Languor management

If there is one perfect place for a cool summer, in every sense, it has to be Cape Cod. On the Cape, there is a very long cold, almost dormant season and then, suddenly, summer comes running and everything springs to life again.

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In fact, I consider it my number one destination in the US. It has everything you could want: miles and miles of ocean with wild beaches and the smell of the sea ever present, with most of it only steps from the bustling villages that festoon its coastline, as fingers of land curve in and out, reaching far toward islands as beautiful as any, anywhere on the globe.

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Massachusetts is pure Yankee territory. A large state with miles of rolling farmland, gorgeous natural arboretums that leaf out into a burst of autumn palettes that take your breath away, it is also home to towns and villages lifted straight out of Norman Rockwell’s America.

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Red barns, fields thrusting up crops of every description, deep fertile soil amid rows of green and red and gold, it is the bread basket of the North East.

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And yet, it is also famous for Boston Harbor with all its colonial history, that beautiful patrician city that many solid, beer-hall natives call home as well.  There is nothing truer or more honest than a Massachusetts homey and you will get the unvarnished opinion of just about anyone who was born and raised there, from one end to the other. Ask them!

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For my summer destination, I chose the Cape because of its windswept clean beaches, its charming eateries, stores brimming with locally made souvenirs, elegant hotels and golf courses, and its proximity to ferry-ride day places where you can haunt little known nooks either to relax and feel the ever-present sea breezes or just stroll and dip into shops for shade and picking up gifts to take back home.

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It is also known for its easy swimming and fishing, golfing, sailing, and shell collecting, if those appeal to you.

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Whenever we go to Cape Cod, we just want to relax, make no plans, meander around, stumble on restaurants and stores, eat out or order in. We city slickers like to slow down during the summer. Here, it is effortless.

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While there are too many parts of this peninsula for me to cover here, I do think you can get the entire experience, absorb the ambiance of the earliest attractions of this country to the pilgrims who landed in Provincetown and Plymouth, by staying in one little corner: Falmouth-Woods Hole.

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From this small spot with Falmouth on one end and Woods Hole on the other, you can also take a short, 40 minute ferry ride to famous Martha’s Vineyard, the playground of old family Yankees and Knickerbockers.

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It is prohibitive to stay on the Vineyard, but you can afford an Air BnB or VRBO in Falmouth and take the shuttle or walk to almost every attraction this end of the Cape has to offer.  It may not be cheap, but it will be memorable.

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First things first: getting to Falmouth/Woods Hole. Even though the logical choice would be Boston’s Logan Airport, my experience with the area has led me to choose Bradley International in Hartford, Connecticut. A lesser known, less traveled hub, it is also known for being safer, less crowded and newer as well as easier to navigate.

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Upon landing at either Bradley or Logan, you can hop a bus, rent a car or call on Uber to get you out to the Cape. We always drive because it is such an enjoyable journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the US, but you can make the choice that suits you best.

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If you can, stay for a couple of weeks. It will be more cost-effective to rent a home for that, than to stay in a hotel. However, if you prefer a hotel environment, I would suggest Inn on the Square.  Visiting the website will make it clear why: it gives you the environment of the old seafaring Cape of the 19th and 20th centuries for a relatively reasonable price.

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I would not advise looking for a hotel in Woods Hole itself. You can easily hop the shuttle from Falmouth and stay there instead. It is a mere ten minutes from Woods Hole. However, the world famous Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is in WH and they have dorms as well as cottages for students and faculty.

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If it were I and I wanted to stay right in Woods Hole and couldn’t find a house to rent, I would contact WHOI and ask them for availability of their housing. It is worth a shot.

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There is so much to do in both Falmouth and Woods Hole, that I almost hesitate to suggest a hotel in Martha’s Vineyard. But, I will throw one in, for good measure.

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Personally, I would prefer to stay in Falmouth or Woods Hole and just take the 40 minute ferry for the day to the Vineyard. Nonetheless, Mansion House is a lovely place to stay — you will just be paying more for it in the summer season.

