Monday, September 24, 2012

Cape Cod

Warning:  This posting is very self serving, and for no other purpose but to remind me of one darn good vacation.

One extremely hot day in August of 2011, we participated in a Friends of the Children of Haiti golf outing fundraiser.  In addition to the golf there was a silent auction.  To benefit the auction, a nurse who has been to Haiti with the organization several times, donated a week long stay at her family's house in Cape Cod.  John and I, along with our friends Kathy and Leroy, sat as close as we could to the bidding sheet.  Any time we saw someone bid on the vacation, Kathy pounced on it like a mother lion protecting her cubs.  We won the week, split the cost and the proceeds helped our favorite charity.  A lovely trifecta.

We could choose whatever week we wanted, and decided the second week in September would be perfect.  The "season" would be over, but shops and restaurants would still have summer hours.  It would be cooler at the beach, but we really didn't care about getting in the water.  The kids would be back in school = no crowds.

So it goes...

Saturday, Sept. 8--

Flew out that morning and arrived in Boston mid-afternoon.  We rented a Buick Enclave and took off for the Cape.  On the way, we stopped at Hanover for an early dinner and to get groceries.  We ate Italian seafood at Papa Razzi (I think I had the scallops) - the first of many outstanding meals we had that week.

We reached the house and scoped out the area.  The house is a short walk to Slough Pond, and had a nice little place to sit.  John and I took advantage of that one nice morning later on in the week, and had our morning coffee there.

Leroy tried to make a couple new friends.

Sunday, Sept 9--

Kathy and Leroy were good Catholics and went to mass.  John and I were vacation heathens and took off for a power walk instead.  When we reached the main road, we met dozens of groups of people walking the other way - some with matching shirts or hats.  One group donned tutus.  We learned that it was a group that was finishing a 3 day, 50 mile walk for MS. It started to rain, so John and I veered off our planned route and met Leroy and Kathy outside the church to catch a ride back to the house.  After a quick wardrobe change back at the house, we were off to JT's - a restaurant we had heard great things about.  (I coveted John's fried scallops.)

We pigged out and went back to the house, where Kathy assumed the position.

That was the only day it rained.  I was the only one excited about the double rainbow over the pond.

Monday, Sept. 10--

We drove to Orleans - ate at the Old Jailhouse Tavern (I had scallops), did a little shopping, stopped at a nice wine store and went for a 3 mile walk on the Rail Trail at Nickerson State Park (not necessarily in that order).

Later that evening back at the house, we noshed on cheese, pate, sausage and wine...

...and had a fire in the backyard.  It was a perfect day.

Tuesday, Sept. 11--

We drove over an hour to Provincetown, at the very tip of the cape.  We tried to get into a couple of the restaurants that were recommended to us, but one wasn't open for lunch and the other had a line of people that stretched out the door and down the block.  We ended up at Pepe's, and after consuming more seafood, we determined that it would be hard to find a bad meal anywhere on the peninsula.  

We shopped a little, and ended up at The Squealing Pig for drinks and raw oysters.  From time to time over the years, I have tried these slimy things, just to see if I still hated them.  I kept thinking, "Why do people love them?  I have to be missing something!"  I figured if I tried them in Cape Cod and still didn't like them, I never would.  

I did.  And I don't. 

Apparently Josh, our young bartender at The Pig, made very good Manhattans.  

I stepped out to take a phone call from Hannah, and when I walked back in 3 minutes later, the group had made friends with a plumber sitting at the bar, took his recommendation seriously to stay in P-town for the night and had made phone calls about reservations.  We were having too good of a time to leave, and nobody was in condition to drive back to the house.  

We checked in at the Inn, went to the store to buy toothbrushes and combs, and stopped at a little place to have a glass of wine and watch the sunset.  And Kathy needed a piece of pizza.

Then we set out to find a place to have dinner.  We attempted to eat again at the same recommended restaurant we tried earlier, and didn't want to wait 2 hours to be seated.  Again, we found a wonderful, tiny place called Devon's (I had the scallops).

