Grace Trail (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 16, 2016

Location Nelson Memorial Park

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Highlights: biking and walking trail, flowers, scenic views, stones with words and phrases of encouragement on them

The G.R.A.C.E. Trail in Plymouth, MA, is not your average walking or biking trail.  Standing for Gratitude, Release, Acceptance, Challenge and Embrace, the idea for this trail is the creation of author, life coach and TED X speaker and Plymouth, MA, resident Anne Jolles.  The trail is designed to help people reflect on and overcome their struggles.  According to Ann Jolles’ website, the trail is meant to get people from, “a state of confusion and overwhelm to one of hope and possibility.” Now, inspired by Jolle’s trail, GRACE trails are appearing all over the country.

There may be many grace trails but this one in Plymouth, MA, is where it all started.


Located next to Nelson Memorial Park, GRACE trail appears like any other trail.  However, upon closer inspection, it is very different.  Rocks and stones with words of encourage and placed along the side of the trail. At the entrance of the trail, there are rocks with words of encouragement (these rocks have gratitude and “just breath” written on them) and a notepad to write your own words of encouragement.  The person who left a message on the notepad about how he or she left someone who was abusive and “free” is written underneath the message.  It’s very inspiring and for the cynics out there who think that may have been a “faked” message (I know you may be out there), who cares?  It’s something people could still draw inspiration and maybe a nudge to do the same thing.  And that is what this trail is all about; inspiring others and grace.

Along the trail, you’ll find other signs of inspiration and grace.

I love how one of the rocks says to “accept…or not.”  You don’t have to and should not accept certain things in your life.



These rocks encourage you to embrace the possibilities and “hang on” to hope.

There are messages of hope and inspiration everywhere

I know I could really use a place like this with all of its positivity and inspiration.  I would go everyday if I lived closer to the trail.

The trail are very easy and level along at Grace Trail.

In addition to the pretty stones and encouraging words, there are scenic views and trails that go off into other areas like the trail below that leads to the beach.  The views are very pretty along the trail.

The beach offers views of Plymouth Harbor and the surrounding area.

Since it was such an unseasonably warm autumnn day, there were an assortment of boats (motor powered and otherwise) in the water.

There is also remnants of a railroad that used to go by the area.  Flowers and grass now grow where the train used to run.

The Grace Trail is also dog friendly.  Lilly, a 9 year old Palmarin, enjoyed walking along the trail.

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:


Clipper City Rail Trail (Newburyport, MA)


Canalside Trail (Turner Falls, MA)




Nelson Memorial Park (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visit: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Location: Nelson St, Plymouth, MA

Hours: Open everyday, dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Parking: There are about 50 parking spots

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Free parking, handicap-accessible, picnic benches and tables, playground area, beach area, restrooms, boat docking area, seasonal water play area, bike path

Web Site: Nelson Memorial Park


When people think of Plymouth Massachusetts certain places automatically come to mind; Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth Rock, Nelson Memorial Park.  No, that’s not a typo.  In fact, Nelson Memorial Park may be one of the best kept secrets in Plymouth (except may be the Grace Trail).


Located approximately a mile from the aforementioned rock, Nelson Memorial Park is a family friendly park with activities for children, pretty views and ample parking.

The water activity area, called a “splash pad” is an area that shoots out water for children, and probably even a few adults and dogs, to play in.  A sign states that due to water restrictions the pad will be on only on days when the air temperature is above 80 degrees.  There’s little threat of that happening for some time, although we have had some unseasonably warm weather lately.

The park is relatively small but it still offers some very pretty scenery.  I’ve always marveled at how clouds, even wispy clouds, can really accentuate the beauty of an area, especially by bodies of water.

Some kayakers took advantage of the warm weather and calm water.

There is also a bike path from Nelson Memorial Park that goes all the way to North Plymouth (roughly 1.5 miles from Nelson Memorial Beach or over 2 miles if you start from Grace Trail which is located behind the park’s parking lot).

