Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fiddling about with my sidebar

I've been noticing a lag in pulling up my blog lately and hear that sometimes it freezes if being brought up. I think it might be due to the Dogster badge I had on the sidebar so I've taken it off, sadly. Please let me know if this helps!

Also! My mom has a new post up on her blog, Marge's Words to the Wise. She has gone off on a tangent this time - no grammar - it's about hairstyles! This has been a pet peeve of hers for years! So check it out and see if you agree.

TIred all the time? Maybe you have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome!

Or maybe not. But if you're worried about it, or if you're a hypochondriac like me and would like a new disease to worry about getting, check out my latest post on Medicana.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

No Rain, No Rainbows(R)

This is the signature philosophy of a list called Kimo's Rules, which I became familiar with in Hawaii. I have a card with the Rules in a lucite frame on my desk. However, I was never sure who had copyrighted the rules; all I knew was they always had an "R" at the end, meaning the list is a registered trademark.

Tonight when I left work I discovered it was raining. I usually know these things before I leave, but because it's been so hot the last couple of days, our Facilities people closed everyone's blinds to try to keep the heat out.

I stopped at the grocery store, and when I came out the rain was nearly ended. As I was driving up the ramp to the highway I realized there was a full rainbow arching over the road and disappearing into the distance.

Now, if you live in Hawaii, rainbows are very common. But here in New Jersey they are relatively rare. I always enjoy seeing them and feel as if they are a good omen.

Seeing the rainbow made me think of Kimo's Rules. So when I got home I decided to look them up so that if I wrote about them I would be able to give credit where it was due.

First of all, you are probably wondering what these mysterious rules are. I am going to list the rules below and will then go into the story of who trademarked them.

Kimo's Hawaiian Rules

Never judge a day by the weather.
The best things in life aren't things.
Tell the truth - there's less to remember.
Speak softly and wear a loud shirt.
Goals are deceptive - the unaimed arrow never misses.
He who dies with the most toys - still dies.
Age is relative - when you're over the hill, you pick up speed.
There are 2 ways to be rich - make more or desire less.
Beauty is internal - looks mean nothing.
No Rain - No Rainbows.®

When I did my Google search, I discovered that apparently the originator of the Rules, one Kimo Krogfoss, gave the list to Rita Peeters, owner of Nite Owl T-Shirts on Kauai, back in 1991. Night-Owl then copyrighted the list.

According to this article, Kimo's Rules have been plagiarized many times in many ways. So, since I don't know whether my copy of Kimo's Rules was published by Night Owl or not, I will make it up to them by linking to their website so you can order your own T-shirt with Kimo's Hawaiian Rules on it:

Now, as to the rules themselves...

My two favorites are:

There are two ways to be rich: Make more or desire less.


Goals are deceptive; the unaimed arrow never misses.

I always say that the line about goals personifies my philosophy of life. I feel that I never really had goals, never really laid out a plan for my life. I took what came, I rolled with the punches, I drifted in the wind. And yet ended up in the right place; hence, the unaimed arrow never misses. I find it is better to fire the arrow into the air and see where it falls to earth, rather than picking a target and aiming at it. You can be totally successful at hitting that target and then find out it's not where you really wanted to be after all.

My friend Estelle disagreed with me when I was expounding on this idea one day. She said, "But you do have goals, you decide to accomplish specific things." And it's true, there are things I decide to accomplish as I go along. But my overall Life Plan never existed.

There are people who know from the time they are teenagers that they have a specific goal they want to reach in life: Become a millionaire (billionaire?), own their own company, be President...something they focus on all their lives, taking each step they need to achieve the goal.

This is not the way I operate. I pick small things to go after, and then as life changes around me, I follow the twists and turns. As Yogi Berra said, "If you come to a fork in the road, take it." That's what I did. So I didn't end up in a job that matched what I majored in in college. But it's a job that suits my talents anyway. This is just one example of the unaimed arrow. There are many others. And I think people who follow those unaimed arrows are probably happier in life than those with those far-flung, ambitious goals. It's part of the "desire less" part of the other Rule.

