The first weekend of November we had a mini-roadtrip to the Cape with our friend Kate. I have been meaning to write about it, here I am in December just getting around to sitting down and collecting my thoughts.
It was only a short weekend and only a couple hours from our house, but it felt like a delightful little vacation. It was one of those special times where just everything fits. We picked a little Inn online, just from the website, reviews and the fact that we could bring Max with us! We left after work on Friday, stopped to pick up groceries for dinner on the way and drove into the main stretch of Provincetown around 9pm, not knowing really what to expect.
It´s SO lovely. I´m a ¨seaside town¨ kind of person anyway, but this was BEYOND. I could not get over how adorable the town was and when we arrived at the Inn, it was just surreal. This is the main reason why I feel the need to write about this trip, where we stayed is pretty much responsible for how special the entire weekend felt for us. Gabriel´s at the Ashbrooke Inn is really an incredible place. For three of us and one dog we stayed in a suite that was really more of a little apartment. Kate had her own bedroom with a door for privacy, we stayed in the open main room with a couch, fireplace and efficiency kitchen and a little bedroom nook. There were two bathrooms and flat screen tvs in the main room and each of the bedroom areas. So first off, this was perfect space-wise and affordable. There was even a dog bed and treats in the room for Max!
The Inn is a few buildings with a garden courtyard in the middle, which has beautiful landscaping decks and patio levels everywhere and lights in the trees and lining the paths. (the photo above is the entrance-way). At night when we arrived, the lights everywhere were warm, welcoming and provided comfort and safety. I took Max out for a walk around midnight and it was so nice to not feel creeped-out by darkness and an unfamiliar place. It was peaceful and glowing.
With our room rate we also had breakfast included and were expecting kind of a (nice, but basic) continental breakfast. Again… it was BEYOND. Omlettes and Waffles to order, cereal, yogurt, croissants, muffins, juice, good coffee and tea, alternatives to dairy included soy and almond milk (like, for real? amazing.). All served in a totally cozy great room area, again with a fireplace and couches and books, dvds, and boardgames available for guests. If we had hit a rainy day, they would have had to roll me out of there, because I would have been curled up on the couch, drinking that coffee and watching The Wire all day (they had the dvd sets!). The owners (Elizabeth and Elizabeth) were around at breakfast to chat with and they are delightful ladies! They recommended a place for us to go for dinner that was really excellent and were just so absolutely helpful and friendly all the time (as was everyone we encountered who works there). The Inn is also phenomenally located. We parked once and walked everywhere all weekend.
So that was where we stayed, but more about Provincetown… We wished we had more time to just walk, hike out to the point and peruse all the local art, because there was a lot of it. We wandered around and peered in windows of galleries for a while.
The have one of the best dog parks that I´ve ever seen. It´s massive, well-designed and maintained. This is definitely a community of dog-owners and it shows. Before we got Max, I never noticed and appreciated these things, but now it´s so obvious when we travel with him. Trash bins everywhere in parks and on the street, free dog bags and the park. Awesome.
We also stopped in to Coastline Tattoo so that Kate could get her second tattoo. It was a really laid-back, nice shop. I really liked it there. We were hanging out for a while the artist was working with Kate and the music was just kicking-ass. Tom Waits, William Elliott Whitmore, the Pogues… I don´t even remember what else, but it was just all kinds of good. So I finally complimented them and they told me they just had Pandora on, the station was based on Gogol Bordello. And this made sense. I looked through a lot of their books while we were there and I think I really want to go there to get my next two (maybe more) pieces done.
We have plans to go back in April. Hopefully we will take a day off or something so that we can have more time there. Cannot. Wait.
Recently a good friend came up to Rhode Island for a weekend visit. Newport was on the short list of places that she needed to see, especially in the Summer. We went out on one of those harbor cruises that are thought of as being just for tourists. I see no reason to have attitude as a local. When it comes to experiencing whatever I can in any given place, I don’t discriminate.
I grew up in Rhode Island, but didn’t spend a lot of time in Newport. I don’t know if my parents didn’t want to deal with the traffic, the bridge, the tourists or they thought of it just as a place reserved for the wealthy and well-connected? Many Rhode Islanders seem to feel that way.
