Rob Diebboll's Studio

An email arrived late last week from a mutual friend of ours, Rob Diebboll, who happens to be a lovely local artist. Rob recently moved his studio to the quaint seaside town of Rockport and invited us to stop by during the town’s Motif #1 Days festival. I’m not only a fan of Rob’s work but also the very proud owner of one of his original oil paintings. I absolutely count Labor Day among some my favorite possessions. This serene canvas is right up there with my pink KitchenAid, my MacBook, and Watson on the list of things that MUST be saved should the apartment burst into flames.

Rob Diebboll Studio
CK and I began our Rockport adventure by parking in the Blue Gate Meadow Park ‘n Ride. Then we were whisked away in true “style” to the downtown area in a quaint trolley. I wonder if being brought to the office in a vehicle that looks like this would increase the general work population’s overall mood in a significantly positive way? Perhaps someone should look into that? Needless to say I couldn’t get The Trolley Song from Meet Me in St. Louis out of my head:

Clang, clang, clang
went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding
went the bell
Zing, zing, zing
went my heartstrings
As we started
for Huntington dell

Clang, Clang, Clang Went the Trolley

As you can see from these images it was not a bright or sunshiny day by any stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately, when we left our apartment in Cambridge it was a lovely warm day and both CK and I were wearing short sleeves and neglected to bring our coats. Being from Maine I should absolutely know better than to do such a thing and boy did we pay for it all day. It was so cold and there were all of these shops selling Rockport sweatshirts but I just couldn’t bring myself to spend $30 on a hideous neon green monstrosity. So I sucked it up and stayed inside as many non-souvenir selling shops as I could.

James Russell Goldsmiths
The first store that I truly enjoyed was James Russell Goldsmiths. There were so many lovely pieces in this boutique that it was difficult to narrow down my selection but eventually I fell in love with a pair of silver and pearl earrings that momentarily made me forget that my teeth were chattering. Unfortunately they don’t have a website but if you’re ever in the area I highly recommend stopping by.

James Russell Goldsmiths
I wish the sun had made even a small appearance during our visit because there were many wonderful photo opportunities that were just completely underwhelmed because of the clouds and fog. You could barely see 20 feet out into the ocean. I would hate to have had to attempt to navigate any sort of ship on a day like that. Even so we still found a number of lovely nautical items to shoot including this colorful array of buoys.

Rockport Rainbow of Buoys

Of course what seaside town would be complete without a candy shop that offered the full menu of homemade fudge and salt water taffy?

The Fudgery
Unfortunately I actually wasn’t a very big fan of the fudge when I finally tried my selections at home (I’m sorry…my heart lies with my grandmother’s recipe) but it sure did look impressive watching the proprietor whip up batch after batch of the gooey stuff.

Making Fudge at The Fudgery

They even sold Elephant Ear pastries as big as your head. This is something I’ve personally never seen offered before in New England seaside towns so I thought it was a bit odd but cute nonetheless.

Elephant Ears at The Fudgery
And what child, or grown-up for that matter could ever resist such a colorful table full of candy sticks? Candy sticks always make me think of the Little House books and when Mr. Edwards brought Mary and Laura peppermint sticks for Christmas in a bag that he carried on his head through a great flood… or something like that. I’m a little rusty on my Laura Ingalls Wilder.

An Array of Candy Sticks at The Fudgery

For reasons unbeknownst to me there was a dog parade the day we visited. All over town we ran into adorable fluffy puppies outfitted in clever costumes and acting on their best behavior. This Tea Party dog was my favorite entrant in the parade. He tried so hard to keep that mad tea party on his back but the little cups and saucers kept flying off. It was really pretty hilarious. Poor puppy. We all have to suffer a bit for our “art” now don’t we?

Tea Party Puppy

By now I was absolutely starving and getting some serious hunger induced grumpiness so CK and I decided to grab a bite to eat at a little local coffee shop called the Bean and Leaf Cafe. In an effort to warm ourselves we both ordered steaming hot mugs of Chai Tea Lattes. They were excellent. Just what we needed to clear our frozen heads. Next we each ordered gourmet wraps. CK had the Curried Chicken salad while I had the Caprese.

Bean and Leaf Cafe Rockport, MA

The Caprese was served on a fresh spinach wrap with tomatoes, mozzarella, mesclun greens and a tasty pesto sauce. I was so hungry that if I could have arranged to have my jaw open on a hinge and stuff the entire hearty sandwich inside I would have. I’m glad that I didn’t though because I would have missed out on all of those great flavors.

The wrap was served with a small bag of my favorite local Cape Cod Potato Chips and CK and I split a scrumptious cookie that I believe was some sort of spiced oatmeal, white chocolate, cranberry concoction with a hint of orange. I’m just dying to recreate them at home.

