Even as workampers, it’s easy to fall into a daily routine – arise, exercise, work, nourish, sleep and repeat! So when our two consecutive days off arrive, we don’t hesitate to travel out of “the bubble” (a.k.a. the campground) even as the July 4th holiday draws closer.
We left Eastham on Thursday, our first stop being breakfast at The Red Cottage. Our managers had recommended this local eating establishment in Dennis, Massachusetts, and once again, it did not disappoint. Now in its 66th year, people were waiting outside for a table or even a seat at the counter. With many larger parties waiting, we secured a table for two immediately and enjoyed a delicious breakfast – applewood bacon for life!
With our bellies full, our next destination was Boston! Our plan was to take a Duck Tour and then meet my son Matt, who was there on business, for dinner in the North End. Our tour departed from the Prudential Center with the Great Garibaldi as our guide. He was extremely funny, engaged all aboard our Duck – “Frog Pond Lilly,” and was very knowledgeable about all aspects of Boston. Boston still utilizes one original amphibious cargo boat, built with 20,000 others during World Was II, but the remainder of their 20-boat fleet are replicas that run on biodiesel, a renewable, clean fuel made from soybeans, canola oil, or recycled cooking oil.
Our 80-minute land and river tour included sights such as the Boston State House, Copley Square, Boston Commons, Beacon Hill, North End, Faneuil Hall, the first firehouse in Boston, Museum of Science, Boston Aquarium, and many more. But the highlight for me was when the road vehicle turned into a boat and plunged into the Charles River. It was interesting as our driver, Fitzum, and our guide Garibaldi switched places as we entered the river, he being the certified Coast Guard Captain! Garibaldi even allowed several children on board to sit in the captain’s seat as we cruised the river!
Following our Duck Tour, we found our way to Cambridge to our lodging – The Kendall Hotel at the Engine 7 Firehouse. Built in the mid 1890’s, its firefighters were a motley crew, known as the “black sheep” of the Cambridge Fire Department. The firehouse closed its doors in 1993 and unfortunately the building deteriorated until a mixed-media artist and her architect husband bought the property in 1999 and not only renovated the existing structure but also added two 7-story towers to provide additional lodging. The Kendall Hotel is now a beautiful, historic, boutique hotel with an accompanying restaurant appropriately named “The Black Sheep.” The hotel is filled with firehouse artifacts, period antiques, and beautiful and varied art work. Everyone at the hotel was delightful but Carla, at the front desk, was especially helpful with our questions and the maneuvering of the “T.” After checking in, we took a walk around the neighborhood which is home to MIT and Harvard – thought we’d feel smarter just hobnobbing with the intellectuals!
The highlight of our Boston experience was our dinner with Matthew! We successfully mastered the “T” – even with a line change, and met Matt in the North End at The Bell in Hand Tavern for pre-dinner drinks. When you are a workamper, you take every opportunity that presents itself to stay connected with family, and we are certainly glad we did! Our 7p.m. reservation was at Bricco’s which is rated as one of the best authentic Italian restaurants among more than 80+ such establishments in the North End of Boston. I didn’t take any pictures of our food but close your eyes and imagine this – we started with an appetizer of meatballs and ricotta, followed by sharing a pasta course of gnocchi that I can still taste! Next came our individual entrees – short ribs, veal chop, and veal osso buco. Of course this was all underscored with red wine and topped off with our waiter’s dessert selection – chocolate lava cake and banana bread pudding! Have I shared the reason I continue to exercise? Not only was the food exquisite but it was also so very nice to spend the time completely engaged in conversation with Matt. We ran the gamut on topics and easily could’ve gone on for hours!
Matt walked back to his hotel and we took the “T” back to ours. This morning we enjoyed breakfast at The Kendall then left the city early, knowing the traffic heading toward the Cape would increase as the day went on! Boston’s traffic is horrendous, and we encountered just a short back-up at the Sagamore Bridge – the entrance to Cape Cod. Here on the Cape, one adopts the same attitude that we have at home in Cape May County – make sure you have groceries in the house and try not to have to drive anywhere until the July 4h holiday has passed! With having to work the next five days, that’s exactly what we plan to do!
We successfully got out of “Dodge” – so to speak – and had an absolute blast!
Stay Calm and Travel On…