Cape Cod – Day 1
We flew into Barnstable, MA where some of our relatives were waiting with three big minivans. They loaded up our luggage and drove us to beautiful Chatham. I got to catch up with my cousin Andrew and he chauffered us down the cape.
Seventeen years ago, when Ryan Somma and I first became friends, one of the common interests we shared was a love for Kurt Vonnegut. Back in 1999, one Ryan Somma managed to get two tickets to a Vonnegut speech/book signing in Washington, D.C. Who’d he invite along? ME! 🙂 Given that history, I thought it was neat that as soon as we pulled out of the Barnstable Airport parking lot, we saw a little Vonnegut reference.
We arrived at the Chatham Bars Inn. Our rooms weren’t quite ready yet, so Carolyn, Clint, Ryan and I decided to explore. As we embarked, Clint noted, “I have a feeling Vicky is going to want to walk further than me.” Aww, he knows me well!
Luckily for Clint it wasn’t long before we could check into our rooms. Ryan, Mom and I feasted on NetJets leftovers for supper. We got a lot of visiting in with extended relatives. One of my favorite parts was sitting out in the gazebo. My youngest cousin, Olivia, started to play with something on my grandmother’s wrist. Long ago, my grandmother started a charm bracelet. As each new grandchild was born, a new charm representing that child was added. There are eighteen of us now, so over the years my grandmother’s bracelet has become well populated. My second youngest cousin, Melanie, started to looked through the charms to find herself. That made me smile. I have done that myself countless of times over the years… even after I entered adulthood.
As dusk hit, we went back out to the shoreline for some more exploring.
Here, we got exposed to how this beach was different than the ones we are used to (Bethany Beach, DE; Ocean City, MD; Virginia Beach, VA). In this nice little area, the water is calm– there are no waves. At low tide, you can see that the terrain is not especially pleasant to bare feet. Instead of white, soft sand, the ground is covered in rocks and tons and tons of barnacles. We even saw a poor snail with a barnacle stuck to his back.
After sunset, the wind picked up and we could hear the most eerie moans coming from the dark water. It was very much reminiscent of a haunted house. The noise was emanating from the seals offshore (I’m told it is the wind rolling over their nostrils). That’s definitely another thing that differentiantes this trip. We’re aren’t used to seals.
Most surprising, however, was a species I’m quite accustomed to– the seagulls. I have seen them my entire life. But that night marked the very first time I spied seagulls eating actual…seafood. I’m used to them eating french fries and popcorn and leftovers in Taco Bell parking lots. One time, I saw a whole mob of seagulls devour Doritos off the top of my Dad’s car (courtesy of Aaron Evans). That night in Chatham, the preferred seagull food appeared to be starfish. I saw a number of gulls proudly carrying that particular entree around. I also spied at least two gulls preparing their supper by dropping a crab or shell for the air onto the rocks below.
When we returned to the hotel, we sat outside with my father for a while. Despite his short time on the premises, he had already learned the names of many of the staff. I quickly discovered that my father had no hestitation at shouting out those names when he needed something.
“HILARY! HILARY! HILARY!” he’d shout and when she didn’t respond, he wasn’t phased, “TIFFANY! TIFFANY!”
Luckily the staff looked more amused than annoyed by my father’s persistance. 🙂