Wraps at Bean & Leaf Cafe

While we were eating in the small sitting area we enjoyed a lovely view of the tide. It was a bit cramped back there but I was completely grateful to have a place to sit down for a few moments after all of our sightseeing.

CK Smiles

After eating our delicious lunch and drinking our warm drinks we were able to end the afternoon with smiles all around before catching the trolley back to the real world.

Erin Smiles

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Grace May 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

The tea party dog is too adorable for words. Glad you had a great day in Rockport!


2 Erin May 18, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Wasn’t he sweet?! I can’t even imagine how often his owners must have to vacuum. It’s sort of a nightmare to even think about it.


3 Alana @ springpad May 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I love rockport! I’m a BU student without access to a car…so I’ve only been once when my parents came to visit back in February. We took a hike, walked to the water, had yummy lunch and checked out all the shops. Such a fun place- I’d love to go back in the summer!


4 meg May 18, 2009 at 8:52 pm

What a fun adventure! I love the picture with the candy sticks!


5 Monica H May 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm

YUM! to it all, the buoys, the fudge, the jewelery your lunch and to you.

You’re so cute.


6 Anna May 18, 2009 at 10:48 pm

What fun!
I love seeing all those traditional handmade sweets. What a lovely trip.


7 Pam May 18, 2009 at 10:51 pm

God, it’s been ages since I’ve been to Rockport, but this reminded me of how much fun it is to visit. I’ll have to make a trip up there soon.


8 Elyse May 18, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Looks like a fabulous trip! I, however, am stuck on the fudgery. Um, I want to go! The idea of having a place called “fudgery” is blowing my mind right now. YUM!


9 Kerstin May 19, 2009 at 12:16 am

What a lovely day! I went to Rockport with my parents last year when they visited and we had a great time too. Fresh lobster at Roy Moore’s is the best!


10 GoodMorningGloucester May 19, 2009 at 8:03 am

Great post. Come back to Cape Ann in a couple weeks when teh weather breaks. The Downtown Gloucester Block Party is worth coming for and of course if you feel like getting a little wild check out the St Peter’s Fiesta the week after-

Info here-
and here-


11 dawn May 19, 2009 at 8:54 am

ut oh fudge and elephant ears? oh heavens girl, that just killed me


12 D J May 19, 2009 at 11:35 am

So pleased to see your post and enjoyable trip to Rockport.
We are pleased to see you utilized the parking lot and the ride on the Trolly.
We are also the last stop on the commuter rail, for those of you without an auto. Bring your bike on the train and the whole Island is at your use.
Next time remember a sweatshirt.

D J at Bearskin Neck Leathers


13 Capehedge May 20, 2009 at 12:13 am

Hi Erin,
We also linked to your post on Great stuff. If you come back to Rockport and Gloucester, here are some suggestions…
(1) Agree with Joey C. – be in Gloucester for St. Peter’s Fiesta
(2) Grab a specialty dog at TopDog (Rockport)
(3) Lobster in the rough with a stuffed clam from Roy Moore’s (Rockport)
(4) St. Joseph’s Sandwich at Virgilios (Gloucester)
(5) Breakfast or brunch at Sugar Magnolias (Gloucester)
(6) and my absolute favorite place to eat – Halibut Point (Gloucester) Italian Fish Chowder and ay entree.

See you again soon.



14 Lindsey May 20, 2009 at 9:22 am

I absolutely love Rockport! When I was younger we would go there for long weekends, and then in college my family would rent a house, right on the water. You hit some of my very favorite places, James Russell is a long time favorite (he also does various craft shows throughout the year), I also happen to love the fudgery. I haven’t been up for about a year, but your post is reminding me I need to go up there soon!


15 Robert Studley May 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Great pictures. What kind of camera did you use? My wife and I were there on the same day and shot 2 rolls of film, but have to wait 2 weeks to get our pics back. We used a Nikon FE-2.


16 Erin May 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Robert – Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I use a Canon EOS 40D camera. I hope the two of you were able to capture some great shots during your trip as well.


17 angela March 10, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Hi! I googled “laura ingalls candies” and here I am!
I am one of the biggest fan of Laura, and I love to cook, I try to bake whatever is in her books, even candies.. a little bit hard! These candies Laura talk about were beautiful, with flowers.. Oh, I wish to see one, even only virtually! And also the shaped like a heart with a poem on 🙂
Please, if you ever see one of them, mail me!!


18 Darleen Gosselin October 8, 2011 at 4:47 am

I am trying to find out the cost of the elephant ears from the Rockport Fudgery. I also would like to have them mailed to me.My husband andI went there a few years ago for our anniversary. They are awesome.


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