Cape Cod 2021 Turned Out Just Fine

I’ve mentioned before on these pages that Cape Cod, a 65-mile-long chunk of sandy land bordered on three sides by magnificent open waters, is a locale in which I truly love to place my aged, scrawny ass. My wife Sandy and I fell for the Cape, which is in the southeastern part of Massachusetts, USA, during our first vacation there. That was in 1998. Since then, to both of our amazements, we’ve returned nearly every year, usually in autumn. Who’d have thought that there would be a somewhere we’d want to visit again and again? Not us!

Cape Cod satisfies us in many ways. For example, we spend plenty of time outdoors, walking on sands, in forests and beside marshes, and gazing at the endless seas. We go to museums, art galleries, movie theaters and restaurants. We play mini golf, fly our roughed-up but seemingly indestructible kite at one beach or another, and wander around villages that range from stately to countrified to funky. Yeah, Cape Cod is cool, a combination of ingredients and opportunities that both soothes and invigorates.

Atlantic Ocean and Coast Guard Beach. (Eastham, Cape Cod)
Marshes at an ocean inlet. (Orleans, Cape Cod)

Last year was one of the two or three, since 1998, in which Sandy and I didn’t meet up with Cape Cod. There was little point in going there during a time when our artsy and gastronomic options would have been severely limited by coronavirus.

Autumn 2021 seemed worth taking a chance on, though. For one thing, and it’s an important thing, we’re vaccinated against COVID. Also, life in general is far less restricted than it was 12 months ago. Thus, in early October we crammed a shitload of clothes and other stuff into our car, and drove from our home in Philadelphia’s suburbs to Cape Cod. We unloaded the shitload in the house we’ve rented many times before, in the town of Orleans.

Provincetown dunes. (Provincetown, Cape Cod)
Provincetown village. (Provincetown, Cape Cod)

Thankfully, the vacation, two and a half weeks in length, turned out A-OK. Sure, due to staff shortages and other virus-related reasons, a good number of art galleries, cinemas, restaurants, you name it, had reduced their hours and days of operation. But we worked around all of that as best we could, planning our activities with care. We didn’t have to worry about the sands, forests, marshes and waters, of course, because they hadn’t altered their ways of doing business. I’d have sued the f*ckers if they had!

Little Cifff Pond, nestled in a forest. (Brewster, Cape Cod)

So, in the end we were almost as busy as we were in past years. We didn’t feel shortchanged at all.

Now, I could go on and on about where we went, what we did. But I’m going to leave most of that for another day. I do, however, want to write about an activity that I didn’t mention above, one that as far as I can remember wasn’t in my repertoire prior to Cape Cod entering my life. I’m referring to sunset-viewing. Man, I suppose that Sandy and I have watched our pal the Sun drop below the horizon something like 40 times during our Cape sojourns. We’re fans.

Sunset at Cape Cod Bay. Many of the sunset-viewers are elsewhere on the sands. (Skaket Beach, Orleans, Cape Cod)

Our fondness for sunsets led us one evening this month to Skaket Beach, a smallish stretch of sand on Cape Cod Bay. Although it’s in Orleans, our home base, we hadn’t been to Skaket in years. Pulling into the parking lot, I  couldn’t believe my eyes. There were a lot of cars there. Several dozen. And strung along the beach were 75, maybe 100 individuals, more by far than I’d ever seen gathered to witness a sunset. Most of the attendees were seated on the sands upon folding chairs that they’d brought with them. Folding-chairless, Sandy and I grabbed seats on a bench a few feet behind the beach and admired the lovely skies. It was almost 6 PM, and the Sun was only minutes away from saying bye bye.

Well, as soon as the sun disappeared a good round of applause filled the air. Not only that, quite a few folks immediately left the premises. Huh? What the hell was their rush? The curtain hadn’t fallen. I mean, sunsets are generous. They linger and linger, gradually changing their patterns and color intensities. Sandy and I stuck around for another 20 minutes, oohing and ahhing and shooting the breeze. Maybe we should have stayed even longer, but darkness was descending and dinner beckoned. Back to the emptying parking lot we went, soon making our way to a nearby restaurant. We’d just seen the best show in town.

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. Mucho gracias. All of the photos are from October 2021)

150 thoughts on “Cape Cod 2021 Turned Out Just Fine

  1. alhenry October 31, 2021 / 9:09 pm

    So glad you and Sandy got out to the Cape. I get the sunset thing. A zillion years ago, when I was a newbie to the Earth, my family used to vacation at a place on Lake Michigan. I googled it after reading your post, but it’s unrecognizable now. All the things I loved–gone–EXCEPT the common room where everyone used to gather after dinner to watch the sun set. It’s a show that never loses its magic, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 1, 2021 / 7:06 am

      Amy, thanks a lot for your input. What you mention reminds me of the hotels/resorts in the Catskill mountains. Grossinger’s. The Neville. Brown’s. The Concord. And others. These were very popular places until the 1970s or so. Big-name entertainers used to perform there. And now, as far as I know, they are all gone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pam Lazos November 1, 2021 / 8:03 am

    Beautiful pics as always, Neil. It’s been years since I’ve been to Cape Cod, but this makes me want to go back soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 1, 2021 / 12:04 pm

      Morning, Pam. It’s a good place to hang out in. A nice variety of landscapes and seascapes. And some villages on the Cape are old fashioned and sea-sidey.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pam Lazos November 1, 2021 / 3:44 pm

        I love that part of it. Cape May feels like that to me as well, Neil.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres November 2, 2021 / 10:17 pm

    For years, I followed a sailor named Philbrick who was single-handing here and there, but who grew up in Orleans. His dad was the one who began Philbrick’s Snack Shack, home of the fabulous onion rings. Most recently, it was Liam’s, before the 2018 storm took it out. I went looking and found this post from Old Salt that has a little history of his family’s place. On his ‘about’ page, he included this little snippet:

    “I put in eight summers at the Shack and did absolutely everything there was to do there starting when I was 12 peeling onions and potatoes and washing pots and pans and mopping the floors. I worked eight hours a day, six days a week and got paid 25 cents an hour AND taxes were taken out of that!”

