John Lennon was Right...

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

I fully intended to fulfill #4 on my Personal 9 Month Bucket List, which is “Enjoy a Maine lobster dinner. In Maine.” The DH and I headed north on Saturday, but somehow we got off the beaten path and ended up in Gloucester, MA where we stumbled across Hammond Castle.

No joke. It’s a castle complete with gargoyles, flying buttresses and a crenalated top. But instead of being in medieval Europe it was built right on the coast near Cape Anne by John Hammond, the man who held more patents for inventions than anyone besides Thomas Edison.

Hammond said people should “live in the past, work in the present and think for the future.” He and his wife made their home in this stone monstrosity, entertained the Asters and even had the musician Cole Porter as a dinner guest in this large drafty hall. Along with the concert grand piano, there’s a pipe organ that would be fitting in a cathedral.

An extensive array of medieval art and artifacts grace the castle. From swords and implements of torture to iconic paintings and tapestries, the castle houses a museum-worthy collection.

If you go through the tall doors at the end of the Great Hall, you’ll enter what John Hammond called “the patio.” This indoor/outdoor room was modeled after a medieval town built on the ruins of a Roman bath.

Mr. Hammond designed a complex system that could douse the room in man-made rain from time to time. Between the verdigris statuary and little dragons peeping from behind ferns, my system was on sensory overload in no time.

I really intended to cross off one of the items on my list this weekend, but I can’t. However, the value of setting goals isn’t always in reaching them. It’s in the adventures you have along the way. The DH and I had a wonderful day and got to marvel over something together.

Oh! And I did get my lobster on Saturday. Just not in Maine.

Have you ever set a goal and had more fun in the journey than the destination?

10 thoughts on “John Lennon was Right…

  1. MiaMarlowe says:

    Glad to help you add to your personal bucket list!

  2. tsueversteeg says:

    I now have another castle in America to visit! Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!!! :)

  3. MiaMarlowe says:

    Nynke–The dungeon portion reminded me of the Tower of London. There#39;s a cell there called quot;Little Ease.quot; It#39;s so small, the poor prisoner can#39;t even sit down.

  4. Nynke says:

    Dessicated corpse… LOL (assuming it is indeed fake, of course!)br /The fantasy element is, of course, what makes it so exotic… It still sounds great :).

  5. MiaMarlowe says:

    Why, Marcy! I love that your hero is hiding out to avoid being social. You should take up the pen in earnest. Who knows where your little story might go? (Fair warning: Wet muslin is nearly transparent!)

  6. MiaMarlowe says:

    Nynke–I#39;ve been to a couple castles in Europe and they felt less quot;enclosedquot; than this one did. I didn#39;t take pictures of the narrow stairwells where my DH#39;s shoulders rubbed on both sides. This castle wasn#39;t built for defense. It was a fantasy. And in some places, a dark one. There was even a dungeon cell with a dessicated corpse (fake, I hope!) But I chose to share the bright spots with you.

  7. MiaMarlowe says:

    JaneL–As always, the real joy in the journey is simply being together.

  8. Marcy W says:

    Discovery is always inspiring, I think … this one was clearly great fun, too. What I#39;m really curious about is how soon we#39;ll be able to read the story that I#39;m pretty sure started to tell itself in your mind as you walked through such a fascinating setting. The masked lady on your new banner goes to a ball, wanders to the #39;patio#39;, gets drenched by the #39;rain#39;, and a tall dark man who#39;s been sitting in a corner to avoid being social also gets soaked, and ……?? (I#39;m sure your story is much less cliched and more mysterious!)

  9. Nynke says:

    Wow, that castle is amazing! Much more exotic than real castles in Europe (at least the ones I#39;ve seen). :)br /I aim to have a lobster dinner anywhere in New England sometime – I still regret going for something cheaper the one time I was in a seafood restaurant in Boston!

  10. Jane L says:

    Mia,br /br /WOW! I am coming there just to see that beautiful castle! My husband and I are so random, I think our journeys are always more fun than the destination! OK your going through your bucket list with lighting speed, I am getting nervous, LOL!

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