For my birthday Maverick surprised me with a Cape Cod getaway to Provincetown.
I was extremely excited. Those of you who read this blog religiously might remember that going to Cape Cod for a day was on my summer bucket list and that Maverick certainly does pay attention. He presented the trip to me via an amazing little card he mocked up himself (advice: if printed items give you immense joy date thee a graphic designer!) And the card itself pretty much made me cry. I wish I had a good camera so I could take photos of it to show you, but alas photos would never do it justice. The damn card (which detailed the activities we’d be partaking of during our weekend) could have said we were going to pick up trash on the side of the road with juvenile delinquents and I still would have sobbed like a child with happiness.
We arrived in town with plenty of time before we had to check in to our hotel so we spent that time wandering up and down Commercial street, ducking into all the little shops and trying on hats, laughing at souvenirs and unfortunately named financial institutions. We walked by a bakery and the scent wafting by was so heavenly we turned right around and went inside. We purchased two delicious cookies (mine was a jam thumbprint cookie and I COULD TASTE THE BUTTER IN THE DOUGH and I just about melted into a puddle of sheer joy on the sidewalk.)
After a lot of window shopping we were hungry so we settled on Bayside Betty’s for lunch. Mostly because we were starving, it was close, and the guy standing outside by the menu wouldn’t stop talking to us about how good the restaurant was.
I ordered the clam chowder because the menu touted it as “internationally acclaimed.” I have to say it tasted worlds better than it photographed. It was delicious and seemed like the right thing to do, being that we were on the Cape. Bayside Betty’s was where I had my first conversation with an old man. For some reason elderly people just love striking up conversations with me, and this trip was no exception.
As we ate lunch we were seated at a little two top, wedged closely between two other equally small two tops. Most people might be irritated by this, but I love a good eavesdrop so I was actually rather content. On our right (maverick’s left) there were two old men eating lunch together. Murray and his friend, whose name I never caught. Toward the end of our meals poor Murray (who was 86) spilled a cup of coffee all over his lap. I saw him wince and I knew it was a combo of pain and sheer humiliation. I immediately offered him the crumpled napkin from my lap, which opened the floodgates. As Murray got up to go to the restroom to take care of the coffee situation his friend just started talking to us and didn’t stop. We learned a lot about Murray, mainly that he lived in the South End and his wife had died a year ago and so his friend and his friend’s wife were “spoiling him.” We had a lovely chat and as we left the restaurant I raved to Maverick about how much I liked talking with older people. They’re so nice and wise! Blah Blah.
After lunch and a little more shopping we headed to our hotel, which was straight out of 1950 in terms of decor. The bed was actually a Murphy Bed which was kitschy and novel, and we had a really lovely view of the ocean. I may have swooned a bit.
After a dip in the pool/hot tub Mav and I showered and found a nearby restaurant to eat dinner at. We settled on Hot L Bar, which was outstanding! We happily ate (BBQ roast chicken for me, Shepherd’s Pie for him) and drank (dirty Shirley Temples, which were embarrassing to order and though I found it tasty I gotta say I’m a purist and I think I prefer mine virginal after all.)
I had my second conversation with an old man at Hot L Bar. He was sitting a few tables over and just randomly started shouting to me across the restaurant about how good his seafood buccatini was. “I DON’T THINK THAT PASTA CAME FROM A BOX LET ME TELL YA!” He hollered, multiple times. Among his list of string pull phrases he lobbed at me contiously was, “My god! I sure liked it! My shirt really liked it!” which was a reference to the fact that his old man yellow polo had stains on it where he had splattered himself with the not from a box pasta.
I kept smiling and nodding and trying to return to my romantic conversation with my boyfriend only to have old guy 2 exclaim again how much he liked that gosh darn seafood buccatini. I felt a pang of pity for his female companion. I hoped it was his sister.
After an evening of Breaking Bad in our 1950’s hotel room and an early bedtime, I woke up a little stiff. I described the way I felt as like “a robot kitten.” We decided a quick wake up trip the hot tub was in order. We had the thing to ourselves for a blissful 8 minutes before an elderly gentleman shuffled into the pool area. He descended into the large, 10 person hot tub, talking to nobody in particular (aka directly to us) about how he never goes in the pool because “little kids don’t have the patience to go to the John heh heh heh.” He then chose a seat almost directly next to Maverick, and then stretched his legs out diagonally, more or less trapping us. After a riveting conversation about his life (seems like he was actually a very talented musician) we made our escape back to our room to clean up and check out. I felt bad, if we hadn’t been in a rush and also trying to have a little romantic get a way I would have sat in that hot tub for a half an hour, bobbing like a matzah ball listening to him and his opinions.
We hit the road and grabbed a delicious breakfast at Chach. I got Eggs Benedict. Nobody is surprised. Gimme dat Hollandaise biatch.
After breakfast we drove to Race Point Beach. The weather was perfect. We had two towels, BBQ potato chips, reading material and each other. We did have sunscreen but I apparently suck at applying it. The entire outline of my bikini bottom in the back has a nice cherry red outline. Maverick’s back has a little red handprint where I quite obviously missed applying the sunscreen. Oops. Even though my bum stings and looks diseased I wouldn’t have traded that time on the beach for anything. It was magical.
I swear we did more on this trip than eat, but man oh man there is still nothing better to me than a Friendly’s Grilled Cheese!
We started the drive back toward Boston and stopped at Pirate’s Cove to go mini golfing. I had a memory from my childhood of mini golfing there with my family and when I off handedly brought up the idea of going mini golfing Maverick was all for it. At first I was a little nervous that I would suck at it, but in the end I only lost to the Mav by one point! Whether that means he sucks as much as I do or that I have some sort of mini golf aptitude remains to be seen. We also played some skee-ball because Mav is awesome and rememerbed that its one of the few arcade games I like. We donated our tickets to a little girl and I bought a genuine shark tooth for Maverick as well as a Cape Cod magnet to commemorate our trip (which I promptly dropped like a klutz and broke, but it can definitely be glued back together! The sales girl offered to let me buy a non-broken one but I insisted on paying for the one I had destroyed #goodytwoshoes #imperfectisperfect.)
Going to Pirate’s Cove was good for sentimental reasons. I think sometimes as a kid of divorce I tend to remember my child hood as one thing and not another. It can sometimes be easier to think “there weren’t good memories” because it is logically harder to miss something you never had. But the truth is that even though it hurts or it can feel tainted sometimes, my family did have good times when we were still a cohesive family. I honestly can’t remember much about mini-golfing at Pirate’s Cove with my family (I actually don’t know if we even did it at the Cape Cod location!) in fact the only thing I can recall is my poor little brother crying his eyes out in fear at an animatronic pirate. Still, it was so nice to do something I had done in my childhood with my boyfriend, it meant a lot to me.
After a quick stop at a mix your own Salt Water Taffy stand (OH MY GOD SO GOOD) and an extremely beautiful sunset drive, we were home again. It truly was an amazing birthday present, I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have a guy who just “gets me.” Not to mention another thing crossed off the ol’ summer bucket list.
Love you Mav, thanks for loving me back even though I let you get a sunburn.
Sarah, the old man magnet.