Camping At the Beach~

We love to spend time family camping so early this week we spent a night on site 27 at Winter Island,  the coveted first spot right next to the beach! It was wonderful to fall asleep on Sunday night listening to the waves roll in a few feet away. I think that this family was meant to live on the water. We love it so much! Here are a few of my favorite Winter Island photos. Needless to say, we had a good time!

IMG_2191 the view from our campsite…

IMG_2222the Winter Island lighthouse

IMG_2234What is this cool pole called? Maybe a peace pole?

IMG_2236The now hidden lagoon, it used to be part of a moat around the fort.

IMG_2243Looking north toward Beverly…

IMG_2250How the lifeguard chair is used after hours…

IMG_2251This kid is too much.

IMG_2256Seriously, he just cracks me up!

IMG_2262The sunset reflection, looking north.

IMG_2264and south, with the moon rising.

DSC02808The boys heading to the beach.
DSC02819One of our friend Casey’s creations. Still used and loved all the time, if you happen to see this Casey 😉 .

DSC02902Boats in the moonlight… one of my favorite things to do at Winter Island is to watch the boats come into the harbor at night. It’s so peaceful and quiet.

DSC02912Early morning fog at low tide…

DSC02918Playing on the beach in PJ’s is the best!

Camping is also the best (next to gardening 😉  )

Enjoy everything!

Michele

Monday Morning In Marblehead

Here’s a little gallery of photos that I took yesterday while on a quick trip to Marblehead with my Mom and Mother-in-law. Marblehead is only a few miles away but it feels like a different world.  I love these little right around the corner vacations! Click on any photo to enlarge and view as a slideshow. Enjoy!

Scooter Walking By The Ocean

This walkway on the ocean is just a mile away from here, on the border of the city of Lynn and the town of Swampscott.  It’s a great place to get out and take a good walk. We’ve been enjoying it lately as it’s one of the few places thats cleared to walk with so much snow on the sidewalks and roads. It’s also a nice place for my kids to ride scooters and bikes. The roadway to the side is busy, but far enough away that we all feel quite safe. I’m not sure that the other walkers feel quite safe but the kids try their best to be considerate.

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My little guy edited these photos. He loves to play with iphoto. It’s fun to see what he comes up with.IMG_0667

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There’s the Boston skyline in the background, and a touch of “antique” in the editing process. The city is really a little bit further away than it looks. There must be a photographic term for when the distant background advances forward in a photo?  Anyone know?IMG_0679

Looking over at the small town of Nahant. Nahant is an island that is connected to the mainland by a very thin causeway. See the plane landing at Logan in the background?IMG_0680

And turning around, looking back at Swampscott…IMG_0684 I love a brisk walk in cool ocean air!

Enjoy everything!

Michele

This Morning’s View, While Weeding

I donated some weeding time to our church auction a few months ago.  This morning was weeding day for the kind friends who purchased my services.  I love to weed! It’s relaxing and I love seeing an area of the garden pop out and shine. I enjoyed it even more than usual today because this was my view:

Peace and tranquility at it’s best!

and a nice finished product at the end!

Well, almost finished, I made a few more passes over this before I was done.

Enjoy everything today!

Love,  Michele

Awesome Camping, Right Here in Salem!

I love camping! This week I decided to pack the kids up and head down to Winter Island for a few days.  Winter Island is a city park that is an island (connected by a causeway) right on the ocean.  It has a few amenities like a very rustic bathhouse and a camp store but it’s really all about the beach, the water and a little bit of history.

We’ve been going to the beach there for twenty five years but had never family camped. I was amazed that I could be so “on vacation” this close to home.

Our campsite was wooded and spacious.

And  the  views are spectacular!

This is looking in toward Derby Wharf and the city.

The island was historically a fort and more recently a coast guard base.

Here’s a post about it’s history that was written by  Salem blogger Beth Melillo a few weeks ago:

http://connectshore.com/2012/07/03/winter-island-a-personal-and-public-history/

There’s always something interesting to ponder.

Was this building used to store munitions or was it used for holding prisoners?

We really need to research that and figure it out.

Here’s the old sea plane hanger…

and a view from the back with one of the Salem Community Gardens sites in the foreground.

There’s the old barracks. I’d love to see this building restored and used again.

My kids have grown up playing at the playground.We used to go down for an hour before lunch and nap time when they were little.

There are flowers blooming all over the island.

One of the former caretakers loved to plant things and his handiwork is everywhere!

Casey’s gardens make me feel right at home.

The kids spent lots and lots of time exploring the tide pools…

Here’s a close up of some star fish that they found.

My little guy spends hours out there.

We did have to watch out for the critters that came out at night.

There were ground hogs and wharf rats. One night a skunk wandered right through our site as I was tucking the kids in.

We knew it was time to head home very early yesterday morning when Michael caught a raccoon pulling a bag of marshmallows through this hole that he (the raccoon) had chewed in our tent!

A little duct tape to repair the hole is nothing compared to wonderful family time and views like this!

Whether you spend a few hours or a few days, Winter Island is a perfect place to relax and get away!

What a Rainy Monday!

We are in the middle of a Nor’easter here this morning. For those who don’t live in New England, A Nor’easter is a storm that comes in off of the ocean from the northeast. Nor’easters often bring damage to homes, roads and of course, gardens. Salem is under a flood warning today as the tide is expected to be unusually high. Many of our roads here flood when this happens because water going out to the ocean through the storm drains backs up and has no place to go. There can also be damage to homes on the water when the ocean gets higher and closer than we’d like it to. Let’s hope and pray that everyone is okay and the beautiful homes on the coast and in town don’t sustain too much damage.

I’m a little bit of a  planner so here’s an overview of what  may happen this week at the The Salem Garden if all goes well. Of course we  know that in a household with this many people anything could happen but we’ll hope for the best!

Some of my  kids and I will be planting something together… look familiar? I’m excited about this project!

I hope to show you something else about Salem. It won’t be the Friendship because the ship is away for repairs.  She should be back very soon and we’ll be visiting then.

Things are growing in the garden! We’ll be sure to take a look.

I think we’ll be visiting our chickens too. Here’s one of our babies about eight weeks ago. Just like my human babies, they grow so quickly!

Sounds busy!  Let’s get going!  A little rain is nothing!

Salem 101: Where are We? On the Ocean!

I’m always surprised when friends and family really don’t know where Salem, Massachusetts is located. They often think that it’s in the western part of the state or in Boston or New Hampshire (there is a Salem in New Hampshire about an hour away).. We are actually about fifteen miles north of Boston, right on the coast. It’s a very convenient location. We can be in the city (we call Boston the city here) in about forty minutes, less in good traffic. The mountains of New Hampshire are two hours north, and Cape Cod is the same distance to the south. And we have the ocean and all that it offers. 

 

 

We love to  sit and watch the boats

Or relax on the rocks at Waikiki Beach, one of our favorite things to do! Here’s my little guy a few years ago

and more recently, he’s gets bigger and more adventurous all the time!

There are tide pools to explore!

We even have a polar bear plunge on New Years Day! (that’s snow on the beach in the background)

Salem is all about the ocean and the views here are beautiful, all year round!

There are several cities and towns called “Salem” in the United States, but this one is truly unique!

Enjoy your day!  Thanks for stopping by!  Michele