Every now and then, it’s good to get away. I don’t think it’s considered playing hooky when you’ve made it clear you’ll be out of the office and are using one of the vacation days you’ve been saving up since 2007, but it still feels a bit sneaky to be at the beach on a random Wednesday. That’s where I ended up yesterday, enjoying plenty of sun (responsibly, mostly from under an umbrella like a good pale Irish America gal), catching up on some reading, and splashing in the waves with my one-year-old niece.
I picked up my younger brother bright and early and cruised over the Bourne Bridge while blasting James Taylor, quintessential Cape music. Other artists who belong on a Cape playlist (for a shortcut, simply play the JT Pandora station):
The Doobie Brothers
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Don Henley (and/or The Eagles)
Bonus track (for those who like something a little more current… but not actually current) and a random anecdote: Back to the Earth by Rusted Root. This song was playing when our catamaran sailed back into the harbor after Nick and I did some island hopping on our honeymoon. It was like God himself was DJ-ing our lives (but he probably wasn’t… mostly because I am sure there are more important things to attend to, and I don’t know if he has an iPod); regardless, the timing and sentiment was so perfect.
It’s probably worth mentioning that when the day is done and you’re heading back to the city, feeling a touch overtired and under-caffeinated, you should trade James Taylor for Skrillex. Safety first.
[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]I’ve never watched the show, but if it’s anything like this past weekend, I’ll be DVR-ing the next season. I got to spend the last three days on the Cape with some of my absolute favorite people. Equal parts low key and dancey, the weekend was absolutely perfect.
My sister and I picked up our cousin Katie from the train station Friday evening and made it to the Cape in record time, especially considering it was a holiday weekend. We shared a bottle of wine and a game of Phase 10, before beginning the search for the ultimate “learn to dance like Michael Jackson” YouTube video and establishing the sole ground rule for the weekend (we only needed one):
If you say you’re going to do it, you have to do it.
I broke that rule first thing Saturday morning when I… um… forgot to wear my newly gifted clip-on veil on our run. Colleen and Tina joined us shortly after we got back to the house, just in time for mimosas on the beach. We enjoyed beautiful weather and perfect tides all weekend long.
Being a complete control freak person, I was anxious to know what was in store, and a bit nervous about the surprises the girls had in store. Their thoughtfulness far surpassed anything I could have imagined. My sister worked with Nick to create a guessing game/video, which was definitely a highlight of the weekend for me. Not surprisingly, Nick and I had matching answers for most questions about one another, including how annoying my indecisiveness can be… and his questionable taste in music. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, though, as Nick talked about how excited he is to get married.
I am just so lucky. For so many reasons.
Soon, our sweet ride was pulling up. Katie connected with Jerry, owner of Cape Cod Limousine, and set up a fantastic evening for us. Having a driver for the night was such a fun surprise. We played with the overhead lights and music like a bunch of junior prom goers. Our first stop was the Chatham Bars Inn for drinks by the gazebo as the sun was setting and a fabulous dinner in the tavern.
The roasted tomato soup was perfect for warming up (before donning a heavy Champagne jacket…).
After dinner, we made a quick stop at Land Ho! in Orleans. I enjoyed a hard cider, a lap around the bar, and a quick lesson on life courtesy of the ladies room.
Jerry’s prediction that the scene at the Ho would be a bust proved true, though the band (and the band members’ hair) was quite good. Sadly, our glow bracelets didn’t quite fit in. And no one was dancing. That was our cue to move on.
We took the express train limo to our old standby, the Woodshed, where we spend the rest of the night dancing, dancing, dancing, drinking and trying to avoid being danced on. There was some aggressive elbowing taking place on that tiny dance floor. The Boston Naturals played a great set and being surrounded by the girls had me smiling like mad.
I had to break out my flying squirrel costume (oh… doesn’t everyone have one?) before the night was over, but my attempt to sneak through the house resulted in a skinned knee. You can’t win ’em all. I am sure there are photos of Squirelizabeth, but I don’t have any. Which is entirely fine by me.
Sunday morning, I slept later than I have in decades (possibly an exaggeration, but maybe not) and missed Colleen and Tina departing. I had so much fun with them, and was glad they could both join us for part of the weekend. Several of my friends and bridesmaids were traveling, moving, and attending weddings and though I certainly missed them, I felt their love from far away and appreciated all the texts and calls over the course of the weekend.
Katie, Andrea and I fit in another run before more time at the beach, more Phase 10, more MJ videos, and a trip to Kate’s.
Oh, and a beer can duel. Because what’s a bachelorette party without Bud Light cans flying through the air?
I loved every minute of this weekend.
Also On Tap for Today:
I went away and it was August… I came back and it’s September?!
Last summer, we were enjoying a day at the beach with my parents when I overheard quite the conversation. One little girl yelled to her little girl friend, as they splashed at the shoreline,
“If we drink the magic potion, we can be baby mermaids foreverrrrr.”
I’ve adopted this as a mantra of sorts. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be baby mermaids forever? My magic potion is a blend of daily vitamins, 3 peanut M&M’s, some spinach, and two drops of anti-wrinkle cream.