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As for eating, I don’t know where to begin except Falmouth. Merely walk up and down Main Street and you have plenty of excellent choices, but get there early as they all have long lines at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We enjoy Quarterdeck for brunch at 164 Main and The Glass Onion for dinner at 37 N. Main.  Both are standard American fare, but very well done and in comfortable, easy surroundings.  I have to admit, we made a daily pilgrimage to Ben&Bill’s for ice cream. Try the hand-made Birthday Cake and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors. Grab some chocolates too, again, made by this family run business.

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In Woods Hole, we love Pie in the Sky, a bakery and light meal stop for the best burgers and sandwiches, cookies and pies anywhere. We have also gotten burgers at Quiks Hole Tavern and Landfall Restaurant and frequent Captain Kidd for seafood.

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I am always in an ice cream mood when I am in Cape Cod, so I have to admit to more than one indulgence at my absolute all time favorite ice cream shoppe, Candy Go Nuts on Luscombe. There, I always have the Cotton Candy cone.

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We never stay on Martha’s Vineyard, so our one meal there is always lunch, half way between ferry rides. Hands down, we have two places we absolutely must visit every single time. For lunch, it’s Among the Flowers Cafe at 17 Mayhew Lane in Edgartown. Simply extraordinary salads and sandwiches and soups.

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Definitely get a basket of fries and pie.  Then, we never leave the Vineyard without a stop to stock up on fudge at Murdick’s. And, of course, Murdick’s has home made ice cream too.

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Shopping, well, there are far too many incredible stores to list them all here. A walk up and down Main Street in Falmouth, or on any street in downtown Woods Hole or Edgartown will fill you with eye candy of every description. Some of it unbelievably affordable, others, well, you can dream.

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In Woods Hole, I always make a beeline to Under the Sun. Their clothes, bags and pottery are all locally made but their jewelry is the real draw. No matter what you get, people will think you have paid ten times what you did. Love that place. For gifts, I go to Handworks. In Falmouth, I love Treasure Chest on Main Street for clothes and for gifts, Celebrations nearby. Twiggs Home and Garden has the most amazing collection of soaps and glassware and jewelry and other decorative items for home and garden, you must stop there. But there are many others up and down the street. Just explore.

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On Martha’s Vineyard, try Island Company and Bananas. For gifts, you have to see Off Main in Vineyard Haven and for linens, there is no place like Le Roux Kitchen.

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But, the most important thing to relish when you are on the Cape, is the natural beauty and the felicity of the people. Tourists don’t come here to see celebrities, they come to be immersed in the people and the culture of the Massachusetts coast: wild, uninhibited, fresh, raw and unforgettable.

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This is my absolute ideal summer haunt with perfect sunny, breezy, cool but never chilly weather. A good relief from the heat that seems to be creeping over all of us increasingly at all times of year. I would be remiss if I didn’t share what my good friend Robin said in a comment on my other Summer sticky post, Summer Like it Hot: “I always remind people of Rockport or Gloucester on Cape Ann being a beautiful getaway and not so ‘glitzy’ nor expensive as Cape Cod.” Good suggestions, Robin! There is so much to see in Massachusetts, I could devote an entire blog to singing its praises.

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No matter where you go in the state, you will find it a haven with that earthy atmosphere of real and reel.

Images: Chez BeBe assets and the establishments featured, except for the Alamy shot of Under the Sun — they simply have no pictures and I overlooked taking any on my trips there, so I hope Alamy will forgive me.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/slowly/

 

 

 

67 Comments on “Languor management

  1. Pingback: Summer Like it Hot | Beth Byrnes

  2. Who knew ??? You manage to capture so well the total aspect of your topic / destination. Like your LA guide, if one wishes to visit here , start with your
    overview. Wonderful.. As always, many thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I felt like I was there, reading your description, Beth! I miss the Cape. It’s been too long since I’ve visited. Hopefully sanity will be regained south of our border, and I’ll feel comfortable visiting again. Should that happen, might have to make the Cape my first stop on a return to the US.

