The shrinking US dollar. The exhausting prospect of our long annual drive to Montreal. We decided instead to take what my friend Mike laughably called a “stay-cation,” doing things around home that we wouldn’t normally do. A multi-course “chef’s whim” at Craigie Street Bistrot in Cambridge. The terrific Tara Donovan exhibit at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, followed by Chilean sandwiches for lunch at downtown’s Chacarero. An orchestral concert at Boston University and a late dinner at Saray, a favorite Turkish restaurant nearby. Then to Gloucester: dinner at Duckworth’s Bistrot (with that overly smug, mood-dampening waitress.) And an inspiring morning hike through Dogtown, the abandoned 18th-century village in the center of Gloucester Island where, during the Great Depression, philanthropist Roger Babson hired out-of-work stone carvers to inscribe a series of boulders with moral lessons like this one. Even the perils of hunting season didn’t dent our enthusiasm for this magical place. A fried seafood platter the size of the Ritz at Lobsta Land brought our weekend to a very full and very satisfying close.