Why is everybody so nice in downtown Gloucester 2 days before Christmas?

15698035_10209635896031510_1359941937027324041_nSome of you may know that I usually start my Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve at about noon.  But this year, at our son John’s insistence, I started 24 hours earlier — mostly because the weather was nice today.

Just as we do every year, John and I went to downtown Gloucester for most of our gifts.  You can get a sense of how pleased we are in the picture with our loot atop the car.

We can’t tell you exactly where we went because Vickie is likely to see this post.   But I can say that I was surprised at how nice everybody was in downtown Gloucester.

You see, I thought people were nice to me when I shopped on Christmas Eve out of pity for the nutcase who leaves shopping to the last minute.  Turns out they’re just as nice on Dec 23 as they are on Dec 24.  Are they always this nice?



Submitted by: Lucy Gillard via FB

Christmas spirit was in full swing last night as Cape Ann families gathered in a donated space (thanks Gloucester Fraternity Club) to wrap gifts and assemble 40 gift bags for our local shelter guests. Thanks to donations of toiletries, candy, DD gift cards and money for socks and underwear, each Action Shelter guest will have 15 little gifts to unwrap on Christmas morning. And the kids made snowflake cards for each shelter guest. Thank you to all who supported this effort. You added something special for this holiday to those who need it the most. YOU ARE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT! – I’m already looking forward to doing this with all of them next year, they are an awesome group!)

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Festive appetizer: Pastaio via Corta pasta is off the charts and have you tried their superb fresh mozzarella?


Spot the fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato skewer app tray from this Holiday Delights photograph? The mozzarella makes this festive appetizer delicious and great for little hands. (Don’t judge the prep–mine not Pastaio via Corta.)

Pastaio Corta is closing at 1pm today and will be closed December 24th-26th, December 31st-January 1st, and January 7th-24th. Follow them on Instagram for daily pasta updates @pastaioviacorta  in February.


..and the Christmas Spirit award goes to…

I have to give this guy (or gal) the 2016 Christmas Spirit award!  I’ve seen this truck driving around town and everytime I see it, it makes me smile.   I can’t even keep all my lights lit at my house and he’s got them all going right down to the toys under the tree!   Well done!


Boston Winter at City Hall Plaza

We spent the afternoon in the city yesterday and had such a great time!   While not all of our grand plans for winter vacation will get crossed off the bucket list, skating at City Hall Plaza’s Boston Winter was one that we were sure not to miss.  Kids skate for $8 and adults for $10….skates are available for rent and there is a warm room with benches to store your shoes and lace up.

Some pretty nice outdoor shopping, plenty of places to grab a snack or even a drink (yes, please), and enough ice to accommodate plenty of skaters….all under the city lights of Boston. Kind of magical, really.

We got in there on the early side so we left just shy of the live entertainment rink side. The boys can never quite get enough skating so they skated once, we walked down to Faneuil Hall for lunch and a bit of shopping, and then walked back up the stairs to City Hall to hit the ice again.  During their second run my friend and I figured we had earned a hot mulled wine drink….sounds iffy, but was pretty yummy…and being able to stand outside by the rink in the middle of the city with a drink in our hands (legally) was a nice treat.

The Urban Lodge, conveniently located right next to the ice, has a bar, some comfy seating, snacks, warm blankets, and even a giant sized Jenga game.  There are also plenty of snack shacks serving up other drinks and treats. The shopping is pretty eclectic with a variety of items and maybe a little something for everyone.  In fact, I was thrilled to discover Rusty and Ingrid snuggled into the midst of some other shopping chalets.  Check out their website now, but expect a blog post about their amazing work very soon…now that I’ve been pleasantly reminded how incredible their work is!

The boys probably would have stayed all night, but we were getting chilly.  We took a spin through the phenomenal Boston Public Market (also a blog post for another day!) and headed home.

So happy to have made it into the city….and to have spent the day with good friends.



Boston Globe Ma in CT: Manchester private art collection on exhibit New Britain Museum of Art

excerpt from Boston Globe article by Kate McQuaid

MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA — Gail and Ernst von Metzsch are the kind of art collectors who purchase paintings serendipitously. If they come across a canvas that speaks to them, they’ll buy it.“Ernst will say, ‘I’m just going to a gallery, I won’t buy anything,’ and then six weeks later, when the show closes, a package will arrive,” Gail says. Ernst, 77, started picking up a painting here and there in the 1970s, before he met Gail, 65. Together, they have built a vibrant collection of artworks, notably local in its focus on contemporary Boston-area artists and landscapes. “As We See It: The Collection of Gail and Ernst von Metzsch,” at the New Britain (Conn.) Museum of American Artnew-britain-ct through Jan. 8, spotlights more than 80 works by close to 30 artists from their collection.

January = Free Cape Ann Museum admission for Cape Ann Residents

More Cape Ann Community News-

Cape Ann Community

The Cape Ann Museum tells multiple stories, all relating to a single remarkable place and during the month of January all Cape Ann residents (Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Essex) are welcome to enjoy its galleries for free. If you’ve never been to the Cape Ann Museum, now is the time. Its collections represent your history—the people, the industries and especially the art and culture. We invite you to explore!

web20161027_0955a Image: Folly Cove Designers gallery; CAM docents in the Capt. Elias Davis House (1804); Families in the Museum’s Activity Center; Jeff Weaver, From Governor’s Hill, oil on canvas.

In addition to its permanent collections, the Museum offers a rotating schedule of special exhibitions throughout the year as well as related programs and events for adults and families. This is a wonderful opportunity to visit (or revisit) the current special exhibition, Voicing the Woods: Jeremy Adams, Instrument Maker and the newly…

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Merry Christmas from the Seaport Grille

More Cape Ann Dining News-


Check out these pics of the Gloucester Fire Department singing Christmas carols at the Seaport Grille! Our guests love this annual tradition. Thank you to our city fire fighters! Just a reminder that we will be open to 3 PM on Christmas Eve Day, and closed on Christmas Day. Happy holidays to all!  

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