    The best part of all this is that I’ve found his blog is active again. He disappeared into the Florida swamps for a while, and I lost contact. But, thanks to your Cape Cod blog, I’ve re-found him.

    As for great places, have you been to Chatham? If you get there, and like sweets the Candy Manor is a real treat. A friend sent me chocolates from there, and they were the best I’ve ever had.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 3, 2021 / 7:09 am

      Hi. Philbrick sounds like quite a guy. I never saw the food stand he worked at, but I remember Liam’s very well. As for Chatham, I’ve been there quite a lot. Real nice town. My favorite spot there is the Orpheum theater, a very good cinema.

      Like

  4. cheriewhite November 3, 2021 / 7:40 am

    Such gorgeous pictures! I absolutely love the beach and would love to visit Cape Cod.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. chattykerry November 3, 2021 / 6:43 pm

    I have yet to visit Cape Cod – it looks absolutely charming. We keep going back to the Texas Hill Country because it is pretty with good food/wine. Glad you both had a great vacation!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. carolinehelbig November 4, 2021 / 12:15 am

    So glad you got away to your favourite place. Lingering over sunset is an awesome activity.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. eden baylee November 4, 2021 / 12:22 pm

    I was in Cape Cod years ago with a couple of friends, would love to return. Provincetown was a real hoot too. Thanks for sharing your pix!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Christy B November 4, 2021 / 2:31 pm

    I’m so glad you have Cape Cod to go to when you want to exercise, see nature, and enjoy beauty, all wonderfully wrapped into one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 5, 2021 / 7:13 am

      Morning, Michele. It’s funny and unexpected that my wife and I got addicted to Cape Cod. But we’re glad that we did.

      Like

  9. Dave November 4, 2021 / 8:41 pm

    We went to Cape Cod two years ago for the first time, and it’s every bit as beautiful as advertised. We drove the entire “arm” and back in a day from Boston, determined to go all the way out to Provincetown. We spent a few “colorful” hours out there (heh), then stopped at Arnold’s for a delicious seafood lunch on the way back (Eastham, I think?) Then we visited a friend in Chatham on the elbow, who has been fortunate enough to have lived there for many years. As for the sunsets, we watch the same show on the West Coast in San Diego, every night of our annual summer sojourn. Many others join for the same reason and pack up immediately after. Never gets old.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 5, 2021 / 7:07 am

      You packed a whole lot into one day. Right, Arnolds is in Eastham. It’s usually on the verge of closing for the season when my wife and I are on Cape Cod (in October), so I’ve never eaten there. If you go back to the Cape, check out the huge sand dunes and sand valleys in Truro and Provincetown. They are incredible.

      Like

  10. Diane Henders November 5, 2021 / 8:19 pm

    What beautiful photos! After living most of our lives inland, Hubby and I packed up and moved to the west coast of Canada (Vancouver Island) four… dang, almost five years ago. We don’t live on the water, but at least we’re only 15 minutes away from wonderful places like the ones in your photos. I’ve never witnessed anyone applauding a sunset, though — very cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Silver Screenings November 6, 2021 / 2:09 pm

    I remember reading about some of your Cape Cod adventures before, and I am happy to see that you returned – and brought us with you, in a sense.

    So people were set up on the beach at sunset and applauded it? That is probably one of the coolest, most remarkable things I’ve heard lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 6, 2021 / 4:53 pm

      Howdy, Ruth. Yeah, the applause took me by surprise. I’ll never know, but I wonder if there are regulars who go to that beach to watch sunsets.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. stargazer November 7, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    I am glad you managed to get back to Cape Cod this year. It sounds like a lovely place. Locations where you can combine nature and culture / good food are in my opinion the best! I also just travelled for the first time in a while, which was nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jacqui Murray November 8, 2021 / 11:15 am

    That is a beautiful area. I’ve never been there but you make me want to visit. How nice that things are opening up.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. tanjabrittonwriter November 10, 2021 / 9:18 am

    Maybe humanity would be in better shape if all of us took more time to watch (and applaud) sunsets!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. kimberlywenzler November 13, 2021 / 2:27 pm

    What a lovely tribute to the Cape. Sunset-watching is one of the beautiful, free gifts we can enjoy. A nice reminder to take time to do it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. rkrontheroad November 14, 2021 / 3:25 pm

    I missed this one – we probably overlapped in time on the cape! Enjoyed learning about your itinerary there. Sometime I’ll have to get there in summer. I agree about lingering after sunset for a while, the colors deepen. But the applause must have been a surprise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 14, 2021 / 5:56 pm

      Hello there, Ruth. Well, I’d stay away from the Cape during the summer if you’re not partial to crowds and traffic jams. An awful lot of people descend on Cape Cod in the summer.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rkrontheroad November 14, 2021 / 6:19 pm

        So I hear, Neil. I’ll probably stay away in summer, but it would be nice to swim in those waters.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger November 30, 2021 / 6:55 am

      Morning, Lynne. It was a real good vacation. Despite the pandemic, we were able to do just about everything we had hoped to do.

      Liked by 1 person

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