Maybe by following the "unaimed arrow" Rule I'll never be rich...but I'll be content.

Update: I checked my framed Rules - am happy to report they are copyright 1991 and 1997 by Nite-Owl T-Shirts - so I bought a "legitimate" version!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Very Bad Day - and a Meme!

Sunday was beautiful - the skies were blue, the sun was shining, the humidity was low. It was a perfect day to sit out on the deck and enjoy the Sunday paper, followed by performance of various tasks that I had been intending to do. But it was not to last. At 10:30 my in-laws (whom I love dearly, don't get me wrong) called and asked if they could come up and visit. How can we say no? So they did. And thereby my whole afternoon was shot because by the time they left I was no longer in any way motivated to do the things I had intended to do. I did manage to plant a couple of flowers, but that's it.

After walking Diva in the park we went grocery shopping. DH took Diva around the block a few times while I did the shopping. And here is where my Very Bad Day really got under way.

I was going along minding my own business in the paper products aisle, and realized that we had toilet paper on the list. So I looked around and saw that the type we use, Scott's Extra Soft (in the handy 6-pack), was on the top shelf. I am very short. In fact, I barely make 5 feet. So anything on the top shelf is always a big challenge for me. So I decided I'd carefully pull the pack that I could reach, out from under the top one that I couldn't reach, and hope the top one just slid down to take its place. I've done this before, really I have. And it's worked.

However, it didn't work this time. The upper pack catapulted off the top shelf and landed on my face. Yes, my face. Not my head, not my shoulder, but my face. And I was wearing a pair of these:

...which you can imagine are not really very sturdy. "Sh#t," I said, more loudly than I'd intended, as I felt the instant decomposition of my glasses take place and saw the earpiece tumble to the floor. A woman walking up the aisle kindly handed me the earpiece and I sheepishly said, "This is NOT my day!"

I put the earpiece in my purse, tried to balance the rimless glasses on my nose with only one earpiece, and finished my shopping. I figured we could just glue it back for now, enough to last until the eye doctor appointment I happened to already have on July 9th.

But that was not to be either. DH informed me that the glue we had would not work on the earpiece and lens. He refused to try. So I said boldly, "I'm sure I can do it!" and grabbed the glue. I opened the glue improperly, managed to drip some on my perfectly good capri pants, and also found out that he was right, it wouldn't stick. In the meantime the glue on my pants was soaking through to my leg...and I discovered it was eating into my leg like acid and burning!

I pulled off the offending piece of fabric, realized my pants were ruined, and stomped off in a huff to order more capri pants off the Internets. I am very spontaneous in this way. Later DH told me acetone could probably get the glue off, but by then two pair of capris were already on their way to me. (Because of course if I wreck one pair of pants, I deserve to get two new pair!)

So today, I just came back from my emergency eye doctor appointment, having put in an order for $750 worth of brand new Silhouettes brand rimless eyeglasses - in purple titanium. Really cool. I needed a new prescription anyway so at least if I was going to wreck my glasses the timing was right.

Now...on to the meme!

Kuanyin of Who's Yo Mama has tagged me for this meme, in which I answer a list of questions, then tag 5 other people to do the same.

The Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, and then add yourself to the bottom. So here goes:

Life With Heathens, What Floats My Boat, Homespun Honolulu, Who's Yo Mama?, and Mauigirl's Meanderings.

What were you doing 10 years ago (5 Things)

1. Helping to start a neighborhood association
2. Worrying about my dad's upcoming open heart surgery
3. Traveling to San Francisco during Fleet Week (in October)
4. Spending time with my half sister
5. Working for a different boss (two bosses ago, same company)

What were you doing 1 year ago (5 Things)

1. Helping my mom move into her apartment
2. Traveling to Canada to be in a friend's wedding
3. Enjoying our first year with Diva
4. Trying to save a historic house
5. Starting my blog

Five Snacks You Enjoy:

1. Cereal
2. Oreos and milk
3. Ice Cream
4. Fruit
5. Potato Chips

Five Songs That You Know The Lyrics To:

