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Rain Rain Go Away

5 Jun

It’s been raining for four days straight. Could there finally be an end in sight?

Eating My Way Through Cape Ann

1 Jun

Today was a beautiful sunny day in an otherwise rainy week. My sister and I both had the day off from work so we headed up to our favorite coastal town in Massachusetts for some Rockport Happiness. On the way to Rockport we stopped off in Gloucester to a knitting store called Coveted Yarns. They’re located in Rocky Neck, the “artsy” section of Gloucester. I bought the premiere issue of Noro Magazine, the new knitting magazine for the Japanese yarn brand Noro. I’ve been looking for it everywhere as it’s been flying off the shelves at some of my other usual yarn stores. Right next to Coveted Yarns is a barbecue joint called Smokin’ Jim’s. Every time I go to Coveted Yarns I think “Someday I’ll eat at Smokin’ Jims.” Today was the day. Or so I thought. Smokin Jim’s only accepts cash, no credit or debit cards. And there was no ATM in sight. Oh well. Another time, Smokin’ Jim.

Coveted Yarns, Gloucester

Smokin’ Jim’s

Our original lunch plans dashed, we arrived in Rockport and headed over to a little cafe we often eat at called The Red Skiff Grill.

Red Skiff Grill

I had the fish and chips. I always get the fish and chips at Red Skiff. And they have the best cole slaw. I love a good slaw.

After lunch I needed something sweet, so we headed to Tuck’s. They have the best fudge. There’s another candy store in Rockport called the Fudgery, but don’t buy their fudge. Tuck’s fudge is better. Tuck’s is just like an old-tyme candy store. All the candy is displayed behind glass cases and in large glass jars on the countertops.

Tucks.

I sat at the top of Bear Skin Neck and looked out at the water while I ate my fudge. Here’s the fudge and what I looked at while I ate it:

Then we went to Helmut’s Strudel. I didn’t have strudel, though. Just a cup of coffee.

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I did some shopping in Rockport and bought a few crafty things. I bought a ring from a company called Pink Armor by Amanda. She makes jewelry from vintage fabric and buttons. This cute ring made from vintage fabric only cost $5.

And I went to the town’s bead store, called The Beadles (geddit?). I bought a starfish charm and a small faux pearl to make a little necklace to remind me of the ocean. The store gets a lot of natural sunlight and beads are arranged by color.

After visiting the bead shop we stopped off at Dunkin’ Donuts for a soda for the ride home. I was surprised to find out that it was National Free Donut Day. By the time we got there all the good donuts were gone. So I settled for a chocolate stick.

On the way home, we stopped off in the town of Essex. Essex is famous for two things: fried clams and antiques. In 1916 Lawrence “Chubby” Woodman invented the fried clam, and people have been flocking to Woodman’s ever since.

Woodman’s, an Essex institution since 1914.

You can also buy lobsters at Woodman’s.

Even though we were still full from lunch, we managed to indulge in their onion rings. Woodman’s has the best onion rings.

Golden deliciousness

The Essex River

From there we headed up the Causeway to Howard’s Flying Dragon. They carry an eclectic mix of furnishings, housewares, art, and collectibles. They fit my budget better than the many expensive, high-end antique stores that populate Essex.

Howard’s Flying Dragon. They always have a different message in their window in giant letters every time I go there.

Antique buggy for sale at Howard’s.

At Howard’s Flying Dragon I bought an old Ball Jar, having been inspired by a recent post from Lillibeth’s Garden on spray-painting old mason jars to use as planters or lanterns. I love a new project.

All-in-all it was a fun-filled, food-filled day. I ate a lot, I shopped a little, and I managed not to get too sunburned. Good times.

A Blog is Born

21 May

First posts are always awkward, aren’t they? How to begin? I could start by telling you a little bit about myself. My name is Marilyn. I was born in Queens, NY and raised on Long Island. Eight years ago I moved to the North Shore of Massachusetts for the fresh ocean air and the fried seafood. I live halfway between Boston and Rockport (a seaside town on Cape Ann that juts out of the coastal outline of the state of Massachusetts).  I used to go to Rockport every year for vacation, just to get away from New York City. Then one day I decided to get away from New York City for good. While I miss New York, I love living where I live. Between the city and the sea, I have the best of both worlds.

I still enjoy “getting away” to Rockport. My sister and I referred to it as needing some “Rockport happiness.” Only now it’s half an hour away instead of a four-hour drive. I can head over there whenever I need some aforementioned “Rockport happiness” and still sleep in my own bed at night.

View of Rockport Harbor. The red building in the distance is Motif #1, America’s most painted/photographed landmark.

Bearskin Neck, Rockport’s main shopping drag.

Colorful Kayaks

On the beach

Looking at the sea through a boardwalk