Saturday, August 14, 2010

It's not Vermont, but...


You know that phrase, “the best laid plans of mice and men...”?
You know the utter disbelief that can hit when your precise plans fall victim to that phrase?
Then you know how I felt on the afternoon when I was all set to leave for vacation with my daughter.
I had had new tires put on my car the week before; the oil was changed, all vehicle essentials checked. The car was packed and we were about to depart for our first-ever trip to Cape Cod.
And then the driver’s side window decided to emit a horrible noise and shudder slowly down into the door.
Undaunted, I pressed the “up” control and, the first time, it obeyed. Then it descended again. A push by my daughter sent it rising.
And we tentatively eased out the driveway.
I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say we soon were back home again, trying to decide what to do next. My mechanic said it couldn’t be fixed until at least the next day.
Eyeing all that we had jammed into my SUV, my daughter wondered if it would fit into her much smaller car. As notorious overpackers, we had our doubts.
I was beginning to think it might be an omen; after all, we weren’t heading to Vermont, as we so often do. It wasn’t autumn, when we usually travel.
It was summer and we were set to visit Cape Cod, at the behest of my longtime friend; yes, knowing someone since junior high is a long time.
We had been invited many times, but I had never accepted. This year, something changed my mind — and I was really looking forward to the new adventure and seeing my friend after far too many years.
Now this.
Determined, we unpacked my SUV, crammed everything into my daughter’s car and left early the next morning. After what turned out to be a rather long journey, we arrived at my friend’s summer home.
The days that followed were filled with the absolute beauty that is Cape Cod. Gorgeous beaches, friendly people, wonderful food (cooked by our host!) eaten al fresco.
A visit to the Edward Gorey house (look him up!), a trip to Hyannis to see the Boston Pops, watching sunsets at the beach while sipping wine, listening to an outdoor concert while sipping wine (hey, it was vacation!), a trek to Provincetown, taking in a great production of “Rent.”
All of this — and getting to see my friend again. It was a brilliant week.
I’m not sure what I was expecting of Cape Cod; perhaps I was afraid it would be more like the Jersey Shore. But there were no dirty beaches, no tacky boardwalk games or rides. No one hawking “fudgie wudgies” or any beach-goers acting boorish.
Perhaps we were simply extremely fortunate; perhaps this is how it always is up there.
Our weather was perfect; the days were both filled with new adventures and exquisitely peaceful. It even got cool enough in the evening to don our new Cape Cod hoodies.
And that car window? It was no omen, simply some bad luck.
Now I don’t want to say that Cape Cod has taken the place of Vermont in my heart. Let’s just say there’s plenty of room for both of them there.

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