Debbi and I rounded up June with a trip back to Massachusetts to visit our families, for the first time in a year and a half, flying out the night of June 19. Debbi jokes that we go on these vacations but hardly see each other, since our families live 30 miles apart. The vacation itself was quite good, although slightly marred by the trip back.
The weather was, objectively, so-so: Cloudy and drizzly (if not rainy) most of the week. This was fine with me, though, since I didn’t have anywhere I needed to go, and when I wanted to go out, it wasn’t nasty enough to be a real problem. It was definitely better than hot-and-humid, which is a risk in Boston during the summer!
I was able to do the shopping I wanted (including visits to That’s Entertainment and Pandemonium), plus having dinner with my friend Bruce. I also read a book and a half, and was pleased to find that my Mom’s (relatively) new Internet connection has built-in wi-fi, which meant I could browse the Web and get my e-mail on my laptop rather than using her computer.
My first outing was to go down to visit Debbi’s family on Tuesday the 23rd. I think Debbi was happy to have someone else to chase around her nieces and nephews, who are 10, 8 and 5. The 10-year-old is getting quite fast, and chasing them around the house I was only able to catch her because she had to stop to keep from running into her siblings! The 8-year-old likes to play chase-and-catch games, and she way underestimated how far I can leap in a single step, surprising the heck out of her. We also reduced Debbi to hysterical laughter during dinner when I told the kids we should settle down because their mom was getting that look, to which the 8-year-old said, “You know the look?” Debbi almost spit out her dinner.
Thursday Dad and I drove down to Cape Cod for a day-trip around the peninsula. We chose the right day, as it was sunny and warm for the whole day, probably the one day it was while we were there. We had lunch at Cooke’s in Orleans, stopped in Wellfleet and then went up to Provincetown for some fried dough and to look into the stores. There’s a nifty game store there now, Puzzle Me This, which would be worth a trip every visit if I were still going to the Cape regularly. After that we stopped in Chatham to see the ocean, and then had dinner in Orleans again, this time at the Saltwater Grille.
We vacationed on the Cape every year while I was growing up, and my parents still go there each year, so the Cape holds a lot of memories for me. Orleans, where we stayed, is so different from the olden days: Most of the stores I remember no longer exist, and parts of town are considerably built up. Cooke’s is really the main holdout – it’s been there forever, and is just as good as it’s ever been. I remember finding some great used comics and books at stores around the Cape which either no longer exist, or are shadows of their former selves. And also a terrific kite store in Provincetown, which weirdly carried a few games like Star Fleet Battles. And biking on the excellent Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Dad said that Cape Cod feels like a second home to him. Even years after I last stayed there, it does to me too, despite all the changes. I should see if I can take a vacation there again some year.
Sunday night Debbi and I double-dated with her sister and brother-in-law, as we did a few years ago, having dinner in the North End, followed by coffee and dessert. They’re fun people to have a night out with, and we all had a great time. (With three kids I’m sure they enjoy getting a night out once in a while, too.) Debbi came back to spend an evening at my Mom’s afterwards, letting her sleep in on Monday.
This would have been a great end to the vacation, except for the flight home: Due to weather on the east coast plus a systems glitch at the airport, our flight back was delayed, delayed, delayed, until we would have missed our connection. So we switched to a different flight, and it was delayed, delayed, delayed, until it finally took off after we’d been at the airport for nine and a half hours. This one was a direct flight, but it landed in Oakland rather than San Francisco, and since it got in after 1 am, it was too late for anyone to pick us up (although Subrata did try, but it was too late even for him). So we took a cab to get Debbi’s car, and finally got home around 2:45 am. We were both exhausted and cranky by the time we got to bed. It was one of the worst travel experiences I’ve ever had.
Despite that, it was overall a very nice vacation. We get back there a little less often over time, but we always enjoy it when we do.