1. Anything by Simon and Garfunkel
2. James Taylor's Fire & Rain
3. Meatloaf's Paradise by the Dashboard Lights
4. Most of the Clancy Brothers' hits
5. The Weavers' Good Night Irene

Five Things You Would Do If You Were A Millionaire (I'm changing this one - to Billionnaire - a million is nothing nowadays!):

1. Save old historic houses and fix them up for adaptive reuse
2. Pay for my friends' kids' college tuitions
3. Buy an apartment or house in all my favorite places: Hawaii, London, Paris, Amsteredam, San Francisco and Lisbon and travel around the world, staying for long periods in each place.
4. Get a massage every day (Kuanyin, I'm leaving your answer here right as it is! I agree!)
5. Give money to environmental and animal welfare groups

Five Bad Habits:

1. I'm a slob
2. I don't exercise
3. I chew my cuticles
4. I procrastinate (on work and other things too)
5. I get caught up in things and get very enthusiastic but don't follow through

Five Things You Like To Do:

1. Read
2. Travel
3. Post on my blogs
4. Spend time with friends
5. Play with my dog

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:

1. Shoes that hurt my feet - my goal is eventually to only wear flip flops!
2. Clothes that aren't my colors - any time I buy something on sale that is in a color that doesn't look good on me I end up never wearing it. So I have to stop buying these things.
3. Pantihose (except on very rare occasions)
5. Shorts - in public anyway
6. A bikini

Five Favorite Toys:

1. My new Samsung phone that opens in both directions and has a QWERTY keyboard
2. Our digital camera
3. My new wireless laptop (thank you, Big Corporation)
4. Anything my dog finds enjoyable
5. Can't think of #5

Five Things You Hate To Do:

1. Actually get dressed and go to work (it's OK once I'm there)
2. Answer the phone if I don't know who it is
3. Go to the dentist (does anybody like to go to the dentist? I don't know anyone who does!)
4. Take the dog for a walk in the rain
5. Go outside at all in the winter unless it's the day after a huge snowstorm and everyone is off of work and there's that camaraderie you get among neighbors who are shoveling out. But I'd rather pay someone else to shovel it.

Now I'm passing this meme on to others.

Liz of Finding Life Hard
Elizabeth of Inside Betty's Head
Amanda at It's All About the Walls

I'm just doing 3. If anyone else wants to join in and do it, go for it! And anyone I tagged - it's just for fun, only if you want to! ;-)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Views of Old Cape Cod

Now that we've gotten around to downloading our pictures from the Cape, I thought I'd share some of them with you!

Here is a view of the lake near the cottage.

Here is Diva enjoying her favorite thing of all - fetching her ball from the lake!

Diva on the Nauset Coast Guard Beach.

Diva relaxing on the deck at the cottage.

A group of people looking at the waves at Nauset Coast Guard Beach with some trepidation.

Diva on a nature walk.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Dark Horse

Will he or won't he?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York seems to be flirting with the possibility of running for President. He is in his second term as mayor, and term limits prevent him from running again. So, if he is not thinking of running for President, why is he suddenly making trips to California, making speeches criticizing the other candidates that have already declared their interest in the top job, and, most surprising of all, changing his affiliation from Republican to Independent? If Mayor Mike were truly planning to retire and go into philanthropy, as he has said he will do, then why bother to change from Republican to Independent? Who would care if he weren't planning to pursue a future political office?

Fiscally conservative and socially liberal, the Mayor may be what the American public is really looking for. In a crowded field that Jon Stewart refers to inelegantly as the Clusterf@#k to the White House, Mayor Mike would be a candidate that would really stand out. Pragmatic, non-political and too rich to be bought, he might be the breath of fresh air people have been waiting for.

John McCain has become too linked to his pro-war stance, and no longer seems to command the "maverick" label he had back in 2000, since he has been pandering to the far right lately.

Giuliani, although popular because of his heroic September 11th performance, will probably crash and burn once people get to know more about him - a few too many skeletons in the old closet.

