Author Archives: Nichole S.

Nichole’s Picks Labor Day Weekend 9/5 and 9/6

Total no brainer here….

Almost seems silly to do a “Picks Post” this week, but I will…simply to hammer home the fact that it is time for the Tails & Sails Block Party AND, ummmm, that little event we like to call Schooner Festival!!

So, there’s the awesomeness of this year’s final Block Party, gorgeous schooners decorating the harbor in almost every direction you look, fantastic events at Maritime Gloucester, a lobster bake, a concert on the boulevard, a Boat Parade of Lights, and, you know, some fireworks…plus more!


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Check out Joey’s post from earlier this week HERE to see some incredible footage of last year’s schooner festival!

Please visit HERE to read all about the Tails & Sails Block Party!



Here is just a bit of what you can look forward to at Maritime Gloucester ….

As part of Gloucester Schooner Festival line-up, Maritime Gloucester will host its annual Heritage Day celebration from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The event is free to the public. Over 25 artisans, food vendors and community organizations will be set up on Schooner Way and down Webster Pier with demonstrations and family activities.

Daisy Nell will take the Boat House Stage at 11:00 and 1:00 pm reading her new childrens book, Tilly & the Pirates & performing songs from the accompanying CD. Country blues & folk artists, Chick & Ellen will be performing three sets on the Dory Shop deck.  Schooners will be available for dockside tours.  Lunch & refreshments available onsite. To celebrate Schooner Festival, Maritime Gloucester’s exhibits and aquarium will be open throughout the day for half-price admission!

Great, fun event for families and visitors to Gloucester for Schooner Festival weekend. Check back for a complete schedule!

For a list of other great activities to do this weekend, please visit NORTH SHORE KID

Farm To….Schooner

While out on the Thomas E. Lannon Saturday evening to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of some phenomenal friends, I noticed that the Columbia was sitting beautifully where the Adventure typically is.   Upon inquiring as to where the Adventure was, I was told that it was delivering produce to Boston.


Coincidentally, the next morning, I received an email with the following link from wbur radio…originally coming from Maine Public Broadcasting Network.  Click below to take a listen or have a read.  Many thanks to Paul Horovitz for the timely information.

Schooner Delivers Maine Produce To Boston Harbor The Old-Fashioned Way

It turns out that the Adventure sailed into Portland several days ago to be loaded with $70,000 worth of nonperishables to be delivered into Boston Harbor.  The Adventure was due to arrive in Boston yesterday to unload its bounty.

A 90-year-old schooner with North Shore origins is headed back home, laden with three tons of Maine-grown farm produce.

The Adventure, as she’s called, set sail from Portland, Maine, at first light Friday morning.

The project is called Maine Sail Freight, and while it’s part historical re-enactment, organizers say they’re also out to make a serious point about food systems and regional economics.


Find out more about Maine Sail Freight HERE

Photo Courtesy of The Schooner Adventure

Photo Courtesy of The Schooner Adventure

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For the Birds

Finn’s relationship with seagulls reminds me of Ernie’s relationship with pigeons.  Ernie as in, of course, Ernie and Bert.

So, the other day it came as no surprise when it took 25 minutes to get him away from the gulls hanging out in the St. Peter’s Square parking lot.

With every moment serving as a learning opportunity, Finn has a question for our FOBs.

What’s up with the tags on the seagull in the 1st photo?  Once injured, treated, and released?  Some kind of seagull tracking program?

Not to take away from Finn’s question….but, the 2nd photo leaves me with a very important question.

Just how concerned should I be that Thatcher went on to eat the rest of the ice cream in the cup that the seagull seems to be enjoying in the background of photo #2?  Totally missed that while it was happening and was horrified to notice it later in the evening while downloading pics. Sorry, Thatch.  Gross.

The 3rd photo is simply because it cracks me up to watch Finn waving to seagulls.

To digress….about the pigeons.  That reminds me that I probably owe an apology to the other diners who had dinner with us just prior to our seagull session.  Finn may or may not have thrown a rogue french fry to a pigeon who then attempted to fly away with it…under the cover of Latitude’s newly enclosed outdoor eating area.  Said pigeon may or may not have circled dangerously close to a few heads before flying into the plastic enclosure before circling again and finally finding its way back to open air.  The pigeon was fine, I promise.  The diners…possibly less than amused.  Who could blame them? Bygones.


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Nichole’s Picks 8/29 + 8/30

Ok, so I’m cheating here a little bit because I’m going to add an event that is happening SOON (as in at 10:00 this morning!) and one that is happening tomorrow.

Pick #1  Hurry Up and Get Down to Maritime Gloucester to Greet the Schooner Columbia!

