Author Archives: Nichole S.

Nichole’s Picks 10/3 + 10/4

October, for reals.

Time to get your Autumn on, my friends.

Pick #1   Harvest Fest at Mile Marker One

Always a great event…be sure to stop by!  Thanks to Cape Ann’s Marina Resort and Mile Marker One for hosting this morsel of perfect fall family fun.


Pick #2  Topsfield Fair

While I know that there exist families who do not enjoy the Topsfield Fair for reasons of their own, we have always loved the fair!

Find the calendar of events within this link and see all that the fair really has to offer!!


Pick #3  Family Day at the Bird Banding Station

Like many other local Audubon locations, Joppa Flats offers so many wonderful opportunities for families with young children.  This Sunday is no different.

Registration is required in advance.

Family Day at the Bird Banding Station

Sun, Oct 04, 2015 9:30 am – 11:30 am
Bird Banding Station, Plum Island


All (suitable for children 6 – 18 years)


Adult $8.00, Child $5.00


Adult $10.00, Child $6.00
Nonmembers can join today during checkout and take immediate advantage of member prices.

Come for an exciting visit to the Joppa Flats Bird Banding Station on the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge. See Mass Audubon scientists capture, measure, weigh, examine, and release migrant songbirds. Learn about migration, habitat use, and scientific research at a real field station. The station operates only during the height of migration in spring (April and May) and fall (September and October). Children must be accompanied by an adult.


For more family friendly activities, please see our friends at North Shore Kid

Chance Encounter

We met the nicest lady while riding the T from the TD Garden to Fenway Park yesterday. I can’t stop thinking about her.  I wish I had a photo.

She climbed on the T when it still wasn’t quite so full and took a seat kind of far away from us.  She caught my eye immediately.  She was a tiny little thing.  Maybe 5 feet tall…but I’m guessing still in the 4s.  She was dressed like Richard Simmons meets Punky Brewster and made me smile instantly.  There wasn’t a shade or hue of any color that she was wearing somewhere. She was rocking head phones and a fanny pack.  She had to be in her 70s.

The car got really full….and then started to empty out again.  As it did, she changed seats, and landed right next to one of my boys.  She immediately started to chat them up.  Not super familiar with riding the T and maybe a bit overwhelmed by it all, they were hesitant to offer more than one word answers at first.  But soon, even they, were under her spell.  She was equal parts quirky and charming.  A total breath of fresh air….and on a crowded T…that is a pretty big compliment.

Talking with the boys seemed to remind her of her own….and she was quickly telling us about them.  The youngest of which is now 43.  Exactly my age.  In the 10 minutes tops that we sat with her, we learned more than I know about some people who I have known for years.  I regret, that due to the noise on the subway, I missed key bits and pieces of what she said and found myself merely nodding and smiling. There were times when I could tell that she wanted more of a response, and I was sad that I couldn’t offer one.

What I could gather and hear was completely heartwarming…and a little bit “Cat’s in the Cradle”.  It made me smile and be sad all at the same time.

Grown children, birthday yesterday, one son can’t get time off, her husband used to know his boss years ago so she was able to arrange for him to not work yesterday, a special day together, something about Kentucky Fried Chicken, went to a place full of long ago Mother’s Day memories, should they invite the other children?, “no” someone will have complications, someone will have to be late, let’s just spend it together, a quick trip to Nantasket Beach, before they knew it 9 hours had gone by, his girlfriend had called several times, played games they used to play in the sand (I have to admit that image made me chuckle), how did it go by so fast, she feels like she woke up one morning and was old, there are years she is happy to not remember, yesterday was a great, great day.

It was time for us to get off and she smiled and said, “Boys, you be good to your mother.  Even when you think she is wrong, tell her she is right.  Mom, you try to be good too.  There’ll be times you know they’re wrong, but they need you to believe in them anyway.”

After we got off and were in the daylight of Kenmore Square, Thatcher said, “That lady was nice.  But, was she happy or sad?”   I told him I figured she was a little bit of both. I can’t stop thinking about her.


