The feeling reminds me of the cartoon, "Rose is Rose," where the characters revert to being little kids when they do something kids like to do.
As she has done for the past six years or so, my mother went with us. This year we took the new Jeep instead of the Saab wagon, since it holds more. Nevertheless, the luggage and various other supplies still filled the entire trunk area. Somehow our stuff always expands to fill the space allotted to it.
In addition to my mom, who rented her own cottage next to ours, DH's dad joined us this year as well. Since the cottage we rent has two bedrooms, he was able to come up for part of the week and stay with us, and not have to rent a separate cottage. He arrived on Monday and stayed through Friday morning with us.
As I mentioned last year, my mother, now 90, is slowing down. Whereas a year ago she refused to bring her cane, this year she brought it with her. (She still didn't use it, but she brought it. It's a start.) She has to hold onto my arm even more this year, since in addition to her shaky legs, she is now having more trouble seeing due to macular degeneration, so she finds it hard to see where her feet are going.
Long ago when I was just a toddler, she no doubt matched her steps to my tiny stride; now I have to match my steps to hers. We still joke about it - my mother will ask me to slow down and I reply "If I went any slower I'd be walking backwards!" But this year I couldn't help feeling melancholy thinking about it. Who knows how many more trips to the Cape with my mother are left?
We were luckier with the weather this year than last June. There was sun for about half of each day; sometimes our day started with sun and it clouded up in mid-afternoon; other days started cloudy but turned sunny later on. So we were able to sit outside, go to the beach, and enjoy ourselves more than we did last year when the last three days were cloudy and dismal.
This trip went faster than usual; maybe it was having both my mom and DH's dad with us; or trying to fit in all of our favorite restaurants and activities. As it was, we didn't get around to doing a few of the things we always do. A week just isn't long enough, I guess.
We were happy to see the Eastham Lobster Pool restaurant is open again, with a complete makeover. It's now Woody's Eastham Lobster Pool and has been remade with a new look: kind of modern, with spare furnishings and stainless steel exposed beams. In addition, instead of waitress service, the new deal is you go up to the counter and order what you want, and then come back and get it when they call your number. The food was good (we had lobster, my mother had grilled tuna) but unfortunately the music was a bit loud and it was noisier than I'd like. But I'd definitely go back, and it's nice to see it back in business again. I was also happy to see they saved the original Eastham Lobster Pool signs by mounting them on the walls of the restaurant, since they replaced them with a new outdoor sign saying "Woody's Eastham Lobster Pool."
The second night we were there, we picked up some fresh bluefish at Hatch's Fish Market in Wellfleet and cooked it up in the cottage for my mother and us. It was delicious and it was fun to eat at "home" for a change. I am usually so busy back home that I don't have time to cook, so when I'm on vacation it's actually a pleasure!
After DH's dad arrived, we all went up to Moby Dick's in Wellfleet that evening, a great casual seafood restaurant with nautical decor and enjoyed lobster rolls and, for me, scallops.
Another night we went to Mac's Shack in Wellfleet, where DH and I ordered generous platters of ultra-fresh sashimi, DH's dad had a huge stuffed lobster, and my mother enjoyed flounder stuffed with crabmeat. (I sampled it and it was delicious). We ordered the sashimi because by this time we'd had our fill of lobster and other types of cooked fish and were ready for a change!
As we always do when we visit the Cape, we got together one afternoon with our friend Sally, who owns the Midway Motel and Cottages, where we always stayed until we wanted to bring our dog up to the Cape. Unfortunately the Midway doesn't allow pets, so a few years back, we moved on to Gibson Cottages, which do allow pets and are on a picture-perfect pond where Diva can go swimming.
But make no mistake, the Midway Motel and Cottages are kept up beautifully, have lovely landscaping and flowers on the property, and have everything you need for a wonderful vacation on the Cape, as long as you don't have a pet you want to bring with you. We had stayed there every year for about 18 years and became good friends with the owners, Sally and her husband Ron. In the old days we'd go out to dinner with them, but now that her husband passed away a few years ago, Sally comes over to our cottage for lunch instead. We get a "to-go" order of lobster rolls and fries from the Friendly Fisherman (the lobster roll is huge, with tons of lobster meat) and enjoy it out on the deck with a little wine!
Diva got to swim every day in the pond, and we took her on a number of walks in Wiley Park in Eastham and in Nickerson State Park in Brewster - and of course, on the beach.
The last full day at the Cape was rainy and chilly, as was the day we left. But as soon as we got off the Cape the weather was sunny and warm for our whirlwind trip to the Adirondacks for one night so we could show my mother our cabin at Lake George. So our luck with the weather was pretty good overall! And we were happy to see the great progress that has been made at the cabin: the well has been drilled, the propane tank is there and is hooked up, much of the plumbing is done, the propane fixtures are installed, the walls and ceiling have been painted a soft cream instead of stark white, and the floors are partially finished. (Still another step to go). We may actually be able to stay in our cabin over the 4th of July weekend if the generator is in by then to run the well's water pump!
Here are a few pictures from our trip:
The pond at Gibson Cottages, close to sunset. Mom, DH and his dad enjoying cocktails on the deck of our rental cottage.
Mom with her sherry and cigarette. Seabirds on a rock in the ocean at the Nauset Coast Guard Beach.
Diva on the beach.
Now for something completely different....a view of our cabin in the Adirondacks with the ground dug up for the gas line that leads from the new propane tank to the cabin!
Interior of the cabin showing newly painted ceiling and walls.
The propane tank!