Mitt Romney probably won't make it because of his flip-flopping on key issues (was he lying in Massachusetts when he said he was pro-choice, or is he lying now?).

The rest? I forget which Thompson is which and can't remember the others.

On the Democratic side, it's a choice between Hillary and Obama. I want to like Hillary, I really do. She's a woman, I would love to see a woman president, the time is ripe. But I just don't like her. I want to. I really do. But I never feel as if she's sincere, and she certainly isn't the kind of gal I would have hung out with in college. (Uh, maybe that's for the best on her part, come to think of it. But still.) She doesn't seem to ring true for many of us lifelong Democrats. We want to want her but we don't.

Obama seems great, and could be that breath of fresh air people are looking for. But much as I like him, I'm afraid he doesn't have enough experience. (Yes, I know, neither did Bush...and look what happened). I do think he'd have the sense to surround himself with great advisers and people who do have the necessary experience. But it's a long road ahead and I'm afraid he may get caught up in the focus groups and politics and not stick to his ideals.

Enter Mike Bloomberg. Sometimes irascible, often blunt, the man seems to not give a hoot about focus groups. And while that might not come across well for some, in other ways I think many people would find it refreshing. An ex-Democrat turned Republican, now Independent, he might appeal to that broad Center that everyone is always talking about. Sure, he has no foreign policy experience. But he ran a multi-billion dollar corporation. He knows how to run things. Since 9/11 he has straightened out New York City and he sure as heck could straighten out the United States. I could even imagine him saying from day one that he's only going to serve one term so he won't have to worry about what the consequences are of what he does.

Of course, if he decides to run, it could just backfire. He might just siphon off votes from one side or the other and be a spoiler, as third-party candidates almost always are. And given his more socially liberal attitudes, I have a suspicion it would hurt the Democratic side more than the Republicans.

If he runs, it sure will shake things up. It would be particularly amusing if both Rudy and Hillary won their respective nominations and it ended up being three New Yorkers vying for the Presidency. Sort of like a Subway Series!

One thing for sure, if the Mayor decides to run, it will make things interesting!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tired! And a Meme!

I am very tired because I have been getting very little sleep and had a very busy weekend - so busy that I still have no pictures of the deck to post! They will appear eventually...suffice it to say we were too busy enjoying sitting out on it with our friends and family to bother taking any pictures of it!

Sunday night I stayed up way too late reading, and then couldn't sleep. Then last night DH and I were bored with what was on TV and we watched the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes," which we'd never seen. Great movie, but since we didn't start watching it until 10 p.m. we were up late. And yes, DH even stayed awake for the whole movie! (Those who know him will be wondering that).

And then at 3:50 a.m. Diva woke me up by jumping off the bed.

You have to understand that Diva sleeps like a large brown boulder in the middle of the bed and does not move for any reason, all night long, under normal circumstances. If Diva jumps off the bed in the middle of the night, it is not a good thing. It means Something is Wrong.

So I went downstairs and let her out and she wandered out in the yard for awhile and came back in and slept the rest of the night. But this morning she hacked up grass and seems to have the runs a bit, so obviously something is not right. I think the hot weather affects her badly. So we'll need to resort to the white rice and boiled chicken bit for a day or so until she gets back to normal.

So, that is the extent of my news today. But luckily, thanks to my friend "Angela," I have a meme for you, which I am shamelessly using to pad this post!

This came in an e-mail and it is called "SCATTEGORIES"'s harder than it looks! Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following...They have to be real places, names, things...nothing made up!

Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same 1st initial. You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

YOUR NAME: Mauigirl

Famous Artist/Band/Musician: Monet/Merseybeats/Marilyn Manson (doesn't have to be someone you like!)

TV Show: Malcolm in the Middle

City: Melbourne

Boy's Name: Mitchell

Girl's Name: Mary

Alcoholic drink: Manhattan

Occupation: Musician

Something You Wear: Mukluks (yes, it was harder than it seemed. None of L.L. Bean's or Lands End's categories had anything beginning with "M" so I had to resort to Eskimo wear).