Although it is a small park, Nelson Memorial is a wonderful, peaceful area just minutes from the busy  waterfront and downtown areas and a must-see if you’re in the Plymouth area.

A boy and his dog take in the views at Nelson Memorial.  This is why dogs are so great.  No matter how bad your day is or how lonely you might feel, you always have your dog.

There were many other dogs at Nelson Memorial Park and I was able to get some great shots of a few of them.

Remy is a 13 year old Lab, Boxer and Rottweiler.  He had head and leg injuries when he was adopted.  But, he looks fine right now!

Stella is a 7 year old Boston Terrier with a special talent.  She likes to chase balls and hit them with her head, soccer style.

Below is a video of Stella playing.

Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:


Salem Willows (Salem, MA)


Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)


Plymouth Lobster Crawl (Plymouth, MA)

Dates of Visitis: October 8, 2016 & October 16, 2016

Locations: All over Plymouth MA (see attached map for exact locations)

Cost: Free

Parking: There was surprisingly lots of parking, metered and unmetered and several lots in the area (hint – you can park at Jenney Grist Mill for free and hoof it or so I hear)

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: decorative lobsters made out of fiberglass

Web Site: Plymouth Lobster Crawl

Lobster Craw Map: Lobster Crawl Map


The lobsters have come to Plymouth.  And they’re everywhere.  Well, at least, everywhere in Plymouth.

The “Lobster Crawl” is a great activity, especially for families.  There are 29 (26 after some were vandalized and others removed).  There is also a handy map to help you locate them.  But, even with the map, it is no easy task.

Each lobster is sponsored by a different business or organization and they are painted with their own distinct theme, usually a theme related to the business or organization sponsoring the lobster.

The lobsters are 5 feet high and made of fiberglass, similar to the buoys that are in the harbor.  They can weigh up to 150 pounds.

If you haven’t seen them yet or if you are not sure when you will be able to get over to Plymouth to check them out, take your time.  The lobsters are expected to remain on display for 2 years.

As you can tell by the map, the lobsters are scattered all over Plymouth.  There is only one that is not in walking distance which is the last one I am posting.  The backgrounds made the lobsters look even more pretty.

Most, if not all, of the lobsters were painted on both the front and back.  I was unable, or unwilling, to photograph both sides of some of these lobsters, though.  I have added the corresponding number of the lobster from the map in paranthesis after the description to make it easier to find.  I’m not sure how the decision to number the lobster statues was made but they don’t go in order based on location.

If you want to see all or the majority of the lobsters in one day, the best idea is probably to park near Pilgrim Memorial State Park (near Plymouth Rock) and start with the first statue on Water St.  Then, you can make basically walk all of Water St and then see the lobsters on the other side of Water St and on the side streets of Main and Court St. , on your way back to your vehicle.  You can then drive to the remaining lobster statues.

This is the first lobster on Water St, the main road in Plymouth, MA.  There are several accessible on or off a side street from Water St. (I counted 13).  This lobster is called “Ed #Endalz” at Pilgrim Memorial State Park.  It was created by Mary Johannesen (24).

The lobster pictured above, “”Rocky”, is sponsored, appropriately, by Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway.  “Rocky” was created by Kate Vannata. It is also located off Water St, just past Plymouth Rock along the harbor (25).

This lobster, also located off Water St, is sponsored by Plimoth Plantation and is called “Celebrating Living History”.  It was made by Vincent Crotty.  It is located on State Pier by the Mayflower II (26).

Farther along Water St is “Lu-Sea”.  It is sponsored by J.F.  Carpenter Construction Corp and was made by Jennifer McCarthy (27).

“Childhood Memories” was sponsored through an anonymous donation, always the best kind.  Terry Cole is the artist for this lobster (28).

“Clawdia” is the next lobster statue on Water St.  It was made by Andy Driscoll and is sponsored by Wood’s Seafood and Plymouth Cruises (2).

