Nichole’s Picks 9/21 + 9/22

Pick #1: Trails and Sails Week in Essex County

These fabulous activities are so rich and important….and are such an asset to families and residents in this area.  There is a full calendar of 10 FREE Days of Events

Get your calendars out and start marking the ones that you would like to squeeze in!  There truly is fun for the whole family.

Discover special places in your backyard! Be guided through unique landscapes on land and sea, explore historic properties, and take in cultural experiences of all kinds. Find what makes Essex County like nowhere else during Trails & Sails!

GMG’s own Pat D. did a great post about Trails and Sails earlier today as well.  Please read hers HERE



Pick #2: KidsFest at Wachusett Mountain

So this may be kind of a hike, but it sounds worth it.  Plus, you can stop at the AWESOME Wachusett Brewing Company on the way home.



Sept 21-22

10am – 5pm

This one’s all about kids and families! Two days filled with entertainment, shows, giveaways, vendors, activities and more! No shortage of fun for everyone!



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

Billy Joel’s Gloucester Shout Out

I went to Fenway Park on Saturday night to see Billy Joel.  He opened the concert by saying how nice it was to be back in Boston… (it was his 6th time playing at Fenway and he is now the 1st official inductee into the Fenway Music Hall of Fame).  He then told the crowd that he had spent the two days prior up in Gloucester.   Did anyone happen to bump into him?   A bit later in the evening he talked about his time in Gloucester again and said that his time there always reminds him of “this song” …. and then sang “Downeaster Alexa.”  (video attached)

During a weekend when we lost two iconic musicians, it was really fantastic to hear him perform as strong as always.




Nichole’s Picks 9/14 + 9/15

Pick #1: 5th Annual Harvest Music Festival 

September 14, 2019

Gloucester Harbor Walk
65 Rogers St.

This year’s music festival is in loving memory of Brian C. Tarr

March 31st.  1951 – November 18th, 2018



Tickets Available on



10:30: Opening Ceremony/Dedication

10:45-11:15: Alexandra & Josh

11:30-12:45: Jenny Dee & the Delinquents

1-1:45: Hillary Klug (with vendor tent appearances)

2:15-3:30: Jamie Lynn Hart

3:45-5pm: The Big Takeover

5:15-6:45: Hayley Jane

7:00-8:30: Zepparella

Pick #2: Farm Day Festival

Sunday, September 15th 10:00-3:00



Come celebrate and support Appleton Farms at our annual Farm Day Fall Festival! Bring your friends, family, neighbors and everyone you know for some good old fashion fun on the farm. This event is perfect for all ages. Your ticket and attendance support Appleton Farms continued effort to provide quality food, programs and space for our community.

This year we are excited to be growing and expanding our longest running event! We will have your usual favorites that include visiting with our farm animals, painting your own pumpkin, challenging your friends in a potato sack race or hay obstacle course, taking a ride on the ponies, enjoying a wagon ride across the farm, climbing aboard our tractors, listening to some live music, and so much more. New additions will include an Appleton Farms cafe with farm goodies, local craft vendors with quality homemade goods, info and educational booths from local organizations and experts, and a pumpkin launcher!

All of this activity will surely have you hungry and thirsty. Luckily you will be able to visit our food court where you will find local food trucks, snack vendors and some delicious desert. A vendor list will be posted on our Facebook page. However, you can expect some BBQ, baked goods, ice cream, shaved ice, and more. Old Planters will also be stopping by to serve some beer beginning at noon. Yum!!

Admission includes everything except food, beverages and the pumpkin launcher. This event runs rain or shine. Admission fee is by the car load, so we encourage you to car pool. We will be offering a single adult ticket for those who will be traveling alone. Become a Trustees member at this event and recevie the ticket difference back along with a free gift!

Pick #3: Open Newbury Street, Boston

While shopping on Newbury Street is a bit out of my league, I love that they now close off the street to all automobile traffic three times each summer so that people can stroll, shop, eat, drink, and listen to music on Newbury Street.

This Sunday, September 15th, from 10:00-6:00 marks the final Open Newbury of this season.

Building on the success of the last two years of Open Newbury Street events, Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced that “Open Newbury Street” will continue this year over a series of three Sundays this summer. From 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on July 8th, August 12th, and September 9th, Newbury Street will become a pedestrian-only walkway, closing to vehicles to allow pedestrians the opportunity use the full width of the street. Newbury Street will be pedestrian-only from Arlington Street to Massachusetts Avenue.

“Over the past two years, we’ve had overwhelming success in creating a pedestrian-friendly experience for Newbury Street visitors and businesses and I am excited that we’ll be continuing this series again this summer,” said Mayor Walsh. “From being able to shop for products both in the store and out, to enjoying lunch next to a street performer, we are happy that residents and visitors will get to experience this opportunity, and are grateful to the business owners and residents who have worked with us to expand this next edition of the Open Newbury Street series.”

