Saturday, July 28, 2018

Simple Pleasures

     B and I are vacationing on Cape Cod for two weeks. We're renting the same house we rented last year. We're here by ourselves right now, but soon some family will be visiting us.

A portrait of the harbor
     B and I have been coming to Cape Cod ever since we met, about 15 years ago. By that time she had already been to the Cape a few times with her kids. On my part, I first came here when I was in college, and have been coming back almost every year ever since.

     We like the salt air, the picturesque towns, the shoreline on Nantucket Sound, and farther out, the more rugged beaches along the Atlantic Ocean. And, not incidentally, our favorite ice-cream shop just happens to be right around the corner from our house. And a half mile the other way is George's Fish Market. We had steamed lobsters for dinner last night.

My crib sheet
     We've read a few books. I reviewed the signal flags that I learned last year. And as we rode our bikes past the local Congregational church, B told me the difference between a graveyard and a cemetery. A graveyard is located at a church; a cemetery is not.

     A few people actually live out here year round. We have friends, originally from the Boston area, who have lived in Falmouth for over 25 years. They raised their two kids here.

Graveyard at Harwich church
     But most of the crowds on the Cape consist of vacationers -- some families and a lot of retirees. In some ways, it's a fairly insular group. Almost all of them come from the Northeast. Actually, almost all of them come from Massachusetts. There are some people from Connecticut, and then there's a smattering of outliers from Maine to Maryland, from Ontario to Ohio. I saw one California license plate -- I bet those people grew up in Boston.

     There's also a contingent of retirees from Florida. (Most of them are originally from New England as well.) They spend summers here, but make sure to maintain their residency in Florida to avoid the heavy Massachusetts taxes. So you see a lot of Florida license plates dotting the landscape.

We went swimming in Seymour pond
     Honestly, the weather hasn't been that sunny (hence, the reading). We spent an hour the other night standing out in the rain waiting for a local baseball game to begin. It never did.

     But one afternoon we did go swimming in one of the kettle ponds, the bodies of water left behind by the glaciers some 18,000 years ago. We also rode the Shining Path bike trail from Falmouth to Woods Hole. We saw a summer stock production of Altar Boyz, which was a hoot. And a performance by Hyannis Sound, a college a cappella group that sings its way around the Cape for the summer.
Looking across to Martha's Vineyard

     None of this is very sophisticated. One of B's nephews, a high-school principal from New Jersey, is coming to visit for a couple of days. He and his wife just got back from Paris. I doubt we'll measure up.

     But we like the simple pleasures -- hanging around in shorts and t-shirts, slurping clam chowder and licking ice-cream cones, riding bikes and playing in the sand.

21 comments:

DJan said...

It sounds like heaven to me, doing next to nothing and reading every day. I read about that huge amounts of rain hitting the northeast, while we in the west are having wildfires. They are not in Washington state right now, though. California is really getting hit hard. I'll take rain any day.

Karen D. Austin said...

I've never been to Cape Cod, so thank you for the photos and description. Have a lovely time.

Wisewebwoman said...

Sounds like heaven to me, sheer and absolute enjoyment and blessed idleness.

XO
WWW

Roberta Warshaw said...

Oh yes, everyone from Mass goes to the Cape in summer! When we were living in the Boston area, we went a few times but stopped since everyone we were trying to get away from followed us! HA! Way too crowded.

We started going to the Berkshires! What a difference. It is still crowded in the summer months due to Tanglewood but much less noticeable since there is more space for people to spread out. A whole different vibe. Try it sometime! You may enjoy it!

gigihawaii said...

Sound like a very enjoyable vacation.

Tom Sightings said...

Roberta -- I've spent plenty of time in the Berkshires. Some wonderful spots, but as you say, a whole different experience. Maybe there's a blog post there as well ... unless you get to it first!

Celia said...

Sounds like a perfect vacation to me. Especially the rain, the reading and the ice cream/

Barbara said...

Sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to go there.

Juhli said...

I too have always wanted to go there but somehow it didn't happen. Love the New England coast.

Jono said...

I spent summers at the beach in Delaware when I was a kid. I would love to do it again and Cape Cod sounds like a terrific place. Here in the Midwest we have the Great Lakes, but it just isn't the same.

marna sag said...

Tom I recently spent some time at my brother's summer home in Mashpee. It was heaven. He has more amenities in his part time home than I have in my permanent home! The problem was driving home to PA. If you have any suggestions of an alternate route please let me know!

Olga Hebert said...

I have fond memories of the Cape. My favorite time to go is in September. The water is warm, the air is fresh, and the crowds have gone.

Linda Myers said...

I love your kind of vacation. Our last time at the beach was about six years ago, for a week on the coast of Washington. There is something about the sounds of the water and the birds that are especially evocative.

BethB from Indiana said...

Sounds wonderful. I was a camp counselor near Sandwich back in the early 70s, and I had a day off every week to explore. I saw Leonard Nimoy play Tevye in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF at the Cape Cod Melody Tent, visited Provincetown, Hyannis, Martha's VIneyard, Nantucket, and went deep see fishing. It was one of the best summers of my life (I was between junior and senior year of college). I haven't been back since, unfortunately.

Tom Sightings said...

I don't think I could last six years without going back to the beach. And September is a great time to go. Oh, Beth, it sounds like your summer on the Cape was the perfect summer ... and don't you think that the summer between junior and senior year is the possibly best summer of all of our lives?

Diane Dahli said...

Any thoughts I have about Cape Cod are colored by the beautiful song, Old Cape Cod, sung by Doris Day. It seems to capture the lazy, hazy perfect Cap Cod day you describe, Tom!

Rebecca Olkowski said...

I've been to Cape Cod once but it was in the middle of winter and was empty. Loved the lighthouses, though and the clam chowder.

Bethany @ Happily Loco said...

That looks beautiful! And I never knew that there was a difference between a graveyard and a cemetary. How interesting!

Anonymous said...

Visited Cape Cod about 30 years ago. It took hours to cross the bridge to get in and my daughter who was a toddler at the time said the people were saying bad words in the cars around us and they should stop that. We stayed in Hyannis, visited Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, etc. and had a great time. I remember leaving Nantucket on the boat in the dark and knew at the time I would remember it for the rest of my life. - plynjyn

Snowbrush said...

I suppose all the tourists from far away get sidetracked by the many other things that there are to marvel at in Massachusetts. I have a longtime blog buddy who lives on Cape Cod: http://karenjasper.blogspot.com/

David @ iretiredyoung said...

Your vacation sounds like pure bliss. I don't know if it's linked to me getting a little less young, but I also appreciate the simple pleasures in life these days.