Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ugly Sweater Crowd at the Blue Shutters Helps Ring in the New Year

This could be the start of a new Blue Shutters tradition -- the ugly holiday sweater contest. Here are just some of the family and friends who joined in the event this New Year's Eve.

Live Video of the Blue Shutters on New Year's Eve

The Blue Shutters Beachcam is one of our most popular features, with live views of Good Harbor Beach -- but tonight we're offering a new look. Check out the Blue Shutters New Year's Eve Partycam and see how we're celebrating the coming of 2012. You can join in the festivities tomorrow, January 1 -- stop by anytime for a little holiday cheer, and if you're able, why not spend the night and enjoy the first few days of 2012 at one of the most special places on earth!

Come Join a New Year's Day Tradition at Good Harbor Beach

It's a New Year's Day tradition -- we watch from the Blue Shutters as folks flock to Good Harbor for a walk on the beach. We can't blame them -- can't think of a better way to begin the year than a walk on everyone's favorite beach (if you're really brave, you can join some of the Blue Shutters crowd for their annual "plunge" -- here's a shot of the "dippers" and their fans from New Year's Day 2011). Why not give it a try -- at least the walk, if not the plunge -- and if you do, please stop by the Blue Shutters anytime on New Year's Day to say hello (and warm up). Better yet, make plans to spend the first day and night of 2012 with us -- we're full tonight (New Year's Eve) but we have rooms available for the evening of January 1.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

As the Sun Sets on 2011...We Share Some Beautiful Sunset Photos

The sun is about to set on 2011, so we thought we share with you these photos -- sunset shots taken by Marie Pelletier of Salem, whose work we've featured on this blog a number of times. This most recent pair of photos was taken last summer -- but the sunsets are just as beautiful during the winter months. Come see for yourself.

Monday, December 26, 2011

A Holiday Tradition in Rockport and Gloucester

We have a lot of holiday traditions, and one of our favorites is a gathering of family and friends on the last Saturday before Christmas in Rockport -- for some shopping and Christmas caroling -- followed by dinner at the Topside Grill in Gloucester. Each year on this Saturday in December, Rockport hosts a retelling of the Nativity, with townspeople dressed as shepherds, Roman soliders, the three kings and Mary and Joseph. The pagent takes place on the streets of Rockport and ends with the singing of Christmas carols and -- for our crowd -- a visit to Tucks to warm up (and load up on some candy). We then head over to Topside for dinner, where the Silva family -- owners of the restaurant -- save a special spot for our crowd. A big thank you to Doug, Dennis and Dawn Silva...and to all the family and friends who joined the Blue Shutters innkeepers for this evening. Maybe next year you can make this a holiday tradition of your own.

Not a Creature is Stirring...and That Makes Good Harbor Beach a Great Choice This Holiday Week

Buried under wrapping paper and empty gift boxes? Looking for a way to work off all the fruitcake and egg nog? Hoping to slip away for a little relaxation after visiting relatives and friends? Well, Good Harbor Beach may be just the spot. A year ago this time we were digging out from a big snowstorm, but this year it's bright and sunny at the beach -- as you can see from these photos. Folks are out walking along the water and enjoying some quiet time downtown. And there's no better place to kick back and chill out after a day out on Cape Ann than the Blue Shutters. Imagine yourself opening a bottle of wine and stretching out by the fireplace after that walk on the beach. It's quiet here -- very few people stirring (and no creatures) -- so you're sure to have plenty of opportunity to rest up for New Year's Eve. Call us today and make plans to visit this holiday week.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cape Ann -- and European Royalty -- Get the "Jeopardy" Treatment

There are a bunch of Jeopardy fans around the Blue Shutters (ask the innkeepers about their history of trivia triumphs) so we were very pleased to hear that our neck of the woods was featured on tonite's show. The answer: "In 1623, this Massachusetts Cape was named after the then queen of England." The question of course was Cape Ann! However, Wikipedia says Cape Ann was named after the mother of King Charles I, Anne of Denmark. Whatever the real story, we can tell you this for sure -- Cape Ann's first name was "Cape Tragabigzanda" (don't know how you feel, but we're happy with this change).

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Hold Your Holiday Business Getaway at the Blue Shutters!