Here’s what Maritime Gloucester has to say on their Facebook Page…

Come down to Maritime Gloucester (23 Harbor Loop, downtown Gloucester) to celebrate the arrival of the schooner Columbia on Thursday, August 27, at 10am. All attendees will be entered into a raffle for a free 2015 Schooner Festival Hat and Schooner Festival T-Shirt! (must be present during the drawing to win)

Help us welcome the Columbia is proper Gloucester style!


Pick #2  Strandbeest in Boston

If you missed seeing Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest at Cranes Beach last weekend, have no fear because it will be roaming some of the streets of Boston tomorrow!

Friday, August 28 | 11 am – 1 pm
Boston City Hall Plaza, Boston

Friday, August 28 | 4:30 pm – 7 pm
Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston

Read More Here

Also, please see Lowell Peabody’s fantastic post about Strandbeest HERE


Pick #3  St. Anthony’s Feast in Boston’s North End

You’ll be sorry if you miss the 96th annual St. Anthony’s Feast!


Begun in 1919, by Italian immigrants from the small town of Montefalcione in Avellino, Saint Anthony’s Feast has become the largest Italian Religious Festival in New England. Named the “Feast of all Feasts” by National Geographic Magazine, this authentic Italian street festival has it all for people of every age: parades, strolling singers, live entertainment, contests and religious services are held daily.

Visitors stroll the beautifully decorated streets sampling the best Italian street foods from 100 pushcarts enjoying arancini, sausage peppers & onion, quahogs, calamari, pizza, pasta and of course zeppole, cannoli and gelato. Guests can also browse the wide selection of souvenir keepsakes and mementos.

Find out all that you need to know right HERE!


Photo courtesy of the St. Anthony’s Feast website

Pick #4   Salem’s Country Fest  8/28-8/30

“Bands, Brew, and BBQ in the Salem Willows” 

Get all your information and purchase tickets HERE


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

I Think Not

Summer is obviously the season of swimming, splashing, and laughing and to do so families flock to water parks.

So, I started thinking…where are the world’s biggest water slides?

And this is what I found out.

For the record, I actually felt nauseous just from watching this video of Numero Uno. Yikes. No thanks.

Over Ice

I did a post the other day about how much fun it is to tailgate at a polo match over at the Myopia Polo grounds.  If you didn’t read it, check it out HERE

Sure, the picnic spreads can get all fancy and surely there is a fair share of the highfalutin, but don’t for one second think that the crowd isn’t also fun and laid back.

Take this for instance….  It might look like a juxtaposition, but I think not.


Summer is still here and I’m certain you can all think of a celebration or get-together that would be enhanced with your own ice luge!

Check out Cape Pond Ice to order yours today!

Horses, Hounds, and Hors d’oeuvres

I know that I wrote about attending a polo match at Myopia Polo last summer, but it totally bears repeating.

We went last Sunday and had such a great afternoon.  I think that with a little bit of planning ahead and some proper picnic packing, an afternoon at the polo fields with a great group of friends is a phenomenal way to spend a day.

If you get there early enough (gates open at 1:30) you and your friends can score some tailgating spots right along the sidelines and eat, drink, and hobnob all while appreciating one heck of a sport!

Tickets are only $10 for adults and children under 12 are free.  Dogs are even allowed as long as they are kept on a leash.  With that last tidbit of information, we may have just lost Joey, but the rest of us should totally go.

Read all about MYOPIA POLO HERE

Nichole’s Picks 8/22 and 8/23

Oh my goodness, where has summer gone!

Pick #1    Strandbeest at Crane’s Beach

I first saw Theo Jansen’s amazing creations on-line a couple of years ago and shared them with my students.  So unbelievably cool…and so excellent to have the opportunity to see them in “person.”



We are actually planning on heading to the Rose Kennedy Greenway to see Strandbeest next week, but Crane’s Beach this weekend is a fantastic option!

Pick #2  Antique and Classic Boat Festival, Salem

The flash of polished bronze and gleam of varnished wood across the water will be the order of the day as elegant antique and classic yachts sail into the host city of Salem, Massachusetts for the 33nd Annual Antique & Classic Boat Festival August 22-23, 2015. Mostly wood, primarily private yachts and aesthetically stunning, the vessels will be on display to the public over the weekend at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina. A hallmark of the Festival is the great variety of craft exhibited. “Where else,” says Pat Wells, Coordinator, “can one see 1900s-60s motor yachts, mahogany speedboats, sloops, yawls, schooners and a 19th century gold-leaf canoe! Although many of these craft are museum quality, they are real boats in the water and in use by their owners today.”


See full event schedule and highlights HERE

Pick #3  8th Annual Boston Greenfest


Welcome to the 8th Annual Boston GreenFest ! This is the region’s largest multicultural environmental music festival. Boston GreenFest is a celebration of life and possibility, providing you with ideas and experiences that can shape your life and the life of your community. Our goal is to inform EVERYONE as to the many ways green living can make a positive impact on our world, city, neighborhoods and each of us. The three days have something of value for everyone – the festival is convenient, and free. Individuals, friends, families and groups are encouraged to be at this FREE event. Be part of this community for green change. Have fun, meet people, learn, and be inspired!




