July 25, 2013

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

My love affair with Cape Cod continues. Every year we talk about relocating someday and every year we're more convinced we will finally move back to Massachusetts. This year was no exception. Although I could share the more than 300 photos I did take during my vacation, I thought I would I would share a few favorites instead.

The water is the main focus of our vacation. (The photo above is of Rock Harbor at low tide.) We took a dip as often as we could in both salt and fresh water. We used the canoe like a car traveling back and forth across the pond, the girls took the kayak to see the frogs, and they went tubing in the bay. My oldest daughter even tried out a surfbike this year.

And they snorkeled. There are snapping turtles, water snakes, fish, frogs, and who knows what else in the pond. They were happy they found this baby turtle instead of its mother. (That's my summer daughter on the right.)

During our walk at Rock Harbor, we saw a few people harvesting oysters. These are actually farmed. It's kind of like putting out lobster traps only the oysters are placed in these cages until they mature. Earlier in the week we watched several people clamming in Chatham. My husband has done this, but sadly I have never tried. It's amazing to me the things you actually don't do growing up near the ocean. It's now on my list of things to try when we return.

The people of Chatham have certainly taken this whole great white shark thing in stride. Everywhere you turn there are shark T-shirts, signs, and logos plastered on just about everything. If you can't get rid of them, you might as well profit from the whole experience! This is my oldest daughter taking a bite out of her favorite shark during an art walk.

If we're not in the water, we're usually on the bike trails. The Cape Cod Rail Trail is a 22-mile paved road that runs from South Dennis to South Wellfleet. The trail is mostly flat with some slight inclines. However, The National Seashore center and the bike trails inside Nickerson have plenty of challenging hills. I was the non-athlete of my family until last year. When I first began biking years ago, a 2-mile ride was enough to wind me and I don't think I ever biked more than 6 or 7 miles. I would watch my husband and my girls take off on challenging road trips while I stayed behind. But no more. I made it up the hills from Ruth Pond. I pushed myself past my 7-mile mark and rode more than 10 miles when this picture was taken. But this year, I crossed "Ride to Coast Guard" off my bucket list. 19.7 miles to the beach and back was a challenge, but I did it. 

Of course I still feel like a non-athlete when it comes to these two. They rode to Coast Guard three times, once during their second annual triathlon. They swam across the pond and back (2/3 of a mile), biked to Coast Guard and back (19+ miles), and then ran on the park trails for two miles. All in less than 2 hours and 18 minutes which included changing out of swimwear etc. Daughter #1 and I, although we keep up with the activities, have not managed to tackle this milestone.

Let's see, what else did we do? We ate a lot of ice cream (some more than others), read a lot of books (daughter #2 won the reading contest for the 4th year in a row. She read more than 4,000 pages), noodled in the pond, ate outdoors almost every meal, ate out at our favorite restaurants, sat on the beach, played board games, giggled a lot, worked out to loud music (sorry neighbors), went to watch our favorite baseball team (the Orleans Firebirds) win a game, watched the fireworks in Provincetown (Poor Jack!), spent lots of time with extended family, watched the 4th of July parade from our usual spot, slept like a baby, had a blast...

Wish I could do it all over again!