Visiting my hometown of Newburyport is always so nice. Here childhood memories come alive and now that many of my childhood friends have little ones, I get to see my daughter, Annabel, creating childhood memories of her own.
Visits to Plum Island, where my marine adventures began when I was a tot, bring back all of the adventures of tide-pool exploration and hunting for shells, even in the winter months. Hikes along the shorelines of Plum Island and Salisbury Beach were the only place to find relief from the incredible amounts of snow New England received this winter; the waves lapping up the white stuff and the salty sand only leaving a crust of ice along the dunes.
Here I spent a significant amount of my time searching for moonsnails and the remnants of their dinners, tiny clamshells with the the mark of the moonsnail: a perfect circular hole. These shells are wonderful for sea-inspired crafts.
To celebrate "A Parrotfish's Tale," I planned a book reading and craft party while I was home and invited family and friends. My Mom and I made paper garlands of fish, cut-out fish for the craft session from sea-glass toned scrap paper and designed parrotfish cupcake toppers.
We ordered balloons and party supplies in the colours of "A Parrotfish's Tale" and planned recipes to bake the night before and the morning of for our guests including:
<>< vanilla cupcakes (with our parrotfish cupcake toppers)
<>< cinnamon and walnut coffee cake
<>< fish-shaped cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches
The day of the party arrived during a second snow storm. The morning of the party I awoke to grey skyes and a significant amout of snow and was hesitant to cancel our day. But with encouragement of family and some impressive snowblowing from my Dad and brother to allow for parking on the street, we kept our plans with hope that a few people might arrive via toboggan. We put on the coffee and set out our treats.
And before we knew it, the house was filled with friends and family. Annabel was in heaven with so many of her buddies there! I read the story to a wonderful audience of family and friends including a very sweet first row of littles.
I watched as the kiddos decorated their craft paper fish with shells and cotton balls and glitter and caught up with family and friends that I had not seen in ages over coffee and my Mom's delicious coffee cake.
It was with many of the attendees at this party that I used to explore the shores of Plum Island, and I hope that this summer during our next trip back, Annabel will be able to do the same with some of her Newburyport friends.
Thanks to all for celebrating the publishing of this little book with us and thank you to friend Melissa Keyes at Melissa Keyes Photography (http://melissakeyes.com/) for capturing the day in beautiful photographs!