The Tip of the Claw

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Ideally, vacations should be planned months in advance. Plane fares must be followed like the stock market, and the good hotels need to be reserved. With so much uncertainty about selling the stupid house, we couldn't do that. Instead, Steve and I made hasty plans two weeks ago. I sat at the computer and threw out location names to Steve, as he sat at his computer. Upstate New York? Cape May? Disney again? We settled on Cape Cod, because it had what we needed. A whole lotta nothing. 

The lower Cape is nice. It's a beach area with trees. It's not as crowded and hot as the Jersey shore, but it still has mini-golf and ice-cream to keep the kids amused. You don't have to deal with Snooki-types, but there are plenty of Muffys and Buffys in sleeve-less polo shirts and pearl earnings. We didn't go there. 

We found a hotel-ish motel in North Truro, which is almost at the tip of Cape Cod. It has an end-of-the-world feeling to it. It's a remote sandbar. Little houses sit on a hill covered with rose hips and cranberries. After a day on a beach and a hike, we threw on clean t-shirts and roamed around the gay and artsy P-Town.

I bought a hippy purse that still smells like Petchoulli. Ian realized that he loves fish and chips. Sand got in our duffle bags, and bare feet rested on the dashboard of the car. Jonah rubbed wax on his surf board. We met up with friends at Moby Dick's and imbibed too much wine. After a crazy spring with color coded calendars and school meetings and bus schedules, this lazy weekend was much needed. 

17 thoughts on “The Tip of the Claw

  1. We also had three days without color coded calendars around here, and it was good, even though we stayed in town.

  2. One of my fantasies about having a “vacation” home is the potential of having spontaneous getaways away from color coding without lots of planning. I think it’ll stick to fantasy around here ’cause we’re fundamentally incapable of caretaking a house properly enough to make it a reasonable investment.

  3. “One of my fantasies about having a “vacation” home is the potential of having spontaneous getaways away from color coding without lots of planning. I think it’ll stick to fantasy around here ’cause we’re fundamentally incapable of caretaking a house properly enough to make it a reasonable investment.”
    My in-laws have a small island property on one of the Channel Islands (between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland) that they dearly love and that (truth be told) our kids love too. There’s a bit of beach on their property, purple starfish and little crabs. Elsewhere on the island, there are cliff-side trails, wild goats, eagles and lots more beaches. Getting any labor and materials onto the island is very expensive, as is just getting there yourself (you have to have a reservation for the ferry, and I think you need two ferries to get back to the mainland). Nearly all food has to be transported onto the island and all trash has to be carried off. The septic system can only deal with so much waste water, and (perhaps because of that) the washer and dryer are non-functional. Also, have I mentioned that boats are expensive to take care of? For me, personally, it’s kind of a pain (particularly since we travel to the West Coast by air with just a few changes of clothes, counting on being able to launder frequently). Everything is much more work than at home, which to me offsets the whole beach thing. I can understand that at my in-laws’ time of life (with no kids at home), it’s good to have a big hobby (there’s always something that needs to be done to the buildings or the boats), but having a vacation home would kill me.

  4. “it’s good to have a big hobby (there’s always something that needs to be done to the buildings or the boats), but having a vacation home would kill me.”
    Yup, what I too have noticed, observing those with boats & second homes. But, the folks I’ve observed do actually enjoy the maintenance of the boat & cabin, so it all works out for them.
    I on the other hand, would need a boat & house caretaker, and once you factor in the costs of buying a boat, house, and hiring at least two people to take care of them, you might as well just stay in really expensive resorts, even if you buy the tickets on the spur of the moment.
    I try to remind myself of that train of logic every time I drift into the fantasy of “bits of beach with purple starfish.”

  5. “…you might as well just stay in really expensive resorts, even if you buy the tickets on the spur of the moment.”
    Amen to that. There is a difference, though, in that if you want to get completely away from other people, even an expensive resort won’t do the job, although maybe an isolated vacation rental would work.
    I, meanwhile, believe strongly that it’s not really a vacation unless there’s a Starbucks (or suitable facsimile) in walking distance.

  6. Speaking of yurts, we “camped” in a tent in the in-law’s backyard this past Saturday. It wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I remember it, possibly because tents are so much better vented these days.

  7. That’s cool, Laura, but no, we didn’t see anything like it. It was just me and the girl, as the boy was exhausted and needed 2 more hours of sleep, so my husband stayed with him while he took a 2 hour nap. We were out at the Eiffel Tower last night till 10. We saw all the good stuff st the Louvre. My husband is getting some time at Notre Dame right now. The kids and I are holed up in our tiny cheap hotel room on the ground floor next to the main entrance. We have the door open and ajar with a fan blowing to get some fresh air in the room. It’s actually very comfy feeling, like this is a shared house, not a hotel.
    We fly home tomorrow. Paris isn’t my favorite city, and 2 days is enough to show the kids the big stuff.

  8. I love Paris, but only when I’m not trying to see things like the Mona Lisa. The impressionist art attic at the Musee D’Orsay was pretty cool, though.
    Love the white dinner, and the spectacle of people carrying their tables through the streets to get there, and the tourist asking if they do it every night. But what about the NY one? When, where? and how does one find out that stuff.
    I love flash mob events, unexpected bizarreness. We once traveled to a semi-motel/hotel on the water and woke up to find a pirate ship anchored on the dock. Turned out it was a re-constructed ship from the early days of exploration. Another time I walked around a corner of my campus and stumbled on a building that I was pretty sure didn’t exist (it had been relabeled as part of a movie set).

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