Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Vacation Thoughts

Last week we went to the Cape for a few days. We've gone in the past. The first time we brought my mother and a hurricane hit while we were there, after hours of being stuck in traffic trying to get there well before the storm. We came back early. The second time it was just us and the dogs. I spent a marvelous September beach day sitting in the sun and strolling the beach. We went up to Provincetown and ate lunch outside (with the dogs lying peacefully under the table) and rambled through the town looking into the shops.

That was a particularly good vacation. Generally wherever we go has extraordinarily bad weather (hurricanes and frosts) while at home it's a week of unseasonably lovely weather or fantastic blizzards we would have enjoyed. So it's always with trepidation that we set out.

This was no exception. Bob went up early - it's a working vacation for him - and I followed with Koko the next day. We ate at a fish place that didn't compare with Doug's, but I did like the scrod with Newburg sauce. We played miniature golf in the wind. The next day Bob's stomach rebeled and although he tried to make it to Provincetown like the trooper he is, we came back quite soon without eating. We did walk through town and Boo became the most popular dog there. While I got pastries from the Portuguese bakery (some kind of sweet potato filling - yum!) Bob told me several people who had met Boo earlier stopped to shake his paw again.

I left them at the house in Harwich and went off with Koko to explore. Eventually I landed in Chatham and the sun came out. We had a marvelous time walking down the street, looking - and being invited in! - at shops. I stopped at a tiny coffee house with an outdoor stone patio and a few chairs and tables and basked in the sun with Koko at my feet. Sipping chai after a crumb cake, I thought I was in heaven.

Yes, the vacation did the trick - four offers, one listing - but none are completed. I missed the salmon at Doug's, my afternoon latte from Vermont Coffee, the soup at the Skaneateles Bakery. The walking was excellent, but I know where to walk to avoid dogs in Skaneateles and I didn't take Koko with me in Harwich. The weather, I heard, was wonderful here. I e-mailed friends from the coffee house while the chai cooled, but it wasn't the same as sitting with them at Creekside. The homes were different - I'd forgotten the Cape's penchant for clapboard on three sides and cedar shakes on the fourth. Especially in Chatham they were well cared for, with colorful doors and shutters. Prices were comparable with Skaneateles.

But there's no place like home. We walked out on our trails last night into that breezy heat with the dogs. We rooted for SU which finally won their first game. Bob split wood from our own trees and I stacked it for the coming winter months on our back deck. We read the morning paper and knew all the players.

I think I love the anticipation of vacations the best. Bob reminds me that they don't always turn out so badly, and we've learned to plan an exit strategy if they do. But home - this wonderful little bit of ever-changing upstate New York - is a vacation every day.