Congratulations to Paul Genovese, Jr. for Being an Insurance Producer Extraordinaire

I love it when local businesses and business people are commended for a job well done! We all know that many Gloucester businesses offer service that is second to none, but it makes me, for one, feel proud when such people, companies, etc are recognized by those from outside our community as well.

And that is exactly what has just happened to Paul Genovese, Jr. from Palazzola Insurance Company.  Congratulations, Paul!  Keep up the great work.

Paul R. Genovese, Jr. of Palazzola Insurance Agency Earns Safeco Insurance® Award of Excellence for Superior Underwriting Skills


“The Two Little Kids Fighting Like Lucic”

Hanging out with Bob Sweeney the other day as he presented a sweet check to the Gloucester Education Foundation and listening about where he was off to next, made me take pause and appreciate (again) just how much these incredibly dedicated organizations do to help positively impact communities in their “fan nations.”  I’ve climbed onto my soap box many times to recall the hours and countless nights (often several right in a row) that the high-ups in the Red Sox front office spent making appearances, offering large donations, and simply being in attendance to show their support to so many diverse charities, groups, schools, etc. during the years that I had an inside view.  Organizations such as the Red Sox Foundation, the Bruins Foundation, and the Patriots Charitable Foundation do more than many people may ever guess to give back and help make a difference.

Ok, done.  On that note, being in Bob Sweeney’s presence also reminded me of a fantastic day my boys spent skating on the ice at the TD Bank Garden.  Bob and the Bruins Foundation put on quite an event and made the boys and all other guests feel like little VIPs.  The best part, however, is the proud Mother moment that I got watching the video below a few days later.  While the boys flash by and make several appearances in the Bruins short video…. second 50 is where I have to stop and think, “Super.”  After watching the same video, Thatcher said, “The Ice Girl thinks we’re cute.”  Super, again.

If you have a 1:55 seconds of spare time…take a peak.

Here’s Thatch dropping gloves with Lyndon Byers…totally a good sport.

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Bruins Foundation Presents Check to Gloucester Education Foundation

Remember that little event called the Bluefin Blowout?  If you need a reminder, refer to this post right here.

The tournament is for sure a win, win, win (maybe even another win).  In addition to being nothing short of an absolute BLAST, it is also a big draw for out-of-towners to head to Cape Ann….hence, a great addition to our amazing year-long schedule that promotes tourism.  It also happens to be a really premier fishing tournament!

Another giant win is the fact that, thanks to Bob Sweeney and the Bruins Foundation, a large donation was just made to the Gloucester Education Foundation.  It was an honor to be in attendance at the check presentation yesterday.

Tina Raimo and Kathy Clancy were pleased to accept the $5,000 check on behalf of the Gloucester Education Foundation from the one and only, Bob Sweeney.  In attendance also were Gloucester Mayor, Sefatia Romeo Theken, Drew Hale, co-founder of the Bluefin Blowout along with Rob Bouley, Tobin Dominick of Cape Ann’s Marina Resort, Ken Riehl representing the Cape Ann Chamber, Cidalia Schwartz and Kruti Kansara representing the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group (who are the proud and exceptional Platinum Sponsor of the Bluefin Blowout Tournament), Nicole Tongue of the Gloucester Fishing Company and key organizer or the event, and D.J. Scottie Mac, “The Voice of the Bluefin Blowout.”

To get ready for the 5th Annual Bluefin Blowout, shaping up to be the best one yet, check back here often…


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Nichole’s Picks 9/26 + 9/27

Pick #1:  Free Admission to TONS of Museums

One day each year, visitors can enjoy free admission to participating museums across the country as they join the Smithsonian Institution in it’s tradition of offering free admission.  This Saturday is that day.

Head to the link below to search for participating museum’s in our area and don’t forget to print your ticket prior to heading out for the day!

For the record, our very own Cape Ann Museum and Cogswell’s Grant in Essex are on the list!


Pick #2 Super Blood Moon Eclipse

because I won’t do this justice, head to this link and get excited…and then pick a spot to view it!


Pick #3  The 11th Annual Fairy House Festival

Head up to Portsmouth for two fun events and make a great day of it!

Portsmouth’s beloved annual Fairy House Festival takes place this weekend in Portsmouth’s historic South End on the grounds of the Governor John Langdon House, Strawbery Banke Museum, Prescott Park and Peirce Island.