Celebrity: Maria Muldaur (she could also be the musician)

Food: Mangoes

Reason for Being Late: Making my mutt come in from the yard (I got as many m's in there as I could. I usually have multiple reasons to be late, as it's one of my specialties. Traffic, accident on road, couldn't find my keys before I left, had nothing to wear, etc. When the real reason is I just never allow enough time!)

Something You Shout: Murder!

So there you go. I won't tag anyone with the meme, but if anyone is desperate for some material for their next post, you are welcome to use it!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Mixed Bag

I have several small updates to impart so I thought I'd put them all in one place.

First of all, for you grammar mavens, you'll be happy to know that my mom has posted a new entry on her blog, Marge's Words to the Wise. So please check it out because otherwise you may be one of the unfortunates who are using the expression "beg the question" incorrectly, and you wouldn't want that!

Next, I'm very happy to report the progress on our deck, also known as the Intrepid. It is 99% finished, and it is looking good! The only thing left to do is to stain it with waterproof stain, but that won't be for a few weeks, as the wood has to dry out. I'll take some pictures this weekend and post them so you can see it for yourselves!

Tonight on my way home from work I stopped and bought two sizable tropical plants that were on sale at our local supermarket for only $9.99 each. I figured they would look good on the deck. This weekend DH and I can put together the new table and chairs we had already bought, and all will be ready in time for his parents' visit for Father's Day on Sunday. Thankfully, weather predictions are good, so the traditional Father's Day barbecue should be able to take place on the new deck.

I think Diva actually preferred it before the railings went up. She loved lying out on the flat surface and being able to see all around her. Hopefully she will figure out that she can sit up on the bench along the main railing and watch from there instead.

Last, but not least, I have a short new post on Medicana today, inspired by a CNN article my friend sent to me.

That concludes this evening's update!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Returning home after a week always involves some surprises, especially in the garden. The weeds that you thought you had carefully destroyed before you left always recover in your absence and suddenly shoot up about three feet. The grass gets long. Roses that were mere buds when you left are now in full bloom.

But this time there was more -- much more.

When we left we had just gotten the approval from the town for our deck to be built, and our carpenter was going to work on it in our absence.

The deck had been designed carefully using a fancy computerized design system, with all the measurements carefully depicted. Originally we'd thought we'd have it built 10 feet wide and 23 feet long (the width of the house). But our carpenter said for the same price he could do 12 feet wide. It seemed like a good idea so we said that would be fine.

While we were at the Cape, our carpenter called once to reconfirm the width of the steps that we wanted, and then told us he'd try to have it done when we got home.

We arrived late in the afternoon, eagerly anticipating our new deck, and we were not disappointed.

There it was, in all its glory - not done yet, but done enough for us to see what it looks like.

The thing is HUGE. HUMONGOUS. VERY BIG. Viewed from the back door, it's like looking out over the deck of the Intrepid. The boards seem to stretch on into infinity; there is enough room on this structure to fit both of the sets of wooden tables and chairs that we have on our patio plus the new table and chairs we just bought for the deck, the grill, numerous potted plants, and possibly a large group of dancing girls (that was DH's idea).

We walked into the back yard to observe it from a different angle. To my relief, from the back yard it does not seem quite as enormous, and I'm hoping our neighbors do not think it is some kind of monstrosity.

We are thinking that once the railings get put on and we actually do put furniture and other accoutrements onto its surface that it will start looking downright cozy. And the wood has to be stained to a darker color, so it will become less noticeable. I think. And we're going to dig up the old "patio" (which was really the leftover cement floor from the long-defunct garage) and transform it into a lovely English style garden (we hope). So in the end it will all blend together nicely.

Diva loves it. She has already realized that of course we built it just for her and has claimed it as her own. The only problem is that she has not quite figured out that she is supposed to go up and down the steps and instead launches herself over the side, dropping precipitously about 4 feet down to the surface of the yard. So far she has not broken a leg but I'm sure it is only a matter of time. (I assume this behavior will stop once the railings are in place.)

One thing is for sure - when it's ready for habitation we can have a heck of a good deck-warming party. Because for sure this deck is meant for PARTYING!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Posting from the Cape!

