Where To? The Beach, Of Course!

Well, here we are again. We being my wife Sandy and I, and here being that most fine 65-mile-long ribbon of Massachusetts territory, nearly all of which is lovingly surrounded by majestic waters, that goes by the name Cape Cod. I’ve rhapsodized any number of times before about The Cape, as a few glances in the right places of this blog’s archives clearly prove. And I’m all set to pen yet another paean to that which is one of my favorite locales on Planet Earth. I can feel the oohs and ahs welling up inside me.

To begin: On a recent Monday evening we arrived at our rented house in Orleans, one of Cape Cod’s 15 townships, as the Sun was dipping toward the horizon. Too bad, we each commented, that said house is 360 miles from our Pennsylvania home. We’d been on the road for eight hours and were bushed. We’ve been making this trek once a year for about 20 years, and the mileage, which to some might not seem like all that much, never agreed with us. Long-distance truck drivers neither Sandy nor I, at any time in our lives, could have been.

Nevertheless, we woke up Tuesday morning feeling decently energized. Which was a good thing because our daily Cape Cod pattern always has been to fit a lot of activities into our waking hours, albeit in a relaxed and appreciative manner. Why be on Cape Cod, after all, if we don’t take advantage of the gorgeous seascapes and landscapes, of the little museums and theater companies, of the pretty villages and of restaurants that serve up tasty foods? Hey, I do plenty of hanging around the house in Pennsylvania. But on The Cape I rev up my motor and act like a geezer in a candy store. It can be good being a geezer . . . except for the old-as-shit part.

Hmmm, I wondered. What would be a meaningful and proper way to inaugurate this latest visit to The Cape? The answer flew into my head like a lightening bolt. Holy crap, that frigging smarted! When I recovered a few moments later I revealed my brainstorm to Sandy.

“You know,” I said, “I think we should walk out to the beach and fly our kite there. And take a look at the sights along the way.” Sandy was with me on all of that.

And the sights along the way, as anyone would agree, are sublime. Not only is our rented house set back in a cozy wooded area, it’s a mere block and a half from an ocean inlet, as calm and picturesque an inlet as you could ever hope to see. I don’t know why Sandy and I lucked out as happily as we did with this Orleans house. To be merely a few hundred feet from true beauty is incredible to me. I often feel as if I don’t deserve to be here, and I probably don’t. But I’m stayin’!

Sandy and I strolled over to the inlet late on Tuesday morn. We looked at the scene and sighed. It’s a ten. Where we make our permanent home, the surroundings are a four. And that’s being generous. The sky was clean and clear, the waters hypnotically still. Lobster traps were piled on the sands and rocks. A few seagulls had taken up position on the shore and were staring out at who knows what. And in the semi-near distance to the east were low dunes, heavily decorated with tall grasses, that run along the back of what is known as Nauset Beach.

As we walked around the inlet, admiring the marsh vegetation on its perimeter, the dunes neared. Soon they were at hand. We strode along a narrow walking path that had been cleared through them, and two minutes later found ourselves gazing at the broad beach and Atlantic Ocean waters that we know well. Hooray! The Scheinins were back!

But here’s the thing. A bunch of vehicles were parked on the sands near waters’ edge. And their owners were lazing on chairs while reading books or contemplating their oversized navels. What the f**k? I’d been to this off-the-beaten-path stretch of sands plenty often before and never had seen more than one or two metal machines. Hell, if you ask me, they shouldn’t even be allowed on the beach. But nobody, as usual, has asked me.

Despite the monsters’ intrusions, Sandy and I smiled at the waters and the sky and the sands. They were and are beautiful. And they smiled back, indicating to us that the kite I held under my left arm would be warmly welcomed.

I say in total honesty that the kite, which we bought three years ago on Cape Cod, is one of the wisest investments we’ve ever made. For 20 bucks we came into possession of an object that has provided us with hours of fun and gladdened our hearts, so touching is it to see a sheet of thin, multi-colored plastic material soaring freely and giddily above us.

Prior to 2014 I hadn’t flown a kite in, what, five and a half decades? Sandy, for whatever reasons, never had in her life. So there we stood on Nauset Beach, undoubtedly about to become the oldest people to launch a kite at any time during 2017 anywhere on The Cape. It took a few attempts to get the old boy up there. But once our pal found wind streams that it admired, it rose and rose and begged us to never bring it down. Swirling and shimmying and loop-de-looping in the steady breezes, it set examples of  going for the gusto and shaking off the ol’ inhibitions that many of us might do well to follow.

