Author Archives: Nichole S.

Sculpture Walk

The boys and I went up to Meredith, New Hampshire earlier this week to spend some time at a friend’s lake house.  As we walked into the town of Meredith for dinner one night we I was stricken by how lovely it was to be able to appreciate some gorgeous art installations along the way.  34 sculptures in all dot the lakefront and beautify the town.  For the 3rd year in a row the town of Meredith has welcomed artists from throughout the Northeast to display their work as part of the Meredith Sculpture Walk.  Since its beginning, some of the sculptures have actually been donated to the town to serve as permanent art to be appreciated year after year.  Many others are refreshed yearly….giving new artists the opportunity to participate and residents and visitors the opportunity to appreciate new pieces of art.

It reminded me of our very own Gloucester HarborWalk.  Something else that I am completely in love with.  If you have not taken the opportunity to complete the walk and read the 42 stories that tell Gloucester’s rich history, you really should.



Below is a map of the Sculpture Walk and just a few of the installations

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 9.57.14 PM

Nichole’s Picks 7/30 + 7/31

Pick #1:  Gloucester Country Fest


Gloucester Country Fest
Stage Fort Park
Gloucester, MA

Cassadee Pope, The Houston Bernard Band, and Southern City Band!

July 30, 2016
Gates open at 11:00
Show starts at 12:00
Tickets go on sale
May 13 at 10:00am
Tickets purchased in advance
$30.00  at Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce
33 Commercial Street, Gloucester
Tickets purchased at gate

Pick #2:  B. Good Festival at the Farm


Festival at the Farm is about connecting a community around great live music and delicious, local food and drink. And then giving back all the proceeds to our community together.

There’s no better time to do it than on a Summer afternoon. No better place than on a beautiful farm with a picturesque hill as the backdrop.

The farm provides natural good vibes with plenty of elbow room, a huge dance floor, and sprawling lawn for picnics, games, and booths where you can meet our farmers and charity partners. It’s about creating a community event that’s good for all — music lovers who want to jam, foodies who want to eat delicious food and drink craft beer, and kids who want to run free.

We’re out to do some good by delivering good times for everyone on the farm. 


Pick #3:  See The Whales

One of my very best friend’s husbands, whom I adore, told me the other day that he has never seen a whale!  Wait, what!?   Hailing from Connecticut and having lived on Cape Ann for well over a decade….how is that possible!!  Sorry, T!

So, if you’re like him…. it is time.  Even if you’ve seen 1,000 whales, it could never be enough!


Cape Ann Whale Watch

Capt. Bill and Sons Whale Watch

Seven Seas Whale Watch

Yankee Fleet


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

What’s Up with the Spraying?

Who can tell me why they have been spraying the train bridge each and every time I have gone under it this summer?

I have passed under the train bridge 10-12 times this summer and each time someone has been spraying the tracks…or maybe the wood.  Sometimes the bridge has been open…and sometimes it has been closed…so that doesn’t seem to make a difference.

I’d kind of love to know.


A Little Bit Torn

Some of you may remember that I wrote a post back in May about T.C. the Bear, from the Minnesota Twins, and how he surprised my son, Finn, with a pretty fantastic gift package after meeting him at Wally’s birthday party.

Here it is…in case you’re interested

So, imagine my surprise when Finn’s birthday rolled around 4 weeks later and he received a 2nd gift box in the mail.  One that said, “Surprise!  Happy Birthday!” I really couldn’t even believe that someone would go that far to make Finn happy. And, Finn…well, he was ecstatic.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him beam so much.  Finn’s a pretty lucky kid on many levels, but to have made a connection with someone like TC all on his own and to be remembered twice, in such a big way, by his new friend was beyond cool for him.

Not surprisingly, Finn was so smitten with TC (as was I) that I promised to take him to a Twins game at Fenway.  My brother actually got the tickets and treated us to a great day at the park yesterday.

If you follow the Red Sox you may know that they beat Minnesota on Thursday 13-2.  But then, unbelievably, they lost Friday 2-1….and dropped out of 1st place.  They lost again on Saturday.  Sunday was the last of a four game series.  Finn was psyched for the game, but was feeling a little torn.  He wanted to support his home-town team…a team that he loves unconditionally….but, he also wanted to appreciate all that TC gave him and wear his Twins shirt, hat, etc.  The horror.

