We were down at the Cape for most of the holiday week and it seems fitting on the Fourth of July that the girls got a little more independence this year. While they are not swimming alone or biking off down 6A to the General Store, they do now have the freedom to pedal around the complex and go for low-tide beach walks.
It’s been good for all of us. If a mid-afternoon lull sets in or if they just can’t survive without dessert immediately, we can shove them out the door and tell them to pedal around for 30 minutes until the second, mmm, maybe third, bottle of wine kicks in. Let freedom ring!
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
The girls spent last week at the Cape attending Camp Grammie (& Poppy). According to them, they spent their days swimming, looking for sand dollars, staying up late, painting, eating ice cream at every meal, and making memories. Pretty much what girls their age should be doing in the summer. Grammie assured me there was some broccoli and even a little reading during the week, but no dreaded math facts.
With the girls away, it allowed Michelle and I to…. work more and watch Netflix on the couch a few hours earlier. I think the quiet almost shocked us into a state of indolence. Turns out, there is a rhythm to the house that you come to rely on to keep you on track when everyone is operating near the edge of exhaustion.
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.