So the Libuttis hit the road last week and spent a week in Cape Cod. Here are some of the highlights.
All that's old is new again. We have been to the Cape before for vacations both before and after we had Michaela, but this is the first time we stayed for a week, stayed in a house, went to three new beaches, tried to entertain two young daughters who declared they were "beached out" by Tuesday afternoon, and stayed in a new town on the Cape.
Eastham, my love. We stayed in a ranch-style house in Eastham, which is further out- hence it's called the Outer Cape- than we usually stay. It is a rural, unpolished, and absolutely beautiful. It is just raw, wild beauty to me. Lots of ocean beaches, bay beaches, locally owned restaurants and ice cream stands, all which are named some derivative of "The Lobster Shack", it seems, and totally lacking in pretense. In the middle of town was the Eastham Superette which is everything you imagine a little supermarket on the Cape would be. (A little dirty, very local, and covered in grayed cedar shakes.) I loved stopping there on our way home each day and grabbing a newspaper. I could go to Eastham every summer for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.
Casualties of vacationing. We lost our cooler somewhere and didn't realize it until we were packing up to leave on Saturday. We tried searching through our pictures to see the last time we had it but I think we just forgot to carry it back to the car one day. Our camera also broke after I exposed it to water at a water slide park. I mean, what's a few drops of water to a sensitive electronic device?? We also lost several years off of our lives on Sunday when Jenna wandered down the beach as the ocean's high tide was coming in and couldn't find her for about three minutes. I thought she had been swept out to sea and Dan thought someone had taken her. Thankfully, the moms and lifeguards on the beach united in an unstoppable force and found her right away. She had no idea she was even lost so she was fine. We were basket cases. I think that was the day we lost the cooler.
Beaches, beaches and more beaches. We explored an ocean beach, a Cape Cod Bay beach, and a beach on Nantucket Sound. Each had their own charm. The girls were less than thrilled with the ocean: Jenna said it sounded like thunder. We met the fabulous Strauss boys and their parents for a day (they were in Plymouth, MA and we met halfway) and then had a super-yummy dinner at Baxter's Fish 'N' Chips in Hyannis. A pretty much perfect day.
Souvenirs. Total non-food items purchased: three.
1. "Welcome to Eastham" refrigerator magnet: $2.99 in the tackiest souvenir shop I've been in over the last 25 years.
2. One stuffed kitten toy covered in rabbit hair, taxidermist-style: $12.99 in Chatham in a little gift shop we found. Jenna picked it out.
3. One Whoopee Cushion: $2.99 in the store mentioned in #1. Michaela picked it out and could not have been more pleased with her purchase. Now every time Jenna hears a farting noise, she asks, "Was dat a whoopee tushion?"
4. The two that got away: a lobster belt for $19.99 in a store in Chatham that I encouraged Dan to buy but he didn't and a t-shirt in the same store that said "Wicked pissah" on it. Sooo Massachusetts. I loved it.
Always on the move. We hiked. We biked. We went to a children's museum and played. We sailed on a pirate ship and found the treasure. (We also took aboard a castaway named Splash- he was part of the pirate schtick- who Michaela was extremely suspicious of. At the end he helped to distribute the Pirate's Grog, which tasted a lot like grape soda, and she whispered in my ear with astounding seriousness, "Don't drink the grog... it could be poisonous." I mean, it was like she was a detective from Law and Order: Special Pirates Unit. She was all over him.) We swam. We searched for shells. We mini-golfed.
Here's Michaela and Jenna sitting in the bow of the pirate ship.
Unforgettable. We watched the high tide come in over the Bay beach at First Encounter Beach (Ahh, for the history buffs: this is where the Pilgrims came ashore and had their first encounter with the native Wampanoags in the area. I think the word "encounter" is a bit euphemistic as it brings to my mind exchanges of a colorful wampum belt for a really good bottle of English wine, a nice red, perhaps, but if you read the fine print in the Cape Cod informational brochures, the Wampanoags shot arrows, the Pilgrims returned with gunfire and then hightailed it out of there.). We saw the sunset over the beach one night. And on our last night we watched fireworks over Wellfleet Harbor while huddled together sitting on a beautiful beach. The breeze was gorgeous, the scenery breathtaking and being together to see it was a moment I just wanted to bottle up and save in my heart forever.
It was one of the times you realize, I am living in my own utopia.