Hello Everyone,

I recently returned from a trip to the Cape. My husband didn’t really want to go. He hated the idea of flying, driving in unfamiliar places, the traffic, the construction, the crowds, the cost, and generally the overall hassle of leaving the house. I think the Pandemic did a number on most of us, but especially those who already had an aversion to stepping out into the world. Eventually though, he capitulated and agreed to take this trip with me.

We flew into Boston on a Sunday. And yes, he was correct about the crowds. It was nuts! The lines were not fun and the process to get the rental car felt more like we’d stepped off the boat on Ellis Island and tried to navigate the immigration process. It was honestly quite humbling to realize you’re just one of the herd. Stay in your place, wait your turn, hope for the best. We did. And we got our car and began driving out of Boston.

It was late afternoon when we headed for our first stop, Plymouth, Massachusetts. It was a beautiful afternoon and the sun rays looked like diamonds and made the harbor sparkle. We ate at a little dive right off the water and dined on fried cod, French fries and coleslaw. We were both famished and it all tasted divine. I made a promise to myself this vacation that I would eat whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted. No guilt, no counting calories, just pure pleasure.

Our next stop that evening was driving in Hyannis Port where we made this our home base. This was a perfect location to stay throughout the week and travel around the Cape. However, our first day at Hyannis Port was a bit more exciting than we bargained for. A tornado warning and flash floods kept us ‘sheltered in place’ at the Kennedy Museum. Sitting in the darkened room, we were all engrossed in a documentary of J.F.K. visiting Ireland when suddenly someone’s weather alert on their phone went off. It sounded like a fog horn. Then my phone went off, then another, and another until everyone’s phone in the place was sounding off. It was a surreal.  We tumbled out of the darkened room and were shocked to see the force of the rain coming down through the window panes. We stood in the cramped museum for another half hour when the warning lifted and the rain seemed to subside a bit. However, my little umbrella didn’t stop that downpour, so we ducked into one of the tourist shops along the way and purchased two really nice rain coats. So, that’s a silver lining. Once things began to clear, we were able to enjoy a little shopping and a delicious pizza late in the afternoon on the main drag of Hyannis Port. That evening it was beautiful an we took a drive, stopping at many of the public beaches, and if truth be told, some of the private beaches too.  We finally made out way to the neighborhood that at one time was the vacation home of the Kennedy’s.  Definitely not in my price range as real estate goes. The area was lovely and I could certainly see why it was a summer retreat area.

On Wednesday we were off to Nantucket. We caught a ferry at the harbor in the morning and took a one hour boat ride to the island of Nantucket. I really didn’t know what to expect. It was a gorgeous day and Nantucket did not disappoint. Now, I cant say it’s not a bit commercialized and we did go during the height of tourist season, but it still had that seaside charm most of us visualize in our mind. We explored the whaling museum which was fascinating and listened to the history of Nantucket. I truly enjoyed visiting the many art galleries and speaking with the owners (many of which were the artist). We walked deep into the island and got to explore many of the beautiful homes and cobblestone streets. Watch your step while you’re there!!!! We enjoyed lunch and dinner, picked up a few trinkets for family, and of course, grabbed a t-shirt or two. We were back on the ferry by 5:45 p.m. and delivered to Hyannis Port by 6:45 p.m.

On Thursday we headed for Newport, Rhode Island and the Vanderbilt’s home, the Breakers. I had visited there before, but I want my husband to see it and it was only about a 90 minute drive from Hyannis. This home was  built between 1893 and 1895 by railroad tycoon, Cornelius Vanderbilt as a summer home. It is an example of the wealth during the Gilded Age. It was built to overlook the cliffs of Eaton Bay. Though the house is grand, it’s the view from the back of the estate that’s spectacular. I’ve always been more impressed with the property surrounding these houses than the houses themselves. I know that’s because I’m such an outdoors gal. On the way back to home base, we literally stopped at a grocery store, bought sandwiches, chips, and fruit and ate a late lunch in the car.

Friday was designated was “Up the Coast” day. We began in Chatham, Massachusetts. I have to say, Chatham was one of my favorite places. Talk about your quintessential New England seaside town! It just oozes charm, We found quaint shops selling local fare, restaurants with the fresh catch of the day, and oh, the seaside homes.  Just lovely. Our next stop was the Cape Cod National Seashore. We took a trail on foot and discovered some of the most picturesque of views. The natural beauty of the place was captivating and I can’t remember when I’ve seen so many butterflies!! We ended Friday driving to the tip of the Cape and explored Provincetown. What a place! I climbed the Pilgrim Monument, 77 meters tall and viewed Provincetown from above. I had forgotten that the Pilgrims landed first in Provincetown before landing in Plymouth and it is where the Mayflower Compact was written and signed. A little history lesson on the side! We then spent a bit of time in the museum, learning more of the history and culture of the town. We ended our visit sitting on a picnic table, eating lobster rolls while taking in the sailboats on the water. It was heaven.

On Saturday we headed back to Boston and made a stop at the Kennedy Library. I was six years old when President Kennedy was assassinated, but what struck most as I visited the library, was how much his presidency and death had left such an indelible impression on my life. It was quite moving, and yes, a bit sad. Next and last stop was Harvard University. It was a beautiful summer day, and though it was hot, we enjoyed walking through the campus. We even caught the rowers making there way down the Charles River and spent a few minutes sitting on a park bench in a shaded park on campus. It was really a pretty perfect afternoon.

We said goodbye and flew out of Boston on Sunday. I’m not going to tell you that it wasn’t expensive, or that the weather was always perfect, or that we didn’t get on each others nerves. But I will say that it was worth the memories we made and we will treasure the new places we visited. What I appreciated most, was that my husband made the effort to get out and see new things, and by doing so, really enjoyed himself. WE ENJOYED OURSELVES! So if there’s some place out there that you want to see or experience, don’t let life get in the way! If you can, go for it! And when you do, you’ll marvel at what’s out there waiting for you. Plus, the coming home is pretty sweet too!