Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cape Cod-Boston

I swear I am not this bad at blogging. Our internet has been down for almost two weeks, so though we returned safely from our first trip away from Bennett two Sundays ago, I haven't been able to write about it until now (because I got fed up and switched to DSL...more on that in future blogs).

Anyway, two weeks ago today, Steve and I boarded a plane to Boston. We arrived and took the scenic drive to Chatham, MA (on Cape Cod). There we stayed in a darling bed and breakfast, the Carriage House Inn, and toured around on the cape. Since Chatham is in the elbow of Cape Cod (the cape is shaped like an arm flexing), we were in a perfect location to make day trips. We tried to see as many of the cities as possible since they all are so different. Of course we started in Chatham, which is home to some of the best restaurants on the cape. We shopped in their "downtown" and visited their lighthouse our second day there. Then we came back to our room, made a fire in our room's fireplace and enjoyed a couple's massage. I tell ya, that is the way to start any vacation!

Friday, we drove up to Provincetown, MA. This town is known for being more "artsy" and catering to tourism. So though the right whales were migrating off the coast (unfortunately you can't see any in this photo's background), the town wasn't very crowded since it was pre-season. We elected to not take a 3 hour boat trip to see the whales up close, and opted instead for the beach view. Of course, we couldn't see anything too terrific, but we did see many of them swimming around and blowing water through their blowholes. Since the zooplankten is so plentiful at the northern tip of the cape, the whales can usually be seen this time of year. However this year was different, because one quarter of the world's population was there! Right whales were named by whalers who considered them the "right" whales to hunt. Since they are rich in blubber, they are easy to catch, and they float after being killed.

Our stay in Provincetown was not extended, but we shopped their downtown area and picked up some local salt water taffy and fudge (yummy). We also drove around quite a bit, and were shocked to see how small the lots are there. And when I say small, I mean small. I am not exaggerating when I say that they built homes in what was initially someone's backyard. They are landlocked and in order to cater to their growing population, they just sacrificed their yards and allowed their neighbors to be a few arm lengths away. I was telling Steve that I couldn't imagine having a dog there since there was so little grass, but it was a very dog-friendly town. Many of the store owners had dogs, and had water bowls outside of their shops. I guess the dogs just learn to potty on concrete?

On our way back to Chatham, we winded our way though several cities. They have so many old trees, and beautiful homes so it is just peaceful to just drive and look around. As we headed off the cape back to Boston on Saturday, we elected to stop off in Plymouth to see the rock. I was shocked when I got there to not only realize how small the Plymouth Rock is, but also to see the whole exhibit under construction. It was a total bust, so we got back on the highway and headed north to Boston.

Since Steve had never been before, and I had never really toured around, we did all of the tourist things. We started by leaving our car at the hotel and riding the "T" to Fenway Park. Since the Red Sox were playing a few hours later, the whole area around the ballpark was just buzzing with action. We had lunch at a local bar to take in the enthusiasm, because as you may know, the Red Sox fans are like noone else. We tried to do a tour of Fenway Park, but they were all sold out. Since we were there for right before "Patriot's Day" on Monday, the city was crazy.

Patriot's Day is when Boston shuts down all of its federal offices, schools and many businesses so the locals can take in the Boston Marathon. To top it off, the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox all were in town and playing, so the bars and pubs were just packed! In addition the weather was nice, sunny and "warm" for Bostonians.

After we did all that I could tolerate around the ballpark, we walked to the Prudential Tower where they offer a wonderful self-guided tour on the 50th floor. Since it was a clear day, we could see all of the surrounding area, and it gave us the motivation to then walk the Freedom Tour and see all of the sights we saw from a birdseye view. After trekking all around Boston for a few hours, our feet were sore and we were hungry. We decided to end our day with a big Italian feast in the North End, which is where many of the Italians settled. Of course our meal was delish, and we stuffed ourselves!

Since our flight left late Sunday afternoon, we still had time to sightsee. We drove to Cambridge and checked out what we could see of Harvard and MIT's campuses, and then went to where the USS Constitution is docked and took a tour of that. I must admit it was cool to be on a boat that was built and used 200 years ago. The whole city of Boston is filled with history like this, and we enjoyed taking it all in during our short stay there. However, we were anxious to get home and see our baby, so we made sure to arrive early at the airport.

Since Bennett spent the last couple of days with Steve's parents, we made them keep her awake so we could see her and put her to bed ourselves. As we expected, we could see changes with her, like her 2nd tooth!! Outside of that, I think she was excited to see us, as I know we were to see her! Overall it was a great getaway for us, especially before baby #2 arrives!

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