Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday, July 28, through Saturday, August 7, 2010: At Rochester, Massachusetts:
Wednesday was another four-state day. We headed east out of New York into Massachusetts, then south into Connecticut, then east through Rhode Island and back into Massachusetts, near Cape Cod. All in 273 miles. We zipped through all the toll plazas again, due to our E-Z Pass, and it was an easy, relaxing day. Daisy was a terrific traveler, as usual. Appropriately, the RV park is named "Gateway to Cape Cod" and is a nice, though small, park, with virtually no grass. Common to the Cape Cod area, the soil is very sandy---great for cranberry production, which is the principal agricultural commodity of Cape Cod. The cranberry bogs are everywhere. We even drove by the headquarters of Ocean Spray, which is very close, and saw their magnificent headquarters building and beautiful grounds. Very tasteful. They even had a 1930s era truck parked at the entrance.

We have a very nice site, but without satellite TV reception via our rooftop dish. Damn those trees!!! The big goal for Thursday was to buy a portable satellite dish so we can get reception irrespective of whether our site is loaded with trees. I located one locally and spent the rest of the day fruitlessly trying to get it to work. Total failure. I talked to Winegard (the manufacturer) three times, to no avail. From on-site testing, we know the product works, just not in any location we tried. We'll try again later.

On Friday, we drove 50 miles to the beginning of the Cape Cod Rail Trail,

and went on a 21-mile bike ride through the forest, passing by golf clubs, lakes, and pretty summer homes. The weather was beautiful, in the low 70s with barely noticeable humidity. It was a wonderful ride, marred only by the presence of a million other riders, walkers, roller bladers, and other assorted people. Either most of the residents of Cape Cod are unemployed or every tourist is a bicycling aficionado. Similar to our ride in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the local drivers were very polite and let us cross the innumerable streets that crossed the bike trail without the need to stop or get off and walk our bikes.

We celebrated the ride (and Pat's birthday) by having a late lunch/early dinner at Lindsey's, a terrifc seafood restaurant in Wareham. Becky and I both had wonderful mussels and the absolutely-best seafood bisque.

On Saturday, we tried the portable satellite dish again. No dice. We started to call it our $200 paper weight. After another frustrating hour, we decided to give up and try to return it. The people at the store were very nice and returned our money without a whimper. Hooray. Later in the week, a neighbor sold me her extra satellite dish for $20. I didn't even try to set it up, not wanting to be frustrated right away, and also not yet having a tripod or other means of mounting it.

We next went to visit Plymouth, home of the Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims landed in 1620. The rock:

is just a shadow of its former self, according to the docent at the monument containing the rock. Apparently, its significance was honored from the beginning, but it was moved so many times in its early years that parts of it broke off and/or were stolen. Plymouth itself is a cute city of about 60,000 people. Much of the downtown area is, of course, a tourist area, with restaurants, specialty shops, etc., all promoting the historic nature of the place.

Sunday, we ventured to the far end of the cape, including Provincetown ("P Town" to the locals), to frolic with a gazillion of the other tourists (including Pat and Bill):

It's a typical seaside town with limited parking and the usual array of T-Shirt shops, local wares, noisy restaurants, boorish tourists, etc. But it was fun to walk around and feel detached and superior. We then went to the home of Catharie and Fred Nass (she is the sister of Chuck Conway, Becky's onetime boss at Union Bank) who live in Wellfleet (on the cape). Lovely people.

Catharie served us a delightful lunch and we learned tasty morsels of information about her brother.

On Tuesday, we took the one-hour ferry ride to Nantucket Island.

What a lovely spot. Very upscale, with, however, another gazillion tourists.

We went there principally to visit Steve and Mary Meadow, former clients (sort of) of Becky's.

Their home on Nantucket was in the Architectural Digest a few years ago. It's a magnificent place---14,000 square feet home on six acres, surrounded by protected wetland. The property is so vast that from the terrace, you can't even see their pool, tennis court, or Koi pond.

We had a lovely lunch at a seaside restaurant.

On Wednesday, I attacked a problem that had been around for several days. The kitchen sink had been draining verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry slowly for a week or so. I had been avoiding trying to fix it until I could consider several alternative solutions. My original plan failed miserably, so I went to Plan B (or was it Plan C?). It was a great success, nevertheless!!! Yea!!!

On Thursday, we went to what used to be called Craigville (near Hyannis), but is now known as Centerville because they closed the tiny Craigville post office and "assigned" everyone to next-door Centerville. It used to be a religious commune that has been converted to a wonderful small area of privately-owned, lovely "cottages" (costing $1M and up, naturally) mixed in with the old inns and meeting areas that are now community-owned. We went there to see Barbara and Clark Gates. (Becky used to work with Clark years ago.)

Their principal residence is in Denver, but they spend summers at their Craigville cottage. We had a great time with them, including dinner (marvelously moist swordfish) at the "Angler's Club" in Hyannis (coincidentaly, right across the street from the place where we took the boat to Nantucket on Tuesday).One thing we noticed locally is that there is a Dunkin' Donuts store every 50 feet (or so it seems) along every street.

We learned that the company is based in the nearby city of Newton. The stores are always busy at any time of the day. By contrast, diesel fuel is hard to find; if my truck ran on donuts, I would be in Heaven.

On Friday, Becky rode her bike on a 17-mile ride to cute Fairview and Bill bought an air compressor (for his 110 psi RV tires, mostly); otherwise we got ready to leave Massachusetts for Maine on Saturday.

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