The last time we stayed in New England was with Capt. Ray and Nancy Reid in Cranberry Cottage. He was a coast guard captain and an Ocean Spray cranberry grower. He took us to the cranberry bogs and we got to sample all the different varieties of cranberry juice. We looked long and hard to find them, but they were quite a bit older than us, so perhaps are no longer around but I will always remember sitting around the breakfast table being served fresh eggs from the chickens they kept and being made to feel part of the family.
We ended up staying in Sandwich. It is a lovely destination, full of marshes, empty beaches, and a boardwalk where you can carve your name. There is not a lot to do in the town, visitors are mainly aged 60 and over, so anything there is to see or do, closes early. On a whim we stopped by the Glass Museum the highlight of which is obviously the glass blowing demonstration, and we didn´t regret it.
It is easy to get around Cape Cod and each of the towns has its own appeal. Woods Hole is where Dr. Ballard the discoverer and photographer of the Titanic was based. His films were used in the 1997 movie “Titanic”. Chatham is a fishing community. It was here that Jim tried his very first lobster and looked suitably bemused not by the sweetcorn, potatoes and butter that come with it but the amount of tools surrounding his plate.
Falmouth is a charming town and where we caught the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. The crossing takes approximately 30 minutes, and the views of the cliffs, old mansions, lighthouses, yachts, and sailboats are magnificent.
There are many things to see on the Vineyard, but for us the highlight was the Painted Ladies. We will be seeing those in San Francisco (probably while you are reading this) but while these pretty cottages are common in New England, the famous ones of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard resemble dollhouses. There is a cottage museum, which we couldn’t find, though we didn’t look too hard. It was enough to enjoy the houses from the outside. We saw the oldest working carousel and we saw where the films “Jaws” and “Summer of ‘42” were made.
We decided to return to Provincetown and on the way stopped in Truro, which is another of those quaint small towns with wide windswept beaches.
Provincetown is at the very tip of Cape Cod. Long a haven for artists, writers and the creative types. When we first visited, we were surprised at how many men were dressed in high heels and meticulous makeup. Now walking down Commercial Street there are plenty of straight people but ‘gay’ is definitely the town’s trademark. I loved mooching in all the craft shops particularly the ones that made and sold coloured glass and I bought a wind chime that catches the light and sparkles as it hangs on my awning at home. We also remembered we had to say “hi” to The Tourists, a bronze sculpture as we passed them on our way to pick a boat for a spot of whale watching.
Unlike our last trip from this exact spot, when we were offered an alternative date for the excursion or a couple of seasickness tablets. This trip was perfect we took loads of pictures but for the most part only we know what the camera was pointing at.
While heading to our return flight from Boston we allowed a couple of days for our journey because we wanted to spend time and see the changes that had been made to Plimoth Plantation.
Even though we had seen it before, like most people we still could not get over how small the Mayflower seemed. The original ship no longer exists, but the full-scale reproduction, Mayflower II was built in Devon in the UK and is in Plimoth Plantation.
The Plantation is located in the beautiful coastal town of Plymouth, and in my opinion, any visit to the area benefits from seeing the re-creation of the small community built by the Pilgrims. The people are all actors who portray actual residents of the 17th century colony. They speak in the language of the time and totally ignore modern inventions. While there a plane flew overhead and the woman we were talking to was shocked by such a ‘big bird’. To complement the English community you will see a native village belonging to the Wampanoag tribe. You can walk among their various houses from the mat-covered wetu and a bark-covered long house. Unlike the people of the English Village, the staff in the Indian homestead are not role players; they are all Native People from the Wampanoag tribe.
So after our third wonderful visit to this area we finally head home and start to plan where our next travels will take us.
Step Through the Looking Glass and read the Red Queen Musings