With blessings from TC via email, Finn ended up wearing his Pedroia shirt and Sox hat…and cheering for them to win…but, that doesn’t mean that TC the Bear isn’t his all-time favorite bear in the world.  The Red Sox won in the end, 8-7.  And, while TC was off in St. Louis celebrating FredBird’s birthday, Finn was psyched to see the Twins play.

Thanks again, TC, for going above and beyond to spread happiness and to further Finn’s love for baseball.  You’re one of a kind.



Nichole’s Picks 7/23 + 7/24

Pick #1: Appleton Farms

Appleton Farms has 4 great events coming up this weekend!  (Please click on the name of the event to learn more).

Saturday brings  Rise and Shine Little Farmers and Butter in the Barnyard

Sunday’s activities include Fun in the Farmyard and Meet the Machines and Summer Picnic.  




Pick #2: Newburyport Brewing Company ReggaeFest

Saturday, July 23rd 12:00-7:00.  Tickets 21+ $10, Kids are Free



Pick #3: Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival 



This year’s festival will run Friday, July 22nd to Sunday, July 24th, 2016 and has a theme of Science, Technology, and Innovation. The event will highlight Massachusetts as a leader in the development and implementation of new and emerging technologies and discoveries by showcasing the innovation that is happening right here.

Hours for the 2016 Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival on Friday, July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd are 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 24th 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. It is recommended to use the MBTA and public transportation to and from this event. The MBTA Blue Line can be taken to the Wonderland or Revere Beach stops. Free parking and shuttle service to the T will be available at Suffolk Downs. Parking is also available at the Wonderland Garage.


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

Had My 1st Beer at Top Dog

My husband, Finn, and I went for a bike ride throughout Rockport yesterday while Thatcher was out sailing.  We stopped at Top Dog for lunch and, after hearing that if I were to order a beer it would be the 1st one they poured that day, I had to have one.  Mind you it was 1:30 in the afternoon…and perfectly acceptable.

Super yummy lunch and a very cold beer.

The last photo shows a VERY happy customer raving to the owner and cook about the fact that her fried clams were the absolute BEST she has ever had.


McCartney, Weir, and Gronkowski?

So, I could go on and on about how unbelievable it was to see Paul McCartney play at Fenway Park last night….and I probably will in tomorrow’s post…but, for now….  Here is a tidbit of something you are not apt to see again in this lifetime.  Paul McCartney, Bob Weir, and Rob Gronkowski performing Helter Skelter….on stage…in Center Field…of Fenway Park.  Just saying.


Nichole’s Picks 7/16 + 7/17

Pick #1: Hammond Castle Renaissance Fair

July 16th and 17th 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

ADULTS = $15.00
5-11YEARS = $10.00

“Come and enjoy
Live Music, Magic, Comedy,
Knights, Storytelling, Plus our Artisans and Vendors”





Pick #2:  Connors Farm Blueberry + Raspberry Festival



Saturday, July 16, 2016 – 9am to 6pm (Rain date Sunday, July 17, 2016)

$7.95 Admission per Person, 2 and under are free.

(A Portion of the Proceeds Benefit Local Animal Shelters)

Note: Everyone must pay the $7.95 fee for entrance to pick your own and all festivities.

Activities Included with $7.95 admission: Music, Jumping Pillow, Farm Animals, Hayrides, Cow Train, Grain Train, Duck Races, Pedal Carts & more!

Additional charge for:Food, Blueberry and Raspberry desserts, BBQ Food, Pick Your Own Blueberries and Raspberries, Pony Rides (10am to 4pm) and Face Painting.


Pick #3:  Summer Moon Native American Pow-wow




SAT. & SUN., JULY 16-17, 2016

Endicott Park
57 Forest Street
(look for signs to get to pow-wow parking lot across from Saint Richards Catholic Church)
Danvers, MA  01923
11AM – 5PM

Host Drum:  Iron River Singers              Invited Drum: Urban Thunder Singers
Emcee:  Dave Weeden

Drumming and singing will be performed by the Iron River Singers and the Urban Thunder Singers.  They provide music for the dancers.

An interactive educational workshop with Claudia Fox Tree, M.Ed. – Arawak (Yurumein) will take place. There will be conversations about First Nations People (Native American) identity, culture, and history. On one day you will learn about assumptions that perpetuate stereotypes and myths, and how to expand ideas about Native American history, and the begin to explore the role of language and the power you have to change inaccurate stories about the First People of this land. On the other day, you will discover and learn about First Nations female role-models and their contributions to contemporary society and Native American history and culture. The workshop will begin around 11:30 AM each day. 

