We all have songs that obsess us, tunes that we just can’t get out of our minds. For most, it’s a passing thing, for some it’s maddening. For me, one of those haunting songs was inspiration. Here’s why.
It was my turn to plan my husband Bill’s surprise birthday, and the greatest challenge is to decide where on the globe to visit. So there I am in the shower, singing my heart out about sand dunes, salty air and quaint villages, and voila! “You’re sure to fall in love with old Cape Cod.” Thank you, Patti Page!
Immediately visions of good seafood, winding roads, endless beaches and moonlight appeared before me. Perfect! And September would be the ideal month to explore the scenic northern part of our beautiful USA.
So off we go, on our drive-it-yourself adventure across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, up the coast on Route 13, across the Delaware River on the Lewes Ferry to our first stop “on the boardwalk,” (Sing out, please!) of Atlantic City. Bill, of course, is still in a state of wonderment. And the music continues! I had reserved a front-row table to Merv Griffin’s Resorts that evening for dinner and the show, “Four of a Kind.” Now get this, it was a review of all the old favorites by the Four Lads, the Chordettes, the Four Freshmen and the Platters. What a sing-along, and we knew all the words.
Bright and early the next morning on the road north, while Bill was still singing tunes from the night before, I presented Bill with “The Envelope.” It was the moment of reveal. There were the maps, schedules, reservations and plans for the next three days. He finally caught on. Old Cape Cod. It was a Patti Page moment!
Off we go across the Sagamore Bridge to Hyannis, where our delightful accommodations at the Inn on Sea Street featured Victorian décor: a four-poster bed, a claw-foot bathtub, and a shower with an overhead “waterfall” right in the middle. It was like “singing in the rain.” Sing out, Sylvia!
Our first day on the Cape began with an absolutely unforgettable traditional New England breakfast, served on the Inn’s finest china, crystal and silver. And, as sumptuous as the meal was, Bill and I both agreed that the Inn’s granola was the winner. I have the recipe and make it to this day.
With breakfast as our fuel, it was time to explore old Cape Cod. We drove to the tip of the Cape to Provincetown, a mecca for artists, local theater, seafarers and tourists who are captivated by its charm. Interestingly, this is where the Pilgrims landed in 1620 before settling on their final destination, Plymouth. To my delight, Bill is in his personal heaven. He is fascinated by the history of wooden sailing ships and the fishermen who plied the seas off New Bedford. In the Provincetown Heritage Museum, we marveled at a scale model of a Grand Banks fishing schooner. At the very tip of Cape Cod is Wood End Lighthouse, constructed in 1864. Bill has gone into a trance. But my eyes were wide open on the way back to Hyannis. We stopped at every pottery studio in Orleans, Cheatham and Brewster, and I was in my particular heaven.
On our last day on Cape Cod we, of course, drove by the Kennedy compound to say hello to our dear friends. Ahem. And just like tourists, we made our way to the beach where we craned our necks to spot Kennedys “hanging out,” but to no avail.
Having said farewell to Cape Cod, we added a fascinating stop in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, which boasts the nation’s leading maritime history museum and where the Birthday Boy went back into his trance at the many wooden vessels and tall ships. It was a mariner’s paradise! Mystic Seaport is home to the world’s last wooden whale ship, plus the Henry B. duPont Preservation Shipyard where the fine art of wooden shipbuilding is preserved and demonstrated by skilled craftspeople. We were both awestruck by the precision and beauty of the craftsmanship. It was a lovely aside.
But Patti is right. To quote, “If you spend an evening you’ll want to stay, watching the moonlight on Cape Cod Bay.” WE did, and it was sublime.
I had another thought on the way home, too. Now it’s Bill’s turn. I don’t have to top this adventure for another whole year. So stay tuned to the Oyster Pointer’s Adventures of Syl and Bill, because you’re sure to fall in love with—wherever.
Sylvia Weinstein is publisher and editor of the Oyster Pointer. She can be reached at Editor@OysterPointer.net or 757-873-4523.