Five years ago my family took a vacation to Rockport, Massachusetts. I wasn’t very excited. Hey, what can I say? I was twelve, I wanted to go to Disneyworld… or was it Disneyland? Oh well, either would have suited me fine. Fact is, Rockport didn’t sound all that fun to me. Sure, I could swim in the ocean, but the joy of that thought quickly dissipated when I realized I’d have to be wary of getting hypothermia in the cold north-atlantic water.
I went on the trip willingly of course, desperate for a change of scenery in my dull twelve-year old life. I was a bit dramatic back then, can you tell? I climbed into the back of our big white van at two in the morning prepared for our ten hour drive. My parents took turns driving, my older brother and sister sat in the middle two seats, and I lounged across the whole back seat like a queen equipped with pillows and blankets. I slept like a baby. I only woke up once and saw a gas station. Not an interesting gas station, just an ordinary one. I promptly went back to sleep.
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When we arrived at our destination, the Linden Tree Inn, a cozy bed and breakfast, they gave us the key to our room in a little building called the Carriage House. A carriage house? I started liking this place.
Every morning we walked down to the Sandy Bay beach and visited the little shops on the pier. My favorite place was Tuck’s Candy where they made saltwater taffy right in front of us. It was delicious! I dreamt of having my own delightful candy shop someday…
Apparently there are train stations behind many Dunkin’ Donuts shops in Massachusetts. It sounds a bit odd now that I say it, but that’s how I remember it. Anyway, we walked to a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts and what do you know! There’s a train station! We took a train into Boston for the day to see Paul Revere’s house… I imagined I was living in the 1700s, carrying out an important mission that the founding fathers entrusted to me! Well, if I wasn’t going to Disney I had to use my imagination to make the trip more fun right? Oh geez, I’m getting carried away again… We also went to the Museum of Science, and we took a duck boat tour of the city! I even got to drive the duck boat when it plunged into the Boston harbor! I of course saved us from being attacked by a sea monster!
The next day we went to see a castle/museum in nearby Gloucester! Suddenly we were in medieval times with knights and maidens… and royalty! I realize now that Hammond Castle was actually built in the 1920s but what can I say? I was twelve.
When we got back to Rockport that afternoon, we took a Thomas E. Lannon sunset schooner ride around beautiful Rockport harbor. It was a lovely ride. Well, the band of pirates was a bit of a nuisance but I soon sorted that out. The crew ended the ride by shooting off a tiny little cannon into the water. I have to say that it was a bit anti-climactic but hey, we ended our vacation with a bang!
It’s been five years since Rockport and I still haven’t been to Disney. But I learned something invaluable from Rockport; happiness is a state of mind, and all you need to make any vacation fun is a little imagination.
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