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. Reluctantly we pulled in the kite and took off southward for a walk along the beach. Cape Cod’s Atlantic Ocean coastline, of which Nauset Beach is one segment, is around 40 miles in length, mostly undeveloped and a perfect combination of natural elements. And it always knocks my socks off, despite the occasional mini-bummer you sometimes encounter, such as vehicles parked on the sands.

Two hours after having left the house, we headed back across the dunes and along the inlet’s shores. The ideal start to our vacation was in the books.

(By the time I publish this piece, Sandy and I will have returned to our suburban Philadelphia abode. But at least one or two more Cape Cod 2017 stories are kicking around inside me and surely will be birthed)

(Don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this story with others)

(If you click on any photo, a larger image will open in a separate window)

62 thoughts on “Where To? The Beach, Of Course!

  1. Glen available October 22, 2017 / 12:35 am

    There used to be an old expression “Oh, go fly a kite”.
    It was a way of telling folk a person wanted to be left alone and not bothered.
    Seems like that might have been good advice after all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. D-Claire October 22, 2017 / 3:17 am

    Nice! -contented sigh for the simple things such as kite flying-

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 9:17 am

      Hello Lynette. Vehicles are allowed in a few areas along the 40-mile-long coast. I think the reason is to accommodate fishermen, though I’m not really sure about that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sheree October 22, 2017 / 5:22 am

    Lovely photos and kite flying sounds like a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Hi Sheree. I read an article a few years ago that said that flying a kite is a good thing to do on Cape Cod. I never would have thought of doing it otherwise.


  4. Anabel Marsh October 22, 2017 / 6:37 am

    I’ve visited Cape Cod twice and thought it was wonderful. This evokes lovely memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Artist's Child October 22, 2017 / 7:53 am

    Beautiful beach. There is nothing like a walk on a deserted ocean facing beach in autumn. It reminds me of the some of the coastal beaches in Victoria with the grassy dunes. And no power lines or trees to entangle a kite. Perfect spot. Glad you had an enjoyable trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 9:22 am

      Hello there.
      Right, it’s great to wander on a beach and in dunes when very few people are around.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. joyce hamilton October 22, 2017 / 7:56 am

    I love hearing about your Cape adventures . It is one of my favorite places.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 9:24 am

      Hi Joyce.
      No doubt, we both are lovers of The Cape.
      Thanks for adding your thoughts.


  7. Debra October 22, 2017 / 9:18 am

    I’ve been telling Sandy to go fly a kite for years. Glad you listened.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. vprofy October 22, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Orleans has been a two week summer get away with grand kids and family for past 4 years. We stay on a lake. Would love to go longer or try a different time of year. Previously For ten years it was Nantucket. Both are fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Hello there.
      You might like spring or autumn. Cape Cod is a whole lot less crowded in those seasons.


  9. C C Cedras October 22, 2017 / 11:25 am

    You and Sandy really pick a good time of year to head to the Cape! Thanks for sharing ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fictionophile October 22, 2017 / 11:33 am

    The one and only time I visited Cape Cod – I loved it. Being from Nova Scotia, it reminds me of home.
    Cars should NEVER be allowed on a beach – any beach! Just sayin’

    On a completely different subject… have you ever heard the song “Poor Johnny” by Robert Cray?
    Just heard it this morning for the millionth time and I love it. In a word? “Smooth”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. greenpete58 October 22, 2017 / 12:03 pm

    “Poor Johnny” is a great song, Neil, and “smooth” is the perfect adjective. Also “smooth” is kite flying on the beach (or “The Shore” as we called it). Will never forget doing that at Stone Harbor, NJ in ’66, letting go of the string, then diving into the surf to grab the string just before the kite left me for the Canary Islands!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 12:51 pm

      Hello there.

      Pete, a few years ago my wife and I let out all 300 feet of the kite’s string. It was way way up there. Kites are cool.


  12. Ann Coleman October 22, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    I haven’t flown a kite in years, but your post has reminded me how much fun it was! And cars, in my humble opinion, never belong on a beach!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 2:47 pm

      Hello Ann.
      Fortunately, the beach sections where vehicles are permitted are very limited on Cape Cod. But vehicles shouldn’t be allowed at all, as you say.
      Thanks for dropping by. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Annika Perry October 22, 2017 / 4:20 pm

    A joy of a post and yeah, I love the idea of kite flying! Brilliant! 😀😀 As for cars in the beach, I just don’t get it!! We saw this in Florida and were astonished…the top half of the beach a car park and people driving along it further past this. Still, a beautiful day for you and Sandy. Pure bliss and brought a smile to my face…thanks for sharing with us all! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 7:59 pm

      I’m glad you liked this story, Annika. I appreciate what you said.

