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. Stephen Brockelman October 26, 2021 / 12:12 am

    Uplifting and lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alan October 30, 2021 / 12:29 pm

      It’s true that the life of a sunset goes way beyond the instant the sun goes down – sometimes it takes 15 to 20 more minutes for the sky to reach peak coloration. We rarely see great sunsets in Paris, but in Burgundy where we spend weekends we get exceptional long lasting ones.
      Alan from Paris

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Evelyn J. Willburn (Right as Rain Online) October 26, 2021 / 12:16 am

    Sunsets are a social event! When I visited the southern part of Kauai, there was a spot with a long rock wall where large numbers of people would gather to visit and watch the sunset. Many people said if you looked at just the right moment you might see a green flash–I missed it, but the sunset itself was magnificent, as sunsets always are. Thanks for the pics!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 8:32 am

      Hello there. It’s good that there are quite a few people who appreciate sunsets, and sun rises too for that matter. In many places, though, such as some big cities, good luck trying to find places from which you can clearly see sunsets or sunrises from.

      Like

  3. anthonypaonita October 26, 2021 / 1:06 am

    Nice. I miss the Cape. We spent a few summer vacations there when the kids were little. So idyllic. Our biggest decision was figuring out who had the best fried clams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 9:58 am

      Hey there. Right, the Cape is a seafood lover’s paradise. I ate plenty of cod, shrimp, lobster, etc. during the vacation.

      Like

  4. Lynette d'Arty-Cross October 26, 2021 / 1:22 am

    Glad to hear that you were able to return this year. We have the same employee shortages here too, so many restaurants and cinemas, while open, are on truncated hours. Your photos are beautiful, and that scenery is definitely unaffected by covid!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:01 am

      I think that my favorite part of Cape Cod is the Atlantic Ocean coastline. For the most part it’s undeveloped, undisturbed. You can walk for miles and miles and miles on the sands there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. gabychops October 26, 2021 / 1:52 am

    I love this post, with such a description of the place, sea, and sunset!
    Thank you!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sheree October 26, 2021 / 2:00 am

    It’s on my bucket list. Hoping to visit in October ‘22.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Paddy Tobin October 26, 2021 / 4:46 am

    So, that’s where you have been and you couldn’t have been in a better place. We all certainly need to get away for a while these days and the open air is the very best of all places and sunsets are a very special bonus. Delighted to hear you have had such a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:14 am

      Hi. One thing about the trip is that we put faith in our COVID vaccinations. We ate indoors at any number of crowded restaurants, for example. We did not become symptomatic, for which we feel very fortunate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Paddy Tobin October 26, 2021 / 2:38 pm

        I admire your faith in the vaccines while we are not yet so confident. Despite very high levels of vaccination here in Ireland, the number of daily cases of infection and the numbers of people in hospital and in intensive care are at a worrying levels. We go for walks but would not venture into a restaurant/pub/or any such setting. Good to hear you had a good time.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. swabby429 October 26, 2021 / 6:00 am

    There are precious few locations in the U.S. where a person can view sunsets and sunrises over a sea that are within a short distance from each other. Places like Cape Cod are exceedingly rare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:19 am

      The waters that nearly surround Cape Cod are amazing, especially the ocean. Cape Cod Bay is a close second. Nantucket Sound is beautiful too, but comes in third in my opinion. I love gazing out at all three of these bodies of water.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion October 26, 2021 / 7:14 am

    I haven’t been to the cape in years. It’s an easy drive, well as easy as it ever is, from here, but I just keep moving it down the list. Your pictures have moved it up a notch or two. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Robert Parker October 26, 2021 / 7:18 am

    Neil, the Chamber of Commerce should put you on the payroll, you always make this place sound fantastic. I’d go just for the minigolf, I stink at it (I once sent a cousin to urgent care because of my backswing) but love playing. Glad you guys can resume the summer ritual, the whole experience sounds just great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:24 am

      We got to play mini golf once this trip, on a challenging and creative course located in the town we rent a house in. Turns out we played on its final day of operation this year. They’ll reopen in about half a year. I did embarrassingly bad on some of the holes!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. andrewcferguson October 26, 2021 / 7:21 am

    Looks like a great place to spend an autumn vacation, Neil. Great pics, as ever. Sunsets are definitely underrated as an experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:26 am

      I like sunrises too, but I’ve only seen one or two in my life. I’m too lazy to get up in time to see them.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. JOYCE HAMILTON October 26, 2021 / 8:06 am

    Great to hear you had a wonderful time and always enjoy your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. vprofy October 26, 2021 / 8:31 am

    We also missed last year although my daughter and her family went. So we returned this August with them, to Orleans, same house on a pond. Love the familiar and always find something new. We should do a Fall trip. This year on our way up and back we spent night(s) at the Griswold Inn in Essex Ct. Driving was easier and it added new areas, new restaurants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:33 am

      Hi Vincent. We both love Cape Cod. Do you dine in any of the Orleans restaurants, such as Mahoney’s and The Lost Dog Pub?

