Temporarily Homeless, Part 2: Cape Cod Escape

Temporarily Homeless, Part 2: Cape Cod Escape

Sophie jumps joyfully.

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.

Putting on shoes at Harding beach

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.

At Race Point Beach

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.

Tricks of light and shadow dancing on the beach.

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.

Adding our own touches to a castle we found.

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.

Great Island Trail
Great Island Trail
Great Island Trail
Bella on the Great Island Trail
Sophie at the Marconi Beach stairs.
I found a crab stuck on a piece of driftwood on Marconi Beach.
Looking for seals off of Marconi Beach.
Father and son.
Carrying her sister.
Sophie found the tiniest horseshoe crab shell.
Blue crab claw.
Great Black-Backed Gull, the largest gull species.
The waves are fierce, but so are the Bettinelli children.
Bella investigates a sandy ridge at Nauset Beach.
Are there seals in the surf? Probably!
At Nauset Beach.
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