    Enjoy the rest of your summer! xo

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh, Cole, you are good to even read a word that any of us say here. Did you watch that spectacle this week? So filled with animus, I could hardly stomach a few minutes before I turned it off. So filled with misinformation. I feel sorry for these apparently suffering people and this country.

      As for the Cape, I love it there. I love Massachusetts. My English grandmother grew up there and Deanna went to school there, so I feel as if it is my second state (after NY).

      What can we do? So much beauty in this country and so much self-inflicted misery for little reason.

      A hug to my beautiful, smart, kind Canadian friend. If Vancouver would take us, we’d be there.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I’ve watched pieces, here and there (so lovely to see Jon Stewart back in the fray and offering his insights on Colbert last night), and I’m listening to a CBC story about that travesty of a speech. I wish I could view it dispassionately and examine the whole mess as an exercise in rhetorical criticism, but I just can’t.

        I despair for our collective futures if such idiocy and credulity and complete lack of critical thinking persist. And we aren’t immune from it here (lest you think I’m on some sort of Canadian high-horse).

        I sincerely hope that sanity and rationale prevail, so that I can visit all those lovely places (and people) you write about with such eloquence.

        And if Vancouver says no, I know a Torontonian who’d be more than happy to lay out the welcome mat! Hugs back. Have a great weekend! xo

        Liked by 2 people

        • I should have mentioned Toronto and Montreal, while I was at it. I love all three equally. Whenever I think of Canada, I think of driving straight north and never looking back.

          You may have it, but a mild case. This disease here has proliferated into a raging pathology. I never knew this country could be so backward, ill-informed, mean! I barely recognize it.

          And the conservatives I grew up with were nothing like this at all. They were reserved, tactful, polite, well mannered, educated, elegant. Just careful and thrifty even though they were all well off. This new group seems to think we can go back to the way the world was 100 years ago.

          They blame macronomic trends on Obama and Clinton. It is as if they never studied history. It absolutely baffles and disturbs me more than you know. That man could win. Then how will all the people who voted for him make it up to the rest of us?

          Liked by 3 people

          • I just read an article that was longing for the days of W and Gore in that, debates leading up to the election, their perspectives were pretty similar, all things considered.

            I can’t get over the hatred and ignorance. I have yet to see one single commentary in support of Trump that is sourced in anything other than vitriolic idiocy.

            And my conservative friends (those who have offered opinions about the US circus) are as horrified as the liberals/progressives among us.

            Trump supporters have an erroneous conception of history, if they think that a ‘return’ to the ‘good old days’ is anything but a regression. As an historian (and a woman), the very thought makes me shudder. And railing against globalisation in deference to a fictional nationalism is delusional to a ridiculous degree.

            I think I have to turn off the tv and read something that stimulates positive thoughts rather than despair.

            Especially since the madness will continue with the DNC. I can’t even anticipate the ugliness that will come in response to their convention.

            Sending you strength. I can barely stand it, and I’m not even living it… xo

            Liked by 2 people

            • I am not sure the DNC will be like that. I think they will be more positive and uplifting. I have been a Democrat all my life and we just aren’t mean and vicious. It isn’t in our DNA. They will not retaliate other than to be sharply critical of these atavistic simplistic “ideas” that were expressed in such a primitive manner by the crowd at the RNC convention. We shall see.

              Liked by 2 people

            • I didn’t mean to imply that the same meanness who be present among the democrats. I’m just afraid of the ‘conservative’ commentary on what will happen over the course of the DNC. Sorry to be unclear 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            • Oh, I see what you mean. Yeah, they just don’t like anything we say or do even when we agree with them. Our very existence threatens them somehow. It is really crazy. xx

              Like

  4. Thank you, Beth, for taking us on this lovely leisurely stroll through the gems of Cape Cod and rural Massachusetts. Enjoy the slower pace with your hubby as you revel in the glorious history-soaked scenery – and that unique northeastern take on American life 🙂 Wish I was there! Maybe one day…

