Our Cape Cod vacations were the best — feeding the heart and soul year after year.
Basil and I started the annual pilgrimages when we were still dating, heading north Labor Day weekend, then staying on after the crowds crossed the bridge and some quiet had descended.
We stopped for a while after Catherine was born, back when the days were a blur of diapers and feedings punctuated by nap time. But when she was in first grade, we ventured back for our first family vacation.
It started a new August tradition.
For months we would plan the trip, first staying in our favorite motel, the one with two pools in which to enjoy a lazy afternoon break time, and later renting the same little home each year.
Funny, but much as we tried to be spontaneous, the trips always had the same rhythm:
- mini-golf at Pirates Cove
- chowdah at Captain Parker’s
- a stroll on Seagull Beach
- onion rings from Liam’s Clam Shack at Nauset Beach after a day of body surfing
- a day in P-town (which once coincided with the gay pride parade, an event that still makes us smile, especially when remembering the backless chaps one fellow rocked)
- a visit to Chatham that always included a peek at the fish pier, a check to see how the sea had changed the landscape at Chatham Light, and a lime rickey from Buffy’s Ice Cream shop
- a Basil-Catherine spin in the paddle boats in Dennis while I sat on shore with a good book
- fish and chips at Baxter’s Boathouse, where we once were thrilled to see a small boat named Catherine
As much fun as we always had, it’s been several years since we’ve loaded the car, headed to Providence and hung a right.
The trip has been set aside each year for a variety of reasons. We won’t make it this year, either, since we’re in college search mode.
My heart will be there, though.