Well, I have to say that Massachusetts as a whole has become one of our favorite states. We have been enamored with it from the moment we set foot on the shore. Maybe even before. I’ll start with Gloucester because we were there on several occasions. First off, I need to give you a short lecture in diction. This will probably hurt your head.
Gloucester is pronounced Gloss-ter. I cannot explain this. I’m very sorry. I blame the British. If you happen to be from Gloucester, then it’s pronounced Gloss-tah. In fact, anything that ends in “-er” is pronounced “ah.” Lobstah. Cowdah. And so on. So there you go. Now you know how to fit in.
The tender ride into the port in Gloucester is loooooong. If the water is calm, it’s easily a half an hour or more. If it’s choppy, forget it. You’re giving up a good part of your day just getting back and forth. Luckily, most of our days in were nice and clear.
The first day in Gloucester we met a bunch of friends at the port and walked down to Cape Ann Brewing Company to try out the famed Fisherman’s Ale. Ron and I shared a sampler flight of 6 of their beers. There were so many to choose from. We really, really liked all of them and I think it was tough to choose a favorite for Ron. I’ll always choose an IPA if its available so finding my favorite was easy. But I also really liked their Imperial Pumpkin Stout, though a little went a long way for me. This was probably one of our favorite beer tasting experiences ever and definitely our favorite of this contract. The atmosphere was also part of the experience. The brewery also had a restaurant and a huge outdoor patio overlooking the water. The main room was filled with casual wooden picnic benches and every seat both inside and out was full with a laid back crowd. Such a nice time!
On the way back we stopped to check out the local Fish Box Derby which is Gloucester’s version of a Soap Box Derby. Two kids at a time whizzed down the hill in front of the Gorton’s Headquarters (you're singing the theme song in your head now, right?) in homemade derby cars all painted and decorated creatively. The street was lined with hay bales and the locals lined the entire length of the street. It was so fun! Having grown up in Southern California, Ron and I never experienced that kind of small town activity so we always get really excited to see that kind of community fun.
On another day in Gloucester, we walked up and down Main Street to see all of the shops and restaurants. We spent some time in a kitchy little coffee shop to catch up on some WiFi time and then stopped to split a deli sandwich from Virgilio's Italian Bakery which is rumored to have some of the best subs around. It was pretty good and I’m glad we tried it, but it wasn’t anything special. One of my favorite sub sandwiches of all time is still anything from D.W.’s Subs on Kellogg Dr. in Anaheim, CA. I’m probably a little bit biased because it was one of the only places we could walk to from my high school, but dang I love those things! Anyone I’ve ever introduced to the place seems to agree with me though, so I know it can’t all be in my head. But I digress, a sandwich that was not made on the ship is always a good sandwich, so we walked away happy. Later we decided to head down to the Fisherman’s Memorial which is the statue of the fisherman that is featured in the beginning of the George Clooney movie, The Perfect Storm.
Gloucester is one of those places that made me feel a sense of home from the very first time we visited. I loved just walking down the streets, even in the residential or fishing areas just to check things out and absorb the feeling of the place. It’s a really great, quaint fishing town with plenty of character. There’s not so much to do that it attracts throngs of tourists, but enough to do, so even after four visits, we never got bored. Something about it is just nice. I can’t wait to go back…one day.