A friend offers his family’s vacation house on Cape Cod for a couple of weeks. We accept his offer. And once all our things are packed and moved we check out of the hotel and decamp to the Cape.
It’s a gorgeous vacation cottage in Harwich. We have room to spread out, a huge kitchen to cook in. An enormous yard for the kids to run about it. And it’s surreal how quickly this story goes from disaster to dream vacation. Though the disaster is never really that far from our thoughts, I also can’t quite believe this is our good fortune. We didn’t get a vacation this summer. Can it be that we should be so lucky as to have one gifted to us like this: out of the ashes of defeat.
We go to the beach daily. We visit many beaches, and pretend we are on vacation and not homeless. We try for something approaching normal life: homecooked meals, a familiar routine. But this isn’t really home and we are still rather shook up. But beaches and a beautiful retreat make up for a lot.
It’s amazing to be on vacation on the Cape. In one week we visit so many many beaches: Red River Beach and Harding Beach, both on Nantucket Sound, the southern edge of the cape; Coast Guard Beach, Nauset Beach, Marconi Lookout and Beach, all on the outer edge of the Cape, where the Gold Stream brings warmer waters, where the sand is soft and the Atlantic waves fierce; Great Island Beach on the inner Cape Cod Bay; and on the very tip of the cape, Race Point Beach. Every beach is different, each has its own character, its own texture and a slightly different cast of characters, a unique biome.
We see seals swimming just offshore at Coast Guard Beach. Not just a few seals, dozens of them. We climb dunes, wade in the surf, watch sanderlings running in and out at the waves, gather shells and rocks and driftwood, poke at jellyfish and crab carapaces, make holes and sandcastles. I wish I had time and words to describe it all. Maybe I’ll try to get it down later.
It’s such a magical place. My feet are sore from walking on sand, from walking up and down stairs. But my lungs which had been aching from mold in our house are now filled with fresh sea air. I put all the house worries behind me and dive into vacation mode. Forget about school, we are learning by living: marine biology!
I take hundreds of pictures, but can only share a few of my favorites here.