The Blue Shutters is a great spot for an office getaway or business off-site anytime, but the holiday season is perhaps the best time of year for this. The beach-loving crowd has moved, and area restaurants and night-spots are a bit quieter -- but Good Harbor Beach is as beautiful as ever with a winter backdrop (here you see a group we hosted from Fairchild Semiconductor, enjoying a stroll on the beach earlier this year).

And throughout the month of December, downtown is decked out for the holidays, with many special Christmas on Cape Ann events planned in Gloucester, Rockport, Essex and Manchester-by-the-sea.

Our main room can accomodate small group meetings, and during the off-season, we're certain to have enough guest rooms where everyone can relax at the end of the day.

Call or email us and we'll help you plan you holiday business getaway!

Give a Blue Shutters Gift Card...and We'll Have Something For You Too!

Looking to do something special for someone this holiday season -- how about a giving the gift of the Blue Shutters?

Just call us and we'll send you a gift card along with a Blue Shutters brochure and other Cape Ann information you can pass along with your gift. If you'd like, you could even include a Blue Shutters tee-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt.

Then, all you need to do is wait for the smiles on those faces on Christmas day or at your holiday office party.

And for those who purchase gift cards this holiday season, we have something for you -- we'll give you a $10 in card card for every $100 you buy.

You and the lucky person receiving your gift can use this anytime during the year. Don't forget, we're open all year long -- including throughout the holidays, which is a particularly special time to visit. In fact, if you live in the area, you can stop by the Blue Shutters to pick up your gift card and spend some time on Cape Ann. There are Christmas on Cape Ann events planned now through New Years, and the stores and art galleries are all decked out for holidays -- as is the Blue Shutters, as you can see from the photo here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Decking the Halls and Helping Those in Need

Over the years, many friends, family and neighbors have contributed ornaments for the Blue Shutters Christmas tree. Look closely and you'll see shells, ships, beachchairs, Santa in sunglasses and similar beach-themed ornaments. There are also those that reflect the hometowns of our guests -- cows from Vermont, holiday wishes from Avon Lake, OH, and more. One addition to our Christmas tree this year is a basket of food items for Open Door, our local Gloucester food pantry. Thanks again to our 2011 tree-trimmers, who not only helped deck the halls of the Blue Shutters -- they also made important contributions to those in need of our help this holiday season.

You're invited to stop by the Blue Shutters this month -- to see our tree and other Christmas decorations, drop off a food item, or just join in some holiday cheer.

More Tree-Trimmers 2011

Holiday Tree-Trimmers 2011

Here are more photos from our holiday party -- shots of some of our tree-trimmers.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Scenes from 2011 Blue Shutters Holiday Tree-Trimming

A big thank you to the friends, family and neighbors who joined us for Saturday's Holiday Tree-Trimming. As you can see from the photos here, folks had a lot of fun -- decorating the tree, enjoying hot apple cider and some holiday treats and hanging with a special guest...the Coors Light girl (that's her in the Santa cap). A big thanks to Marie Pelletier who snapped all of these photos -- and others we'll pass along later.

There's still plenty of time to get experience the Blue Shutters and Cape Ann this holiday season. As you can see from these shots, the Blue Shutters is all decked out for the holidays, and there are Christmas on Cape Ann events planned right through New Year's Day.

Call us and make your reservation!

Friday, December 2, 2011

See Santa on a Lobster Boat..and Then Warm Up at the Blue Shutters This Saturday

Where else can you see Santa arrive by lobster boat? This Saturday the jolly old fat man will chug into Rockport's Bearskin Neck at 3:45 p.m., following a brisk lobster boat ride across Sandy Bay. And after you've taken all this in, come to the Blue Shutters to warm up by the fireplace with a cocktail. There will be plenty of holiday treats and holiday cheer that afternoon and evening as we hold our annual Blue Shutters Tree-Trimming. We're offering special discounts for those who stay with us this weekend. Call us for details. And while you're on Cape Ann, you can enjoy Christmas on Cape Ann festivities in Gloucester, Essex and Manchester-by-the-sea! What a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wow.....More Awesome Photos of the Blue Shutters and Good Harbor Beach

