Today I had geek errands to run in Provincetown. I made Liz go with me because there is simply no sense in going alone. If you're going to Provincetown and it's not February you have to pay for parking. If you have to pay for parking you may as well go to lunch, do a little shopping, get a chai shake at Spiritus and, oh, run the errand. And that is just more fun with a friend. Unless you are going bathing suit shopping which is sometimes better done alone.
The first bathing suit I bought after Lucy was born I bought in Provincetown, with a male friend. He busied himself among the sneakers while I hauled armloads of suits into the dressing room. I found something, but it was a little red surfer dress that could be worn on the beach. "Yeah," he said, "I didn't think that was going to go well."
He is still alive, but barely.
Today was better. We went to lunch at Patio, which used to be Cafe Blasé. It is right on Commercial Street and has a large patio, where you can sit and eat and watch the world go by. There is nothing better than a sidewalk cafe in the summer. When it was Cafe Blasé they had these big paper lanterns in all colors on the patio. It was beautiful and made me want to go there all the time - even though the food was consistently underwhelming.
The lanterns were gone but the food was much, much better.
We went there because we had a brain block - like when you go to the library and can't remember any of the books you wanted to get. There are about 18,000 restaurants in Provincetown. I like many of them, and have wanted to try several of the others. But I just couldn't think.
There's Edwige, where Shannon and I blew our budget when we were broke beyond words and just went in for an appetizer but really really needed to do something extravagant.
There's Napi's, with its amazing brickwork and local art. There are half a dozen new restaurants that have sprung up since last summer. There's a new restaurant that's where Piggy's used to be, but neither of us knew where Piggy's used to be.
But what I really love about Provincetown is the architecture and the downtown layout. I love the little alleyways. I love the houses with their tiny, jubilant gardens and architectural ingenuity. I love the combination of business and residential.
I have stayed at a couple places there, and would like to do a more thorough search for the perfect inn. There are so many and they are all so different - definitely worth exploring. When you stay there - even just for one night - everything changes. There's time to wander and relax. You can explore more. The first time we stayed I went for a walk early in the morning and found Angel Foods - a small market where I got coffee and muffins to bring back for our breakfast on the deck.
We were so close to home, and it was such a vacation.
The day trips are a little more frantic. There is a series of missions and now that I actually have $5 for parking (do not park on the pier if you can avoid it), I don't have to drive all over town looking for a spot on a tiny side street. I kind of miss those days.
Today Liz and I parked in the $5 lot and took care of the basic needs of summer. And as we made our way from from one end of town to the other we began planning our to-do lists for future visits.
Because you always have to go back.