More than 200 handcrafted fairy houses made by local artists, florists, garden clubs club members, businesses, families and local school children will be on display, including 10 select fairy houses build by creative professionals and judged by a panel of three judges, including Fairy Houses Series® Author/ Illustrator Tracy Kane.



and then, while in Portsmouth….

Pick #4  Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival


Join the dozens of folk and sea music performers who bring maritime folk music and song to downtown Portsmouth every September. The 16th annual festival showcases music from the US, British Isles and Canada at venues in the Market Square area, including RiRa Irish Pub (22-26 Market Sq), and the Portsmouth Athenaeum (9 Market Sq).

This year’s performers include The Johnson Girls, Cliff Haslam, Dan Milner, Chris Koldewey and others.  A Saturday evening concert will be held at the First Methodist Church on Miller Ave. This event is open to all ages, with audience participation strongly encouraged!

Hours: Sat. 10 AM – 10PM; Sun. 1PM – 5:30PM.  All events FREE!  Donations appreciated.

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

Captain Obvious

I kid, seriously.  Even after seeing the big construction sign that screams “NEW STOP SIGN AHEAD” I almost forget to stop.  Rockport’s new Stop sign is in a spot where most conscientious drivers would come to a near-stop (or at least a serious slow-down) anyway, but it will definitely take some time to get used to.

Big happenings in town.

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“Wait…what?” The Phenomenal Satch Kerans is at it Again!

You want to support local music and score some pretty excellent songs written about our beloved Gloucester at the very same time…. head straight to the link below!

Take the time to take a listen.

Satch Kerans has just released his 5th solo album and after listening it to it during yesterday’s Patriots game it was a total no-brainer to go ahead and buy it on his “bandcamp” page for a mere $7.  The songs are “folky rock” (or at least that is what this non-musician would call them) and, when I closed my eyes…which is how I always need to listen to new music…I kind of felt like I was soaring over Gloucester Harbor, the docks, the fishing fleet, through downtown, and towards Rockport.

Of course, don’t just take my word for it….

“Years after settling into an entirely different identity and new set of priorities – Kerans reemerges with some of the best songs he’s ever written. At the collection’s core is a clutch of sturdy melodies and classic pop structures…Kerans gets better and surer with age”.

Jonathan Perry
The Boston Globe

In case you were under a rock…or maybe just not living on Cape Ann and the greater surrounding area during the 80s, the 90s, and a bit beyond…Satch Kerans drew crazy crowds with his band The Catalinas (ahhhh…the memories).  While he’s also now rocking the baseball and soccer fields as a father, husband, and coach…his musical talents have only grown stronger.

If, by any chance, I haven’t given you enough reason to go ahead and take a listen, buy a song, or buy the entire album…it is worth noting that solo album #5 by Satch Kerans is also dedicated to his friend, Ed Gieras, who passed away in April, 2015 after enduring Huntington’s Disease.

Satch was sure to include the link where we can all help find a cure for Huntington’s Disease on his BandCamp page.

“Help find a cure and donate to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (”


Have You Seen the Rose Garden?

While I’ve been there many, many times, the beauty of the Rose Garden at Lynch Park in Beverly always takes my breath away just a little bit.  There’s something about how gorgeous it is…and how it sits boldly, so close to the oceanfront, that always surprises me.  A great place to head for a picnic lunch if you’re looking to squeeze every last drop out of summer.

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Nichole’s Picks 9/19 + 9/20

There are some fun things going on this weekend.  Seize the moment and enjoy the nice weather while you still can!

Pick #1  Harvest Moon Music Festival


Read more HERE!

Pick #2  Choate Island Day, Ipswich

Spend the day exploring Choate Island in Essex Bay. With its magnificent vistas, abundant wildlife, and historic buildings, Choate Island is like no place you’ve ever been.

Park at Crane Beach and catch the free bus and boat shuttles to the island. Shuttles run continuously throughout the day (the last boat to the island leaves at 1 pm).

Once on the island, you may visit the Choate family homestead, the historic Proctor Barn, the White Cottage Visitor Center, and the summit that marks the final resting place of Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Crane, donors of the island.