“We’re so happy that Open Newbury Street is returning this summer,” said Brianne Dyke, Manager of Crush Boutique. “These pedestrian friendly shopping days draw a wonderful crowd, and create a strong sense of community. It means so much to us that as Boston continues to grow, the Mayor’s Office continues to be supportive of small businesses like ours. We’ve truly enjoyed collaborating with our neighbors to create special events for the Open Newbury Sundays, and we look forward to another wonderful summer on our vibrant street.”

Parking will once again be restricted beginning at 8:00 a.m., and signs will be posted informing drivers of the change. All businesses will be encouraged to promote the event on social media using #OpenNewbury and make customers aware of car-free day ahead of time. The public is encouraged to utilize the several different MBTA routes that service the area in addition to bicycling and walking.


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


Yesterday’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

As solemn an occasion as it was, I was pleased to be in attendance at yesterday’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Gloucester Fire Department Headquarters.   Gloucester’s Police, Fire Dept., Coast Guard, Harbormaster, Veteran’s Services, City Officials, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante, and the Gloucester Division of the Navy Sea Cadets (including my son, Thatcher) gathered for a short ceremony led by Fire Chief Smith. The ceremony included remarks from the Chief, a prayer by Chaplain Peter Aberle of the Orthodox Congregational Church in Lanesville, a symbolic “5-5-5-5” alarm on the ceremonial fire bell, and a powerful moment of silence.

All in attendance were invited to City Hall for a reception afterwards, thanks to the Mayor’s office and the Gloucester Fire Department’s Women’s Auxiliary as well as donations from Jim’s Bagels & Bake Shoppe, The Caffe Sicilia, and Virgilio’s.

A special display was open for viewing by those in attendance thanks to Gloucester residents Dan Leahy, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War who was working for the Port Authority at the World Trade Center at the time of both the 1993 and 2001 terror attacks, and Brenda Leahy.

If you were not able to attend yesterday’s ceremony, maybe make a point of attending next year. It is an important tradition for the City to continue to honor those whose lives were lost due to the attacks on September 11, 2001 and also to show our great appreciation and respect to current first responders.

Poor Porbeagle

This porbeagle shark was hooked accidentally the other day.  As they got it closer to the boat it became obvious that the poor guy had a plastic strap cutting into its dorsal fin and around its body.  They said that it looked like a plastic box tie strap. While the crew hoped to get the shark close enough to try to cut the strap free, it pulled the hook and swam away before they were able.

It makes me super sad.


City of Gloucester 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Police Chief Edward Conley, Fire Chief Eric Smith, Harbormaster Thomas Ciarametaro and Director of Veterans’ Services Adam Curcuru announced that the City of Gloucester will hold a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony tommorrow to mark 18 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The ceremony will take place at the Gloucester Fire Department Headquarters at 9:55 a.m., tomorrow, September 11.

As written in their Media Advisory:

Gloucester firefighters, police, military personnel and elected officials will conduct an observance ceremony this September to remember all those lost on Sept. 11, 2001 and in the ensuing Global War on Terrorism.

“Each year, we host this ceremony to remember the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks,” Fire Chief Smith said. “It is a somber day for us all, and it’s important that we continue to gather as a community on this anniversary to remember all those who lost their lives that day.”

The ceremony will begin with an opening statement from Fire Chief Smith and a prayer by Chaplain Peter Aberle of the Orthodox Congregational Church in Lanesville. The City will also hold a moment of silence, and in the tradition of the Fire Department of New York City, the Gloucester Fire Department will symbolically strike a ‘5-5-5-5′ alarm on a ceremonial bell to remember those who died in the line of duty on Sept. 11, 2001.

“This ceremony is an opportunity for our city to come together and support each other, as we always do in difficult times,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “Thank you to the Gloucester Fire and Police Departments, Harbormaster, Veterans’ Services and Coast Guard for coming together to hold this ceremony, and remembering this very difficult day in our nation’s history.”

Mayor Romeo Theken’s office and the Gloucester Fire Department’s Women’s Auxiliary will host a reception at City Hall on Dale Avenue following the ceremony.

Gloucester residents Dan Leahy, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War who was working at the World Trade Center at the time of the 1993 and 2001 terror attacks, and Brenda Leahy are also organizing a display in the auditorium at City Hall in remembrance of the terror attacks. The display will include a 9/11 quilt among additional memorial items, and a video will be available to answer questions about the terror attacks. The display will be open to the public until approximately 12 p.m. on Sept. 11.

Photo from last year’s ceremony
Photo from last year’s ceremony


The Bluefin Blowout Raised $366,050 for The Alzheimer’s Association!

$366,050. Knowing how passionate and dedicated they are…and knowing they won’t stop until there’s a cure… I guess I shouldn’t be surprised….but, yet I was. This group….this amazing and determined group….supported, celebrated, and loved by so many generous friends, sponsors, captains/crews, advertisers, and family members…. knocked it completely out of the park.

Last night, gathered at the Beauport Hotel, the Lyon-Waugh Auto Group presented a check to the Alzheimer’s Association.

