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