Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New in 2009....Blue Shutters on Facebook

Our last posting came just as the holidays were beginning, and as we write this post, we're a few hours from New Year's Eve. The 2008 holidays were a fun time at the Shutters. We had a great turnout for our tree-trimming, and guests throughout the month enjoyed all the festive decorations. Loads of old friends came north to Rockport and Gloucester on December 20 for our annual Christmas on Cape Ann night out. Last week we had two couples visiting us -- including new friends from Houston, Greg and Brooke. And tonite, we have a full house of family and friends here to celebrate New Year's Eve.

There's something new in 2009 -- another way for you to see what's happening at the Shutters and share your memories. We've just launched a Blue Shutters Facebook page. Check it out -- and feel free to leave photos and messages.

Happy New Year

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ringing in the Holidays at the Blue Shutters

The last time we published a post to our online diary, we were still enjoying the warm summer days of late August. Today is Thanksgiving Day, and while it's not summery, the weather is mild -- there have been dozens of surfers and even more dog-walkers on Good Harbor Beach. It has been a fun and busy fall, with lots of new and old guests. And when things began to quiet down, we threw a party -- a "Brews and Blues" weekend in October.

We're planning another event -- this to ring in the holiday season on Cape Ann. The holidays are a special time here, with activities across Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-sea and Essex. Check out this link to the Cape Ann Chamber website for more info.

And keep in mind that the Blue Shutters is a great jumping-off point for this holiday fun. The event we're planning to kick off the season is our second annual Blue Shutters tree-trimming party.

You're invited to join us on Saturday December 6 from 2pm to 7pm as we decorate the tree, enjoy holiday goodies and share some Christmas cheer. If you can't make it then, come anytime during the holidays -- stop in for a visit or stay for a day or two. We are sure you will leave filled with the holiday spirit.

Stay tuned for news on future events -- we're planning wine-tasting, food-tastings and, in the late spring, another outdoor concert.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays from all of us at the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cape Ann Dining -- The View from Montreal

Since the Blue Shutters Beachside is in Gloucester, we tend to focus on the beaches, restaurants, shops and happenings here in this community. But we're finding there are some great spots just down the road in Rockport -- places like Halibut Point State Park, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of Cape Ann; the art galleries and shops on Bearskin Neck; and the many fine restaurants that you'll find around town. It was the restaurant reviews from a couple that stayed here this week that reminded us of the great food choices in Rockport. They gave the Blacksmith's Shop in Rockport very high marks, and they also liked Brackets, which is also in town. This particular couple -- visiting for a week from Montreal -- were among the most interesting "foodies" we've met here, and they added notes on these Rockport restaurants and others spots to our "guest restaurant reviews" notebook in the main room. Their very favoriate was a place here in Gloucester -- the Causeway, reknown for their generous portions (including a piece of haddock "the size of a brick") of very well-prepared seafood and Italian dishes. They also called out Duckworth's Bistrot, generally regarded as the nicest high-end spot in the area. Whether Gloucester or Rockport, you'll bound to find a favorite while you're here -- and we think the reviews of folks like Mireille and Michel from Montreal will help you with your choices.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bat-hunting and Other Blue Shutters Memoirs

We've often said that we could write a book based on all of our experiences here at the Blue Shutters -- and some day we may (when we're not so busy being with our guests). In the meantime, we can use this beachblog to share some of our stories -- and here are two from this weekend. First involved two young men who are staying here while their family is visiting relatives in the area. On Saturday night, they pulled up to the piano in our main room and treated all to some spectular music and song.

The other story took shape late Sunday night, after Ed and I slipped away for a walk on the beach. On the way back, we passed a neighbor's house, and she frantically called for us. Turns out a bat was loose in her living room. We sprung into action, equipped with a towel, a fly-swatter and a kitchen broom. For the first 30 minutes the bat stayed hidden -- despite our efforts to flush him out by banging curtains and furniture. Finally, the creature appeared, swooping close to our heads -- and finally within range of the kitchen broom and towel. Once captured, we brought the bat outside and bid farewell to a very thankful neighbor.

Impromptu musical performances and late night bat-hunting -- two more stories that will someday be chronicled in our Blue Shutters memoirs.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Some Tales of the Blue Shutters and Gloucester

We've learned some interesting facts about the Blue Shutters and Good Harbor Beach in recent weeks, and we thought we'd share these with you. According to one of our guests, a long-time Gloucester native, the Hindenburg blimp once flew over the Blue Shutters, back in the 30's. Another guest told us that actress Bette Davis spent her honeymoon here. And we've always heard that the consulate from Siam once made this his official residence. I just finished a great book about Gloucester, The Last Fish Tale, and among it's many stories it talks of a 1919 silent movie that had a scene on Salt Island, which is just off the beach and visible from the Shutters. The producers built a medival castle on the island and blew it up as part of the film. Speaking of that book, I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in Gloucester. It's an entertaining and informative look at this community and the history (and future) of the fishing industry. It tells of the explorers, artists, writers and other famous folks who have who lived here -- for example, did you know that the frozen vegetable innovator Clarence Birdseye once set up shop here and came up with the process to freeze fish? And that Cape Ann was named after King Charles' mother (a guest recently asked about the origins of the region's name -- and thanks to this book, I had the answer). And that Thatcher Island, home to the twin lighthouses just off Good Harbor Beach, was named after a family that lost all its children in a shipwreck. You'll find these and other tales of Gloucester in this book. If you have other stories to tell, please let us know.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Catching Up: The Summer So Far