Some of the lobsters are harder to find than others (hence my second trip to find the ones I had missed during my first visit).  The next lobster statue, “Louie”, is  located on Town Pier.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Bay Lobster Co (3).

The lobster “Bugsby Bibs” is sponsored by Cabbyshack and is located in front of the restaurant at 130 Town Wharf, off Water St.  It was created by Chickie Celli and Beatriz Whitehill.  Theere is also a cardboard replica of a lobster for people to have their photo taken next to Bugsby (4).


“Ms. Clawmerce” is located by the jetty off Water St.  It is sponsored by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce and it was created by Donna Ann Secour (5).

This is one of my favorites.  “Sea Horses” is located along the path to the Ms. Clawmerce statue.  It is sponsored by SmartPak and was created by Tamara Tagg.  There is a huge piece of driftwood behind it (6).

There were 3 lobster statues located at Nelson Park.  However, one of the lobsters was damaged.  So, the city decided to remove all of the lobster statues from this venue, at least for the time being.  They are listed on the map but they are not there. So, the 7, 8 and 9 numbered lobsters are not available for viewing at this time.

There are more lobsters located on the other side of Water St.

Another one of my favorites, “Luigi The Lobster” is located at 1620 Winery and Wine Bar at the Village Landing Marketplace, 170 Water St.  The artist for Luigi is Genevieve Visser (10).

“Rasta Lobstah”, created by Heather Ritchie Casey, is located at The Blue-Eyed Crab Carribbean Grill & Rum Bar.  It is also located at the Village Landing Marketplace at 170 Water St (11).

The next closest lobster is probably located at the Plymouth Visitor’s Information Center at 130 Water St.  It is the last lobster on or in the vicinity of Water St.   It was made by Samantha Shields and it is sponsored by RE/MAX Spectrum (1).

As an aside, I stopped in to the visitor center for some help finding the last lobster ( I tried to do it on my own but the last one is a little complicated).  Anyway, they were very helpful and excited to help me.  So, they are a great resource to utilize if you do need help.

From the visitor center, you may want to drive, although I walked the entire area.  It’s just easier to walk than to find a parking space and getting your bearings all over again (although parking was plentiful when I visited).

From the visitor center, the closest set of statues is S. Park Ave.  Hopefully, you won’t run into Kenny on your way.

This lobster statue is called “Grace” and it was created by Kate Wilkins.  It is sponsored by WH Cornerstone Investments (12).

“Lobsta Love” is another popular lobster statue, for obvious reasons.  The bright colors and designs make it hard to miss.  it is located next to ERA Belsito & Associates at 100 Court St.  But, it is actually located on the side of the building on Samoset St.  It was created by Heidi Mayo and Wendy Reiffeiss (13)

From here, many of the remaining lobster statues are located south on or off Court St and Main St.

“Brewster” is located in front of the Pilgrim Hall Museum (75 Court St).  It is sponsored by 1620 Capital LLC and the artist who sculpted it is Andrew P. Linde.  Stickers with 1620, the American flag and other historic symbols are stuck to the front and back of the statue (16).

If you continue on Court/Main St, there are a cluster of statues.

“Rocking Lobster” is located on the corner of North and Main St.  It was sculpted by Marla Gratta-Pagnani and Monica O’Brien and it is sponsored by King Collision Center.  My favorite photo is the one that shows the reaction of the baby in the stroller (17).

“Big Blue” is located on North St, a short distance from the “Rocking Lobster.”  It is sponsored  AS you can tell by the photos, it is a pretty neighborhood and the older, historic looking homes give a great backdrop for photos.  This sculpture is sponsored by Brabo Benefits (18).

“Welcome” is located on Leyden St.  It was sculpted by Frances McLaughlin and is sponsored by Plymouth Lions & Leos.  You’ll note the map has the 16th and 19th lobster statues switched.  They both have lobsteers at each location but they misidentified these two on the map (19).

On Sandwich St (Main turns into Sandwich St) is the destination of the next statue, “Clawdia-Woman Of Gold.”  It is appropriately located in front of Verona at 89 Sandwich St.  This statue was sculpted by Marion Carlson.(21)

You will find the next two lobsters across the street from Verona on Lincoln St.