We've been asking friends of the Blue Shutters to share thier photos, and boy are they coming through! The shots we've received in recent months have been some of the best we've ever seen, including a new batch from someone who we've featured in the past -- early morning Good Harbor Beach regular Marie Pelletier of Salem, MA. If you're on the beach at sunrise, it's very likely you'll see Marie. Now you can enjoy some of the photos she's been taking. Here are a few -- there are many more on the Blue Shutters Facebook page.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Decking the Halls at the Blue Shutters, Getting Ready for Saturday's Holiday Tree-Trimming

We're in the holiday spirit here at the Blue Shutters. We've strung lights across the front of the inn and began decorating the main room -- the photo here gives you a sneak peek. There's much more to see this holiday season -- here at the Shutters and all over Cape Ann. One great way to get a taste of "Christmas on Cape Ann" is our annual tree trimming this Saturday, December 3. Come stay for a night or two and get a special discount -- bring a nonperishable food item for our local food pantry and we'll knock 25% off the price. We figured this is a great way for us to encourage you to come for a visit -- and a great way for us all to get in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Come Celebrate Christmas on Cape Ann -- and Enjoy Summertime Weather!

Christmas on Cape Ann -- a month-long series of events in celebration of the holiday season -- kicks off this weekend. We've already had one group of guests -- a family from Connecticut -- travel here to enjoy the Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Pops performance on Saturday night. There's another show tomorrow -- and also Sunday there's the annual Gloucester Santa Parade. Throughout the month of December, there'll be other holiday events (our particular favorite is the pagent in Rockport on December 17).

If you're free tomorrow -- and live in the Greater Boston area -- you owe it to yourself to come up for the day. The weather today was awesome -- again -- with temps in the mid-60s, and Sunday promises to be another beauty.

You should also plan a night or two at the Blue Shutters this holiday season -- we've already begun decorating the inn. But the best is yet to come -- come stay with us next Saturday, December 3, when we'll have our annual tree-trimming party with holiday treats, a roaring fireplace and lots of good cheer. Better yet, come on Friday and do some shopping around Gloucester and Rockport.

Call us for details on the special discount that weekend and the Christmas on Cape Ann activities happening throughout the month.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Add Blue Shutters Gift Cards to Your Holiday Shopping List

While there were innkeepers at the Blue Shutters today, others were making the Black Friday rounds at local malls. When we put our heads together we thought...this is a good time to remind folks about Blue Shutters gift cards. Call us anytime and we'll send you gift cards and brochures -- and then you can sit back and watch the smiles on those faces on Christmas day or at a holiday office party. If you'd like, you could even include a Blue Shutters tee-shirt, hoodie or sweatshirt -- check out how neat our tee-shirts look on the innkeepers. Speaking of innkeepers, we'll make sure those who visit with a Blue Shutters gift card get extra special treatment. So, whether it's Black Saturday, CyberMonday or any day this holiday season consider adding the Blue Shutters to your shopping list.

Visit the Blue Shutters Facebook Page and Check Out Our Photo Albums

We just posted some new photos on the Blue Shutters Facebook page -- from recent Blue Shutters guests visiting from the UK. Check them out -- they're real stunners. Here are just a few of 20 photos the Brewers sent us. While you there, take a few minutes to enojoy our older photo albums. You're invited to email us your photos -- we love to spotlight images like these that help capture the unique beauty of the beach that is right outside out front door.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday Reminders: Thanksgiving Plans This Weekend and Blue Shutters Tree Trimming on December 3

A few holiday reminders:
- Ed and Annmarie will be at the Blue Shutters for Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday weekend, so if you're thinking about coming up anytime over the next few days, you'll have some company
- if you're looking to treat yourself to Thanksgiving dinner out, our friends at the Topside Grille have something special planned for you (roast stuffed turkey with apple walnut stuffing, honey glazed Virginia Ham with a pineapple raisin sauce, roasted leg of Spring lamb...all served with a cup of turkey rice soup, butternut squash, broccoli, whipped potato, roasted sweet potatoes and more!)
- Christmas on Cape kicks off this weekend, with the Cape Ann Symphony Holiday Pops on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Gloucester's Santa Parade and Tree Lighting on Sunday

Speaking of the holidays, mark your calendar for Saturday December 3 -- that afternoon and evening, we'll ring in the holdays with our annual tree-trimming party. There will be holiday refreshments and the Shutters will be decorated for the season. We'd love you to stay with us -- we're offering a 25% discount if you bring a non-perishable food item that we can donate to the local food pantry. You'll save on your stay...and get into the season's true spirit of giving! There'll be more Christmas on Cape Ann festivities that weekend -- check the Cape Ann Chamber website for info on the full month of holiday activities.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dinosaurs at the Blue Shutters?