(Written Monday, June 4)

Well, we got one nice day before the rain started. And a great night in Fall River, Massachusetts, the night before.

We headed up to Fall River on Friday night. We always stay at the Holiday Inn in Fairhaven, because they allow dogs, and then drive back a ways to Fall River to enjoy a wonderful meal at our Portuguese restaurant, Sagres, where the Porco A Alentejano is the best there is, and, as mentioned in the last post, they still have fado music on Friday nights.

We first discovered Sagres about 23 years ago after reading about it in Jane and Michael Stern’s 1986 book, “Road Food and Good Food.” We have enjoyed Portuguese food for years due to our proximity to the Portuguese section of Newark (the Ironbound district, as it is known, due to the boundaries delineated by the railroad tracks in the area). But in Newark there are currently no restaurants with the traditional Portuguese music known as the fado. There are a few private clubs that have it, and for awhile one of the restaurants did as well, but more recently the music there had evolved into more popular modern Brazilian tunes, as the population has started to shift from Portuguese (many of whom came over after the revolution that took place in Portugal in 1974) to the newer immigrants from Brazil.

Ironically, the first time we heard the fado was at a Portuguese restaurant in London called O Fado, and we were hooked from the beginning. Later when we visited Portugal we made sure to go to as many fado clubs as we could, especially the less touristy ones in the Alfama, the oldest part of Lisbon.

Fado means “fate” in Portuguese, and consists of sad songs about lost loves and homesickness, embodying an emotion the Portuguese call “saudade”. Maria Severa, a gypsy who lived in the early 19th century, is credited with being the first known singer of the fado, or "fadista." Women who sing fado are called “fadistas.” If the singer is a man, he is called a “fadisto.” The most famous of the modern fadistas was Amalia Rodrigues, who died a few years ago.

In Lisbon, the Fado Museum opened a few years ago and tells the story of the fado, in text, pictures and musical recordings - including the different types (the fado of Coimbra differs somewhat from that of Lisbon) and the singers who have sung it over the years.

Fall River and New Bedford both have large Portuguese populations. Fall River has several Portuguese restaurants, bakeries, and even a supermarket (Chaves Market) where specialties such as Portuguese sausage, bread and dried codfish are sold. Chaves Market also has a large selection of Portuguese wine and brandy, and Portuguese pottery for sale.

The fado at Sagres was as good as ever, but we were disappointed that “our” musicians were not there. Fadistas traditionally are accompanied by the Portuguese guitar (“guitarra”) and the Spanish guitar. In the years we had been going to Sagres on our way up to, or back from, the Cape, we had gotten to know the guitar players and they always recognized us and said hello. (This stemmed from one evening when I’d had a lot of wine and Portuguese brandy with dinner and developed a deep affection for them. I went over to them and praised them, telling them we always enjoy their music so much, and that the fadistas come and go, but they are always there. They appreciated this and from that evening on we were fast friends whenever we arrived for our annual - and later, semi-annual - visits.)

But this time the fadista was accompanied by two other men that were not our guitarists. I’m hoping that the other two just had another engagement. But I suppose it’s possible they retired, as neither of them was getting any younger.

The next day was hot and sunny once again, and we drove the last hour and a half to our cottages on the Cape, arriving at a little after noon. Once settled in our cottages, we went to the Superette to stock up on supplies.

The Superette could be considered a large convenience store or a small grocery store. It has everything you need, including fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as a well-stocked liquor store and a deli where you can buy sandwiches for lunch. The Superette is part of my family’s Cape Cod tradition. It has been there on the corner of Route 6 and Samoset Road ever since I’ve been coming to the Cape. It used to have a gas station attached to it but that closed quite a few years ago.

It was lucky we got up to the Cape fairly early on Saturday, as so far that has been the only nice day. We spent some time on the nearby bay beach, First Encounter Beach, and then came back to the cottages so Diva could have a swim. She had paddled in the ocean water a bit while we were at the beach, but she kept trying to drink the salt water so we had to keep her away from it.