Another one of my favorites (as you can probably tell based on all of the photos I took), “Lynx The Lucky Lobster” is located in the parking lot aarea of the Cat Clinic of Plymouth( 80 Sandwich St).  I especially like the little paw prints at the base of the sculpture.  The lobster is actually on Lincoln St behind the clinic.  It was sculpted by Jill Voelker (22).

“Oceanus” by Marissa Scola is also located a little farther down Lincoln St on the other side of the cat clinic at Town Hall (11 Lincoln St).  This lobster is sponsored by Kerr Dental Associates.  There are 10 hidden toothbrushes on the lobster.  I found a few for you.  Can you find the rest? (23)

At this point, it is point, it is easiest to drive to the remianing lobsters.  After arriving back at your vehicle, you can drive to the Jenney Grist Mill (48 Summer St) where you’ll find the next lobster.

“Claws Monet” by Jeannette Lyons Carney is sponsored by Laurelwood at The Pinehills & Stafford Hill.  Stop by the grist mill while you’re there (20).

The next 2 lobsters that are nearby are on Samoset St.  You can also stop by these places after you view the other lobster on Samoset St (the “Lobsta Love” lobster).  But, I decided to drive to these lobsters.  They are very close to each other and if you drive too fast you could easily miss one or both of them.

“Penny” by Jen Connolly is located in front of Cape Auto Body, 53 Samoset St (14).

“Personal Injury Law-bster” is located in front of the Winokur, Serkey & Rosenberg Law Offices at 81 Samoset St.  This lobster was created by Cheryl Greenwood.   At least they have a sense of humor (15).

The last lobster is not located in walking distance of the other lobsters.  In fact, I had to get on the highway and drive a considerable distance to get to it.  But, it’s worth the drive if you have 10 or so minutes to spare.

Another very pretty sculpture and display, “Cranberry” is located in front of the Meetinghouse in Redbrook, an A.D. Makepeace Community.  It is like a community or complex in and of itself.  The address for The Meetinghouse is 1 Greenside Way North.  But, I had better luck using their address at 237 Wareham Rd s the other address didn’t work in my GPS.

The remaining lobsters that have been removed because they have been stolen (and recovered) or damaged are from left to right “Cordage”, “Sid-Supporting Independence & Dignity” and “Sir-Loin The Lobster.”  They were all located at Nelson Park off Water St.

The days I went lobster hunting were perfect fall days and, yes, there were dogs, as well as lobsters, everywhere.

Harley, a 4 year old Goldendoodle, was visiting the Jenney Grist Mill with his mommy or sister.

Bear is a 6 month old Newfie and he’s already 90 lbs!

Rooney , a 6 year old Chocolate Lab, liked to look out at the harbor.

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Plymouth Long Beach (Plymouth, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 8, 2016

Location: 137 Warren Avenue, Plymouth , MA (45 minutes south of Boston, MA, 1 hour west of Providence, RI)

Cost: (Memorial to Labor Day) Weekdays: $15
Weekends: $15
Bus (by reservation): $50 (check this fee with Town Hall above)

You can also purchase a sticker for the beach for a $50 annual fee

Free after Labor Day until Memorial Day

Parking: There is ample parking available (at least 100 spots)

Dog Friendly: Yes, in certain areas (signs are clearly marked in these areas)

Highlights: Rocky jetties, scenic views, ample parking, restaurant on premises, fishing, boating and other aquatic activities


Plymouth Long Beach, more commonly known as just Plymouth Beach, was another spot I happened upon unexpectedly.  While trying to find the painted lobsters in Plymouth (blog post to follow soon), I pulled over into this parking lot to get my bearings.  Since I was there, I figured I would check the place out and take some shots.   I’m so glad I did!

There is a rocky jetti you can walk out to get some photos of the bay.  Yes please.

