Author Archives: Nichole S.

Salty Frank’s Dogs

Have you been lately?  You should.     6 Roger’s Street, Gloucester.

After an afternoon baseball game the other day we wanted a quick, buy yummy, fix for dinner.  We didn’t want to cook….but didn’t have the stamina to head out for a sit-down dinner.  I also had my hopes set on sitting outside by the water and enjoying more of the nice day we’d been gifted.

We quickly made the decision to head to Salty Frank’s Dogs.  We hadn’t been there since we grabbed some dogs and fries to take to Pavilion Beach to watch the Parade of Lights during last September’s Schooner Festival.

Definitely the right choice for that night….and again for this past Saturday.  While Salty Frank’s has a picnic table out front for a quick meal, we wanted to head to the sun on the other side of the street and look at the boats.  They had no problem at all with us taking their tray…and even a box of napkins…with us to enjoy from our perch in St. Peter’s Square.

My husband had inquired about their new Lobster Salads, but didn’t order one.  The owner (Frank, I’m assuming?) threw in a container of salad with a generous chunk of lobster meat as well!

We sat, watched a bigger fish chase the minnows, checked out some of the fishing fleet, enjoyed the warmth of the sun, and chatted about Finn’s game and the week ahead.

A big thanks to Salty Frank’s for being so kind and accommodating.  Sometimes totally simple nights like the one we shared are the best.

CHECK OUT SALTY FRANK’S HERE   and don’t forget that they have ice cream too!

They’re a pretty great option en route to the beach or out for a day on the boat.  Their “Beach Box” consists of 12 hot dogs, 4 bags of chips, and 4 drinks for $32…or substitute fries for the chips for $37.  They have lots of other menu items as well.

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Nichole’s Picks 5/27 + 5/28

Pick #1:  Wolf Hollow Free Family Fun Fest

Sunday, May 28th from 11-3


Make your Memorial Day weekend truly memorable! Bring the whole family to howl with the wolves for FREE! Wolf Hollow offers a unique opportunity to view gray wolves in as natural a setting as possible. Come see how they interact with their pack members and live in a social unit very similar to human families.

This fun, family event will begin at 11am and end at 3pm.

Mark your calendars – FREE TICKETS will be available via Eventbrite, starting on May 8th.

Please be aware this event is by RESERVATION ONLY.

Guests will enjoy:

  • One of a kind, educational presentations every hour.
  • Fun games & activities for children of all ages.
  • Delicious pizza from the Ipswich House of Pizza and other vendors TBD
  • Free samples of Ipswich Soda Pops.
  • AND Free samples, for Mom & Dad, from the Ipswich Ale Brewery and 1634 Meadery.

Overflow parking will be directed to one side of Route 133 West

  Wolf Hollow (114 Essex Road, Ipswich, MA)


Pick #2: Appleton Farms Hay Bale Hangout

Saturday, June 3rd from 10:00-2:00


Member Child: $5; Nonmember Child: $10

Have you ever collected warm eggs from the chicken coop or seen how fast sheep will run for their morning helping of grain? Join us for our NEW weekend Hay Bale Hangout and spend the day at Appleton Farms. Stop by anytime between 10AM – 1:30PM for fantastic farmyard meet and greets! Hands on activities start at 10AM and run every ½ hour. Greet our goats, make a wool bracelet, cuddle a calf, farm story time, collect chicken eggs and more! In between activities hang out in the Carriage Barn and explore our all-day learning stations or picnic outside in the Stone Paddock!

Activities may change depending on what’s happening at the farm, but a typical schedule will include:

10:00: Feed the sheep & brush the goats

10:30: Spin wool bracelets

11:00: Collect chicken eggs

11:30: Farm story time (feel free to bring a snack from home!)

12:00: Explore the milking barn & Dairy tools

12:30: Meet a bunny

1:00: Collect chicken eggs

1:30: Brush the goats

Please check in at the entrance of the Carriage Barn to pay and receive your hand stamp. Become a Trustees member at the farm on the day of and come for free! Once you’ve paid, stay for an hour or all day! Cash only please. No additional cost for adults. We will do our very best to accommodate everyone, but some activities are first come, first serve.

We have picnic tables, bathrooms, water, and plenty of stroller friendly walking paths for you to enjoy. Parking available the Visitor Center for a shorter walk or at the Farm Store for a longer stroll through our vegetable fields.


Pick #3: Do Something to Honor our Servicemen and Servicewoman 

Most towns have a Memorial Day Parade. Please check each town’s listings and attend at least one.  We always attend the Rockport Memorial Day to show our respect.



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

One Word. Yes!

Some of us had fun yesterday solving the mini-mystery of Did Josh Say “Yes” or did he leave his creative promposalist (sounds like it should be a word) hanging in the wind….just like her message on the overpass.

Well, thanks to the power of Facebook, we have an answer.   YES.

Kudos to his prom date for catching all of our attention!  We hope they have lots of laughs and create many lasting memories!

Thanks to Bridgette Matthews for capturing the new bridge message and for forwarding it to me so that we could update you all.


