Author Archives: Nichole S.

Nichole’s Picks 1/20 + 1/21

Pick #1: New England Sports Park Tubing


We will be open the following days/times:

Friday:  3:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Sunday:  10:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Rates: $25 per ticket, per block. (all ages)


*NEW! One ticket gets you on the hill from open until close!  (not valid on holiday and school vacation days)

Saturday and Sunday:

Each guest must purchase a new ticket for each time block they wish to tube.

Minimum age to tube is 4 years old.

(must be able to sit in your own tube)

First Block:  10AM-12PM

Second Block: 12PM-2PM

Third Block:  2PM-4PM

Fourth Block:  4PM-6PM

Fifth Block:  6PM-8PM


Pick #2:  Wingmasters Presents: North American Birds of Prey


Sun, Jan 21, 2018 1:15 pm – 2:30 pm
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, Topsfield
Jim Parks and Julie Anne Collier – Wingmasters
All (suitable for children 5 – 18 years)
Adult $12.00, Child $10.00
Adult $14.00, Child $12.00
Nonmembers can join today during checkout and take immediate advantage of member prices.

Our first presentation from 11:00 am-12:15 pm has filled, so we have added a second presentation from 1:15-2:30 pm.

Come see live birds of prey up close in this indoor presentation that will introduce you to the different types of raptors including eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls. We’ll discuss the special features these birds have that enable them to be successful predators at the top of the food chain. We’ll talk about how they hunt, what they eat, and their amazing vision, hearing, and feathers. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to see birds such as the peregrine falcon, kestrel, red-tailed hawk, saw-whet owl, barn owl, barred owl, great horned owl, and eastern screech-owl (birds subject to change).

Instructions and Directions:
Meets in our warm, cozy Barn. This program is entirely indoors.
Registration is required.
Waitlist email or call 978-887-9264.
Register by mail: program registration form (PDF 66K)
For your own security, DO NOT send credit card information via email.

For more information, contact:


Pick #3: Ice is Nice! Winter Experiments at Joppa Flats Education Center


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

Discover Gloucester Girls’ Getaway Weekend

Forgive me if this has already been shared….but worth sharing again nonetheless.


Need a weekend away with your girlfriends? Relax, reconnect and reminisce with your pals on a Girls’ Weekend in Gloucester!

Whether you are coming to town for the Bridal Expo or just looking to have a fun weekend with your friends, Gloucester has everything you need. Lodging specials, shopping discounts, art classes and more can be found in Gloucester on the weekend of January 26-28, 2018.

Download your Girls’ Weekend Passport, which will be your ticket to the great giveaways, discounts and experiences all especially designed for the ultimate girls weekend. You can also pick up a passport in person at any of the participating businesses during the weekend.


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Has anyone tried this?  The can is the cutest thing going….but, what’s inside?  Despite what Joey says, there aren’t a lot of beers that I really like.  If I’m lucky I’ll find one seasonal beer that I like every few months, but it usually disappears from the shelf without notice.  I’m tempted to grab this next time….


Nichole’s Picks 1/13 + 1/14

Pick #1:  New England Auto Show

It’s that time of year again!


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Pick #2:  MLK Day Free Admission to Zoos

Monday, January 15th


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo will offer free admission on Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. At Franklin Park Zoo, guests are invited to write messages of hope and peace on the mural that will be located within the Tropical Forest Pavilion.

This is a wonderful opportunity to spend a memorable day with family and friends while learning about fascinating wildlife from all over the world.

Please note: Last admission will be at 3:30 p.m.




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

After the Bridge, Comes the Quarry

Yesterday I posted a photo of a beautiful bridge in Rockport that I had never seen before…even though I have lived in Rockport for 17 years and Gloucester for a few before that.  Several people asked where the bridge is located.  In explaining that you drive over the bridge just before reaching Granite Pier and that if you drive down to the small boat yard you will see the mini Motif before driving through the lot…and soon enough under that bridge….I also mentioned that you’d reach a quarry immediately afterwards.  So, today I am sharing photos of the quarry as well.  And then realized I should also post the mini Motif again as well…




Nothing Like 8 Year Olds Playing at the Garden

One of the highlights of many of Cape Ann Youth Hockey skaters’ early hockey careers is the opportunity to skate at the Boston TD Garden.  Thanks to the Bruins and their own coaches, Cape Ann Youth Hockey Mites are sometimes afforded the phenomenal opportunity to play a short game in between periods of a real Boston Bruins game.  The kids and their families are offered game tickets, usually meet up for dinner in the city, and then meet the Bruins staff for a debriefing of the plan of events.  Part of the way into the first period the team heads to an elevator and is escorted into a locker room to get ready for their 3 Minutes of Fame.

The skaters get the VIP treatment from staff and even get to meet Blades…the Bruins’ mascot.  As soon at the 1st period ends the young skaters take to the ice for a face off. All of the action is recorded by the Bruins and a couple of weeks later a video (the one below) is sent to the team’s coach.

Super special for the players to get to watch themselves skate on the Bruins ice….and for their parents too.  Finn was sporting a GoPro during the short game, but the footage from the top of his head isn’t as professional as the movie the Bruins sent.




