Even though this is our third summer living and working in Cape Cod, on our two days off each week, we continue to discover new places and enjoy new experiences. Such was the case this past week.
We kicked off our “weekend” (Thursday and Friday), with a round of golf at Chatham Seaside Links. You’ve seen the photos before and it is just as beautiful every time we play – wish I could use the same adjective to describe my golf game, but not this time! We were paired with two young men in their twenties, who valet at Chatham Bars Inn, a very exclusive hotel, resort, and spa right across the street from the golf course. Ryan and Will were humorous, very personable and could really hit the ball. They left us after 6 holes as they didn’t want to be late for work!
Following golf, we headed to Hyannis. After dropping some donations off at Goodwill, we decided to have an early dinner at Colombo’s Cafe, an Italian restaurant and bakery located right on Main Street. Hyannis has blocked off one lane right downtown to enable restaurants to expand their outdoor dining capability which seems to be working quite well. Colombo’s had been recommended to us by our campground managers, so we were anxious to dine there and we certainly were not disappointed! They make all of their pasta on site, which of course is obvious upon first bite. After splitting a wedge salad, Bill feasted on linguine and meatballs while I enjoyed short ribs ragu on pappardelle. All of this accompanied by Chianti made for a delicious repast and we were done for the day! Oh yes, by the time we got home, there was room in our bellies for a small ice cream cone, which we got at the Ice Cream Cafe in Orleans – quite the culinary day, which is why we accomplished what we did the following day!
Bill and I have always enjoyed going out for breakfast, but due to Covid-19, we haven’t been out much and many breakfast places have not opened here in Cape Cod. However, we have discovered Harrigan’s Cafe, which is part of the Wellfleet Lodge. They have created a wonderful outdoor space for breakfast and offer a varied menu, complete with bloody marys and mimosas! Friday morning we skipped the drinks but filled our bellies with breakfast goodness! So of course our next planned activity was…a hike!
Our first hike was one we had done before, but is certainly the type one can complete numerous times. It is part of the National Park Service named the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp Trail. We began by walking to the bluff which is the site of the first transmission of a transatlantic wireless communication between the US and England in 1903. The trail then meanders through the forest and includes a section of boardwalk that takes hikers through the Cedar Swamp, complete with white cedars and red maples. It is a very peaceful and serene hike, looping back to the trailhead – amazingly quiet and beautiful!
From there, we did some exploring in Wellfleet, another small Cape Cod town. We sat at the harbor and watched several boats either launch or return from an early morning excursion. We often talk about not really getting the true sense of the beauty of Cape Cod unless you get off the main road – Route 6 – and explore – so that’s exactly what we did. The homes are amazing and the beaches are secluded and private for the most part. I did not get a picture of this but as we were driving through a cluster of homes, lo and behold, there was a group of five people in someone’s yard, engaged in a TRX class, their straps attached to the swing set! I would have loved to join them but that wasn’t in the plan!
We had heard about a wonderful chocolate store in North Truro, so needless to say, we found it and stopped at Chequessett Chocolate– not only a chocolate store but a cafe as well. Have you noticed the word “cafe” continues to pop up during our two days off … chocolate cafe, ice cream cafe, Harrigan’s cafe – hmmm, I see a trend! We purchased a small amount of salted caramels, with the intent to take them with us to snack on at Truro Vineyard, a local winery. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the winery, there was a tremendously long wait to even enter the lawn to sit and have a glass of wine, and under Massachusetts’ law you have to eat along with your drinking, and if you haven’t noticed, we’d been doing a lot of that – so we passed on the winery.
Our second hike of the day was a new one for both of us and somewhat of a surprise. We found the trailhead at the Gestalt International Study Center and just started walking. We walked through densely forested sections that would then open up to sunny stretches of various flora. At several junctions we arbitrarily chose a direction and just kept walking. All of a sudden I could hear the surf as we found ourselves at the top of a dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean! We also took time to explore an extremely old cemetery that unfortunately has become quite overgrown. We viewed monuments and headstones from the early 1800’s up to around 1950 – for some reason, cemeteries have always intrigued me – viewing them from above the ground of course!
Our day ended on a very good note, although the road to the good note was interesting. We wanted to go to Ocean Edge, a large resort built around the old Nickerson Mansion, and sit on the patio and enjoy a cocktail and some light bites. It’s too long a story to tell but we sat for 30 minutes without being acknowledged and then when we asked for service, we sat another 15 at least, after which we walked out! Having worked in the industry, Bill and I understand more than most about how things in the food and beverage world are different this year, and we certainly respect that, but we exhibited a tremendous amount of patience to no avail.
Being a true believer that everything happens for a reason, Bill happened to remember a small, quaint restaurant that we would pass when we would go to a movie playhouse in Dennis. Well, long story short, we had an amazing dinner at Encore Bistro and Bar, complete with my filthy martini! Bill chose scallops while I delighted in cod and we topped it off with delicious bread pudding, into which we dove so quickly we neglected to snap a photo of the masterpiece! We also enjoyed our server, Xander, who sings professionally with the Denver Philharmonic, and had returned home during the pandemic, only to find himself serving at Encore for only the past 2 weeks. It was a wonderful experience and couldn’t have been a better ending to a tremendous “weekend!”
Just goes to show, you don’t even have to travel far from home to feel like you are light years away and to experience or repeat enjoyable activities!
Stay Calm and Travel On…