There is one Donohue tradition that beats out Saturday morning couch time and watching Kirk Cameron’s little sister painfully go through puberty 22 minutes at a time: the race to the Cape.
Many of our summer Saturday mornings are spent trying to squeeze over a rickety, 75 year old bridge with half of New England and New York and all keep our collective sanity.
It starts early. We pack the night before. Speed is key. Talking is minimal. If we are feeling generous, we let the kids go the bathroom, otherwise we roll them out of bed at dawn and into the car.
Fingers crossed, here we go. It’s summer, welcome to the Cape.
We were lucky this first trip as the dance recital DVD arrived on Thursday. This proved to be the perfect distraction, along with some “special” cereal bowls (this might be their favorite part of summer), to keep the kids content during the drive.
I do wonder when they will learn to modulate their voices when listening to something on headphones. Every 10 minutes there was a piercing shouted comment from the back seat that almost had me swerving off the road.
Our military-like precision paid off, as we made it to the bridges without any muttered curses (Chelle has the worst mouth in traffic!) or circuitous Waze detours along the way.
Allison checked us in the beach house by 9 and even though the day was still pretty gray, we headed down to check out the beach.
An ominous start to the holiday weekend, but it never rained and quickly moved on out to sea. The clouds definitely didn’t do anything to dampen the girls enthusiasm for being back in Brewster. I think they know the Cape means summer and summer means no school. Hard not to be excited about that equation.
You know who’s enthusiasm also wasn’t dampened by the weather? This guy. He hates getting wet, but he loves the beach. If you’ve never seen a dog smile, come watch Dash running on the beach. It can put lots of things in perspective.
After a trip up and down the beach, it was time for the first of at least 768 trips to the playground this summer. Cecilia went right for the rings, while Ally is more a climber.
While the grandparents watched the kids on the playground a little longer, Michelle and I were able to get out for a rare run together. She ran 4, I ran 8. We were both tired by the end. On the plus side, the sun was definitely out by the time we finished.
Typical Cape weekends are spent hopscotching between the beach, the pool and various ice cream shoppes (they all spell it the quaint way down on the Cape). But this early, the water is still cold even for eight year olds, so we needed some other activities to fill the time before it was appropriate to open the wine. Lucky for us, the library came through with a live animal talk.
After the animal show, we drove back to Brewster and hit up the General Store. We had held them off long enough. The kids were going to explode if they didn’t get their penny candy.
Each time we go, they get a dollar to spend. Cecilia noticed that they had raised the prices on some of the candy since the previous year. She was rather indignant. This led to an interesting conversation about inflation, supply and demand. Funny how the context of candy can make economics and math so much clearer for a second grader than the typical homework.
It probably wasn’t our best parental moment to load them up with sugar and then insist they go to church, but our little angels survived. Then it was back to the house for dinner.
Sadly, I had a pre-smart phone moment and didn’t take any photos of dinner. Or, I was just really hungry. But it was good. Grilled littlenecks in beer, tomato and chickpea broth. It will definitely be on the repeat menu.
Finally, it was back down to the beach to let the girls run off that last bit of energy. Mom and Dad were already on empty. And to catch the sunset. It was a good one.
Remembering this sight makes getting up and on the road early a little easier.
Someone please remind me of this when I’m pulling out my hair in a traffic jam on 495 later this summer.