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you Vera! I think Cape Cod is similar to PEI, maybe a bit more commercial. Haven’t been back there in years. Love the weather, but then, you have temperate weather all the time — lucky! Toronto or Vancouver have always called to me. But I love Montreal, too. Three wonderful cities, more in line with my personality but Cape Cod will do in the meantime. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your sumptuous and delightfully photographic post just seemed to capture all the wonders of New England.
    I am so happy you enjoyed this relaxing (love to stroll!) vacation.
    Of course, your focus was rightly so upon Cape Cod. It is such an iconic and perfect place to go. 🙂 Not too hot, cool breezes off the ocean, green, wild back yard gardens, blueberry and blackberry plantings, . . . Along with the really established beauty in original early American buildings. Look at that partial schooner sticking out of a building, or the rustic wooden platform swing. Now stand and feel the salty sea air upon your face while you see the gorgeous array of ships and boats in the harbor (or moored there.)
    Ice cream, chocolate candies, candles, freah seafood, freah salads, nicely crafted gifts by shopkeepers for next Christmas. Best stocking stuffers, ever! 🙂
    My sister in law grew up, attended preparatory boarding school and eventually Princeton has her “family summer home” on Bethany Beach, Delaware. I have been there once, mainly to see her sister’s home, not on the ocean.
    They like to walk the beach, look in gift shops, buy treats which includes ice cream, chocolates and design your own toppings donut shops. I definitely would go for this, at least once or twice!
    Thank you so much for sharing my name and the Rockport (Cape Ann) location where my great grandparents “settled” from Sweden, Beth. This was a pleasant surprise!
    We have now reached 104 days since I met Calisto. Still managing to take it rather slow. . . He is such a friendly, sympathetic and kind man. I hope as time goes by, he will regain some of what he had established with his ex-wife of nearly 20 years, but 4 1/2 years divorce. She got house, stocks and bonds, cars, dog and two boys. She has never worked except home sales items, 20 hours a week.
    We are laughing and enjoying life, his broken past matched a combo of my own, my SIL’s and my grown children’s struggles. So nice to have an OSU grad with international studies, Mid-Eastern cultures. He served both as a tanker driver and medic in the Army.
    He’s more conservative than I am, by a long shot. He is at a loss since he doesn’t like Hillary and strongly is repelled by Trump’s “hate tactics.” At least he does not like the horrible way Trump just throws slurs around. Since his parents are Italian naturalized immigrants, he doesn’t like how the Congress didn’t approve Pres. Obama’s acceptance of five year residents in US to be allowed to become accepted. This was a long comment and mainly, have missed you and glad to have caught up a bit.
    We shall see if my younger man “sticks” around, Beth. ❤ You notice I am not on my own blog saying much. . . shh-h! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow, Robin, you should write up a post on your East Coast experiences. Sounds like you have a lot to share. Thank you for doing it here!

      Yes, I love this part of the world. My grandmother moved here when she was a little girl, from England — they moved to Malden and her father, who had been from landed gentry and never worked a day in his life bought a farm that he tried to make successful for almost three decades before being forced to sell it. Her stories of life on that farm have been magic for me. I always longed to move back to the country. Not yet!

      As for Calisto. I am glad to hear that is going well. I do hope he turns out to be “the one”. Don’t worry, you and I can keep this between us right here and no one will be the wiser. I think only Beth crosses over from our two blogs and I don’t think she reads mine much, so we are safe, LOL!

      You are so dear, Robin. You deserve the best. If I had more time, I would be reading more blogs during the week — I try to catch up as best I can. I think I have spread myself a bit thin with Flickr and Twitter and WP and even Facebook from time to time. I am also on Pinterest but rarely. Not enough hours in each day!

      A huge hug to you! We are sisters under the skin. And I hope Calisto likes Tim Kaine. I have warmed to him. He would not be willing to be on the ticket if Hillary weren’t a warm and good person herself, which I know she is.

