Old Cape Cod


Partner and I spent a few days on Cape Cod last week. It’s barely an hour away from Providence, but it’s a different world altogether. The weather is milder. The light is softer. The air is different.



It is so bloody quaint that it makes me want to hold my head and moan. Little white houses buried in rhododendrons and wisteria. Little shingled houses with American flags flying on the porch. Little brick houses with wizened cherry trees in the yard. Oh my God!



Little old ladies are everywhere, having brunch and powerwalking and selling taffy. Handymen and landscapers and lifeguards are everywhere, big and burly and suntanned. And all the convenience stores sell t-shirts three for ten bucks.



We stopped for breakfast at – where else? – The Breakfast Room. “Room,” by the way, was spelled, not with two Os, but with two fried eggs. (Partner: “Well, we gotta eat there. I mean, look at the eggs on the sign!”) We had eggs (what else?) and coffee and toast. An older couple came in after us, sat nearby, and regarded the menu dolefully. “Well,” the husband said after a few minutes, “it looks like they just serve breakfast.”



Even the geography is quaint. Take Dennis, for example, where we stayed. You’ve got South Dennis, and West Dennis (which is also “Bass River”), and Dennis, and Dennisport, and East Dennis (which is just north of South Dennis). I finally found North Dennis on the map; it’s a mile west of East Dennis.



The same naming pattern is repeated for Sandwich, and Harwich, and Yarmouth, and Falmouth. (I won’t even tell you about the Upper Cape. You’re not ready for that. It’s like quantum physics.)



You’ve never seen many birds. I understand now why people go nutsy for birdwatching on the Cape. Eighteen different species of bird were perched on the hotel sign when we pulled in, arranged (I think) either by size, or alphabetically. I lay half-awake one morning, listening to the dawn chorus of birdcalls, and I think some of them were just making the calls up, to show off. I mean, really: “Peep peep peep peep brrr brrr brrr toowhaa toowhaa”? What the hell kind of bird does that? An imaginary one?



We ate at Captain Parker’s in (West) Yarmouth our first evening there, as we usually do. Partner adores their clam chowder, and the fisherman’s platter, which is served on a plate the size of a laundry hamper. I had the mussels marinara; the mussels were local, and huge, and terrifying. (Partner told me later that a kid at the table behind me was watching me dissect and consume my mussels. To be fair, they were prehistoric.)



Take it away, Patti Page!


Patti_Page_-_Old_Cape_Cod.mp3 Listen on Posterous





About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to futureworld@cox.net.

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