Well here’s a secret, Newport is a very beautiful place with deep history and fun mash-up of something for everyone. It’s much more accessible than people seem to think. I’ve only been living nearby for a few months now, so I’m still exploring and discovering many new great places to go and things to do there.
In June, the New York Times Travel Section did a 36 Hours in Newport piece and I’ve done almost nothing on their list! So now I have some new ideas to look forward to.
Here are a few places in Newport that I have visited and would recommend:
Empire Tea and Coffee – This place has plenty of seating, wifi, and is unpretentious and inviting. Their coffee is great, but their tea menu is astounding! I highly recommend their Cinnamon Rooibos.
The Cliff Walk - A 3.5 mile walk along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. It’s free. Most of it is a comfortable path to follow, there is only a small part that is more challenging hike. Last time we went on a really hot day, I’m looking forward to going back on a somewhat chilly (and uncrowded) Fall afternoon.
Sachuest Beach (Second Beach) - My favorite of the Newport/Middletown Beaches. Let the Beach party rage on for the young, tan, and sparsely-clothed over at First Beach. I like peaceful, expansive beaches that feel more natural and private. This one is great.
The Fastnet Pub – A cozy neighborhood Irish Pub with a good menu of comfort staples and good prices.
Diego’s – We stopped here for lunch on crowded Bowen’s Wharf. It was solidly good, fresh Mexican food. I had Watermelon Gazpacho that inspired me to make my gazpacho and add in watermelon to experiment at home. I will be back, especially in the Fall when it’s a bit quieter in the busy Newport waterfront area.
And seriously, tourist or local, get yourself on a boat and out on the Harbor. You won’t regret it.
If anyone has any suggestions for me to try in Newport (or nearby) leave them in the comments!
- to go camping for the first time ever.
- a really cute tent.
- to go hiking and see really beautiful gorges and waterfalls in and around Ithaca, NY.
- a really fun roadtrip with my favorite person in the world and my dog, with excellent music. through beautiful stretches of highway in Massachusetts and New York.
- to drink a mint julep sno-cone. (seriously amazing. bourbon. in a sno-cone.)
- two nights around a camp-fire with great friends + great conversation
- a bocce set.
- a really excellent first bocce game in which my team (team bourbon sno-cones) ultimately lost to Darcy’s team (gewurtztraminer). we did, however, win several rounds and I’m also pretty sure we landed more quality jokes involving the positions of our balls, which I feel should count for something.
- a five day weekend. which then results in this week only being four work days. followed by a holiday 3-day weekend. and another four day workweek.
- much love from many wonderful people all over the internet. my facebook page and email box are truly humbling places of beautiful words and warm wishes right now.
I am glowing.
yay summer. yay birthdays. yay lovely, lovely people in my life. I am so very lucky.
(in many ways)
1. Living in a country where the following things were not a factor -
a. Seemingly the majority of people having not even the most basic understanding of how government and economic systems work.
b. Extreme short-term memory problems. I had to hear people on the radio yesterday talking about things were shit two years ago so they gave Obama a chance and now things are still shit, so they felt like they should give the republicans a chance. AS IF THE PRIOR EIGHT YEARS had nothing to do with all the shit in the first place. How? WHAT? Ugh!
c. People not understanding that healthcare, housing, food are basic human rights. The bare minimum of human rights.
*If I can’t have any of these, right about now, I would settle simply to be living in a country where John Boehner wasn’t.
2. Ocean. I just want to go be near some waves. Being able to breathe salt would feel like being able to breathe right now in a way I don’t feel able to.
3. Home, but specifically arriving home where I would suddenly find myself with a week off and nothing to do but get to be home and devote myself to my projects and cleaning and building a fort and watching lots of comfort movies and drinking tea.
4. Oregon. I miss my brother Dan and his excellent partner in crime, Candice. Lately especially, I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s holidays approaching. Maybe cause he seems to have good perspective on things and helps me sort out messiness and I feel messy. He helps to inspire me to get things done too.
5. In my car. On a roadtrip just about anywhere. I am having super-mega-wanderlust right now. Pair that with being in love with the “new” used car we just got and I want to hit the fucking road with some great minimal supplies, scads of good music and podcasts, my dog, and the best traveling companion ever that I’m very lucky to be in a relationship with. I want to make it up as I go along. I want some freedom.
I don’t dislike my job or my everyday life, it’s just one of those days that -no matter where I am- it feels like a trap.