Weekend in New England: Three States in Three Days… Literally Part 1

Trust me folks, last weekend was a much needed battery recharge, with the Viking in tow. (ostensibly it was his birthday present -but we both needed some time off)  Truthfully, I’ve felt much like Lily Von Stupp – The Teutonic Tit-willow of “Blazing Saddles” infamy.  (“Let’s face it, I’m Tired!”).  So off to Gloucester we went on Friday morning, leaving Chaos and Mayhem in charge of the dogs – and the house.  It wasn’t the best weekend weather wise. Overcast both days, which made setting my shutter speed on the Canon a bit tricky.  Many of my shots were way too dark and I just couldn’t seem to get it dialed in correctly.  Le Photoshoppe to Le Rescue!

We stayed at the Cape Ann Marina Resort – which is right on The Cut (Annisquam River) and the rooms look directly out to the drawbridge over Stacy Blvd and Gloucester Harbor.

Misty Mooring. View from our Balcony, sans telephoto lens

I’ve been visiting Gloucester for years and never realized that the Harbor actually faces south, not east.

Drawbridge Up! View towards the Harbor, with Telephoto Lens.

Captain Meacham,  my whaling ancestor from Enfield CT – I betcha didn’t know that was a whaling port at one time didja?  – would be horrified at my complete lack of navigation skills.  We made good time to Cape Ann – just under 2 hours – and we were able to check in  early.  This gave us plenty of time to drive around, park, and meander along the Harbor Walk – which is primarily on Rogers Street.

Pier Pilings at mid-tide. Harborside, on the Harbor Walk Rogers Street

We ate a late light lunch at The Gloucester House.  Excellent service and very, very good food.  I noticed things have changed since my last visit a few years ago.  Restaurants have closed and reopened under new names and management. But the backbone of Gloucester – the fishing industry – appears to be doing OK.

5 o’Clock Rush – on the water. Gloucester Harbor,

“Home is the Sailor” – color version

The Viking, generously carrying my camera case. The Crows Nest is in the background. We had a blast – and several drinks with the crowd inside. MUCH FUN!

The Crows Nest

Inside The Crow’s Nest. Tourists get the front and side seats at the bar. Locals populate the back of the bar and the tables in front. EVERYONE in the bar was WICKED NICE – drink prices very reasonable. The pictures on the back wall are Perfect Storm – related. The big one is the F/V Andrea Gail and the other pics are fishermen and women (like Linda Greenlaw) that were involved in the events of October 1991.

One of the many souvenir shops on the Harbor Walk.

Tourism is fast becoming a major player in the town’s economy.  However, it still retains most if not all of its rough edges. Which is part of its appeal, if you ask me.  Its a blue collar town without doubt.  Folks work hard and play hard.  They’re friendlier than the traditional Yankee reputation would lead one to believe, though.  We chatted for some time with a local WWII veteran named John  while we were at The Crow’s Nest. He’s 86. Drafted right out of High School into the Air Force – and actually flew out of Barnes Airfield when he went overseas – so he knew where Westfield is.  We ran into him again the next day when we made a Dunkin Run before heading up to Maine.  A lovely old gentleman, for sure. Proud to talk about his service to our country – and we were glad to listen.  Frankly, the Greatest Generation is leaving us – so now is the time to listen to their stories – and remember their sacrifices.  Rant concluded, thank you.

Anyway, we returned to the Marina Resort and relaxed for a bit.  Had dinner at the Mile Marker 1 Restaurant which is at the Resort – and new since the last time I was there. We had lovely outdoor seating dockside, and the weather cleared up in time for a beautiful sunset.  The food wasn’t quite so spectacular, but at least it was reasonably priced, and the server was very friendly and outgoing.  We spent the rest of the evening watching the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.  I was reminded much of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.  Spectacular.  Left for Saco Maine on Saturday morning for the Vikings Great Aunt June’s 86th Birthday Party.  We never did get to go on the Whale Watch – the Viking said he wanted to spend more time visiting with his family.  So we did.  More about our weekend in Part 2 of Three States in Three Days. (posting tomorrow, I think)  Same Bat Channel, stay tuned!

Photo Essay: Water

I’ve always had a fascination with and for water. I gave my mother numerous heart attacks when I was little when we went to the lake or the beach because I had absolutely no fear of it – and still don’t. These are some of my favorite pictures. Enjoy!