Life on Golden Pond

OK, not Golden Pond, maybe not even a pond, but after we thought we struck out at the eagle sight in Medford at Mystic Lakes State Park we stopped a little way up the road to watch the swans. It turned out to be a great decision as we watched swans, ducks, kingfishers, and others being very active on this nearby waterway. We met a woman who has been watching the swan family all season and apparently one of the young ones has gone missing. We saw what appeared to be a family of 5 happily feeding. It was a rich environment for those who like to bird watch or just watch nature unfold its stories. There actually was an eagle that greeted us here, but that’s a post for tomorrow because it’s worthy of a separate story for sure.

Crane Beach Called and We Answered

We were able to visit Crane Beach a few days ago. It was one of those days when there was lots of wave action, so the kids were having a grand time in the water under the watchful eyes of their parents. It’s been a bit difficult to get one of their daily passes this summer even with a membership and parking pass, so I was gratified to note members are promised an additional three months next year upon renewal. Very clever! And appreciated.

I put my feet in the water; it is so soothing, I can’t help myself. I looked back upon my own footprints in the sand.

“Sometimes even a thousand waves hitting the shore continuously one after the other also can’t erase few footprints on the seashore.”
― Akshay Vasu, The Abandoned Paradise: Unraveling the beauty of untouched thoughts and dreams

Back to the Village in Essex!

We had dinner at the Village in Essex recently and it was very nice to be back there again! There’s a smaller menu, but the food remains delicious and the staff efficient and friendly. The tables are seated with distancing in mind. Seating is available inside and outside. It was a beautiful evening and the restaurant was lively. Several customers were greeted like the old friends they obviously are. It’s comforting to be in such a warm atmosphere.

I started with French Onion soup, one of my “ test dishes”. I like to try it everywhere I can to see how each kitchen makes it. This was as yummy as it looks. It was nice and hearty. I a

So tried the special Black and Bleu Steak. Jim had another special with a variety of broiled seafood. None was left to take home! No room for dessert, but it would have been key lime pie……

Castle Hill in the Fall

We took advantage of the opportunity to get a timed entry pass to the grounds at Castle Hill this past week. Beautiful at any time, but this time the Rose Garden was open and boasting several monarchs in addition to a relaxing landscape. You never know what creatures you might meet! Information available here.

Russell Orchards in the Fall

We supported a couple of small local businesses in recognition of Small Business Week (ok, we were going to these places anyhow because we love them and it just so happens to be Small Business Week……) Lunch at Sherry’s with our friend Donna Ardizzoni and husband Rick: wonderful and cozy as always! Then off to Russell Orchards to see what’s new for the fall. We came home with quite a treasure trove of goodies including cider and donuts. But it’s also apple picking time so there were lots of families. Pumpkins are plentiful so we know autumn has arrived. We also brought home a variety of New England Hard Ciders and will report on those in a few days! We;ve seen the Darryl Length advisement previously, but it’s well worth repeating.

Support Small Businesses Especially This Week

The Cape Ann Chamber announced Sept 21-25 2020 as Small Business Week, designed to support and recognize resilience and creativity in this difficult economic period. Their blog post has further information and is available here.

I participated by visiting The Bookstore on Main Street in Gloucester. I was seeking some books for my grandson as well as for myself. Arwen was minding the counter and was helpful in assisting me. I happened to be the only customer, but a few more are allowed at a time as per COVID protocols. Use of sanitizer is encouraged and I felt very safe. Thanks to The Bookstore and Arwen for providing services in this time of need.

Surprise Visit from Osprey

It is unusual to spot an osprey right in our backyard near Dolliver’s Neck, but we were treated to this surprise visitor yesterday. I was even more delighted to see he brought his meal along with him! You can see him gripping it even in the tree branch. An appropriate way to end summer, I guess. You are welcome back anytime, buddy!

Charlie’s Place Opening for Indoor Dining This Week!

We are excited to see this news from Charlie’s Place Facebook page:

Charlie’s Place is happy to announce that we will be opening for INDOOR dining on Thursday, September 24th at 11AM for lunch and dinner in accordance with CDC guidelines. We look forward to seeing everyone then!!

We look forward to returning soon. A recent menu board borrowed from Charlie’s Place Facebook page:

Great Dinner at Antique Table!

We returned to the Antique Table in Manchester by the Sea for the first time since January. It felt very much like a before/after COVID scenario. We loved it the last time we were there, but got caught in the pandemic before we could return. It was equally wonderful, even with necessary protocols in place.

Jim had Gnocchi Basilico and I ordered Haddock Francese. We each cleaned our plates and would reorder the same except for the other tempting menu items. The bread and drinks were lovely additions to a marvelous dining experience. The atmosphere is welcoming including the background music! Special shout outs to our server Laura and Oscar for their friendly attentiveness. I left feeling very happy and satisfied. It is definitely worth the short ride. We will return soon!

Rotary Calendar Contest Deadline Extended

The annual Gloucester Rotary Calendar Photo contest deadline has been extended to Sept 27 at 12 PM (I believe that’s noon….I looked it up 🙂 ) As you may remember, the Gloucester Rotary Club offers a calendar full of local phots as a fundraiser each year. This year’s theme is “Community”. As is needed with contests such as these, specific rules and guidelines need to be followed and you can further details here. You can find The Gloucester Rotary club online at or on Facebook. If you have a photo you think expresses Community and falls under their guidelines, you have a week to submit it prior to the deadline.

Image borrowed from the Gloucester Rotary website:

The Future Players for Gloucester Softball

I have a soft spot in my heart for softball. We spent a couple of decades involved with softball at the local and state level in New York before we moved to Gloucester. We miss it still so when we get a chance to watch some, we do. This Gloucester travel team played at West Parish yesterday and we got a glimpse of the future! Great job coaches and players!!! There’s some talent coming down the pike.

The Office at George’s Friendly Dinner Choice

We had a comfortably relaxed dinner at the new Office at George’s. The former ice cream spot is nicely transformed into pub style dining. Sandwiches, wraps and dinner platters are served by friendly staff in a welcoming atmosphere.

I couldn’t resist trying the margarita flight offered by bartender Michael. There are two sweeter versions (Cherry Ice and Blue Hawaiian) and two citrus selections ( Apple Lemon and Orange). Michael is tracking everyone’s favorites for future cocktail selections. It’s nice to know customer preferences are being taken into account!

Jim ordered the mountainous Breakfast burger and I tried out the Buffalo wings. The wings were great:saucy and meaty. The Buffalo sauce did not disappoint.

The place was busy, but appropriately distanced and sparkling clean. Prices are reasonable. At a nearby table, dessert was clearly a big hit. We will return. Thanks Rachelyn and Michael!

Lunch at Seaport Grille

I had lunch with my favorite aunt at Seaport Grille this week. Now that Labor Day is behind us, we were able to get seated inside quickly and efficiently for a weekday lunch. Tables are distanced and all protocols appear to be in place. Jennifer served us in a friendly manner taking our order for a fish sandwich and a cheeseburger. I talked my aunt into my favorite dessert there: Seaport Coffee….yummmmm……Thanks Seaport Grille for a lively lunch experience.