Last week [early August 2010] was surprising. Surprisingly great, that is. Because of a spur of the moment decision. Lori had decided to take a few days off of work and thought a day trip to Cape Cod might be fun. It would at least be cooler than inland where we live.
And it certainly has been on the hot and humid side much more than I would want it to be. Or not to be. Not.
I suggested to Lori we might want to stay overnight, and she said that if I could find a place within her budget and within ten minutes we would do that.
Well, it didn’t take me long to scout out some likely bed and baths on the Cape, pick a quiet town next to a jumping one, check the website and call the innkeeper, and book us a room for that night. He even offered to discount the rate significantly without being asked.
Those rumors about a recession are certainly true on the Cape, unfortunately. Here it is, at the height of the tourist season, and hotel after motel after BnB have vacancies, and the usual rule of a 2-night stay at a BnB has been waived.
We had a light-traffic [yes!] drive down the road, over the canal and onto the bridge, and around many rotaries which seem to be a particularly loved traffic style down thar.
We found the place easily, walked to the beach, literally around the corner, and enjoyed the cool breezes and caught a few rays.
There was even entertainment, as a good size craft [mebbe 20+’] had somehow run aground, and it took a group effort of sailors and landlubbers to get it back floating on the water, which they eventually did.
The BnB was full of friendly strangers and very hospitable innkeepers.
The breakfast [included] the next morning included a great spread, from toastings of breads varied, bagels, cereal, freshly brewed coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice, all manner of fresh fruit including several kinds of melon, and the piece of resistance…
French toast stuffed—with pineapple. These folk sure know how to put on a spread. It was more like a meal and a half. We could skip lunch that day.
We enjoyed our stay so much we decided to stay on the Cape one more night. The BnB was booked solid the second night so we bid farewell.
We drove the next town over and went down to the harbor and walked amongst the motels and hotels across the street from the wharfs, and again, vacancy signs galore, and so we stayed that second night in a motel. Both nights’ accommodations included room air conditioners and private baths, and things could not have been nicer.
Aaron wanted to take his 3rd [and my 1st] duckmobile tour of Hyannis and so we did. The Vietnam-era duck was incredibly smooth sailing around the harbor, with no splashy-splash of water near us, things which I had wondered about anxiously and unnecessarily.
Food as per my usual inclination was seafood seafood seafood. Even bought a t-shirt. Nothing was overpriced, nothing was a ripoff.
Stay for under $40 per night per person, meals could be had for about $10, and the t-shirt--$5. Gasoline there cost the same or less than the local petroleum vendors.
What else can I say? Now we have two Capes we want to return to annually, the one of Cod and the one of Anne, respectively to the south and north of us earthbound types.
So nice to leave the heat ‘n’ humidity combo at home, at least for a few days at a time.
This last Saturday, after resting up from travels ending the day before, we were invited to a rare family gathering at cousins’ house.
I have never seen so much [dead] lobster in one place at one time. Lobster has been particularly inexpensive lately, selling for less than almost all of those critters of the finned persuasion.
Lobster is not my cup of tea, but there was plenty else in the way of comestibles to feed everyone there [about 50 I would write].
I was a good boy and had not starchy buns of any kind to go with hot dog and sausage and burger.
And my favorite yellow mustard in the world was to be had, Heinz [love that vinegary flavor!], which does not get sold around here in any supermarket or grocery store I can find in reasonable distance.
If I paid $50 to join one of them clubs I could buy it once every summer when they bundle it with relish and mustard as a picnic combo, but that’s too stiff a price for me to afford. Oh well.
I did not partake of anything alcoholic, a sure sign I am growing old I suppose, but there was more than ample amounts of diet sodas to go along with the cookies, peach pie, apple pie, blueberry pie [amongst other dessert items].
A tip of the non-existent hat to the hosts, my wife’s cousins and kin. [If you remember Jimmy Hatlo’s hat, you’re a right geezer you are!]
Hard to get so many related people together, what with people attending from California to Germany, so it was exceedingly terrific to see so many rarely seen by me.
The weather they had ordered was just perfect all day and evening, low humidity and in the 70s [F]. Except near the bonfire, a raging inferno of ex-pallets and such, built on the premises and across the street from the area’s fire marshall.
I just wish we had anywhere near the room, indoors and outdoors, that cousins have, so we could reciprocate accordingly, but hopefully we can at least rustle up several cousins and such for a smallish get-together.
But they’ll have to supply the ping pong balls. And there is no room for a bouncy castle like they had.
The good time was had by all. And then I wrote…
Lori had one more day off subsequent to those events, and it was decided to attend the 128th annual Bolton Fair, actually held in next-town Lancaster, but still amidst apple orchards aplenty.
Now this day was spent well away from the shore, but the weather was surprisingly in our favor, being unseasonably cool and with a delightful breeze, which only occasionally turned to remind us of the various domesticated and occasional “wild” animals resident.
If you count a cockatiel and a descented skunk as wild. Reptiles and raptors, oh my! There were actually quite a few kinds of Australian-native animals on display, all with signs abounding [abounding?] stating “not a threatened species.”
Aaron kept himself busy for a while “fighting” a Massachusetts Air National Guardsman on a Microsoft Xbox 360 setup. The farrier/blacksmith shop area was too hot for me to handle for any length of time, and I missed the pig races. Oh well. I found the knife-throwing act dull. Ugggh.
But in one of the tents Banjo Dan and the Mid-Nite Plowboys held court, whatever that means, and although they obviously were no longer boys, they still maintained a high energy level and were very professional and good, and got quite a few members of the audience up and dancing.
Did not indulge at all in the fried twinkies and fried oreo cookies available, skipped the pierogies and stuffed cabbage, ignored the funnel cakes and sausage ‘n’ pepper sandwiches, and only ventured once to eat, and that was a sugar-free Kona Ice shaved ice cup.
Next time around we may descend earlier in the day and partake of the all you can drink all day homemade root beer for a tenor, errr, ten-spot. They also had sarsaparilla, although I doubt it was the real thing, it being illegal to make the genuine article in the USA.
The only comestibles that did interest me were the blue-ribbon winning brownies and pies but that was verboten for the duration of the fair.
Not being a gambler by nature [wanna bet?] I let Lori and Aaron dominate the skee-ball game and return from the carnival side of the fair with two armloads of giant stuffed animals as their winnings. That was their booty call.
Such a deal—all day and night entertainment for a measly six bucks and parking for free. I did not inquire as to how much money was spent skee-balling, but it was fun enough to warrant circling next year’s calendar and attending the 129th annual fair.