Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I've always liked Halloween but I haven't really participated in Halloween since I was a kid....until today. Tonight I was in Gardner, MA helping my brother and niece dish out candy to the trick or treaters. I have never seen so many kids!  We received 299 trick or treaters over a two hour period! (Yes, we kept count. I was hoping for that 300th person but it didn't happen) It was so much fun seeing all the kids in their costumes. My favorite was the girl dressed as the Twister boardgame. She used the spin wheel as her hat. Very creative. There were the fair share of princesses (my niece Elizabeth was the cutest Mulan I've ever seen), vampires and witches but there were also many bumble bees, Spidermans, Woody the Cowboys and quite a few Mario and Luigi's.  (Does Mario Brothers have a new video game or something?)  Seeing all these Halloween participants made me realize that Halloween is still fun for kids and adults.  I already told my brother I'm coming back next year and I'll be wearing a costume.  I hope everyone out there had as much fun this Halloween as I did! Can't wait for next year!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Haunted Salem

If you want to celebrate Halloween in style then Salem, MA is the place to go.  Home of the Salem Witch Trials, this coastal town knows how to get it's Halloween on!  Every October Salem gears up for it's annual Haunted Happenings.  There are tons of activities taking place at Pickering Wharf, Salem Common, The Salem Witch Museum, The House of Seven Gables, The Salem Wax Museum, The Witch Dungeon Museum, the Witch House....basically anything with the word witch in it, there is something going on.  There are various ghost tours and haunted walks to participate in as well. 
     Walking along Derby Street and Essex Streets you will find several unique shops. Need a costume?  You'll definitely find one that suits your needs in Salem.  There are also many fortune tellers and psychics scattered around town.  Don't like what the tarrot card reader told you about your future?  That's ok because you can get another reading from the palm reader down the block. 

Me and Samantha
Located among all these witches, ghouls and psychics is  one of my favorite parts of Salem...the "Bewitched" statue!   That's right, located in downtown Salem is a tribute to everyone's favorite witch, Samantha Stevens from the charming 60's sitcom Bewitched.  I will admit that I did twitch my nose hoping to cast a happy spell but alas it did not work.

Salem is easily accessible by car and train however I really enjoyed taking the Salem Ferry from Boston.  The ferry leaves daily until October 31.  I would also recommend taking the Salem Trolley once arriving in town.  The trolley offers an informative tour of Salem and allows guests to visit all  the attractions throughout the day.

Daytripping cont....

Rockport Harbor

 When I first arrived in Rockport I felt like I was on a movie set.  It just seemed so perfect, so picturesque that I expected a director to come out from behind the shops and yell "cut!". Situated on the rocky Atlantic, Rockport is a charming seaside New England village.  I could have spent the day just staring out into the ocean watching the waves crash over the rocks.  If that wasn't enough then I could definitely have spent the day visiting all the unique shops in the Bearskin Neck section of town.  Visitors can buy something for everyone on their list.  There are art galleries, jewelry shops, clothing, toys, candy shops, clothing...everything you can think of there is a shop for it even a strudel shop!

Motif Number 1

Ever hear of Motif  Number 1?  I never did until I visited Rockport.  Apparently Motif number 1 is the most often painted building in America. When I was there it seemed like the most photographed building too.  It's a red fish shanty located in Rockport Harbor and it's a favorite subject for artists.  Who knew a fish shanty could be so popular!
  I would recommend spending a day in Rockport.  It really is a beautiful and charming town.  You won't want to leave. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A great aspect about living in the Boston area is the fact that it's so easy to take a day trip north, south, east or west and you'll always find something pleasing.  Gloucester and Rockport are two destinations that are less than an hour from Boston and have lots to offer. 
Fisherman's Memorial
  Gloucester, "America's Oldest Seaport",  is an active fishing community with a proud history.  It's easy to sense the hard work of this community as the fishing crews dock their boats and unload their catch. A must-see along the Gloucester harbor is the Fisherman's Memorial.  A symbol of Gloucester's past, the Fisherman's Memorial acts like a guard to the fleets as they leave the harbor on their next journey out to sea.  The names of fishermen that have perished at sea are listed at the site.  The memorial states that over ten thousand Gloucester fishermen have been lost at sea.  Ten thousand fishermen died trying to make a living. That amount is a staggering figure.  I like to think that the Fisherman's Memorial is also a welcome sight to those fishing vessels that have returned safely to their community and families.

George's Coffee Shop

 While strolling along the harbor area be sure to check out the many restaurants and shops that Gloucester has to offer.  There are plenty of seaside eateries but if you want a good neighborhood spot head to George's Coffee Shop.  It's located a couple blocks from Main Street and serves breakfast and lunch until about 1:30pm.  (Breakfast is served all day) George's Coffee Shop has friendly service and the food is hearty.  A nice touch in the restaurant are the various sports photographs displayed on the shelves.  Customers can buy the photos and half the proceeds will go towards the purchase of phone cards for the troops.

Another area of Gloucester that is definitely worth visiting is Rocky Neck.  Located in East Gloucester, Rocky Neck is an artists' enclave bursting with creativity.  There are various art galleries and shops to visit in this quaint section of town.  You can't help but be inspired when walking around Rocky Neck. 
Gloucester Harbor

George's Coffee Shop is located at 178 Washington St.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

See ya in April

     Ok, so there's no postseason baseball for the Red Sox this October.  It's disappointing sure but I give the team credit.  They earned 89 wins in a season when most of their impact players were injured at one time or another. The bullpen didn't perform as well as expected either.  It was a grind of a season and overall the Sox performed respectably.
  I look forward to April when the Sox begin anew at Fenway.  I also hope by April that Boston will be gearing up for some long playoff runs from the Bruins and Celtics.
( In the meantime I'm rooting for a Twins-Cincy World Series.  C'mon Twins! )