Yesterday I did a post about much we all love the Mystic Aquarium.  There is much, much more to Mystic, Connecticut however than just the aquarium.

For the boys’ birthdays my awesome brother gave them Mystic Passes that included admission into the Aquarium, the Mystic Seaport, and the Planetarium. With so many things to do we decided to make our yearly one-night getaway a 2 night mini vacation.

The first night we swam in the hotel pool and then strolled through Old Mystic Village…which the boys equated to a quieter Bearskin Neck…stopping for a great dinner at Mango’s Wood Fired Pizza.  The boys fed the Koi fish and watched the ducks in the pond.  They made a wish in the wishing well and spent some of their spending money in the Army/Navy store.  We stopped for ice cream at Sea Swirl before heading back to the hotel.

The next day we made a dent in the complimentary breakfast at the Hyatt Place Mystic, to fuel up for a long day at the aquarium.  When we finally felt ready to say “good-bye” to the belugas, we hit the hotel pool before heading into downtown Mystic for an early dinner at Mystic Pizza and some sightseeing.  We made it an early night and watched the Patriots take on Green Bay back at the hotel.

The next morning we got to the Mystic Seaport right when they opened at 9:00 so we could see enough before hitting the road home to beat Friday afternoon traffic.   We only spent about 3.5 hours there and could have EASILY spent much more time.  Being a little bit of a control freak, I had planned ahead and made note of all the different activities I wanted the boys to have a chance to do and we definitely had to skip a few.

The quick trip ended up being the perfect blend of laughing and learning and we’ll definitely be going back next year.

Read all about the Mystic Seaport HERE

Mystic Aquarium

This is for sure one of my favorite little getaways with the boys ever.  We do lots of one night trips whenever possible and a quick trip to Mystic, CT has been one of our annual overnights.  This year we went for two nights and did much more than usual.  So, lucky you, you get to look forward to a 2nd post all about the Mystic Seaport tomorrow…but, for now…the Mystic Aquarium is a must see for families with young kids.

They simply do everything right.

Call me a hypocrite if you’d like.  I get the whole “wild animals don’t belong in captivity” argument…and what’s more, I typically agree.  I will never take the boys to go see a circus and I will not visit zoos or aquariums that do not have adequate habitats for their animals.  That having been said, if the animals are clearly well-cared for and the habitats are gorgeous…and even more importantly, the facility has a reputation and clear mission for conservation and animal aid, then I am ok.

In my humble opinion, the Mystic Aquarium does all of that and more.  It is a fantastic place for young children to learn and laugh and is an incredible facility on many levels.

Please read all about it HERE!  MYSTIC AQUARIUM

One of the boys’ favorite things to do is help feed the critters.  Finn, in particular, always seems to bond on a whole new level.

Washed Ashore

I have been following this group on Facebook for a few years now and I LOVE what they do!  Yesterday was the first time that I was able to see one of their gorgeous pieces of art in person.

Totally cool!

Check out the Washed Ashore Project HERE and read all about the great things they are doing!

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Nichole’s Picks 8/15 and 8/16

Pick #1    Another Block Party!

If you haven’t done a block party yet this summer, you’d better not miss this one!


Pick #2  Gloucester’s Annual Waterfront Festival


Saturday, August 15, 2015 ~ Sunday, August 16, 2015
Stage Fort Park

A collection of over 175 juried Artists and Craftsmen from throughout the U.S. will display their unique creations, live music, plus delicious ethnic foods including a pancake breakfast (sponsored by the Rotary Club of Gloucester) on Saturday to help kick off this picture perfect seaport event!

Free live “family style” entertainment includes Celtic, Ragtime Bands, Country and Folk Music and Just Like Newman from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday. Additionally, North Shore Old Car Club will display over 75 Antique Autos on Sunday.

The Gloucester Waterfront Festival runs from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm each day. Handicap Accessible and friendly pets, on a leash, are welcome. Admission is FREE and the event will be rain or shine!

Read all about it HERE

Pick #3  Peach Festival at Connors Farm

Saturday, August 15, 2015 – 9am to 6pm (Rain date Sunday, August 16, 2015)

$7.95 Admission per Person (A Portion of the Proceeds Benefit The Breast Cancer Foundation)

Activities Included with $7.95 admission: Hayrides, Barnyard Animals, Black Mamba, Cow Train, Duck Races,  Giant Rocking Chair, Giant Tires, Grain Train,  Hayrides, Horse Swings, Jumping Pillows, Lincoln Logs, Music, Mechanical Bull, Pedal Carts, Hop Along Rodeo, Sandbox, Spider Web, Trikes.

Additional charge for: Food, Face Painting, Gemstone Mining, Peach Picking. Pony rides

Read all about it HERE!

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


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