      Like

  14. Helen Devries October 26, 2021 / 9:06 am

    That was a lovely post…so glad you managed to renew your love affair with Cape Cod and its sunsets.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kim Smith October 26, 2021 / 10:02 am

    I visited Cape Cod once as a small child and have absolutely no memory of it, but you’ve made me want to go back. And you’re absolutely right about staying after the sun disappears….sometimes the best colors happen later! Also, I love it when people applaud the sunset. It’s one of the few times Nature gets her due.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jeff the Chef October 26, 2021 / 10:27 am

    I know what you mean about sunsets. I watch them over Lake Michigan all summer long. They’re amazing. I’ve never been to Cape Cod. Of course, i’ve heard of it many, many times. But I’ve never had much of an interest in going until now! You draw a compelling picture!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:23 pm

      The most astonishing part of Cape Cod are the huge sand dunes and sand valleys in the towns of Truro and Provincetown. They are like a surreal desert landscape. I climbed in the dunes one time this trip. It was something else.

      Like

  17. sniderjerry October 26, 2021 / 10:35 am

    Hello neil, Glad you had a good time. Sounds like an ideal place for an old hippie, maybe i’ll see you there next year. Have a great day. Jerry

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:24 pm

      Jerry, you’d get a kick out of Cape Cod. It has a lot going for it. Enjoy the week!

      Like

  18. greenpete58 October 26, 2021 / 10:39 am

    Glad you got there this year. I may have already mentioned that two of my ancestors (totally different limbs on the family tree!) helped establish Sandwich, which is the Cape’s original town. They were two of the “10 Men of Saugus” (Puritans) who founded it. If you see either Tupper Street or Almy Street while driving through town, I won’t object if you steal me a road sign.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. rivertoprambles October 26, 2021 / 10:40 am

    Great to read about another splendid Cape Cod vacation! Sure is beautiful, especially in autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:29 pm

      Although there are still plenty of people around, both residents and visitors, the Cape is a lot less crowded in the fall than it is in summer. Summer is when throngs of folks vacation on Cape Cod. That’s a big reason why my wife and I prefer to go in autumn.

      Like

  20. Laurie Graves October 26, 2021 / 11:05 am

    A beautiful, beautiful place. Not hard to understand why you want to return year after year. Living in the woods, I don’t often see sunsets, but your fabulous picture sure illustrates what I am missing.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Anonymous October 26, 2021 / 11:40 am

    Never been to Cape Cod, but it’s been a romantic notion since I first heard Patti Page sing about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:31 pm

      Right, she had a big hit with that song. She probably helped increase tourism to Cape Cod a lot.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:37 pm

      Hi, Denise. Thanks for stopping by. I bet you’d have a real good time if you visited the Cape. There are many beautiful areas, lots of restaurants, and a low-key cultural life, among other things.

      Like

  22. snakesinthegrass2014 October 26, 2021 / 12:07 pm

    It is indeed beautiful. I hope to go visit there someday. Your mentioning sunsets while on vacation reminds me of a trip I took to Maui many, many years ago. I walked out on the beach at the 6:00pm hour to see a beautiful one, and there was a man strumming a guitar all by his lonesome. After exchanging pleasantries he said, “God paints a beautiful picture, doesn’t He? I’m selling bags of pot if you’re interested, by the way.” I had to give him credit for the conversational segue. 😉 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Ananda October 26, 2021 / 12:21 pm

    Love the slow and gentle pace with which you and Sandy experience life

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:42 pm

      Hi. Your observation is, I think, right on the money. We try to enjoy ourselves, but not frantically!

      Like

  24. mjcd2017 October 26, 2021 / 12:40 pm

    Lovely post with wonderful pictures! There’s just something about the sea … it’s certainly a place to unwind and “breathe”. I sometimes go to a small North sea island here in Germany, a three hour drive away, for a weekend getaway. Recharging my batteries. So I totally get the desire to return to places like that. (Well, one cannot compare the Cape to German North Sea islands 🤣 but it’s better than nothing!) Looking forward to your next post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 1:46 pm

      Hello there. I appreciate your input. You know, I never connected to the seas in a meaningful way till I “discovered” Cape Cod. I was in my early 50s at that time. Better late than never.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Alyson October 26, 2021 / 12:51 pm

    Glad you got back there and had a wonderful time. Watching a sunset right through to darkness is special indeed.

    PS I’ve said it before but your Cap Cod beaches look very like some of beaches here in Scotland. Nice in summer but brrr… in winter!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Rosaliene Bacchus October 26, 2021 / 1:35 pm

    Neil, it’s great that you and your wife were able to spend time this year in your favorite getaway place 🙂 Sunsets are spectacular when there’s nothing to obstruct the view.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. SandyL October 26, 2021 / 3:18 pm

    Sunsets over a beach is nature’s own TV. No cable required. I’ve been away from our coastal retreat too and it was/is a treat to be back.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. liliannemilgrom October 26, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    You’ve made me want to visit – never been. I don’t go back to the same places a lot, but I guess mine would be Paris, city of my birth 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 5:13 pm

      Paris is so great. We have very close friends who live there. We’ve stayed with them a couple of times. What a city!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Paula B October 26, 2021 / 4:05 pm

    While I share the other commenters’ appreciation for your photographs and poetic writing, I myself equally enjoyed “We unloaded the shitload”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 5:17 pm

      Paula, shitload is an understatement. A third person couldn’t possibly have fit in the car.