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Nichole’s Picks 5/20 + 5/21

Pick #1: Motif No. 1 

Saturday May 20th 9:00-5:00


As written on

About the festival

The Motif No.1 Day Festival celebrates Rockport across the arts.

M1D honors the fishing shack, artist’s studio, and tourist attraction that started it all: an old building right on one of Rockport’s historic wharves, a building painted so often by artists at the turn of the last century that it was given the nickname Motif No.1.

Featuring film, poetry, dance, music, art-making activities, historical presentations and more, along with the Motif No.1 Day 5k and Fun Run, with proceeds to benefit Rockport Public Schools’ wellness initiatives, M1D is a festival with something for everyone.

Pick #2: Touch-A-Truck Day 

To Benefit the Fishtown Horribles Parade  | Gloucester High School | Sunday, May 21st from 9:00-2:00



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

Turkey Trauma

A few turkeys were walking around the side yard of campus yesterday so I walked outside to take some photos of them.  Imagine my horror when I realized that one had a long arrow straight through its body!  While it seemed to walking fine and keeping up with its friends, it was totally heartbreaking to see.  I can only imagine the pain and discomfort the arrow must be causing.

I made a phone call to Beverly Animal Control who told me to call Fish and Wildlife who told me to call Boston Wildlife Rescue.  They asked for photos and asked for us to keep an eye out to see if the turkey is able to roost at night and whether or not it looks like it is eating, etc.  Hopefully they will come find it this week to see if there is anything they can do.


Brunch at the Sea Glass Restaurant

Mother’s Day morning I slept until almost 9:00 and woke up to find my boys dressed in button-down shirts and ready to go.  Turns out we had 10:30 reservations over at the Sea Glass restaurant at the Castle Manor Inn.

While the weather wasn’t perfect….brunch was.  When asked, we were fine sitting outside on the tented and enclosed deck.  I’m all in for eating with a view whenever possible and the heaters made it warm enough for us.  The Mother’s Day Buffet was loaded with with a variety of dishes and was really delicious. There were several traditional breakfast choices alongside dishes such as chowder, chicken parm, stuffed eggplant, steak tips, and more.  While eating, the staff also walked around with platters of stuffed clams, shrimp cocktail, and stuffed mushrooms.

To sweeten the deal, the dessert table included chocolate mousse cake and creme brulee!

Much thanks to the staff for helping to make Mother’s Day pretty lovely….even in the torrential rain.  I look forward to going back in the warmth of the summer for a less windy meal.


I wish I had taken more photos to share in this post, but I was happy to be enjoying the time with the family.


Learning Express is on the Move

I stopped by Learning Express in Beverly yesterday afternoon…as I often do because it is so close to work….and discovered a sign on the door that says, “We’re Moving.”

Luckily, they’re not moving far…just down the road in fact, but you still might want to make a mental note so you’re not surprised when you go to visit them.


Nichole’s Picks 5/13 + 5/14

Pick #1:  Gloucester Public School Arts Festival

GMG’s own James Eve did a wonderful post about this earlier this week….with all of the information you could need.  Please read his full post here! 

The festival is Saturday from 11:00-4:00

In his post, amongst other information, James included this schedule….

2017 Gloucester Public Schools Arts Festival Schedule of Events

Saturday, May 13, 2016

11 am to 12 pm            GHS Culinary Arts Reception – Sawyer Free Library
11 am to 11:30              Mad Hot Ball Demonstration – City Hall
11:30 to 12 pm            Recorder Performance – Elementary School Students – City Hall
12 to 12:340 pm            Ukulele Performance – Elementary School Students – City Hall
1 to 1:30 pm                        GHS Interactive Engineering Demonstration – City Hall
1 to 1:30 pm                        Dancing Through the Decades Workshop – City Hall
1 to 3 pm                        Collaborative Art Project – Sculpture Park – Museum
1:30 to 2:00 pm            GHS Theater Performance – City Hall
2 to 2:30 pm                        GHS Chorus Performance – City Hall
2:30 to 3:00 pm            O’Maley Chorus Performance – City Hall
3 to 3:30 pm                        O’Maley Jazz Band Performance – City Hall
3:30 to 4 pm                        GHS Docksiders Performance – City Hall

All Day Visual Art Displays

Elementary Schools – City Hall
O’Maley Innovation- Sawyer Free Library
High School – Sawyer Free Library
Industrial Arts, Engineering, Woodworking – Cape Ann Museum and City Hall


Courtesy of the Gloucester Education Foundation

Pick #2:  Bunny Tales: Mother’s Day at Appleton Farms

Sunday, May 14

Member Adults: $24 (Moms are FREE). Member Children: $12. Nonmember Adults:$30. (Moms are FREE). Nonmember Children: $15


Join us this Mother’s Day for an adventure with the classic characters from Beatrix Potter! Bring the whole family to enjoy a morning with the mischievous Peter Rabbit and his friends!