Music and songs will be performed by Medicine Mammals, a vocal harmony group. They will share traditional and contemporary Native songs accompanied by hand drums, rattles, guitars and rain sticks. (Sat. they will sing a cappella with rattles and hand drums; on Sun, the full band will play.) 

Join in some of the inter-tribal dancing. The public is always welcomed and encouraged to share in these dances especially the children.

Sit back and enjoy the various dance-style demonstrations inside the Circle. They will include the lady’s fancy shawl dance, jingle dress dance, grass dance, crow hop, lady’s traditional dance, men’s traditional dance, and others.  You will also see a small group of youth dancers taking part in the Circle.  Give them some encouragement (not monetary) for showing so much pride in their culture.

Have the children take part in craft making (antler tip necklaces) and storytelling with Loril and Peter around the tipi.

Self directed Native games will be set up around the tipi too. Some of the games includeHoop Game, Pine Cone Toss, Corn Cob Dart Throw, Standing Ones Game, etc.

Kerri Helme will also offer craftmaking at her table near by – corn husk dolls and traditional clay pinch pots.

Vendors will be selling their arts & crafts. A sampling of the items include wampum jewelry, beaded jewelry, silver and turquoise jewelry, carved bone jewelry, cedar feather boxes, paintings, tipi lamps, leather goods, fans, Native-themed clothing and hats, bamboo musical instruments, ponchos, rattles, blankets and so much more.

A few Native artisans will be set up demonstrating their intricate craft work.  Stop by and watch bead looming techniques by Rhonda Mills; finger weaving by Marlene Lopez; quill work by Yolanda Smith; leather hair ties by Keiko Moreno; and drum making by Strong Oak.

Taste some of the traditional Native food and some American fare for sale by “Silver Moon”.  A few of the foods include Three Sisters Rice (rice, beans corn & squash); Fry bread, Seafood Chowder, Fish Cakes, Strawberry Moon Tea, as well as hamburgers and hot dogs.

We will have a resource table that will include information, event flyers, newsletters, membership applications and other information that might be of value and interest to you. We will also be selling T-shirts with the organization’s logo which represents The Circle of Unity, The Four Directions, The Pipe of Peace, and The Feather of Brotherhood.

Raffle tickets will also be on sale at this table. You will have a chance to win two admission tickets to Six Flags New England.  The drawing will take place on Sunday (July 17th).  You do not need to be present to win.

Adults – $5.00
MCNAA Members and Seniors: $4.00
Children: 4-12 years – $3.00

Children 3 and Under – FREE

Parking:  FREE

The Pow-wow is “OPEN TO THE PUBLIC”  –  Everyone is Welcomed!

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for seating! 


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

Muffin and a View

If someone were to ask me what my favorites foods are, I’d have to say a really good cheese, sushi, a perfectly ripe watermelon, a delicious piece of fish, and the cranberry nut muffin from Helmut’s Strudel in Rockport.

So, as often as possible, I steal away solo or with the boys (who worship at the altar of the raspberry cream croissant) and grab a quick treat at Helmut’s on “the Neck.”

Last week, Finn and I enjoyed a quick muffin and croissant on our own….only to be interrupted (happily) by Thatcher who arrived on his bike on the way to his early morning sailing lesson.

Monday, prior to heading off to work for a few hours, I hit Helmut’s on my own and ate my muffin at the end of the new Rockport Breakwater.  A great way to organize my thoughts and do some strategizing before leaving town to start my day.



Top Dog AND Beer….Does it Get Any Better?

I took an early morning drive to snap a quick photo of the new seating area at the Top Dog on Bearskin Neck this morning.  While there I had a nice little chat with the owner.  He told me, after inquiring about Joey, that they have a new yellow awning coming to shade the area I had just photographed…and, oh, the small fact that they’ll soon be serving beer.

I’m sorry if you don’t share my enthusiasm, but come on!  A loaded dog or fried clams, cheese fries, AND an ice cold beer on “the Neck.”  Quintessential Summer!

Evidently, for now, they’ll be serving Sam Summer, Harpoon IPA, hopefully some Cape Ann Brewing Company beers, and Switchback from Vermont.

Good times.