Our last stop of the night was at a gay karaoke bar - only I didn't realize it was a gay bar until I was told so the next morning.  It's obvious that Provincetown is a very gay friendly town, but it didn't even occur to me that it might be a gay bar.  Maybe the drag queen emcee should have tipped me off.  Whatever - we had an awesome time.  I had enough liquid courage to get up and sing Brandy (dedicated to John) and Leroy sang a David Bowie song - couldn't begin to tell you which one.

Wednesday, Sept. 12--

We had breakfast at The Fairbanks, and we all tried to recoup from the night before.

We drove back to Brewster that morning, and chilled the rest of the day.  Kathy and I went to the beach and chilled out.  It was good.

We went to the Pheasant Inn that night for dinner.  The food was great (I had scallops).  The waitress was rude - but we chose to think of it as charming. I put my purse by my chair (seriously, where else are you going to put it?) and she kicked it as she was taking our order.  I said, "Oh, I'm sorry.  Is my purse in your way?"  Instead of the standard waitress answer, she replied in a rather deadpan manner, "Yes it is."  A few minutes later, she brought us cheese rolls and they were very tasty.  When Kathy asked her if we could buy some to take home, she snickered and walked away (think of the snooty maitre d' at Chez Paul in Ferris Bueller's Day Off).  It was like we were in a SNL skit!  We asked the owner/hostess on the way out and was told that they cheese rolls didn't hold up well the next day - a far better explanation than a mocking giggle.  We made up a story that our waitress was a bitter out of work school teacher in need of a job and was related to the owners.  Our story - sticking to it.

Thursday, Sept. 13--

Leroy drug us kicking and screaming to the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich.  A museum? Gardens?  Really?  Are we that kind of vacation people?  Apparently we are, because it ended up being a spectacular day.  We ate lunch at the Daniel Webster Inn (I probably had scallops).  Then we hit the museum.  They had a display of cars...

... but we missed the Norman Rockwell exhibit by a few days.  It didn't matter, because Kathy and I chatted it up with a guy that worked there that could have been Norman's identical twin.  (Kathy's photos pending...)

The gardens were spectacular. Here is John being contemplative...

... Awe - Leroy and Kathy...

 ... they had a merry-go-round...

... and displays - that I don't remember what they represented, but they were still fun.

We visited Sandy Neck Beach for a little while.

Thursday night was Boy's Night Out.  The Bears played the Packers on Thursday Night Football and the one request the guys had all week was to go to a pub and watch the game.  Kathy and I dropped them off in Brewster and went back to the house and watched The Voice.  We went back to pick them up and found that they had made many new friends and had a very good night, despite the Bears loss.  

Friday, Sept 14--

Kathy and I have the best husbands in the world.  After a very lazy morning, the guys dropped us off at the E Spa for massages.  Oh baby.  They worked out all our kinks in a most wonderful way and then - AND THEN - whisked us off the the Mansion Ocean Edge Resort rooftop bar for a drink.

Then it was off to the Brewster Fish House for our final dinner in Cape Cod.  I had the scallops.

We went back to the house and had one last fire.  And Kathy finally took a shower outside.  Oh - did I not mention that?  That was one of the best showers ever!

Saturday, Sept. 15--

We packed up and left. St. Louis greeted us with an incredible sunset.

What a trip.  Can't wait to go back.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Enough already!!

I may have to quit Facebook until November 7th.  The political postings - most of which I do not agree with - are getting ridiculous.  Here is a sample of what a few of my friends posted this morning -

Far be it from me to let things alone.  I fired back with this little gem.

I was de-friended from Facebook by at least one person after a lengthy political banter a few years ago.  That's when I realized that this is 100% true - why post all this crap when you're not going to change any one's mind?  Maybe they think enough photos of Clint Eastwood snarling into the camera will get to the swing voters.  But if I did want to rev up my own Facebook political machine again, I would add this to every Clint-tells-the-truth post:

"We rallied around what was right and acted as one...  We find a way through tough times and if we can't find a way, we make one."  We?  Wasn't the imaginary guy you were yelling at in the chair last week the one who 'made a way' out of Detroit's tough times? 

When did America become so overly bitter and divided over politics?  Maybe it's hearing it for over 50 years and the plaque builds over time.  Or maybe it's the race thing - maybe we haven't come as far as we like to think we have.  Whatever it is, it will not be solved on Facebook. 

Now, can we get back to vacation photos and cute quotes from your kids?