Those of you who have visited the Shutters might have spotted our "dinosaur egg" located in our yard. In this photo, Ashley, who was visiting from Florida, discovers the egg hiding beneath a cover of autumn leaves. Next time you're here, see if you can find this unusual Blue Shutters treasure.

More Gloucester Photos....Including Scenes of Gloucester Harbor and Our Lady of Good Voyage

Check out the Blue Shutters Facebook page for some great photos sent to us by the Carlson family. These folks -- who now live in Florida and North Carolina -- have deep roots in Gloucester, and they chose the Blue Shutters for their return to the area for some family matters. While they were here, they took photos of the Shutters, Good Harbor Beach, Gloucester Harbor, Our Lady of Good Voyage church and other spots around Cape Ann. Here's a sampling of what you'll find on our Facebook page. While you visit us on Facebook, please friend us!

A Big Thank You for Our Taste of Latin America Open House

Our November 20th Taste of Latin America Open House was a big success -- for Por Cristo and for the old and new friends who were here to enjoy the afternoon. Thanks to Por Cristo for bringing a fantastic selection of jewelry, scarves, blankets and other items from Ecuador for folks to buy. A big thanks to those who were here -- family, friends, neighbors and even folks who passed by and dropped in -- and came away with some of these special treasues, with the proceeds going to support the work of Por Cristo in Ecuador (that's a shot of these items that filled our Fireside room, that became a shopping bazaar for the day). And a very big thanks to Langham Hotel Chef Mark Sapienza, who provided all the Latin American dishes for the the open house.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Today's Blue Shutters Open House: Our Door is Open...and the Beach and a Fun Atfernoon Awaits!

A final reminder about today's Taste of Latin America Open House -- and a early morning weather update. Our Open House begins at 2pm and will run until 5, and throughout the afternoon you'll be able to sample some food and drink with a South American flavor and shop for jewelry, scraves, blankets and other items from Ecuador. All the money collected from the sale of these items goes to Por Cristo, a non-profit that helps the poor in Ecuador. That's one of those items -- a wall-hanging from Ecuador -- decorating our front door. You see the beach in the background, with some folks already out enjoying the summer-like day. The weather for this afternoon promises to be warm (60s) and sunny -- perfect for for a walk on the beach. We hope to see you here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Come to the Beach Sunday for Our Open House and Bring a Smile to Your Face (and Make These Kids Happy Too)

Sunday promises to bring sunshine and a return to mid-60 temperatures -- a perfect day for a walk on Good Harbor Beach, a stroll along Gloucester Harbor or shopping on Bearskin Neck in Rockport. It's sure to bring a smile to your face -- similar to the smiles you see on these faces. However, these children aren't reacting to the sand, sun and surf -- these are smiles for their friends from Por Cristo, a Masschusetts-based non-profit that has been helping some of the poorest families in this South American country. This Sunday, these two worlds come together as we hold our annual Taste of Latin America Open House in support of Por Cristo's work. We'll treat you to some South American delicacies -- courtesy of Chef Mark Sapienza of the Langham Hotel. And you'll be able to shop for jewelry, scarves, blankets and other items from Ecuador -- with all proceeds going to support Por Cristo. So please come visit -- anytime from 2-5pm on Sunday November 20 -- and put a smile our your face, and on the faces of children like this.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Views are Great No Matter Where You Are At The Blue Shutters

Photos from the Blue Shutters always seem to look great, no matter where you're shooting. Here's one from our side yard, along Bass Ave approaching Good Harbor Beach. It's early morning -- just after sunrise...and I already ran into one guest out on the beach taking his own photos.