Monday, June 27, 2011

Rediscovering Rockport at the Emerson Inn By the Sea

My year as a teacher ended and I need a get-away, fast. I wanted a place to write, a place to retreat, some place beautiful and within an hour or so of Boston. I realized, though, that what I wanted most was the ocean. I came to Rockport as a last resort. The Rockport of my childhood memories was full of touristy shops laden with salt water taffy, fudge and identical T-shirts. It was packed with cars and the smell of fresh lobster. But the location fit the bill in so many other ways. And then the kind people at the historic Emerson Inn by the Sea gave me a rate for a room that looked out over their lawn towards the ocean. How could I say no? I couldn't have been happier. Yes, there are the tourist shops, but Rockport also has beautiful art studios, houses from the 1700 and 1800s and charming streets to meander down. For many people, the highlight would be the ocean. For me it is the glorious and majestic granite boulders, garnered from years of local quarrying. Some lay strewn on lawns. Others nestle against the ocean, giving the waves a chance to batter them still. And in June, all this is set against wild green and roses in a multitude of colors. The Emerson Inn itself is set in a neighborhood that offers paths directly to the ocean, with huge rock formations that are perfect for sitting, daydreaming, sketching, writing and reading. Pouring rain kept me from the enjoying the lawn chairs or heated outdoor pool. But I sat outside on their porch, watching the birds dip down into the Atlantic. And at the end of a wet day, the Inn offered me chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate dipped sugar cookies, with tea and coffee. Sitting in their comfortable parlor, still looking out at the ocean and skyline, I rested. At night, my room was perfect. A queen bed. Internet access. A bathtub. Quiet. Breakfast the next morning meant a range of baked goods, fruit, coffee, cereal, pancakes, bacon and a egg souffle. I had hoped to eat on the terrace, but the boundless rain had wet it entirely. Instead, I returned to the main room to sketch, to write, to read.

Emerson Inn By The Sea, 1 Cathedral Ave, Rockport, MA

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