      If you haven’t flown a kite in recent years, I recommend it!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Susanne October 22, 2017 / 6:16 pm

    I haven’t been back to the Cape since 1988 (so I’m old as shit, too) but it was a memorable visit. That was the summer of a medical waste disaster much of which washed up on the shores of the southern Cape near Falmouth. Truly abominable. But we stuck to the north and spent time on Nantucket, too. It is a beautiful spot and kite flying sounds like an ideal way to hang out on the beach. Agreed: no cars on the beach!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 22, 2017 / 7:56 pm

      Hi Susanne. Thanks for visiting.

      You know, I’ve been coming to Cape Cod for 20 years and never really gave the vehicles on the beach any thought. That’s because I came across very few of them in all those years. But they annoyed me on the day I write about in this story.


  15. tanjabrittonwriter October 22, 2017 / 8:36 pm

    Thank you for a lovely excursion to the beach, Neil. I have yet to visit Cape Cod, but have wanted to go for a long time.
    And you motivated me to pull out my birthday present from earlier this year-let’s go fly a kite…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. sniderjerry October 22, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    Hi Neil, My wife told me to go fly a kite – after reading your story, I think I’ll do just that. All the best, Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

  17. courseofmirrors October 23, 2017 / 9:08 am

    Gosh, what fun. Your post inspired me to find a kite again, if only to look upwards to the sky 🙂
    It’s been decades.
    I share your – what the f**k – about the metal monsters right at the water’s edge. How lazy can people get? Such characters should stay in bed and practice lucid dreaming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Hello. And thanks for adding your thoughts.
      You’ll get a bang from flying a kite. It’s a lot of fun.

      Enjoy the week —

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Alyson October 23, 2017 / 2:48 pm

    I just love the look of these beaches and they remind me a lot of the ones we have in the North of Scotland which makes sense really them being on a similar latitude and both bordering the same ocean. Glad you enjoyed the holiday and you’ve definitely given me an idea – Kite-flying as a new hobby. Haven’t flown one in decades but now really want to give it a whirl.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 23, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      Evening, Alyson.
      You’re going to have a real good time with your kite. By don’t get carried away!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alyson October 23, 2017 / 5:19 pm

        Good one!


  19. Holistic Wayfarer October 24, 2017 / 2:23 pm

    How wonderful. I love that you flew the kite. That’s one memory you will keep. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2017 / 5:03 pm

      Hello there.
      Kite-flying is good fun.

      Thanks for dropping by. Appreciated.


  20. cincinnatibabyhead October 24, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    CB is without a doubt the worlds worst kite guy. Maybe if you ever get to Qualicum Beach (none of those metal things on the beach) you can help me. Great looking vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 24, 2017 / 11:45 pm

      Hi CB.

      You should make a video for YouTube. You can call it “How Not To Fly A Kite”.

      Bye for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Aunt Beulah October 25, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    How wonderful it is that you and Sandy have found a place that refreshes and fulfills both of you and has done so for many years. You are fortunate. Over the years so many of my favorite places have become less so because of the need to share them with progress: increased tourism, traffic,quick-food establishments, fun-time places like arcades. In other words, your version of cars on the beach multiplied many times over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 25, 2017 / 1:56 pm

      Hi. I know what you mean. Too many people.

      Cape Cod is overrun with tourists in the summer. In autumn, though, it’s a much more relaxed place to be in.

      Thanks for stopping by, Janet. Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      Hello there, Diane.
      I remember when that song came out. It was a big hit, I think.
      I’ve always liked it.


  22. andrewcferguson October 27, 2017 / 2:14 am

    Shame about the doofuses (is that how you spell it) in the cars. But boy, flying a kite on the beach! There’s clearly a lot of kindredness in our spirits (if that’s even a word). Having mangled the mother tongue, I’m off to the wilds of Northumberland for the weekend – no kids, no tv, no wifi, I suspect not even a mobile signal…

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. cmwriter November 2, 2017 / 12:48 pm

    Hi Neil,
    Could feel the breeze, could feel the sand, could feel the kite’s freedom. What a beautiful day! Thanks for taking us along!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Gilly November 3, 2017 / 7:33 pm

    Well I’m sold on Cape Cod after that, in spite of the intrusive cars on the beach 🙂 It sounds divine. We live on the edge of the North Sea in the U.K. and that’s divine, in its own way…a very cold, greenish grey kind of way most of the time! Loved reading this, very evocative. Must get a kite.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 3, 2017 / 7:55 pm

      Hi Gilly. Thanks a lot for adding your thoughts.

      I’m sure I’d love the region where you live. I’d like to get there one of these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. cath October 26, 2020 / 5:48 pm

    Hey, I’ve found another gem in your back catalogue. I really enjoyed taking a virtual stroll along the beach with you and Sandy. It’s years since I last flew a kite.

    Liked by 1 person

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