      ❤ ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks, Beth for saying I meant to be reinforcing (echoing) your own observations and experiences of New England. Your photos evoked all kinda of memories, so I probably did wax on rhapsodically. ❤
        I am just happy to be appreciated once again for my mind and there is a good level of attraction. Not that he resembles anyone else before, either. Shy smiling here.
        Anyway, so comforted by your political summary and feelings about the RNC. Both of us being raised by strong mothers (and grandmothers), I have a great hope that Hillary will succeed in creating a better form of communication between President and Congress. We need cohesion and unity. Peace and love to you and Geoffrey! ❤ ❤

        Liked by 2 people

          • OK, I tried to say earlier that we are both lucky to have had mothers and grandmothers who instilled love and other good values in us.

            I also said, a man who respects your mind is a rare treasure. Enjoy this gift!

            Hugs ❤

            Liked by 2 people

            • Beth, I am over the moon with the DNC! Chelsea did well presenting her mother as a well rounded, intelligent, warm and caring public servant, mother and grandmother. I liked how she mentioned her parents always focused on her own school days, then would proceed to talk about their own jobs, positions, committees, and interests they shared. I felt the guests were great support, along with some semblance of acceptance among Bernie’s followers. How did you “rate” it? Smiles, Robin xo.

              Liked by 2 people

        • I LOVED it, Robin. It was sharp, beautiful, entertaining, serious, insightful. The only thing I didn’t like was the booing from Bernie’s people, but other than that, it was flawless.

          The stage was gorgeous, especially the last night. And they absolutely nailed the balloon drop — ssssooooo pretty.

          As for Hillary, she looked perfect, the right color for her, her hair was beautiful, she looked rested, happy, confident, competent and cheerful. I love Kaine now that I know more about him. He is a joy to listen to.

          I am so sick of negative people. I am so done with florid men screaming at us with their faces twisted in anger.

          I will be talking about what it means to be a progressive in my next post, but honestly, people just have to have watched that convention and they would know.

          Yay! I think Hillary will win Ohio and the Presidency. People from Ohio like nice people not hate-mongers. People like you. Bless you! ❤

          Liked by 2 people

          • Happy Labor Day weekend, hope there is a picnic or fun gathering planned. I am heading to my Mom’s with my little shadow grandson, Micah. (She’s 87, he’s 7)!
            Anyway, not sure what is happening with Calisto but I care about him, I think he is a little scared? Love to you and Geoffrey xo

            Liked by 1 person

            • Robin, I think you missed my newest two posts for the past month, since you are commenting here. This is my Summer Sticky Page that’s been up since June. I will be changing to a new Fall Sticky Page at the end of this month. Meantime, no we are not doing anything interesting.

              Happy to talk to you wherever but you might like the pictures in those two newer posts, North of the Border and Winged Flowers — in case you have time.

              What happened with Calisto? I haven’t heard anything new. Tell me.

              Love back to you. We are hanging around home this weekend.

              Hugs! ❤

              Liked by 1 person

  6. LANGUOR MANAGEMENT…HA! what a great play on words, and you do have a wonderful way with words, and…you can spill out more words than most people I know, girl!! I have never been to Cape Cod, and always wanted to go. I wanted to go to Provincetown, and stay and write in Norman Mailer’s house (you have to win a sort of scholarship, but how great would that be!). I’m sure I would have been right there with you at Ben & Bill’s for ice cream daily! What are vacations for? This is a very lovely piece, full of true affection for the place (you can feel it in your writing), and just awesome photos once again!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A talker? Ya think? Hee hee … gift of gab. On my report card from kindergarten they commented, “Beth spends too much time chatting with her neighbors ” — can you imagine? Always been chatty.

    Oh yeah, Provincetown is great, but far, far, far more commercial than Falmouth/Woods Hole. That is why I didn’t talk too much about it. Takes a long time to get there and then too touristy. The only people you see in Falmouth/Woods Hole are locals and scientists.
    But, I can imagine what inspiration Mailer’s house would be and I didn’t know it was there.

