This fishing excursion wasn’t firmly on the itinerary at the start of the trip. We were all leery of being trapped on a boat for four hours with kids that might hate it, but we had a mostly empty day and ended up giving the family-oriented Paradise by the Seas Adventure Tour (facebook, tripadvisor) a shot. And we were very glad we did. It ended up being a great addition to our trip with a lot of fun memories for both kids and parents alike.
This spring we won a raffle for a round of golf and a hotel stay on the Cape. Ironically, it’s about a mile from Grammie and Poppy’s place in Brewster. It also couldn’t be used during the summer or during holidays….so, welcome to the Cape in the offseason!
The great thing about visiting the Cape in the off-season is there are no waits, no crowds, and very little traffic. Dash is allowed on the beach. Lobster rolls are $2. The sharks have moved on. The bike path becomes a moving escalator. I’m kidding about the lobster rolls.
On the other hand, visiting the Cape in that vacation wasteland between Labor Day and Memorial Day means a whole lot of things are closed. If you’re not into visiting organic cranberry bogs, you might have a hard time finding something to do. Luckily for the girls, the hotel gave us access to an indoor pool or they might have been new temporary Ocean Spray employees for the weekend
One of the things I remember most about our trip to Sicily is the pace of life. Things are open. Things are closed. Schedules seem to have little importance. Maybe it’s the history leeching into their blood, or maybe it’s just the all the red wine, but life feels slower, almost contemplative over there.
A little bit of that Sicilian lifestyle survives today in Boston’s North End. It’s being chipped away by time and real estate prices (there’s currently a big fight about a Starbucks moving in), but it still exists in pockets. We went into the city on Saturday and tried to time a lot of our activities around lunch and getting pizza and arancinis from Galleria Umberto. Easier said than done.
Our favorite, unassuming pizza, James Beard award-winning hole in the wall is open around 10:45 – 2:30 (Tues – Sat and they take July off). And that closing time is only a suggestion given that they sell out of most items usually well before that time.
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.
Cecilia and Ally have spent many weekend mornings cheering me, or Michelle, on at various finishing lines. They have gone to the Boston Marathon almost every year they’ve been alive. They have been unofficial timers and participants at Thursday track workouts. They are quite used to me referring to Desi, Shalane, and Meb as if they are my personal friends. They are still young enough to think that most other parents get up and run in the dark.
So they really didn’t bat an eye as I’ve been enthusiastically talking about my “friend” Eluid Kipchoge after he destroyed the marathon world record two weeks ago. I was reminded in this article just why he remains a good role model for the girls and how many running lessons translate to good parenting lessons, too:
Overcome challenges – do not let that tricky math problem get the best of you
Keep calm and carry on – no one plays a new piano song right the first time, frustration isn’t going to help anyone
Planning is key – flash cards, piano, reading: a well-documented routine keeps everyone (i.e., Dad) happy
Be humble – even if you do get on the podium, Dad is still making dinner and walking the dog
Maybe one day the girls will grow up to write a musical about runners!
I’ll go ahead and come out with it right away: I’m not a big beach person. I don’t enjoy the feel of wet sand between my toes. Or tides of seaweed wrapping my ankles. Or unidentified things brushing my legs in the murky water. Or the smell and oily feel of sunscreen on my skin while I bake in an uncomfortable chair. Should I go on?
So it comes as a surprise, maybe to me the most, that I had such a great time at Basin Head Beach and would go back without hesitation and recommend it without reservation.
Sometimes you see yourself in your kids in the oddest ways. September brings school, soccer, hurricane season and, of course, the first school-borne viruses and colds. We woke up (early) Thursday morning to that dreaded barking seal cough echoing down the hallway. Even with the immunity armor of five years of day care, Ally still picked up a bug in her first few weeks of kindergarten. I suppose I should be relived it wasn’t measles or scarlet fever.
There’s a clear dichotomy in our family in how we respond to illnesses. Michelle flat out refuses to acknowledge she is sick. She has to collapse at 2 a.m. in the bathroom or be admitted to the ER before she might consider taking an aspirin. Being sick just doesn’t fit into her plans. Cecilia is much the same. Even if you witness her sneezing, she will adamantly refuse to admit she actually did. She’s only missed 3 days of school total so far.
I, on the other hand, treat any sniffle or throat tickle like a pending doomsday scenario. I start guzzling herbal tea and green smoothies by the quart as if I can drown the germs in hippie goodness and save myself. I’ll wrap myself in warm baths and comfy sweatpants. I’ll seriously consider going to bed by 4:30 if it will help me get better faster.