Storm Coverage From Rockport at High Tide

We took a quick drive today between 11:30-12:15 but soon realized that we shouldn’t be on the road.  Strong winds whipped freezing cold salt water on us, my gear, and into my car before we decided to head for home.  It was hard to fight the urge to stay out longer for “the perfect shot” but sometimes you need to know when to call it a day. Waves were crashing up and onto the circle at the end of Bearskin Neck and washing probably 4 inches of water across the street and back into the harbor on the other side.  I just heard on the news that it only takes about 8-12 inches of water to carry a car away.  I’m glad I wouldn’t let my husband turn around at the very end, but made him go into reverse and stay clear instead.  #fighttheurgetogettheshot.  We turned for home before it got too bad but saw far too many people still out on the streets.  I hope they also turned for home!


My New Favorite Thing Ever!

When my boys were born my mother had their names engraved and added to a necklace.  I have recently added those pieces to a special bracelet with a starfish charm full of sand from Nantucket.

So, after ordering “dog tag” necklaces for my boys off of Etsy that were handmade and shipped from Australia, I got jealous and wanted something like that again of my own.

I logged back on to Etsy and ordered a necklace with two disks each engraved with the boys’ names on one side and their birthdates on the other.  I had a plan. I knew that I also wanted to add something else very special when the necklace arrived in the mail.

Yesterday, the boys and I went to the Beauport Hotel gift shop and bought the final piece.  A beautiful compass rose pendant designed by Colby Davis. For those of you who don’t know, Colby Davis makes the most beautiful pieces of jewelry that are a perfect fit on display in our gorgeous Beauport Hotel.

See More By Colby Davis of Boston HERE

Colby Davis of Boston Co. was founded in 2014 by Lia Lombara and her daughters Lexi and Taylor. Their dream was to create a meaningful, timeless jewelry collection that could be passed down through generations. Inspired by the New England coast and their love of Boston, the girls continue to design a unique sterling silver and glass enamel line of jewelry.

I couldn’t be more in love with my new necklace.  In simplest terms, the compass rose gives direction….which is exactly what my two boys do for me….they give me direction…and they give me my greatest purpose.  They are my North, East, South, and West. As lovers of all things ocean the compass rose also symbolizes much of what we love doing together and some of our very best days and happiest memories. The pendant is engraved on the back with the words, “Life brings us to unexpected places. Love brings us home.”  As the boys grow up faster than I could have ever imagined and I begin to come to grips with the fact that this phase of our lives is all too short, I know that our love is our “home” no matter what our addresses may be.  I am in love with having the compass rose, the boys’ names, and the dates our family grew together in one special piece that I can keep close to my heart.  Warm fuzzies.



A Wonderful Opportunity! The Urchin Exchange is For Sale

I dare say that opportunities like this don’t come along often.

The Urchin Exchange is a children’s and women’s consignment boutique that is adored by a vast number of shoppers and consignors alike….from Cape Ann and beyond.

While her devoted cliental and consignors were saddened to hear that Melanie will be selling the Urchin Exchange, I know I speak for everyone when I say that we wish her the very best as she pursues new career goals.  The Urchin Exchange has grown exponentially since its inception just three years ago.  For many, the Urchin Exchange is a first stop when looking for clothing staples, something fun to complement a wardrobe, a gift, or the perfect item!  Likewise, more closets than one could count are cleaned out seasonally and brought to the Urchin Exchange to be discovered and loved by a new family.

GMG’s own Joey C. once wrote, “This is not your average children’s consignment joint. This is super fresh, super high end totally perfect killer clothes for your kid at stupid cheap prices. I Wish The Urchin Exchange Was Around When My Girls Were Little.” And, that was before Melanie expanded to include women’s clothing as well.  Speaking of women’s clothes..The Urchin Exchange was also the Winner of Northshore Magazine’s BONS 2016 award for “Best Maternity Clothing”

Thanks to Melanie’s dedication, care, and business savvy the Urchin Exchange is a viable and growing business that now happens to be a fantastic opportunity for someone else to lead.  Honestly, I’m sad that I can’t consider it myself.  If you ask me, it would be a PERFECT business for two friends to run together.  Maybe two people who have other obligations and would like to share the responsibilities and hours that come with owning a business?  It is, however, manageable for one perfect buyer as well!

The Urchin Exchange is completely TURN KEY!  All inventory, shelving, clothing racks, mannequins, the computer system, steamer, wireless speaker, and more are included in the price of the sale.  Oh, and then there’s the faithful cliental!  What more could you ask for when considering becoming self-employed and owning your own business?  The asking price, by the way, is $39,900.  Make Melanie an offer!

Melanie is willing to train and assist the right potential buyer as the business changes hands.  Don’t miss this amazing opportunity if you think you may be interested!

The Urchin Exchange is located in the highly visible and frequented shopping plaza at 214 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester.  The plaza will no doubt soon be fully occupied…which, along with its convenient location and large parking lot, makes it even more perfect!

Visit the website here:    The Urchin Exchange

For more information email Melanie at or call 978.283.3300 .

Also check out their Facebook page…while there you will get a feel for how many people turn to the Urchin Exchange when filling (or purging) their wardrobes:  The Urchin Exchange Facebook Page



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