Some 40 miles north of Boston, at the end of Rt. 128, Rockport boasts great deep-sea fishing and sailing charters, as well as oil paintings and drawings and crafts by some of the best artists this country has to offer.
One of the town's most unusual features is the little extension of land called BearSkin Neck which holds the dilapidated red fishing shack, sitting at the end of one of the docks which extends into the beautiful outer harbor.
This shack, lovingly called, "Motif No. 1", is one of the town’s focal points as it sits over the water. Its beautiful silhouette rests against the backdrop of glorious sunrises each morning which come up from the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
BearSkin Neck boasts 3 roads, the longest extending one way for about 300 yards. All along each side are little shops showing their unique wares as well as paintings.
Gift shops galore with small apartments lining the road above the shops. Bearskin Neck is one of my most fun places to vacation.
The hotel is not far from the city center and the accommodations and staff were very agreeable. Besides enjoying the wedding reception and meeting old friends and relatives, I had time to walk up and down Broadway, the main downtown street, from one end to the other.
There are many stores selling Western attire or even custom-made outfits and boots. I was thrilled to find a pair of "cowgirl" boots and a red suede jacket at reasonable prices. I hopped on a sightseeing trolley to take a tour of the Nashville area.
We visited the Grand Ole Opry building and the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with the music studios where Elvis and other great recording stars spent their time making records.
Tootsie's Orchid Lounge was loads of fun for a few drinks and a night of foot-stomping dancing to Country Western tunes. Some meals were enjoyed at a relative's home, but we did have a really nice dining experience at The Mad Platter Restaurant, which was charming and good. I look forward to a return visit to Music City!
Nearby is a resort in Athens, Georgia where, for no particular reason, they decided to become an Alpine village, and the whole place was pure Dixie with a Bavarian twist. It was so relaxing to be among so many people who didn't take themselves seriously, the combination of down home and yodeling doesn't sound like it would go together, but it was a truly magical vacation.
We stayed in a timeshare and at night we could see the entire sparkling village below. Oh, and this was our honeymoon. My bride and I have pictures from a truly memorable escape, just what a honeymoon should be.
The night before the trip, my friends and I go to the local tackle shop in town, to buy all the necessary supplies, including hooks and bait, while browsing through the sports fishing magazines that are prominently displayed inside the store.
Our fishing trips are almost always, well underway before dawn. We normally charter a boat and make our way about three or four miles offshore, hoping to catch some healthy sized striped bass.
This particular hobby of mine is something that I have been doing, since childhood. It’s not so much about nabbing the big one, as it is about taking stock of the natural surroundings. Pristine, sparkling blue oceans and sandy beaches tend to have a calming effect on the soul. Fishing just provides the excuse, to enjoy it all.
When we get tired of that we may take a water taxi (they run like buses throughout Fort Lauderdale) to Las Olas Blvd., one of many great shopping districts or the fabulous Galleria Mall. We take advantage of the many museum and gallery options at our disposal on other days. There are great restaurants in Fort Lauderdale and lots of fun clubs for night time outings. It's a great place for a winter vacation getaway.