It seems we have to rethink the ultimate Cape Cod Vacation. Because Mother Nature is not cooperating, even a little bit.
Oh it's great for my garden, don't get me wrong. I watch the rain come down and think of all the savings I'll see on my water bill (a dollar? amortized?). I also watch the rain come down and think of all the families with their noses pressed to their cottage windows. And I feel kind of bad for them.
Before I lived here, I vacationed here. We always rented a cottage in June because it was "less crowded," which is code for "cheaper." Sometimes it would be sunny, sometimes it would not. When it was not, we did jigsaw puzzles. We raided bookshelves. We had fires in fireplaces and on beaches. Honestly? Even as a kid I loved it here so much I didn't so much care about the weather.
It is with this thought that I bring you A Cape Cod Vacation: Storm Version. It's the storm version because there is a nor'easter out there, people, and it is trying to blow our chickens into next week. Holy mackerel.
Yesterday being Father's Day, we braved the elements and went to the Wellfleet Beachcomber for an afternoon of clam chowder and Incredible Casuals. Until we were safely inside, I hadn't realized what a spectacular afternoon it would be.
A long time ago I noticed that when the weather is really bad - when saltwater is blowing and treetops are thrashing and waves are dragging entire houses into the sea - people find themselves inexplicably drawn through the elements and into the safety of the bar.
The Beachcomber had some of the ocean-side shutters closed, making the outside deck marginally habitable, but we (being sissies) did not sit out there. We and a hundred or so of our closest friends chose to hang out inside, where the wind blew through the doors and reminded us where we were. Really, when all that's breaking loose, where do you want to be? You want to be in a life saving station, wrapped in a woolly sweater, eating lobster. You can look around and imagine the surfmen sitting there, doing their surfmen thing. It makes you feel sort of rugged. And hungry. Do surfmen eat oysters Rockefeller?
By the time we left, the car was coated in a fine mist of salt spray and sand. It is not dirt, it is a badge of courage and honor. I may never wash my car again.
Another Storm Version adventure might be to go ahead and book that fishing trip. Dress warmly and pretend you are on Deadliest Catch. If you don't like fishing, you could get the same degree of seasickness from a whale watch.
You can also hole up with a book. Recommended thematic reading includes Henry Beston's Outermost House and Thoreau's Cape Cod.
In my heart of hearts, I hope if you are here on vacation you get to see some sun. But until then? This is about as authentic a Cape Cod vacation as you can get. Thoreau would be proud of you.
If you ask nicely, I'll loan you a jigsaw puzzle.