A Trip Down the Annisquam

I absolutely love taking a slow trip down the Annisquam River.  It never gets old.  I started to wonder the other day how many people who live on “the island” have maybe never enjoyed the same scenic boat ride.  Some day soon I’ll use the GoPro and make a video, but in the meantime, here are some of my favorite homes, etc.

Nichole’s Picks 7/9 + 7/10

Pick #1: Thursday Night Picnic Concert at the Crane Estate



Photo Courtesy of The Trustees

We’re celebrating 20 years of Picnic Concerts and we want you to be a part of the fun! Bring a picnic supper, explore the grounds, dance on the lawn, and experience some of the region’s best bands. You’ll enjoy special 20th anniversary activities all summer long. The celebration begins on July 7 with Picnic Palooza, a friendly picnic competition. Prizes will be awarded for Most Elegant Spread, Best Beach Picnic, and Best 1996 Throwback Picnic. Look for picnic fare inspiration and share your amazing picnic photos on the Crane Estate Facebook page starting in July.

Tickets available at the gate only. Gates open at 5PM for picnicking. Concerts start at 7PM and end at 9PM. A weather decision, if necessary, will be announced on our website,, by 3PM on the day of the concert.

Members: $20/car.
Nonmembers: $30/car.

Walk-in, bicycle, & motorcycle: $10.

Tickets available at the gate only.

July 7 The BaHa Brothers
(Summertime Music)
July 14 The Piano Men
(Music of Elton John & Billy Joel)
July 21 Soul City
(Soul, Motown & Funk)
July 28 Soul Rebel Project
August 4 Sorry, no concert. Celebrate The Trustees 125th Anniversary with The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra at Castle Hill
August 11 Beantown Swing Orchestra
(Big Band Swing – Come at 6PM for the group swing dance lesson)
August 18 Entrain
(Rock Funk Jam Band)
August 25 Help!
(Beatles Tribute Band)
Sept 1 Orville Giddings Band
(Boogie Blues)

Pick #2: Friday Flicks at the Hatch Shell, Boston

Each time I drive down Storrow Drive on my way to Fenway I think, I should really bring the boys in here to bike ride or paddle board along/on the Charles and make a day of it.

What better way to end a day of doing just that than taking in a free movie on the lawn at the Hatch Shell?

Disclaimer:  Upon writing this post, I realized that there isn’t a movie scheduled for this week…probably because of the 4th of July festivities, but I kept it as a “pick” because you can plan ahead for the remaining weeks of summer.


Free Friday Flicks is a summertime tradition in Boston, attracting thousands of movie-goers to enjoy family-oriented feature length movies under the stars all summer long at DCR’s Hatch Shell in Boston! Bring a blanket or lawn chair, pack a picnic, and watch a movie with family and friends on Friday night for free! Movies begin at sundown, but arrive early to grab your spot on the lawn and enjoy free games and giveaways with WBZ NewsRadio 1030. The fun starts at 6pm with WBZ’s Morgan White Jr!


Pick #3:  Cape Ann Harbor Tours Lighthouse Cruise


As seen on their website…..

Enjoy the history and beauty of Cape Ann’s coast, up close! Presented by Cape Ann’s longest-running sightseeing company — since 1969!

Eastern Point LighthouseYou and your family will love our Cape Ann Lighthouse Cruise. Many people consider it to be the highlight of their visit!

Straitsmouth Island LightSee parts of the Cape you can’t reach by car — or on any other boat trip! Bring your camera — you’ll see historic lighthouses, Gloucester’s fishing fleet, lobstermen, drawbridges, islands, and Cape Ann’s spectacular natural beauty. Learn about some of the names of famous artists and poets that spent time here painting and writing. Hear about the great granite industry that flourished here for many years.

Restrooms, snacks and drinks are available on board. Trip length is approximately 2-1/2 hours.

Advance ticket purchase strongly suggested!


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



Love or Hate?

I found myself, for some reason, completely fascinated…albeit disgusted…by this act the other day.  While watching, and ultimately video taping, I was torn between whether they were fighting or well, you know, procreating.  There are certainly insects and the like that look like they are coming as opposed to going to confuse their prey.  However, after a bit of research (yes, I actually did the research) it would seem that one was just being really nasty to the other one.  I have to admit, wrong or not, I did eventually separate them with a stick because I couldn’t watch it anymore.


« Older Entries