The waves were pretty, well, wavey.  But, otherwise it was a pitcure perfect beach day.

One of the great things about the beach is there is a deli and comfort stations as well.

On the other side of the beach is a stream that runs between the beach area and the residences of the neighborhood.  There are also some bridges that connect the residents to the beach.

The birds aren’t very shy at the beach, probably because they are so well fed by the beach goers.

In fact, some of them lurk around, waiting for crumbs.


People also like to go fishing, mainly for stripers, at Plymouth Beach.

Plymouth Long Beach is beach friendly (but only in designated areas).

Proving that it is indeed a small world, I ran into Vivi, a dog I had photographed during my visit to Chestnut Hill Reservation.  Vivi is still her playful self.

Daisy, a 4 year old Black Lab, and Cricket, a 2 year old Chocolate Lab, had fun playing in the water.

Below is a video of the waves and scenic views of Plymouth Beach

Please connect with me on Facebook to see photos, videos and other content not included on my blogs.  Thank you!

2016 Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade

Date Of Event: October 2, 2016 (it is usually held every year during the first Sunday in October)

Location: 32 Derby Square (off Essex St), Salem, MA

Cost: Free (there may have been a registration fee if your pet participated in the event)

Hours: October 2,  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Parking: Serby Square and the surrounding area are pedestrian friendly, walking areas.  cars are not allowed in this area.  You need to park in a garage or find off street parking.  There are two main parking garages on New Liberty St and Congress St within walking distance and there is metered off street parking.

Highlights: pets…in costumes!

Web Site: 2nd Annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade


Just when you thought Halloween couldn’t be any more fun, Salem Main Streets, working with a variety of local businesses and organizations, held the 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade.

The first pet parade was such a success they moved it from Artists’ Row to Derby Square.  Having attended the first Howl-O-Ween Pet Parade, I think this was a good call.  The other venue was too narrow and there didn’t seem to be enoug room for everyone to roam freely.  Derby Square had more room but it also became crowded as well.  Everyone loves a pet parade I guess.

There were a variety of dogs in a variety of costumes.

The group of dogs pictured above were, of course, The Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Lion and the Tin Man.  They also brought a yellow brick road which the Scarecrow and Dorothy are sitting on.

Here are some of my favorite dogs and their costumes from the day.


The force was with this 4 month old Lab who was dressed as Bark Vader.

dsc_0507Aye Matey!  Lady is a 10 year old Chihuahua.


As if she wasn’t cute enough already, Alexsei, an 8 year old Jack Russell Terrier, was dressed as a koala.


I’ve heard of dogfish sharks but this takes the cake.  Willie, a 5 year old mutt, is a rescue.


Samie is a 6 year old Greyhound.


Blitzen, dressed as a purple monster, is a 1 year old Belgian Malinois (pronounced “mal-in-wah”).  Yes, he’s 1 year old!


Mickey, I mean Riley, is a 2 year old Lab mix.  I dare you to say “No” to that face.


Here comes the bride Persephone (the name of the daughter of Zeus), a 10 year old Golden Doodle.

Daisy the Lobster is a 2 and a half year old dog.  Her mom isn’t sure of her breed. She is a rescue from Puerto Rico.


There were so many cute dogs at the pet parade.  I was unable to get all of their names and breeds but I was able to photograph a lot of them.

There were actually a few very brave cats dressed as Dr Seuss characters at the parade.


The SalemSaurus T Rex also showed up with his own dog.


Even if they weren’t dressed in a costume, they were still cute.  Lucy, a 14 year old Chow and Golden mix, just came by to hang out and watch the other dogs.


We also saw a family of bulldogs on the way to the event.


Below is a video of the pet parade.