    But hey, BF, you go to places like Prague and Malta and Tibet and Nepal. Who has time for the mundane, when they can trip the edge of the celestial? And I have an entire book on the cafes and pastries of Prague, Vienna and Budapest so I ENVY you!!

    Thank you for the kind and generous words. Maybe some day I will be a real writer.

    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Once again your words eloquent, your photographs stunning, your travelogue should be on Trip Advisor, so many would reap the benefits of your travel destinations and the ins and outs of where to go. You put so much into,your posts darling, the effort and time noticeable. PS Looks a beautiful, spot ❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, Jen, first and foremost: congrats again! What an exciting development. It makes me glad, just to know such wonderful times are coming your way.

      As for this, well, I only post twice a month now, so I try to make it worth people’s while when they are here.

      Honestly, I think everyone would love Cape Cod. It is just a wonderful place, but you have beauty and wonder there, so why travel around the world to us. Stay where you are.

      My love to every one of your family — and a hug to you. ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you again, her little belly has just popped (15 weeks) and it’s so beautiful to see. Yes we have amazing places over here too, like everywhere. Thank you darling, had a rough 12 hours with my penguins and dealt with on 2 hours sleep, but both alright. Hugs back to,you and your family. ❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

        • I cannot imagine how hard it must be to go through this. With my grandparents, it was fast. They both had their faculties but my grandfather became very emotional in the last year of his life and would cry over everything anyone would say, even mentioning a cup of tea or pointing to a bird outside. At least they are still with you and you can hug them or at least tell them you love them, from time to time.

          Again, hugs and love to them and to you, Jen. xxoo

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Your travel posts are always glorious, Beth. The Cape Chamber of Commerce needs to give you a free vacation for this one! Your always beautiful photography continues to get better and better with each new post.

    And you know I love your narratives. As a word person, I’m never fond of posts that simply offer visual after visual with no personal context. You always do both, and I am captivated by what you have described here.

    Thank you for a mini-vacation. Wish I were there.
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Oh Beth!
    Once again a wonderful Post that describes completely of its fineness, of its beauty, of its splendour, of its offer to come and visit and more so the attractive pictures invite not only one’s attention but arouses a feeling to visit the place no matter of what expense. I really felt I visited the place Cape Cod, for there, I felt the presence of God welcoming.

    I did spend a lot more time on this post and derived such pleasure of travelling to places around this planet.

    I felt this post can be taken as a whole to make it a travel catalogue from the Ministry of Tourism, if I was the Minister to that portfolio I would consider doing it.

    I loved to read the following lines again and again :

    Like

  11. Sorry I pressed the Post Comment button.

    These are the lines :

    If there is one perfect place for a cool summer, in every sense, it has to be Cape Cod.

    as fingers of land curve in and out, reaching far toward islands as beautiful as any, anywhere on the globe.

    We city slickers like to slow down during the summer. Here, it is effortless.

    It may not be cheap, but it will be memorable.

    We always drive because it is such an enjoyable journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the US, but you can make the choice that suits you best.

    I am always in an ice cream mood when I am in Cape Cod, so I have to admit to more than one indulgence at my absolute all time favorite ice cream shoppe,

    Some of it unbelievably affordable, others, well, you can dream.

    I could devote an entire blog to singing its praises.

    We always drive because it is such an enjoyable journey through some of the most beautiful countryside in the US, but you can make the choice that suits you best.

    Given a chance I would not miss visiting this place Beth!

    I did feel the warmth of your heart in it in the summer hot.

    Hugs!
    Shiva
    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Shiva! When you have a minute, go see my two newer posts (Winged Flowers and North of the Border) listed to the left here; one is on North Park, San Diego. I think you would like it!!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. First, I always love your play on words with your titles—Languor management: genius, girl. I’ve never been to Cape Cod, but I have visited Martha’s Vineyard, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head: expensive, but fun and cool, and maybe best for a day trip. Sorry I’ve missed so much of your posts lately…been offline, offgrid, offeverything. But I still love your take on things like this, and honest appraisal of stuff. And knowledge of where to find chocolate and ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: I Cease to See « theshivasponder

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