So we scored on both accounts today – not only is it Monday, but it is also raining. We went from the 80’s last week right back down through the 60’s into the 50’s with a cold, damp, rain. Is Memorial Day really this coming weekend?
What does one do on such a day here in Cape Cod? Well, we have a multi-stop adventure to share, one that anyone would enjoy. First destination was the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory in Hyannis. Although it is a self-guided tour, you are able to gaze through windows into the production area and see almost all stages of their effort to fulfill their mission – “to make the best potato chips possible.” Every day visitors are told from which state the potatoes they are using actually come from and specifically what flavor potato chip you will see being made. Well, today the potatoes came from Maine and they were producing “Original” and “Sea Salt and Vinegar” chips – my all-time favorite!
The business began in 1980 and they produced 200 bags a day. Today, in a larger facility, but still in Hyannis, they work three shifts five days a week, and produce 350,000 bags of chips per day. On the tour you are able to see the following four steps – peeling, slicing and frying, salting and seasoning, and finally packaging. I loved watching a quality control man pick out the “less than perfect” chips as they moved past him on a conveyor. What exactly is a “bad” potato chip I wonder? He even had the willpower to deposit the inferior chips in the trash rather than in his mouth! As with all tours, it ended in the Gift Shop where we all received a sample bag of chips and were welcome to purchase additional product.
The Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory was educational and enjoyable, and I bet you didn’t know…
- Americans devour approximately 1.2 billion pounds of potato chips each year.
- The lighthouse on the Cape Cod Potato Chip bag is Nauset Light in Eastham, MA (our home for the summer).
- March 14 is Potato Chip Day! Gear up!
- The potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space.
- Cape Cod Potato Chips uses approximately 44 million pounds of potatoes a year in the plant.
So the next time you bite into a Cape Cod Potato Chip, remember these fun facts and impress someone!
Our second destination today was the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum in downtown Hyannis Port, home also to the famous Kennedy Compound. Although visitors cannot get close to the beachfront compound, it can be seen best from the water. The museum just opened a new exhibit today – JFK at 100: Life and Legacy – commemorating John F. Kennedy turning 100 years old in 2017 – can you believe it?
What a wonderful trip down memory lane as many of us can answer the question, “Where were you when President Kennedy was assassinated?” This beautiful museum traces the entire Kennedy family from its beginnings, all the while focusing on the importance of the Hyannis Port beach house compound and its effects on all of the Kennedys through both great times and tragedies. Hyannis Port provided an escape, a calm reflective getaway, a kindred spirit in the sea. The photographs are stunning as you can see from the few I share, and the artifacts and short videos are most informative. You really feel like you were there and knew them all personally, as we tend to forget everything that occurred during JFK’s short, yet so powerful, term of office.
There is also a special tribute to JKF’s mother, Rose, who truly was the matriarch of the family. Even after her husband, Joe’s tragic stroke and ultimate death in 1969, Rose continued to champion for her extended family members and various noble causes until her death in Hyannis Port in 1995 at the age of 104. Talk about a strong woman – mother of nine, who lost three sons to early deaths and a daughter to a mental institution.
And of course we can’t forget Jacqueline Kennedy in all of her beauty. She was perhaps the most popular First Lady ever and was a continuous advocate for visual and performing arts. She is also remembered for leading the charge to restore the historical character of the White House and for the redesign and replanting of the White House gardens, which were named for Jacqueline after her husband’s death. Historians say that the couple was closer than ever in early 1963, at that point not knowing that their Camelot would disintegrate in a few short months.
Definitely keep these two spots in mind if you find yourself in Cape Cod on a rainy day. You’ll be glad you did!
Now, to all of my followers, our full workamper schedule kicks in starting tomorrow, so I might not be blogging as often as I have been the last two weeks, but never fear – the adventures will continue!
Stay Calm and Travel On…