A Fall Trip to Cape Ann

Do you ever just need to hear the ocean? I do. Having been raised in Mississippi, the Gulf Coast and its ocean-like waves and breezes were never very far away. Living in Upstate New York on a farm feels pretty land-locked. Last year I NEEDED to hear the ocean. Needed to, I tell you.

It was my turn to plan our anniversary trip. Ocean waves were a priority… preferably within hearing distance from the hotel with the window open. After much research we packed our bags, made sure kids, dogs, cats, horses, rabbit and everyone else was all set and headed East. While traveling across I-90 towards Albany I informed Farmboy that we had important dinner reservations that evening outside of Boston… step on the pedal, Gretel!!  He freaked out because of course we left later than we planned- not uncommon.

Luckily, we found a lovely historical grain mill erected by Thomas Edison on the way wherein we changed into our dinner clothes and later pulled up just in time for our reservations at Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA. Having watched Top Chef Masters last season, it was fun to eat at Ming Tsia’s restaurant!

Our final destination was still a surprise for Farmboy. We drove an hour or so northeast… until the land was nearly gone. Only crashing waves were visible in the cast light of the streetlights.

Bass Rocks Ocean Inn. I highly recommend it- more family oriented than romantic getaway. We hope to take the kids back there one day. The propritores were delightful. Helpful. Kind and funny. Our room was basic… what can I say… after my stay at Hotel le Germain in Toronto I am positively ruined for most normal travel. Nevertheless, with the windows open I COULD hear the waves and it felt like we were on the edge of MY known world.

Breakfast in the Inn was included and substantial. Farmboy was delighted at our location and we left to find our adventures for the day. I read online about Babson’s Boulders… created in an old abandoned settlement called Dog Town. It was rather bizarre but a nice hike, good exercise and pretty foliage even though there was a good possibility of getting lost out in the middle of nowhere. What are adventures for!?

There was a Fall festival in Rockport and we had a great time listening to a band that we had never heard: Brad Byrd. Saw some amazing artwork in the local galleries and  just had a good time shopping, looking, taking it all in and being in the present.

That evening we went to a small beach up the road from the hotel called Good Harbor Beach (pictured below). A beautiful beach protected by a little cove. Can’t wait to play with the kids there one day.

We ended the evening at a small restaurant in Gloucester- The Franklin Cafe, that we found on TripAdvisor or Yelp. Oh my goodness. One of the best meals we’ve ever had… who knew?! Dare I say that it was better than our meal at the acclaimed chef’s fancy restaurant?? I do dare!!!

So the next morning our hostesses at the Inn encouraged us to take the Captain Bill’s Whale Watching expedition out of Gloucester Harbor. Now, mind you… earlier in the year I had been working on some new designs for the Bar Harbor Whale Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. I studied and learned all about whale flukes, markings, various species to come up with the following designs. One of the reasons I love being an artist… I always get to be a student through research.

Imagine my delight at the idea of going whale watching!? Have I ever told you about my fear of open water? That being said… Farmboy and I are all about making memories and new experiences. So we did it! Really… it is amazing- their size, their grace. I was afraid that we wouldn’t find them. But we did and it was truly unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

Distant view of Boston skyline.

A spray/blow sighting.

A female and her calf.

A memorable trip for sure.

For more information on Cape Ann, Bass Rocks Ocean Inn and Captain Bill’s Whale Watching please click on their names for their individual websites. Happy Whale Watching!





Rockport Harvest Festival & Brad Byrd

While Farmboy and I were on our annual Anniversary (17yrs!) Trip through New England last weekend… we came across a great Indie band playing the Rockport Harvest Festival in Rockport, MA. Brad Byrd: check them out at here.

It was cold and blustery but a cup of joe and their music was a great way to take in the day! Enjoy and have a Fab Friday!


Hi, I’m Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed art for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, two children and a small petting zoo of other family members. #shapeyoursweetestlife



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