With their massive efforts and unyielding generosity (both theirs and that of those who support them) they managed to raise a surreal $366,050 during this year’s Bluefin Blowout to help #endalz. That’s more than half a million in just two years alone….not to mention the six previous tournaments! I am forever, completely in awe of what they do and by the support that others give to them. Those who give gather. These people could move mountains.


Do You Have Kids Who Want to Play Hockey?

Cape Ann Youth Hockey’s Developmental programs are starting soon.  Your young skater can join either Learn-to-Skate or the Cross Ice beginning hockey program.

Check out all details on the flyer below or click HERE to read more

On a personal note, I can’t say enough about the skills, friendships, lessons, and love of hockey my two boys have learned throughout their years in Cape Ann Youth Hockey.

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Nichole’s Picks 9/7 + 9/8

I got more than a little lazy with my weekend picks over the summer….mostly because either there was something super obvious to do…or because days were best spent enjoying beaching, boating, and relaxing.   School is back in session and weekend “picks” are back as well.

Pick #1:  Beverly HarborFest

September 7th from 3:00-6:00 and FREE for all! 

“Great party on the waterfront with live music, great food, craft beers from local breweries, and fun activities for all! Saturday September 7, 3-6 pm at Glover Wharf near the Beverly-Salem bridge. See you there!”

Share #beverlyharborfest2019 with all of your friends and ask them to share!



Pick #2: Middleton Food Truck Festival

Saturday, September 7th from 11:00-3:00 at the Middleton Golf Course on Route 114

SAVE THE DATE for The Town of Middleton’s 2nd annual Food Truck Festival! Food Trucks, Live Music, Family Fun Zone all on 114 Middleton at the Middleton Golf Course! All are welcome entry is FREE. This Event is to raise money for the Middleton Food Pantry. Brought to you by your local businesses: TrueView Financial & Vinum Wine Shop.
This Years Sponsors: The Goddard School-Middleton and Body Ambitions Fitness in Middleton.

READ MORE on their Facebook page HERE


Pick #3: Ipswich Ale Harvest Festival

Saturday, September 7th from 12:00-6:00

FREE ADMISSION @ The Spencer Peirce Little Farm in Newbury


“Bring the family and the dog and join Ipswich Ale for their annual Harvest Fest at the historic Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm!

Free admission! No tickets necessary. This is one of their favorite and biggest events of the year – come have a pint with them!

Enjoy live music all day by Bliss, Jambalaya Horns, and the Orville Giddings Band! Grab a beer off one of their tapmobiles, and food from Slim’s BBQ, Kelly’s Roast BeefCopperDome CrustThe Whoo(pie) Wagon, and Sisters of Anarchy Ice Cream! And bring your camping chairs and picnic blanket and watch a game of vintage baseball – played with 1860’s rules. They’ll have a bouncy house, face painters, and lawn games for the kids. Oh, and don’t forget the adorable farm animals!

Sweet Paws Rescue will be on-site with adoptable dogs all day. Learn how to adopt here:”


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



When Lightning Strikes

We drove down a long and narrow dirt road to get to Lake Tashmoo Beach near Vineyard Haven on Monday night so that Finn and my nephew could fish while my mom, sister, and I enjoyed some drinks and a picnic on the beach for the sunset.   The sky was overcast…but it still did not disappoint.   Both boys are in their element while casting no matter what the conditions.   As they walked out onto the jetty, the skies changed and the lighting started to strike.  They were in no rush to leave… but we made them anyway.


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Bluefin Blowout Apparel and Swag Available Online Now

Did you miss out on the opportunity to purchase some awesome Bluefin Blowout merchandise at the tournament this year?   Well, good news!  Much of the apparel and swag is now available, for a limited time, online.

Get your Bluefin Blowout Merchandise HERE


Mola Mola

These are definitely the strangest fish going.   I remember seeing my first sunfish years ago and I thought it was a fish that had been cut in half by a shark or something.  As nuts as it sounds, they actually have funny little personalities.  This one came right up to us…quickly I might add.  They’re pretty fast when they want to be.





Bruins Academy! Registration Ends Today!

If you have a child who is interested in starting hockey this opportunity is NOT TO BE MISSED!

Registration ends today!!!

The Boston Bruins are excited to continue and grow the Bruins Academy Learn to Play presented by Pure Hockey (previously called “Little Bruins”) to help aspiring, youth hockey players develop their skills. Last season, the program expanded to over 80 locations across New England with over 5,000 participants. The program was available to both girls and boys and the registration fee included a full set of CCM equipment to keep valued at $500 retail, which included skates, a professional personalized fitting, and four weeks of on-ice instruction led by certified coaches. The Boston Bruins are thrilled to share their passion for hockey with the next generation of hockey players.* Last year, $2,500,000 (retail value) worth of equipment was donated through the program. *

All participants must be born between 2010-2014.

Please register today if you are interested in this amazing opportuinty.  Get a complete set of gear and four on-ice sessions for only $140!

Click here to learn more and register:

If your child is already playing hockey, please help us spread the word.  We have several open spots and children from any community are welcome to participate.