Flashback 12 years, to August 2003, when Catherine was 6 and we introduced her to Cape Cod.
It’s a rare photo of all three of us, taken by a kind stranger on the beach at Chatham Light. Catherine also posed here earlier that day with a book so that in September she could show her second-grade teacher where she had done her summer reading. I know she will look at this picture later today and demand to know what I was thinking when I packed the outfit she is wearing.
It’s been a while since we’ve been back to Cape Cod — too many other things seem to get in the way — but those vacations remain endless fodder for us.
That year, in addition to wandering Chatham Light Beach — which the tides have changed too many times to count in the years since — we had to have a Lime Rickey at Buffy’s and a hamburger at the Chatham Squire.
We took a riverboat cruise from Hyannis that year, enjoyed chowdah at Captain Parker’s, played endless rounds of mini-golf at Pirate’s Cove, rented a paddle boat on Swan Pond River, tried a spin in the go-karts and took in the gay pride parade in P-town. (There, without thinking, I handed Basil my purse while Catherine and I headed to the ladies room inside town hall. Standing on the parade route, watching the costumed (and not-so-costumed) revelers as he waited our return, Basil garnered some attention, too, in his pink golf shirt and Vera Bradley!)
This was also the trip when, a day or two after exploring Chatham, we took Catherine to Nauset Beach. There were enjoyed the world’s best onion rings at Liam’s before grabbing the pink-flowered boogie board from Limited Too and heading into the icy-cold surf. It was a beautiful day and the shoreline was packed with kids body surfing — a new experience for Catherine and one that was short-lived.
Wave 2 or 3 wiped her out but good. She came up gasping for air, scared to death and –as we remind her to this day — looking like shake and bake. It took a good long time to get all the sand off her and out of her hair.
And after that, there was no going back. We didn’t get our money’s worth out of the parking fee that day.