It's hard to believe it's been three months since our last post -- we'll try to do a better job going forward. In order to catch up, we'll touch on a few Blue Shutters highlights from May, June and July. We've had a number of international visitors -- from England, Wales, Holland, Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, France and South Africa to name just a few countries. The most interesting global combination -- a couple from Norway befriending a graduate student from Vietnam. We've seen a lot of old friends back for return visits -- Lee and Dick from New Jersey, Eric and family from Western Massachusetts, Mike from Connecticut (one of our first guests way back in 2007. We've welcomed many new friends -- Ann Marie's cousin Sue, Tony's friends from Houston, Sue and Joe from Ohio, and high school pals from Stoneham. We've begun collecting restaurant reviews, including one guest's survey of Gloucester's best chowder (the winner....The Studio on Rocky Neck). We also added a new screen house (last year's blew away one very winding evening), we planted more flowers in the beds around the yard, and we installed a ring toss game that's sure to get you "hooked". But our best addition: our new chambermaids -- Tina (Tony and Patty's daughter, spending the summer here before heading to SF) and Vicki (who'll be returning to college in Washington DC this fall). The summer has been filled with great beach days, beautiful mornings and relaxing evenings -- and one particularly action-packed July 4th weekend. There's clearly much more to cover -- but this will need to wait for "part 2". Stay tuned -- there's a lot of summer left.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bring Your Bike and Take a Spin at the Shutters

We just wrapped up a busy weekend at the Blue Shutters, with guests from all corners of the globe -- from Iowa to the Canada, from the UK to NY state. Our friends from England brought their bikes and surfboards, and used both during their stay. While we haven't tried surfing, we know first-hand how great biking is here on Cape Ann. You'll find the Blue Shutters mentioned on bike routes -- and the Cape Ann area was just spotlighted in a feature on the best places to bike in New England. Check it out -- and be sure to bring your bicycle during your next trip to the Shutters. And if you're an enthusiast and you haven't booked a stay, now you have even more reason to come visit.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

A Blue Shutters Birthday -- #119!

Most guests of Blue Shutters Beachside have had an opportunity to meet a very special member of our family -- the official Blue Shutters mascot, Gizmo. Our friendly Shihtzu-Poodle mix loves to visit the inn -- and when she's here Gizmo is quick to welcome guests. Today is a big day for Gizmo -- it's her 17th birthday (that's 119 in dog years if you're counting). She's looking forward to the summer --when she expects to take more walks on the beach, meet old friends and greet newcomers to the Blue Shutters Beachside.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Blue Shutters/Hawaii Connection

It has been awhile since the last entry to our online diary, and there are a few reasons for this. We've been busy with some early spring cleaning -- and we've been on the road ourselves. As much as we love Cape Ann, Good Harbor Beach and the Blue Shutters Beachside, we do try to find some time to see other parts of the world. For Ann Marie and Ed, this included a trip up north to the ski resorts of New Hampshire. And for Patty and Anthony, the trek was all the way out to Hawaii for a special celebration of our anniversary (a belated 25th) and our son's graduation (from UMass Amherst). This trip brought our some Shutters-related thoughts. While we had a fantastic time with our kids Tina and Michael (partying in Waikiki, relaxing on Oahu's beautiful North Shore), Patty commented that she wasn't as impressed as she thought she'd be with Hawaii's beaches and waves -- and I think I know why. For those of us who spend so much time at the Shutters, overlooking what is arguably one of the best beaches in the world, the Hawaiian oceanfront reminded us of Cape Ann and Good Harbor Beach. The North Shore of Oahu was similar in many ways to our own North Shore -- the waves, the beautiful beaches, the busy harbors, a unique history and culture. And Waikiki is just 45 minutes from the Oahu's North Shore -- just about same distance the Blue Shutters is from downtown Boston (Waikiki and Boston have many of the same traffic jams too). If you're lucky enough to get to Hawaii, keep this in mind -- but of course, remember that there's a great time to be had a lot closer to home, at the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Romantic Valentine's Week Special at the Blue Shutters

Tt has been awhile since our last update -- what with the holidays and a lot of off-season housekeeping it has been a busy few weeks. Things have settled down, and we're now looking forward to the next big holiday -- St. Valentine's Day.

If you’re looking for someplace special to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn is just the place. It’s all here -- including quiet walks on the beach, dinner at one of our many great restaurants, and a bottle of champagne in a cozy room with spectacular view of Good Harbor.

Cape Ann is beautiful all year long and this is especially true around Valentine’s Day. The shops, art galleries and restaurants are gearing up for this special time –and so is the Blue Shutters.

To add to the romance, we’re offering our guests complementary champagne and chocolates – in addition to a guide to some of our favorite spots for drinks, dining, shopping and entertainment. The Cape Ann chamber site is always a good place to start for local happenings -- as for restaurants, one of our new favorites is Latitude 43. This just opened a few weeks ago, and we've already sampled their very cool main dining area, their friendly pub and one of the best sushi bars we've ever tried.

Back to our Valentine’s special -- this year, Valentine's Day is on Thursday, February 14, but we’re offering our special package from Wednesday through Saturday that week. Come for one night, two nights or longer and enjoy this beautiful spot with someone you love.

Visit, call or email us for information on availability and rates.