• The Hopefulist

A break from your reality

What I learned on vacation. It's an amazing amount of things. We were originally scheduled to go to Europe. My cousin lives in Germany and we planned to fly into her place then the three of us were going to visit Paris and London for a week. Then we would head back to her place where we wanted to visit Austria and hopefully get a slice from northern Italy before heading back home. Oh, and we had a layover in Iceland where we planned to spend the night to get a look at those famous northern lights.

As the trip approached the Delta variant reared its ugly head. By mid August Iceland and France were put on the "do not travel" list and it became clear that it could be problematic to make our trip. We were mostly worried my husband would have to quarantine when he got back and since it was already a two week vacation we couldn't afford for him to be out those two additional weeks so we decided to pivot. Yes indeed, that is the world of both 2020 and 2021.

I had mentioned before that I had never been to Cape Cod and always wanted to visit and my husband suggested Maine which I had never really been interested in but what the hey. So we booked five days in Cape Cod in two different towns and three days in southern Maine. Once I was onboard with the Maine idea I really wanted to get to Bar Harbor and check out Acadia park but the prices of a last minute trip are plump so we couldn't afford the places up there. All the AirB&B's were filled as well. We ended up visiting Old Orchard Beach in Maine and it was perfect.

We set out early on a Monday morning and decided to make a pit stop in Mystic, Connecticut for some pizza and to look around. We saw the famous drawbridge open and it was really cool. We went to Mystic Pizza which is like an homage to the movie starring Julia Roberts. They play the movie on a loop and I hadn't realized that they actually filmed in the town and it was pretty cool to see them in all the places we had just visited a few moments earlier.

Apparently the movies creator had summered in the town and fell in love with it and the pizza and wrote a movie about it and was determined to film there. I don't think they used the actual pizza place though. It didn't look the same to me but we didn't see the whole place.

The pizza itself? It was good. Being from the New York, Jersey area it's hard to stray from the old standby regular slice. It reminded me a little of pizza hut pizza which I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate my saying so but I love pizza hut pizza.

After that it was back on the road to Cape Cod. We got to a town called Yarmouth and checked into our hotel which was right on the ocean. The staff there was great and we had an amazing view from outside our door. We were directed to a place right down the street for dinner so we walked. It was called Skippers and had the best clam chowder I've ever had in my life. I also had the "wicked awesome" which was of course a lobster roll. It was overstuffed and I needed a fork to get started. Joe got the fish and chips. The fish was so flaky and so moist. The first of many seafood meals through the next week.

We hit the sack early and woke up to an amazing sunrise right outside our room. I walked down to the beach and watched it come up with the seagulls. The hotel had lounge chairs right on the edge of the beach and a pool on the other side. I was looking forward to relaxing in those chairs and soaking up some sun.

But before that we looked up a cool bike trail and pickleball courts. We drove to the area and went on about a 10 mile bike ride and then hit the pickleball courts. There were 10 courts which I've never seen that many so we started a game. Apparently though you had to sign up to use these courts so we left after our first game. Then back to the hotel for said soaking of the sun and a quiet relaxing afternoon of cheese and cocktails.

The next day we took the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. I had never been there so it was something I was looking forward to. It reminded me of a more upscale version of the Florida Keys. I would like to spend a few days there at some point.

The next day we were off to Provincetown at the Cape which was the exact opposite of Yarmouth. It was hot and happening and there were tons of people with a bevy of things to do. It gave us a New Orleans vibe in the French Quarter. Our hotel was right on the ocean again and had a pool in the courtyard with games and fire pits. It was like a resort. It was really fun.

There was so much to do in Provincetown which was great because that is when the bad weather hit. A little rain but a lot of fog. I joked to my husband that I wanted a discount from the hotel because we paid for an ocean view and it was so fogged in you couldn't see it across the street! So we hit the town and decided to make a day of it.

We shopped and hit a bunch of different restaurants, bars and coffee cafe's. We came across a street performer who was so good I actually venmo'd him some money because we didn't have any cash. It was a great thing to just happen upon as we were walking around. We had lunch out, we had dinner out but we did try to eat breakfast at the room.

One of the days we went out to do some whale watching. Another thing I had never done before and it was amazing! We got to see some real action and was very exciting. If you follow me on Instagram you saw the video's of the big galoots! They were so cool. I'm glad I finally got to experience that.

The hotel lit their fire pits fairly early so we decided we wanted to learn how to play backgammon so we took the iPad along (because you can't make wrong moves on that!) and played a few games. On the last night we were there we a bachelorette party showed up at the fire pit. They were so fun and included us in all their games and shenanigans. It was a blast and a wonderful send off for us.

The plan for the last morning was to take a long bike ride along the winding path with amazing views of the ocean but we were fogged in once again. So we just hit the road to Maine. On the way to where we were staying we stopped at Marginal Way in Ogunquit at the recommendation of our neighbors. Oh my Gosh! We walked along this path along the water and the view was like nothing I've ever seen. The picture in this blog is taken from there. I've never seen views like this in my life. We had dinner at a restaurant there and I just stared at the view the whole time.

Then we were on to Old Orchard Beach. We had a suite there which was nice. We had an amazing view of the ocean once again right outside our door. Luckily we had amazing weather the whole time we were there because they are known to be fogged in a lot. Those last few days we just kicked back and relaxed. We ate out each night too. We actually went to a bar on Sunday afternoon so I could see my Philadelphia Eagles play but around half time I went out for a breath of fresh air and the weather was so amazing I couldn't believe I was spending it inside a dark bar. We paid the bill and I spent the rest of the afternoon soaking up the sun by the pool.

It was an amazing eight days and there are quite a few things I learned along the way.

  1. Always wear tourist shirts from other places as other people start conversations with you about where you went. You get to know other people and they often have recommendations on where you should check out while in town.

2. If you talk to people they are almost always happy to chat back.

3. People are inherently good and want to help you and offer suggestions on where to go, what to see and how to get there.

4. I miss trees! I spent so much time looking for fall foliage (there wasn't much, just a little here and there) I forgot how beautiful trees actually can be. I live in a beach area that doesn't have many big trees in my neighborhood. It made me realize I need to spend a little more time surrounding myself with big tall trees and this is the perfect time to do it.

5. Don't discount places you've never been interested in seeing. I really didn't care to see Maine at all but we're already making plans to go back since it's the most beautiful place I've ever seen.

6. Make the most of your vacation. Do all the excursions. See the sights. Taste the local flavor. Get out and see as much as you can. Make sure to include something you've always wanted to do. That was whale watching for me!

7. Even if you are a huge football fan there will be plenty of other games. Don't waste a day of beautiful weather on vacation sitting inside. You can keep up with the game in other ways. In the end, my team lost so I really didn't miss anything.

8. Take food with you if possible so you can save a little money here and there. We were road tripping so we took breakfast for everyday and tons of snacks.

9. Even if you're trip to Europe is canceled you can still plan an amazing back up vacation in a month.

10. My husband does so much for me and I'm so grateful for him. He makes my coffee every morning. He takes care of discarding things I don't like to touch. He searched high and low so I could watch the Eagles game and then followed the game along on his phone once we left the bar to keep me posted. If you have a partner who is the bees knees make sure to tell them!

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Now go on out there and be badass this week. You know I'm here cheering you on!

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