Speaking of being forever young, I sort of love that Forever Young (Youth Group’s version played during Napoleon Dynamite’s dance scene) found its way onto a Jay-Z album. I’m a bit obsessed with the video.
When my mom turned fifty a year older, my siblings and I had the genius idea to buy her a pair of love birds. I think, technically, I had the idea and convinced them to go along with it… but once you hear how this stroke of genius ended (possibly with an actual bird stroke), you’ll realize I’m not bragging. More like, taking the blame.
I did a little research (not a lot), and Andrea and I went where the pets go (Petco) and picked up a very cute pair of peach-faced loved birds. They were packaged in what was basically an unmarked Munchins box. The sales person pet specialist told us they’d chirp the whole way home. The didn’t move or make a peep. An anxiety riddled half hour passed. Then came the “how to move them from the munchkin box to the cage” debacle. Several anxiety riddle hours passed. Somehow, the transfer was completed.
Allegedly, the birds were from Madagascar, but they could’ve been from Medford, for all we knew. To this day, we have no idea if they were male or female or one of each, but we thought they were both males and named them Brewster and Harwich, for our favorite places on the Cape. We loved how surprised Mom was when she and Dad got home from her birthday dinner. She asked, “Are these really for me?” That was my favorite part. Of the entire lives of these birds.
Which… um… for Brewster was two months. Like many other birds across the country, Brewster sadly met his end on Thanksgiving. Mom and I took him to an animal hospital, where he was incubated in what looked like an aquarium. Apparently he had some disease (weird, our Petco Pal said those missing feathers were due to molting…) and needed to be euthanized.
I am not making any of this up.
So while the vets prepared a very small needle, my mom and I stood in the ICU, which was essentially a small room filled with various dying species, including a parrot whose feet had been bitten off by his cage mate and a dog experiencing kidney failure.
I don’t think I have ever experienced anything more awkward.
We worried that Harwich would be depressed without his questionably better half, but he seemed to thrive as an only birdchild for several years. He was an adventurous fellow, completing solo flights to the top of the Christmas tree and to the dark recesses behind the entertainment center. If I was the Bird Whisperer, I would imagine his favorite part of the day was when my parents uncovered and fed him and he got to stare out the window at the uncivilized birds in the yard.
Sadly, just days after this Thanksgiving, Harwich… flew to heaven (I figure if all dogs go to heaven, lovebirds probably do too). Bye, bye, birdie. Hello, hello, shopping for new pets for Mom and Dad. I’m kidding… I promise I will never do that again.
Also On Tap for Today:
Puppy/human obedience class (must remember to not wear high heels)
After over twenty days of rain in June, the sun came out just in time for the 4th of July. Enjoying a long, sunny holiday weekend was just what the doctor ordered for New England’s weather induced cabin fever. The fact that my BlackBerry went haywire only helped my efforts to unplug (with the exception of the wii), unwind and have some good ol’ fashioned fun down the Cape.
We hit very little traffic on Friday and enjoyed fantastic beach weather that afternoon, and even better weather on the 4th. We walked out on the flats at low tide in Brewster, laughed with the South Carolina cousins about summers past and family members not present (not you, Jimmy) and my carnivorous relatives enjoyed the catch of the day.
There were amateur fireworks on the beach (complete with a gong that rang after each explosion…) and plenty of (unintentionally hilarious) patriotic tee shirts. For all the doom and gloom that’s been hanging over our rain soaked state, it was so nice to be outside, enjoying the beautiful weather with our fellow Americans. And our new Canadian aunt.
Some things change from summer to summer (the Friendly’s that became Roo Bar is now something equally forgetable), but others never change: the worth it lines at Sundae School, the feeling of sand in the sheets, and the unexpected combination of great food and horrible service. Nick and I had dinner at the 400 East, where our waitress brought twice as many oysters as Nick ordered. I assume, if you love oysters, that’s a good thing. She subsituted my mesclun salad for some sort of tuna salad with shrimp and didn’t bring our sides until we had asked for them. Twice. Two nights later we enjoyed dinner with my parents and Andrea at the Oyster Company. The food was delicious (I had a Caprese salad, Andrea had salmon I think?, Nick and my dad had the ahi tuna and my mom had linguini with lobster). Everything was perfect until our waitress went missing in action. My mom left a comment with the bill, resulting in us fleeing the restaurant before the waitress read “Wait staff is very busy!” and spiked a Married Berry martini on our heads.
Having waitressed at arguably the worst restaurant on the Cape (following the pattern above, it was, at the time an Irish pub, later a lounge aptly named Why and this summer, an Argentinian grill), I can sympathize with the stress that comes with tending to impatient tourists, salty locals, and everyone in between. At the same time, it’s July. You’ve had over a month to make mistakes. Just saying.
When it sadly came time to head home, along with the rest of universe, I felt fortunate to be armed with my Tom Tom. We hopped off Route 6 in Mashpee and take the Service Road to exit 2, bypassing an hour or so of traffic. You’re welcome for that top secret information.
And there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the U.S.A.
Also On Tap for Today:
July/August issue of Women’s Health, p. 136: 25 Amazing Summer Meals. Time to get cracking!
How did you celebrate the 4th? Did it involve a gong?