      Like

  30. JT Twissel October 26, 2021 / 4:27 pm

    Isn’t it funny how people applaud the sunset? They do it on Waikiki beach too! Like the sun is going to come back again for an encore!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 5:21 pm

      I know what you mean. By the way, one night my wife and I went to a club on the Cape to see a bluesy rock band. There were way more people at the sunset than there were in the club.

      Like

  31. equinoxio21 October 26, 2021 / 6:55 pm

    Cape Cod hmmm? Never been there. Feels to me like a Normandy beach, endless and coooold. BUt I’m sure the walks are lovely. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 8:45 pm

      Hi. Thanks for stopping by. I think you’d like Cape Cod. The sandy coastlines are beautiful, and some of the villages, such as Provincetown, have a lot of personalty and good art galleries. Take care. Have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Monkey's Tale October 26, 2021 / 7:50 pm

    I’ve never been to Cape Cod. It looks beautiful. Maybe next years we’ll do the US east coast after seeing Canadasthis summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Ann Coleman October 26, 2021 / 9:29 pm

    I’m so glad you got to go to Cape Cod for vacation! Vacations aren’t quite as carefree now as they were before Covid (and I hope to God things are better next year), but they are still good for the soul. We’ve always loved watching sunsets, and you’re right: they can be quite beautiful even after the sun goes down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 26, 2021 / 10:22 pm

      You know, this vacation felt almost totally normal. Being vaccinated has eased our minds quite a bit For instance, we ate dinners in restaurants, some of which were very crowded. I guess we took chances doing that and other things. But, fortunately, we didn’t develop COVID symptons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ann Coleman October 27, 2021 / 2:22 pm

        I know that there are some “break throughs” with vaccinated people, but personally, I’ve chosen to trust it. My husband had his booster last month and I hope to get mine as soon as I’m eligible.

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Cindy October 26, 2021 / 11:34 pm

    Beautiful photos–especially the P-town dunes. Looking forward to hearing your vacation tales!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Americaoncoffee October 27, 2021 / 11:00 am

    I love Cape Cod! I have never been but all that I have seen and have come to know seems marvelous. Your photos Neil are truly a vacation package sell! Cheers!💞🍮🍮👍

    Liked by 1 person

      • Americaoncoffee October 29, 2021 / 4:42 am

        And you are really good at it. Some people (you)can sell most anything because they have the gift of personable refinement.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. cincinnatibabyhead October 27, 2021 / 2:07 pm

    Feed the soul fella. That’s why we repeat these things. It’s really healthy (Listen to CB, talking like he knows something). You always give a reminder on getting out and enjoying what life has to offer (There I go again)

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Angela October 27, 2021 / 5:30 pm

    Sunsets are the best! We haven’t vacationed yet–just seemed too complicated this year–but I’m so glad to hear that others are traveling again. The Cape is a favorite spot, best enjoyed in spring or fall, I think. I’ll look forward to hearing more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 28, 2021 / 9:08 pm

      Hi, Angela. Glad to learn that you’re a Cape enthusiast. I agree that spring and fall are the best times to visit. Way too many people and cars in summer. Way too cold in winter to enjoy the outdoors properly.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. annieasksyou October 27, 2021 / 5:59 pm

    Yes, Cape Cod keeps on giving. Loved the photo of the Provincetown dunes—haven’t been there in decades. And your paean to sunsets approaches poetry.

    Very glad you got back there again.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. kegarland October 27, 2021 / 6:25 pm

    YAY Neil! I’m glad you and Sandy were able to go to Cape Cod this year. I remember how fondly you’ve talked about it over the years, so this is exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 28, 2021 / 9:16 pm

      Kathy, it definitely was good to be back. We kept busy doing a pretty big variety of things. The trip was a lot of fun (except for the long, traffic-snarled drives to get to and back home from the Cape. Those nine hour drives sucked big time).

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Dar Yono October 27, 2021 / 6:51 pm

    Jadi pengin pulang kampung, i want to back to my village, cause this

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Joe October 28, 2021 / 12:24 am

    Cape Cod seems to have it all, Neil. It has a good mix of culture and nature, amazing sunsets, and miniature golf. Why would you not want to return every year?

    Liked by 1 person

  42. johnlmalone October 28, 2021 / 10:16 pm

    I love your ode to the sunset, Neil; everyone should have a Cape Cod in their life 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  43. selizabryangmailcom October 29, 2021 / 4:56 am

    That’s kinda funny, applause, like the sun could hear them, lol. But why not? Then they got up and left like it was the end of a movie.
    It sounds great, though. I’d like to visit the Cape at least once.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 29, 2021 / 7:16 am

      Morning, Stacey. If the applauders wanted an encore, they’d have had to come back to the beach 24 hours later. And maybe some of them did.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s