

With nice weather finally here, get out on the water and see the sights!  Hop on, hop off.  Grab a bit to eat, check out the galleries on Rocky Neck, enjoy a cocktail or an ice cream, etc.

The prices can’t be beat and season passes are now available.

Get all the info you’ll need HERE!

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Pick #3

Visit Long Hill Gardens in Beverly

As a member of the Trustees of the Reservation, Long Hill is a must see at some point, and why not this weekend?

If you’ve never been, Long Hill is a glorious 114 acres of gardens, trails, and wooded areas.

http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/northeast-ma/long-hill.html#t6

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As always, for a much more comprehensive list of family activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid.

Ignorance Was Indeed Bliss

No!  Nooooooo!

Not my beer.  Anywhere else, but not in my favorite, super yummy and refreshing, grapefruit beer. And, to add insult to injury, why now?  Why find out now….just when the weather is getting warm and I am primed for Grapefruit Beer drinking on the deck and at the beach?

I don’t mean to be naive.  I guess, if I were to think about it, I’d be certain that I eat things I’d prefer not to eat on a weekly basis.  But this blatant….slap you in the face declaration… right there on the label makes it kind of difficult to turn the other cheek.

Do I continue to “enjoy” my favorite beer, regardless of the fact that I’m now aware it is partially bug juice?  Or do I run for the hills and find a new favorite?

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Cochineal extract is extracted from the cochineal, specifically the female, a species of insect that belongs to the order entomologists refer to as the “true bugs.” (Don’t trust any account that calls this bug a beetle — it’s not).

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Read More About How These Bugs End Up in Your Food   HERE   and    HERE  (if you dare)

Bowl For Free All Summer Long!

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You may already know about this unbelievable deal, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention it just in case!

KIDS CAN BOWL FREE ALL SUMMER LONG…

if you simply log on and follow the simple steps to sign them up at www.KidsBowlFree.com

The link will give you all the necessary information (obviously), but here’s the quick skinny…

You register your kids, pick a bowling alley (Cape Ann Lanes in Gloucester is a participating center!), and then every Sunday evening…all summer long…coupons will be emailed to you for the entire week.  The coupons are good for 2 free strings per child.  You do need to pay for shoe rentals, but the bowling is totally free…no gimmicks!   AND..if you want to bowl with the kiddos..you can pay a one time fee on-line of $28.95….and sign up 4 adults.  If you choose to do so, coupons will also be mailed to those 4 grown-ups each Sunday.  So, whether your kids are with mom, dad, a steady babysitter, a grandparent, etc. the adults can bowl free too!  And, TODAY ONLY, enter the code cinco5 and they’ll take $5 off that price too!  So, the kids always bowl free, and for a one time payment of $23.95 four adults can bowl free with them…all.summer.long.  Just pay for shoe rentals.

We’ve done this for the past couple of years and, in addition to the free bowling all summer, we usually get coupons and offers emailed to us during school vacations and holidays also!

Truly a NO BRAINER!!!

Possibilities

While I’ve lived in Rockport since the year 2000 and, having been born and raised elsewhere on the North Shore, had visited countless times before actually moving here…I don’t know much about the Blacksmith Shop Restaurant.  Surely someone can educate me on the restaurant’s history and on why it is has been empty for so many years.  I pass by it countless times per week and always think, “Such a great location.”

I know I ate there YEARS ago…and, more recently, I remember one quick meal when Thatcher (now almost 8) was an infant, but that’s it.  If memory serves me, I can recall walking by several times during the past 6 years or so and seeing construction being done or repairs being made.  I think it may have reopened briefly, but maybe not.

Regardless of my lack of knowledge, I can’t help but think it’d make a sweet place to eat!

Any bidders?

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