In the quaint harbor town of Rockport, Massachusetts, is a little fishing shack with a huge history. So much so, it has been deemed the “most often-painted building in America”. Initially home to a colony of artists and avid fishermen, the shack was built, at the end of a granite wharf, in the 1840s as a symbol of maritime life. Artists favored it for the simple composition and ideal lighting, making it appealing on canvas. Locals readily offer tidbits of Hollywood films shot at this location: “Finding Nemo” and especially Sandra Bullock’s 2009 blockbuster entitled, “The Proposal”. Now that you see the charming little shack with its weathered red paint, perhaps you’ll flock to Rockport for a closeup of Motif Number One.*
*”Motif” is a French term for a distinctive and recurring subject in a work of art.
The scenic view on the North Shore of Kauai is right out of a Hollywood movie. And that film is the 1957 Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, “South Pacific”. The Hanalei Pier was originally built in 1892, when it was used to transport taro and rice to Honolulu. Made of wood at that time, it became too difficult to maintain the pier in a tropical climate. Thus, it was replaced with a concrete finger deck and a framed shed roof in the 1940s until Hurricane Iniki damaged the 340-foot pier beyond use in 1992. Today, the local history and its iconic charm continue to lure curiosity seekers as well as vacationers and beach lovers. Hanalei Bay is the largest on the island of Kauai with its 2-mile long crescent moon and white sandy beach. Known to natives as Black Pot Beach, it can be seen littered with avid fisherman, energetic surfers, carefree picnickers, and leisurely landlubbers. We mustn’t forget the romantic lovebirds who stroll to the end of the pier, gaze into each other’s eyes, share a wet kiss, and then snap a Selfie against the opulent aqua-blue waters. Hanalei Pier does Hollywood proud.
A couple times a week the beach is inundated with tourists when a luxury cruise ship pulls into Nawiliwili Harbor and docks for a short period of time. Hoards of beach lovers pour down the gang plank to enjoy the pebbly soft beach of Kalapaki Bay. With colorful towels, bamboo mats, swim fins, and boogie boards in tow, families stake a claim along the shoreline to gather and sunbathe. Within minutes children squeal with laughter, splashing each other and running away. A slender middle-aged European man stands with feet firmly planted squinting out to sea. As if deep in thought, he raises a cigarette to his lips and takes a long drag before flicking the ash into the wind. Loose strands of black hair fall across his wrinkled brow causing him to pivot a half turn and then back again. Over his shoulder, an energetic group of millennials mark off the sand and choose sides for a pickup game of soccer. Shouting in an unfamiliar language, they slap each other on the back before aggressively kicking, chasing, and passing the ball back and forth toward the goal. So much activity. So much joy. This is how to spend a day in paradise. After awhile, short toots from the bridge of the huge vessel signal it’s time to head back. Beach towels are rolled up, soccer games disperse, umbrellas are left vacant, and the sand is brushed away as flip flops are slid into place. The boarding process begins for passengers to depart “Fantasy Island” and return to sea until we meet again.
Dining Outside the Home: Seaport Village Pier Café in San Diego, California! For a charming waterfront experience with an amazing sunset view, this landmark café on the pier was a natural choice. The quaint New England-style wooden structure harbored a casual, yet romantic atmosphere. The automatic choice for a late-night dinner was the fresh catch of the day: Flaky batter-fried fish fillets and crunchy golden chips. The tangy tartar sauce and malt vinegar satisfied the taste buds. As the sun dipped below the shadowed horizon, we quenched our thirst with the ultimate refreshment, a Grand Marnier margarita.