When we arrived back at the cottage she couldn’t wait to go in the lake. We put on her “swimsuit” (a sturdy pink harness that she wears for these occasions, attached to a 26-foot extendable leash) and she ran down to the water and hopped right in. She had a great time chasing her ball in the water and swimming back with it.

Unfortunately, Sunday and today have been rainy off and on, and a lot cooler, because of a cold front and the remnants of a tropical storm that have been passing over. As a way to pass the time today, we went out for lunch at the Lighthouse in Wellfleet. I had my favorite – albeit fattening – lunch: fried oyster platter with fries, and for dessert homemade raspberry pie.

The forecast is for more of the same weather tomorrow, but the sun is supposed to reappear on Wednesday. I guess it wouldn’t be the Cape if we didn’t get some cool foggy gray weather! It just makes you appreciate the nice weather even more when it returns!

Tuesday was actually the sunny day! Diva had a great time chasing her ball in the water both on the beach and in the lake. Today, Wednesday, we are sitting out the rain at The Hot Chocolate Sparrow café in Orleans, which has wi fi (and very good espresso), as Angry Ballerina mentioned in the comments section!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Off to the Cape!

The work week is over for me - tomorrow we're leaving for our annual spring trip to Cape Cod, with my mom and Diva. We have been going twice a year, in the spring and fall, for the past several years. We used to only go once a year but it never felt like enough! We stay at Gibson Cottages in Eastham, which are on a lake right off the main road but feel so secluded that you would never know that you were so close to civilization. Diva loves to go swimming in the lake (see picture above).

I've been going to the Cape with my family since I was about two years old. My mother and her family used to go to the Cape ever since she was little too, so it is truly a family tradition. DH and I went to the Cape for the first time right after we got engaged, and I was so glad that he loved it as much as I do.

The Cape isn't like a lot of other seaside vacations; it's nothing like the Jersey shore with its boardwalks and carnival rides and games of chance. Because President Kennedy established the Cape Cod National Seashore back in the '60's, the ocean side of the Cape up past Orleans is preserved forever. Homes that existed in the preserved area of dunes and beach before the law was passed were grandfathered in, but there has been almost no development of the land since then. So that part of the Cape is still largely unspoiled and hasn't changed since I was a child. When we arrive on the Cape I'm like a dog returning home, sniffing the air, trying to make sure that everything is still as I remember.

Along Route 6, also known as the Mid-Cape Highway, there are quite a few restaurants and stores, but even the newer ones are still in the same style as the old ones so nothing sticks out. Many of the restaurants have been there since my childhood. One of the restaurants we traditionally go to is the Eastham Lobster Pool, which I've been going to since I was a little kid. One of the attractions back then was that you could pick your own lobster ("See 'Em Swim"). Of course now I try to avoid knowing which lobster is the one that will end up on my plate.

The Lobster Pool was only a screened-in place with picnic tables inside back when I used to go there with my parents. Now it is enclosed and has a bar, but is still very casual. Although we still enjoy going there, we actually prefer Moby Dick's, farther up Route 6 in Wellfleet, for the food and ambience (very nautical, equally casual).

Wellfleet is a great town full of quaint buildings, art galleries and craft shops. We go there often to walk around, shop, and occasionally buy groceries at the Wellfleet Market or Hatch's Fish Market. Wellfleet also has one of the last Drive-In Movie Theaters around. During the day on weekends there's a great flea/antique market there as well.

We love going up to Provincetown too. Sometimes we just go for the day and walk around and have pizza at our favorite pizza place, Spiritus Pizza. Other times we'll stop at the Portuguese Bakery for pasteis (codfish cakes, also called bolos de bacalhau) and espresso.

On the way up to the Cape we stop in Fall River, Massachusetts and stay overnight so we can go to our favorite restaurant there, Sagres Restaurant. On Friday nights they have fado music and that is always a treat for us, so we make sure to go up on Friday in order to be there to enjoy it.

I'm bringing my computer and hope to find some Wi Fi hot spots so I can get on line without having to go to the library. But in case that doesn't work out right away, have a great weekend!