Saturday, October 14, 2006

Mini-moon: Cape Cod

We are barely recovered from the wedding and back from our mini vacation to Cape Cod. We hope to plan a bigger trip around January or so when things calm down at work (I dread to think of what awaits me when I return) and at home (more to come on that). Coming soon will also be a wedding recap plus vendor reviews, but for now, a quick synopsis of our travels.
It being off-season, things were quiet on Cape Cod (quite a few places were closed), relaxing and quite peaceful. For those unfamiliar with the area, the Cape consists of an elbow-shaped piece of land (think Popeye flexing his muscle) that wraps around a body of water, Cape Cod Bay, and there are towns (each with distinct sights and feels) spread throughout the elbow. We mostly stayed in Chatham (at the crook of Popeye's elbow) and on one of the days we traveled to Provincetown, all the way at the top, like at Popeye's fingers.

Based on the recommendation of a friend, we stayed at a nice little inn that served really good breakfasts. And since that's my favorite meal of the day, I gorged myself every morning! Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my camera downstairs, so I don't have pictures of the eggs Florentine with panchetta, French toast with fresh strawberries on top, and eggs with sausages. They also had a buffet everyday of freshly baked muffins (ranging from apple cinnamon to pineapple), three kinds of juices, yogurt and granola with dried berries, fruit salad with fresh strawberries and melon, fruit, and cereal. I loved the muffins since they were moist and had a nice sugary (but not very sweet) top. And during the afternoons, they also set out a small spread of cookies and brownies with tea and juice for an afternoon tea. So yummy!! Besides the delicious food, I liked the inn because it was very clean and quiet. It was decorated in an old-fashioned style, complete with exposed beams, antique furniture, and a large vase of giant, long-stemmed roses in the reception area. Our room had a vaulted ceiling and fireplace as well.

On our first full day in the Cape, we drove up to Provincetown (aka Ptown), where it is kinda bohemian, kinda artsy-feeling. It reminded me of a Greenwich Village transplanted to a beach setting with its somewhat busy streets, colorful little art shops & galleries, and the abundance of same-sex couples. Ptown is definitely the younger and hipper part of the Cape.

Our first stop (by accident) was the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. We didn't really have much of an itinerary but we saw a big sign for the monument and its towering presence beckoned us in (plus the need to really use the bathroom).

the phallic Pilgrim Monument -- most appropriate for Ptown

We walked up the 252-foot tower (not as difficult as I imagined) and got some pretty nice views of the area. I think these pics are a good representation of Cape Cod -- you can see how beach resortish it is, but at the same time there is a small New England town feel. If you look really carefully, you can see some of the trees in the distance changing color.
We stopped for lunch at Clem & Ursie's and had a mediocre crab cake sandwich and lobster roll.

We were really waiting for their happy hour, which promised $1 oysters and clams from the raw bar and giant shrimp but we had to come back after 3pm. So we drove around a bit and explored some beaches. One of them, (called Herring Cove Beach, I think) at the end of Commercial Street, had this pile of rocks that led out to the water. The day was gray and a bit windy so walking on it was kinda scary, especially when the water splashed onto the rocks and made it slippery. Some guy was out there was brave enough to be fishing though. (Notice the calm waters on one side and rough surf on the other -- freaky!) Back at Clem & Ursie's, we had a bunch of the oysters (so fresh and good!), clams, shrimp, and a seafood casserole for an early dinner. Everyone around us was oohing and aahing when the casserole (a variety of seafood, from lobster to cod, to scallops, in a Gruyere cheese sauce and covered with mashed potatoes) was brought out. It was quite good, but since we had just eaten our lunch a few hours before, I wasn't able to fully enjoy it on a stuffed stomach.

The following day, we strolled (more like drove) around Chatham, buying some souvenirs, and happened upon a few thrift shops. We bought a bunch of junk and ended up at Brax Landing in Harwich (the next town over) for lunch. We had lunch on their patio overlooking the water and it was quite pleasant under the bright sun. I had fish and chips (the fish was really light, crisp, and juicy) while Dear had some fried oysters.

We went back to the inn after lunch for some brownies and cookies, then napped before dinner. Lunch and tea were so filling, it was difficult to think about food even at 8:30, but we had to, since every place closes before 10pm in the off-season. For dinner, we returned to the Chatham Squire (we had take-out from there the first night so that I could stay in and watch Gilmore Girls) and had just enough time to eat a lobster salad (lots of lobster meat!) on a croissant and mussels with linguisa sausage.

On our last day, we went to an estate sale in Hyannis (home of the "Kennedy compound") that Dear found while surfing online. I've never been to one and it was kinda creepy and sad -- think of a bunch of strangers looking through a dead person's stuff, like a garage sale. What was even sadder was that a lot of the stuff wasn't that nice and it grossed me out to see cobwebs over everything and weeds in the backyard. We saw a kinda nice little black bench that we contemplated getting but it wasn't antique (could've been Target for all we know) and in the end we thought it wasn't worth it. On our drive back, it got noticeably cooler and it was nice to see all the fall colors (I truly love this season!).

Overall, it was a nice little relaxing vacation. I think I slept close to 12 hours one night, finally catching up on all my lost sleep! Unfortunately, Dear got a little sick since he wasn't prepared for the change in weather. :(


Samantha said...

hmmmm... oysters and shrimp.... hmm... I'm hungry. I should take a micro vacation too! :)

Sam (K) said...

I love Cape Cod off season. We went on Valentine's day 2 years ago.
Congratulations! :D Welcome to the married side! I'll share all the club secrets with you!

tomas said...

Glad you guys had a good time and that the Cranberry Inn accomodations were satisfactory. Sounds exactly like the type of getaway we like - eat, drive around and explore, shop, eat some more, nap before dinner, a drink or two and then dinner and then more sleep! Looking forward to seeing you guys soon.