Similar Events I Have Attended In New England:


2015 Salem Pet Parade

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Nubble Lighthouse (York, ME)

Date Visited: October 1, 2016

Location: 11 Sohier Park Rd, York, ME

Hours: Open everyday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a designated parking area with about 30 to 40 parking spots.  There are also additional parking spots on the other side of the main parking area on the side of the road as you exit the main parking area

Highlights: lighthouse, scenic, views of the ocean, bird life

Lowlights: Parking can be difficult since it is such a popular spot (there was a line of cars waiting to park when I left and that was on a rainy day)

Web Site: Nubble Light


Also known as Nubble Light, Cape Neddick Lighthouse is an 41 foot (88 feet above sea level) cylindrical lighthouse on the edge of Cape Neddick, a community in York, Maine.

The lighthouse is actually on Nubble Island, hence the name Nubble Light.  People like to call it Nubble and it sounds like a cuter name.  So, yeah, I’ll go with that.

Originally constructed in 1879 for $15,000 (roughly $342,000.00 in today’s money), Nubble Light is located about 100 yards off Cape Neddick Point.  The light was automated in 1986.

Nubble Light is one of the easiest lighthouses to photograph.  From Cape Neddick, you have wonderful views of the lighthouse.

There is also a rocky area you can climb down to get closer to the water and get some sweet views of the lighthouse.  Uhm, yes.

As you can see in some of the photos, it was a very windy day and the waves were crashing pretty hard against the rocks.  Between the rain and the water from the surf it was almost impossible to keep a dry lens, although I tried.

Since people feed them, birds seem to flock by the area.

The weather conditions didn’t deter this hardy Maine fisherman.  He did catch and release.

As you leave the parking area on the other side of the lighthouse, there are some pretty views.

Cape Neddick is a dog friendly area.  Logan, a 2 year old Red Hound and Coon Hound mix, likes to look out at the lighthouse also.

Video of Nubble Lighthouse:

Similar Places I Have Visited In New England:


Watch Hill Lighthouse (Westerly, RI)


Nobska Lighthouse (Woods Hole, MA)

Long Sands Beach (York, ME)

Date Visited: October 1, 2016

Location: 1 Stonewall Lane York, Maine (1 and 15 hours north of Boston), (45 minutes north of Manchester, NH), (45 minutes south of Portland, Maine)

Hours: Open everyday, 24 hours a day

Cost: Free

Parking: There are many metered parking spots along the beach.  They do fill up quickly on “ideal” beach days.

Beach Size: 1.5 miles

Dog Friendly: Yes, Long Sands Beach has the following dog rules: From April 1 to June 15, leashed dogs are allowed at any time of day; from June 16 to Sept. 15, dogs are only allowed before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Highlights: Scenic views, swimming, surfing and other aquatic activities

Web Site: Long Sands Beach



October is not usually the month that comes to mind when one thinks of beach weather. This is not the case at  Long Sands Beach.  The 1.5 mile long beach is a haven for sun seekers and water sport enthusiasts alike.

Maine is known for being hardy folks.  You have to be when the weather can be so extreme.  As my friend told me when she saw my photos, “They will surf in any weather.”  I would add, the more active the water the better.  When I drove by  the beach an hour later, and the weather had intensified there were even more surfers and paddlers in the water than when I had first arrived to photograph the beach and off street parking was almost nonexistent.

As is often the case with our best experiences, I had not planned on visiting Long Sands.  Rather, I happened upon it on my way to Nubble Lighthouse.  When I saw the active water and the activity in the water, I had to pull over to see and photograph the beautiful beach.

The waves were very active and there were many surfers and paddlers in the water taking advantage of the waves.  It was very cool seeing people with such athleticism and grace in the water.

I met these two friendly surfers on the beach.





Long Sands is a dog friendly beach (see the dog rules above).  I met Ollie, a 1 and a half year old Hound mix at the beach.

Below is a video of the surfers and stand up paddlers at Long Sands Beach.  As you can see, it was very windy and a little hard to control the camera.

Please Follow Me On Facebookto see photos, videos and other content not included in my blogs.  Thank you!

Similar Places In New England I Have Visited:


Hammonasset Beach State Park (Madison, CT)


Napatree Point Conservation Area


Odiorne Point State Park (Rye, NH)