I like the challenge of cooking on vacation. I like the different stove. The different equipment. The weird spices. The limited cupboard. I think just being in a different kitchen and a different place can spark your creativity.
Of course, after a day in the sun or a day touring the sites, sometimes you don’t want to cook. You just want something easy. Or for someone to put a plate in front of your hungry face.
We spend a lot of the summer weekends in Brewster on Cape Cod and we take plenty of advantage of all the local, fresh seafood to make some great meals, but sometimes vacation means taking a break from everything, including cooking dinners.
The girls recently learned a new phrase: “Uncles never say no!” We spent the last seven days on the Cape with family and the girls’s aunt and uncles spoiled the girls rotten with presents, crafts, clothes, cheese balls, compliments, whip cream and attention. Mostly it was the attention and the complete inability of my brother-in-law to say no. They have no idea how good they have it.
The innocence of youth is galling. And I do sometimes worry about it. But not on vacation. If you’re going to spoil your kids, vacation seems like an appropriate time. It’s an especially good time if you’re an aunt and uncle and can escape back to the hotel when the first cracks appear in the kid’s composure.
As parents, unfortunately, we can’t escape when all the good times come home to roost, but luckily mai tais and boat drinks are wholly acceptable after 11 a.m. on vacation time.
You might have had plans for sun, fun, waves, ice cream and lobster rolls, but now you are staring down a forecast of storms and showers. It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. You are on a summer vacation and the day is a complete rainout. If you don’t have a back up plan, your vacation can quickly turn into bickering, boredom and second guessing.
Here are 11 things you can do with kids on the Cape to salvage that rainy vacation day.
There were a lot of weird things that happened in the 80’s: Bunnicula, Mr Belvedere’s employment situation, those weird vinyl E.T. dolls, Noid, Muppet Babies, but somewhere up near the top of the list must be the musical Cats. How did this become a hit?
It would be easy to blame Michelle, but I really only have myself to blame for this one. As a joke, I put on the cast recording in the car one day and later showed them a few YouTube clips. Cecilia was appropriately horrified. Allison, on the other hand, was smitten. This was the greatest thing since glitter tattoos and warm chocolate chip cookies.
She has spent the entire week begging to listen and learn more about this strange tribe of cats. She has been prancing around the house singing Magical Mister Mistoffelees. I have spent it cursing Andrew Lloyd Webber.
After a cross country trip and dealing with one child’s new found phobia of giant costumed characters, we decided to spend our summer holiday this year closer to home. We would spend a week in Brewster and do all the touristy things we typically avoid when we are only there for a weekend.
Cape Cod is a hang out place. Just about everywhere is near some body of water whether it’s the ocean, bay or a lake. Strange as it appears on the surface, in a lot of ways the Cape vibe is similar to Hawaii. Once you’ve finally made it, you mostly just want to chill out in a chair, have an adult beverage, stare out at the water or read a book. All of which is completely possible with two kids under the age of 10!
One of the unexpected highlights of our week long Cape vacation was definitely the whale watch from Provincetown. We’d done a few (pre-kids) East Coast whale watches from Gloucester and Mystic with mixed to meh results, so my expectations were not high, but it would be a good adventure for the kids and kill three hours, either way. Never underestimate the power of a time-killing event is a key parenting lesson.
The Cape Cod Rail Trail follows a former railroad right-of-way (it was operational and transported passengers and freight to Cape Cod in the early 1800s until around 1960) for 25 miles through the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet.
It’s a paved path, well maintained with very few hills. It’s a great way to see the (non-beach) scenery of the mid-Cape.
It’s also a good way to work off that lobster roll and get a little exercise while you are on vacation.
Here are my tips for 5 effective ways to get in a quality training session using the Cape Cod Rail Trail.