12 August, 2007

It was a beautiful, sunny day here on Saturday, and Vania and I headed out to do some more exploring around the Massachusetts area. Last time she was here, we went south to Cape Cod (Cape Cod is to Massachusetts as trunk is to elephant), and that was pretty cool. This time, we headed north up the coast to check out Rockport and Newburyport.

Rockport was a busy busy place. Apparently our visit coincided with the annual Lobster Festival, but I gather that the town is always pretty hopping on summer weekends. We found a spot to park and then walked around the town. The town was and still is a fishing town, with a harbour full of lobster boats, and a bunch of wooden houses crowded around it. The houses were all of that elaborate New England still, with lots of funny dormers and gables and turrets, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if many of them were over a hundred years old. One had a plaque on it stating that a former owner had fought at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The harbour/downtown area was where it was really interesting. There were lots of little shops selling artwork, ice cream, tourist crap, handmade glassware, and even Helmut’s Austrian Strudel Shop. Vania had an apple strudel, she says it was ok. Overall it made a colourful, interesting place to stroll around.

After a few hours there, we moved on to Newburyport. This was a much bigger town, and a real contrast from the architecture in Rockport. The downtown was all made up of sturdy, square brick buildings. One could easily imagine the early colonists earnestly engaged in piling up these solid structures, firmly setting the foundations for a town and future city. We strolled around there too, checking out a bookshop and then going for supper at the Grog. How could I pass up a place called Grog? What a cool place. It was pretty busy, so they seated us upstairs in the bar, where we sat at a little table in big leather armchairs. I seriously dug it. For dinner, I had the prawns and scallops in lemon butter sauce with spinach ravioli (omfg it was good), and Vania had the lobster ravioli with artichokes. I think I would be willing to drive all the way to Newburyport again, just to eat there.

All in all it was a fine day, and I didn’t get sunburn on my head.


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