We’ll also offer history talks, a children’s treasure hunt, and seasonal refreshments. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and spend the day.

Reservations recommended. Day-of tickets will be available on the dock for cash or check.



Pick #3 Appleton Farm Day

While I miss summer already, this is one of my favorite…dare I say the “f” word…FALL…activities of the year.

Come celebrate the fall season with some good ol’-fashioned fun on America’s oldest working farm. Grab your friends and family and join us at Appleton Farms for our annual Family Farm Day!

Visit with our farm animals, climb aboard a tractor, paint your own pumpkin, learn about beekeeping, challenge your friends at the potato spoon relay or hay obstacle course, and make sure to enjoy a pony ride! Looking for more?  There are old-fashioned games like tug-o-war, crafts, face-painting, farm tattoos, and live music by Ben Rudnick and Friends.

All this activity will surely have you hungry for some fresh-from-the- farm food.  Visit the food court where you will find our own 100% grass-fed burgers cooked up by Vinwood Catering , seasonal selections from the Heritage Food Truck, and tasty Mexican inspired dishes from North East of the Border.  Snacks, drinks, and dessert will include White Farm’s Ice Cream, cider donuts, popcorn, mojo cold-brewed coffee, and lemonade.  For the adults in the group, Ipswich Ale and Far From the Tree will be serving up their locally made beers and cider.

Admission includes everything except food and beverages.  This event runs rain or shine. Admission fee is per car so join your friends and come together.  Trustees members don’t forget your membership card to receive discounted admission.   Not a member yet?  Join at the event and receive a free Appleton t-shirt plus $10 off a family membership!  (Promotion available at the event only).


Pick #4  If You’re Up For Heading Into the City

There are two fun events happening in Boston that involve dancing, music, vendors, food, and good times!





Live entertainment on 2 stages • Over 100 Local Merchants, Artists and Organizations
Great Food • Dance Performances • Children’s Activities • Pooch Friendly


For more family friendly activities, please visit our friends at North Shore Kid!

Ever Wanted to Sleep on a Schooner? Ever Wanted to go to Nantucket?

How is this for an opportunity?  The Mystic, of recent Gloucester Schooner Festival Fame, will be tied up at the GORGEOUS Nantucket Boat Basin soon and you can seize the opportunity to sleep onboard.  She’ll be in Nantucket September 21st-27th…so act soon if you’re interested!

From September 21-27, Mystic will be docked at the Nantucket Boat Basin offering visitors a unique lodging experience.  Upon boarding Mystic, you will be captivated by tall masts, elaborate rigging and large, spacious decks. The interior of the ship boasts a delightful, roomy salon and comfortable lounge.  Oversized windows provide natural light and spacious views.  All cabins and common areas are climate-controlled and offer ample room for comfortable occupancy.  Two staterooms have a double bed and private bath, and there are 14 staterooms with either a double bed or twin bunks that share bathroom facilities.  A continental breakfast will be be served in the salon.


ALSO CHECK OUT MYSTIC ADVENTURE SAILS HERE…if you’d like to charter her or head to the Caribbean.

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Weekly Meeting of the Seagull Order of Rockport

First order on the meeting agenda is the fact that it is almost the end of tourist season and where the heck are we going to start finding our french fries?

Did anyone bring a pencil?  Whose turn is to write the meeting minutes?  Why do you always get the highest piling?  What makes you so special?

I took this photo because I thought it was funny that 3 seagulls looked like they were having a meeting.  I just realized that there are actually 4 seagulls sitting on the pilings.


Search and Recovery Last Night with the Help of Rockport Harbormasters

We should be proud of our Rockport Harbormasters who helped respond to this tragic situation last night.  I will update with more information as it becomes available.


The body of a woman who fell off a cruise ship off Cape Ann Friday night has been recovered, according to the United States Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard said it received word of a woman falling overboard from the cruise ship Seabourn Quest about 10 miles off the coast around 7 p.m.

Several search and rescue teams responded and searched the area.

Around 8:30 p.m., the Rockport Harbormaster, with emergency medical service personnel on board, recovered the woman’s body.

Seabourn Quest (ship, 2011), Quai d'Alger, Sète, Hérault, Fran

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