NYC to Cape Cod – and then home
In order to get on the road from NYC, we had to pack… and call a bellman …and go get our car (as it was 40$ a day to park unless we had them go get our car which then would have upped our bill to 55$ per day and the car was a block away!)…. and re-put the topper on it …and repack it …and repack our luggage into it …and then FINALLY we were on our way.
Somehow, the 4.5-hour trip took us 7 hours – who even knows how. I think our van holds some sort of time-space continuum in which all our travels take much longer than scheduled!
We stayed in my aunt and uncle’s home and arrived at dinner time (a late dinner time), in which they had prepared a delicious meal for us – the kids ate that right down (mmm home cooking!!), and decided that we needed to see the ocean! As it was right before sunset, we quickly grabbed beach attire and left.
The kids were in heaven- and though it was a bit chilly – they all ran into the ocean water to play. They proceeded to dig holes, build sandcastles, find crabs and do gymnastics routines while Scott and I had a chance to catch up with my aunt and uncle.
After the sunset, we went back to their home and the kids got to shower in their outdoor shower (awesome) and then snuggle in for the night.
The next day my aunt and uncle set up a whale-watching cruise for us!! It was amazing and highly recommended. We left from Barnstable and traveled up to Stellwagon bank. The ride was kind of chilly because of the wind but we didn’t want to go inside as we had prime seats for whale watching on the deck! (Joe entertained himself quite nicely by pretending he was being blown away and then videotaping it!)
We were able to see 6 whales!! It was crazy amazing how close we got to them. We could see them spouting and diving and they even rolled belly up at one point. The whales were named …Freckles, Dyad, Jaberoo, Eruption, Pele, and Storm. We learned that scientists believe they can live for up to 200 years and that humpback whales are not Pod whales – in that they generally travel alone – though 3 of the whales we saw today (Pele, Jaberoo, and Eruption) had a little pack that traveled together.
After the tour, we had dinner with family – 13 of us in all. We tried the calamari, clams, crabs, and lobster. Which was all so yummy. The view was spectacular looking over the harbor, the food was delicious and the company was perfect, it was so fun catching up!
The next day my Aunt planned a picnic at the beach (the first night we had visited a Cape side beach and this day we visited a beach on the Nantucket Sound – so technically not a dip in the Atlantic yet).
We came home to quickly change and then stopped by my cousin’s fish market.
He was so nice to show us around and he even let the kids hold a lobster and attempt to hold a crab – which pinched sweet Luke! He taught us that it was better a crab (which will let go) than a lobster (which will not!). They got some really interesting info about seafood and I told them they ought to earn an honorary junior ranger badge for that –lol.
We then went to my Aunt and Uncle’s home where they had prepared quite a feast for us. Again the food was delicious and the company was perfect.
There were so many fun things to do and yet we could only fit in so much. On our last day we had to decide if we wanted to dip our toes in the Atlantic Ocean (so we can really say we drove from sea to shining sea), do one last junior ranger program at the National Seashore, drive up the entirety of the cape to see the beautiful bluffs and cliff beaches, visit my cousins at their home, or go into Boston (yes – try to fit that in one day as that is the amount of time we have to fit the entire birth of our nation or skip it altogether –GAA).
We ended up with more of a relaxed/educational day on the cape. As we visited one of the national seashore beaches, the Captain Penniman House (to complete the national seashore junior ranger program), and then relaxed with my family at my cousin’s pond. Setting us up for a return trip plan to see the rest of the seashore and visit Boston!
We took the beach shuttle to Coast Guard Beach where the kids enjoyed body surfing in the freezing cold beach waves. It was hilarious as I asked them how they could stand being in the water – and one of them responded that it wasn’t bad once you got in as the water was so cold that it just numbed the entire bottom half of their body and they didn’t notice the cold so much – LOL!
The kids completed the workbook sections of the ranger program and we just had to visit one of the cultural sites on the seashore. We visited the Captain Penniman Home in Eastham. The kids were able to walk through whale jawbones that were set up as an entrance to the property, see whale oil (which is really very thick), and touch the baleen (the comblike structure in the mouth –like in Nemo and the actual whale part that corsets used to be made of).
They all finished the junior ranger program and they got their names announced over the loudspeakers – very cool! They ended up with about 30 badges/patches total!!!
We then went to visit my cousins at their home which is on acreage with a fresh water -and very warm- pond. The kids enjoyed kayaking, swimming, jumping off the docks, and jumping off the tube in the middle of the pond while Scott and I enjoyed time with my family. We had a delicious barbeque complete with roasted marshmallows and s’mores! It was a terrific night!
Then – there we were. On the last drive, Massachusetts to home. Twenty long hours that was ideally separated by a quick stop and an overnight at Niagara Falls…thing is we didn’t quite make it that far.
We packed up – seriously though, we should have just stopped at a dump to drop all of the stuff as I mostly never wanted to see any of it ever again-lol, said our goodbyes, and headed out –on the road again!
We had weather and traffic issues so made it only to Rochester NY that night. We ordered pizza for our room and even though the pool was open until midnight – we didn’t have enough energy to leave our room.
The last day – A big long drive day and we were going to be home!!
We drove the longest 12 hours of the trip and made it HOME!!!
Grace was in the car as we were pulling into the driveway and she said she didn’t even remember where her room was. Then when she got in the house, she began squealing and ran through the house to find me and tell me that she got all new bedding and a new bed!!! (It was not new – it was her stuff but good that she didn’t remember and that she was so excited, yes?) LOL
And so ended our vacation that spanned 8 weeks in which we traveled 12,000 miles through 31 states, 22 national parks, and countless state parks from sea to shining sea.
What an amazing adventure.