A good time was had in Massachusetts. Call it a quick getaway. Call it a wonderful trip.
For markbialczak.com purposes, we’ll go with “What I did on my Cape Cod vacation (in a few words and pictures).” It will be a fast recap. Promise. Enjoy.
Chapter One: A dog’s life
Yes, my dear wife Karen and I brought along Ellie B, aka Dogamous Pyle.
Karen had done her homework, so we knew that there was a daytime doggie haven nearby. We decided we could leave Ellie B at Derbyfield Kennels either one day or two. That would enable us to spend more than a couple hours enjoying the Cape without leaving our dog in her crate for an unbearable stretch.
At the start of the six-hour car trip, Ellie B was all smiles.
On our trip to Derbyfield to make sure we liked the facilities, we were introduced to this interesting character. Karen thinks his name was Smiley. I think they told us he was smiley MacKenzie.
In any case, the white dog crazily jumped around his crate as I attempted to capture his pearly whites. It took me a dozen tries to get this Colgate moment.
Ellie B enjoyed her day among the dogs.
She also seemed pretty darn happy fishing on the shores of Cliff Lake, the dog-friendly spot we took her to in Nickerson State Park.
When we arrived, Ellie B was the only dog there.
She dug it.
Within an hour, another half-dozen dogs with families had arrived.
The three of us took a walk along a wooded path. Peaceful.
Chapter Two: Why we go to West Dennis
For three years running, we’ve rented the pretty cottage owned by our friends Julie and Lisa.
They’re always working hard to improve their Cape Cod getaway. This year we enjoyed new decking in front and out back, a hardwood floor in the living room, and improved screen doors.
It’s a welcoming spot.
Karen and I particularly appreciate sitting out back, books and beer in hand.
Chapter Three: Exploring Chatham
We went to the Fish Pier and said hello again to the seals. There were only a couple swimming around. Last August, we encountered almost a dozen in the harbor.
Maybe it was the time of year. Maybe it was because missing from last year was the fishing boat unloading a morning’s worth of catch.
We visited some shops. I decided I needed to rest next to the mermaid.
We walked among Sharks in the Park. The artists did a fantastic job designing the couple dozen on display.
On a partly drizzlely day, tourists marched among the sharks, snapping pictures.
Quite the great idea for the green space among the many shops.
Chapter Four: Provincetown’s charm
Walking on the main drag, visitors to the end of the Cape can experience shops and restaurants of many stripes.
The ocean peaks out between the architecture.
The blue breaking up the buildings captured my attention.
There’s a public beach that Karen enjoyed. I climbed up on a side porch along the walkway to grab this picture.
A woman inside heard my steps. She walked outside and watched until I jumped down.
I came in peace. Really.
They won’t let the public get near the Homeland Security complex.
The entire spread is separated from the world at large by a cast iron fence.
They mean business. But nobody came out of the building to glare at me while I took the picture from the outside.
Chapter Five: Dennis’ slice of the Atlantic
There’s one private establishment that wants to keep the non-paying guests out almost as much as the folks at Homeland Security over in Provincetown.
Rich people only.
The entrance on the road was blocked by a security building. It was slightly smaller than Homeland Security.
On the other hand, everybody can shop in the Ebb Tide.
Karen says sign me up.
The gift shop features a wall full of nicely made wood placards adorned with sayings, alternating between warm and pithy. They’re topped by ropes for easy hanging.
I enjoyed going through the $2 bargain bin of seconds they placed out front.
I am drawn to these outcasts. They look lonely, sitting next to two empty Adirondack chairs below a sign that reads “Husbands’ Waiting Room.”
Point Taken was my favorite.
But it didn’t have a rope for hanging.
Chapter Six: A happy wife, a happy life
Our time at the Cape again went by too quickly.
Karen says bye to the cottage before we head home, batteries for life recharged.
Until we meet again, thank you, West Dennis.
Epilogue: Look what was waiting at home
When we pulled out of Eastwood, we knew the red rose bush in our back yard was prepping for its burst of color.
Wow, were we right.
When we let Ellie B out back from the car, we were greeted by 100 roses. Could be a record year.