Attendees will explore the farm and meet some of the classic characters such as; Peter Rabbit, Squirrel Nutkin, Johnny Town Mouse, Tom Kitten and more!  Visit Mr. McGregor’s garden, Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s kitchen, Jemima Puddle Duck’s nest and Hunca Munca’s doll house.  After your adventure, join us in the Carriage Barn for light refreshments and meet our farm animals in the barnyard.  Kids will also make a beautiful potted lettuce garden inspired by Peter Rabbit as a gift for mom!
FREE for moms! Please register all other adults and children. (Example: If Dad is registering for the family of five -Mom, Dad, and three kids- add 1 adult and three child tickets to your cart.)

This event runs rain or shine. Please pre-register so we have enough refreshments for all. Children under 1 are free.


Pick #3:  Lilac Sunday (now Saturday!) at Arnold Arboretum


“Events on Sunday, May 14 have been cancelled due to severe weather. We regret any inconvenience. A modified slate of tours and activities will be offered on Saturday, May 13. See details below.”


Of the thousands of flowering plants in the Arboretum, only one, the lilac, is singled out each year for a daylong celebration. Mainly located on the edge of Bussey Hill Road in the heart of the landscape, the lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America.

Tours of the lilacs and family activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday, May 13


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


Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week occurred a couple of weeks ago and my co-workers and I were b.e.y.o.n.d spoiled by our fabulous parent community.  Amongst so many other generous and amazing surprises (goodie bags, gift certificates, massages, raffle items, etc) were some delicious faculty luncheons.

One day lunch was delivered by b.good in Beverly.  While I find myself at the Dodge Street Plaza kind of often when running to the Paper Store, Modells, Staples, etc. I actually hadn’t tried b.good yet…but I’ll be going in the near future for sure.


The food was really terrific…and pretty to look at.  As if lunch on Monday wasn’t enough…Tuesday morning brought a Smoothie bar…also from b.good!



Nichole’s Picks 5/6 + 5/7

Pick #1: Boston Children’s Chorus at the Shalin Liu

Saturday, May 6 at 3:00.  Tickets $15, general admission


Learn more or purchase tickets HERE .

The Boston Children’s Chorus unites children ages 7-18 from diverse backgrounds to discover the power of singing and transcend social barriers in a celebration of shared humanity and love of music. The Chorus bridges Greater Boston’s many diverse groups and fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion among its members. Through intensive choral training and once-in-a-lifetime performing experiences locally, nationally and around the world, BCC enhances the education and social development of youth as future leaders and global citizens in the 21st century. Since the BCC’s inception, its programs have grown rapidly. Twenty children were accepted into an initial pilot program, and in the current season, the BCC have almost 500 singers representing over 50 of Boston’s urban and suburban neighborhoods participating in twelve different choirs in five Boston locations: the South End, Allston-Brighton, South Boston and Dorchester.

Pick #2: Vintage Baseball Home Opener at Spencer-Peirce Little Farm

I did this a few years ago with the boys and it was so much fun.  I keep meaning to go back!

Saturday, May 6, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

5 Little’s Lane, Newbury, Mass.



Take a step back in time and enjoy a springtime day on the farm. Enjoy traditional New England music, sheep-shearing, and wagon rides and cheer on your favorite teams of the Essex Base Ball Association as they play baseball using 1860s rules. At these fun, historically accurate games, players pitch underhand, a ball bounced once and caught is an out, and no gloves are allowed. Snacks, baseballs, and cards are available for purchase.

Grass field seating: bring blankets and lawn chairs. No reserved seating. In partnership with the Essex Base Ball Association and Ipswich Ale Brewery.

Free to Historic New England members
$5 nonmembers


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

Winner, Winner, Minnow Dinner

When asked which bait will attract the most minnows, would you guess bread, hotdogs, chocolate covered granola bar, or cheese?

Well, Finn wanted to know.  My little budding angler and future fishing show host (if you ask him) decided to find the answer to that question for science fair this week.  He chose four types of bait, filled four traps each night, set them in Henry’s Pond at Pebble Beach at 7:00 pm, jumped out of bed at 6:00 a.m., hauled his traps, and counted his catch.

You’ll have to watch the video to see which type of bait did the job the best.  I’m pretty proud of my littlest fisherman!


Life’s Simple Pleasures

This past weekend was one of those weekends that make me appreciate the little things. We didn’t do anything over-the-top exciting, but we did a lot….and had a blast.

The weekend began with the boys’ baseball parade and season’s opening ceremonies. While I barely made it because I couldn’t quite get out of work on time, they had a great time.  Saturday began with a long walk through town with one boy and two dogs.  It was so great to see Rockport opening up around us, to feel the sunshine, and to hear the sounds of, dare I say, summer.  Later we watched some good buddies play ball, hit Top Dog for an early dinner, went to Rockport High School’s baseball game under the lights, and ended the night at Long Beach Dairy Maid before bringing a little friend home to Gloucester.

Sunday Funday brought Bocce Ball on the boulevard with Grampy (who should be reading this….so, we apologize again that the boys couldn’t get along super well when teamed against each other on the court), lunch outside at Mile Marker One, some science fair homework, a walk on the beach, baseball practice, and then a shift feeding the baby goats up at Appleton Farms (pinch me) thanks to some great friends.

While I don’t necessarily need the reminder…it is always great to get out and about and get in touch with just why we love living on Cape Ann.  Good times.


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