I got home from Cape Cod last night, and as I sit here trying to write about the week, I’m finding it a bit difficult. It was a busy week, filled with lots of time spent with my best friends, at the beach and exploring the Cape and visiting places I remember from my visits as a kid, eating lots of fried food and making fires… and yet, it was also an incredibly lazy, relaxing week spent reading and curling up on the couch and playing video games and cards and just sitting around.
I’ll be honest and admit that my expectations were a bit high for this week. My friends have been to the Cape together before, and have been full of exclamation-marked stories of beach fires and barbecues and the beach. Add that together with my own memories of Cape Cod and my extraordinary excitement about finally going back, and I suppose I could have been disappointed. And yeah, I was a bit nervous about being one of the few single people with a large group of couples. But the very honest truth is that it was exactly as fun as I expected, more so, if that’s possible, and these guys have been my friends since college, and it was beyond cool to get to spend some time with everyone beyond a game of poker or someone’s birthday party.
It would be hard to say what my favorite part of the trip was, but the two beach fires are certainly making a run for it. The first one was Sunday night, a few hours after I arrived, still a bit glassy-eyed from six hours spent driving. We packed up the cars full of firewood and kindling and s’mores fixins and headed to the beach. Of course I was going to bring my camera, but I was sort of – okay completely – terrified that I’d ruin my beloved camera with sand or surf or smoke. But it was okay in the end.
In some ways, it was just like your standard campfire, but as you wiggle yourself a comfy seat on the sand and warm yourself by the fire, you hear the crash of the waves in the distance, even though you can’t see them. And the air smells salty and it’s quite possibly the most relaxing feeling on earth. It was a bit cloudy the first time, but our second fire night was completely clear, and when I’m telling you we saw a lot of stars, I really mean that I’m not sure I’ve seen that many stars before. That night, we laid down towels and mats and just lied back and looked at the stars, with toasty feet and sandy toes and I think I drifted off for a little while. But then! We be-glowsticked ourselves so we could use the glow-in-the-dark football and frisbees (so we could see each other as we threw to each other in the complete darkness) and there’s something so hilarious about watching someone walk through the sand when all you can see are glowsticked wrists and waists.
Here, I would probably take some time to wax poetic about the food on the Cape, but I pretty much lived on fish and chips with a side of clam chowder all week, so I can’t give a very thorough review of the cuisine. I will say, though, that the fish and chips was awesome each time I had it, and the cup of clam chowder I had at the Chatham Squire (the restaurant my parents recommended very highly) was beyond spectacular.
Of course, we also consumed our fair share of beer during the week, between games of Asshole and beer pong and one attempt at 3d beer pong. We learned new card games and after I bought Uno cards, we played A LOT of Uno. Maybe it was because it rained so many of the days (also the reason we never made it to a Cape Cod Baseball League game…) but somehow I think we would have played cards regardless. It’s funny, because playing cards is one of the strongest memories I have of childhood trips to the Cape, learning how to play Gin, so it felt completely perfect to be sitting around a table playing Rummy 500 and learning a Chinese (Vietnamese? I can’t remember now) version of poker very late at night.
We didn’t go to the beach as much as we could have, but Patt, Pete, Irma and I went for a little while one afternoon and that little dose of full-on sunshine was just right. We were too busy taking trips to Orleans and Chatham and doing other things to spend too much time at the beach, and I like that.
We didn’t make it to the old Cape Cod haunts I wrote about last time, but there’s only so much time in a week and there were bigger, better things to do (like the beach fires and mini golf and grilling in the garage). A few of us went down to Chatham one afternoon, though, so I got to visit all of the stores I remember, and bought some magnets and taffy. The little things like that are what I’ll remember.
The week went fast, with people coming and going each day, and with different groups of people there were different things to do. That was one of the more interesting parts. That and figuring out where I’d be sleeping each night. It was disappointing that it rained as much as it did, but it didn’t stop us from doing anything (other than baseball!). I’m glad we at so many s’mores and it was fun to tease my friends about baseball trivia (because except for one, they aren’t baseball fans at all) and I didn’t know how much I liked Cash Cab before. The drive home was much better with a copilot to talk to the whole way, especially once we hit the post-Yankees/Mets game traffic driving through the Bronx toward the George Washington Bridge (two. hours. in. stop. and. go. traffic. But I did talk to a few other Mets fans, thanks to the Mets sticker on my car). Once we dropped Patt and Irma off, I had another hour to go, and you know what? I got pretty sad right about then. Maybe it was the seven hours I’d already spent in the car, or maybe it was that I was super tired and incredibly hungry by that point, but maybe it’s just that I had a really, really good week. It was really hard to come back to a dark, empty apartment last night, especially after a week spent living with anywhere from four to ten other people. But I’m relaxed and happy and refreshed and a tiny bit more tan, so I can live with that.