Posts Tagged ‘Cape Cod’

It was our last night on Cape Cod and we wanted our farewell dinner to be a special one. We searched the various publications we’d picked up, looking for a seafood place that might meet our exacting standards. Lobster . . . it had to be lobster. And good lobster at that. We stumbled upon Anthony’s Commaquid Inn and decided it would be perfect—assuming it was open. A phone call confirmed that it was, and we set off for our dining adventure.

Everything on the Cape is ridiculously close by Texas standards, so even allowing for primping we arrived at our destination 15 minutes after the phone call. Driving up, we thought two things: 1) it looked mighty fancy for our jeans-clad selves and 2) it didn’t look like anyone was there.

When we strode through the front door, the hostess greeted us with a cheery, “I just talked to you on the phone, didn’t I?” We agreed, and were shown to our seats. We scored a table at the window with an amazing view of Cape Cod Bay…

our table at Anthony's Cummaquid Inn

Our table

…which was not as impressive as it sounds, considering the only other customers were an elderly couple who had already reached the dessert course.

view of empty restaurant

Where is everybody?

“Where were all the people?” we wondered. The manager calmed our fears by telling us this was their first week open for the season, and reminding us the Celtics-Lakers final game was that night. Everyone else on the Cape was in front of a TV.

That explained everything, so we settled in to enjoy the view and the undivided attention of the restaurant staff.



They had—oh joy—lobster as their special. Stuffed lobster, in fact, and it sounded so good even Rosemary, our lobster purist, ordered it. But first, we got these lovely popovers:


That's my salad, it was time for a veggie

The other two had lobster bisque:
Lobster bisque

Then the main course arrived.

Baked Stuffed Lobster a la Hawthorne

Baked Stuffed Lobster a la Hawthorne aka heaven on a plate

And we were happy.

Note to servers-in-training: when taking a pic of patrons, please tactfully mention that one’s hair is doing stupid things and might should be fixed prior to immortalizing on film.

It was amazing. This, imho, is how lobster should taste. It was the perfect final dinner for our fabulous vacation. Please visit this restaurant—I want them to still be in business when I return to the Cape.

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The nice folks at Cape Abilities saw my previous post and invited us for pie at Centerville Pie Company. Well, that was a no-brainer—we were delighted to learn more about Cape Abilities and we never turn down pie.

So we went here:

Centerville Pie Co. Sign

in Centerville, MA (on Cape Cod)

And met Liz from Cape Abilities:

Vikki, Liz, Rosemary & Me

Vikki, Liz, Rosemary & Me

And ate absolutely amazing pie:

Strawberry-Rhubarb pie

My strawberry-rhubarb in front; Rosemary's all-berry in back

Liz works with the beach buckets like the one we found in our room when we arrived. Cape Abilities distributes 30,000 beach buckets each summer, providing advertising for local businesses, much-needed products and information for tourists, and employment for some 70 people with disabilities. During the winter months they do things like put handles on paint buckets, apply stickers onto other products, etc.

You may be wondering about the connection between Cape Abilities and the Centerville Pie Company. It’s quite the story. The Pie Company had only been open a month or so when Oprah came to town to attend Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s funeral. The owner sent Oprah a chicken pot pie, Oprah loved it—and said so—and business took off like a rocket. To help keep up with demand, Centerville Pies partnered with Cape Abilities.

Now they work together to make these fabulous pies, with many of the Cape Abilities people working in their industrial kitchen, pulling chicken, peeling apples, and the like. Alas, that kitchen is currently being remodeled, so we didn’t get a tour (maybe on our next trip?) but here’s a video that will take you behind the scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAoBK1KpE9M

We had a wonderful time talking to Liz, learning more about how Cape Abilities operates, and luxuriating in absolutely fabulous pie. If you find yourself on Cape Cod, visit the Cape Abilities Farm and go to the Centerville Pie Company. You’ll love them! I recommend scheduling these visits early in your stay, as you’re going to want to go back to both. Trust me on this: I would never lead you astray, especially where pie is involved.

P.S. Those pie people make a darn fine cranberry scone, too. We took some to go for breakfast the next day and they were fabulous.

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Woods Hole, MA

There’s a great little show on the Sci-Fi Channel called Eureka”. It’s about a small town somewhere in the U.S. where all the brightest and best scientists live and create freaky-amazing scientific…stuff. Which, on the TV show, tends to go horribly wrong.

View of Eel Pond channel, Woods Hole, MA

View from the bridge

Today we visited Woods Hole, MA—the real-life, ocean-going version of Eureka. It’s home to NOAH (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) or an outcropping of it, anyway; WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution); the Marine Biology Laboratory; and God only knows what else in secret locations around, in, on, or under the Cape. The Marine Biology Laboratory is the oldest private marine laboratory in North America. 37 Nobel Prize-winning scientists have worked at the MBI; 11 of them took courses there. Oh yeah. It’s Eureka.

Metal sea creatures, Woods Hole, MA

Good day's catch or fisherman's nightmare?

Being us, we spotted this place as we drove into town and began our visit here
Pie in the Sky Bakery, Woods Hole, MA

It was a difficult decision…

Inside Pie in the Sky Bakery

what to choose, what to choose...

…until we saw they had bread pudding. Bread pudding afficianados, that’s what we are. After all, we spend a lot of time at the Meyerson Symphony Center, home of the best bread pudding in Dallas, so we know whereof we speak. And this stuff…

Bread pudding

Oh my.

… on a scale of 1-10, this one was a 10. Soft but not mushy, lovely crunchy edges, rum sauce. Yum.

Next we waddled up the hill to the WHOI Visitor’s Center, which packs a lot of information into a small location.
museum, Woods Hole, MA

These are the people who found the Titanic! There’s a great little exhibit about it. But first, Rosemary and Vikki did some very important work in Alvin, the submersible unit.


Alvin (not the chipmunk)

It’s 2.5 hours down to the bottom, 4 hours of work, then 2.5 hours back to the top—and it holds 3 people. I don’t want to think about restroom facilities or the lack thereof.

Then on to the Titanic exhibit. I’m so glad they decided not to mess with the wreckage, choosing instead to leave a plaque on the stern in memory of those who perished.

We continued our tour at the Aquarium, the oldest public aquarium in the country, btw. Small but charming, and home to harbor seals Lucy & Bumper.
Harbor seals at Woods Hole Aquarium
And this curious dancing fish, who bobbed right to left, then back again, all the time looking like he was gasping for air or doing the can-can. Something about it made us burst into Stars & Stripes Forever (the ‘be kind to your web-footed friends’ part) though why that seemed appropriate is beyond any rational explanation.

dancing fish

Wonder if his name is Bob?

Looking at all those fish made us hungry, we we wandered to the other end of town (a whole, what, 2 blocks?) to the Fishmonger Cafe for a little sustenance. Fantabulous view, charming waitress, good food. I had another lobster roll (not, I’m afraid, as good as my earlier one):
Lobster roll, Fishmonger Cafe, Woods Hole, MA
Rosemary went for soft-shelled steamers:
Soft-shelled steamers, Fishmonger's Cafe, Woods Hole, MA
And Vikki just ordered all the fried stuff:
fried fishy things

Our waitress gave us directions to the local light, so off we went to find it.

Nobska Light

Nobska Light

Then, since around here the sidewalks roll up about 4 pm, we went home. Tomorrow is our last full day on the Cape so we have to decide what to do. We do have a date for some pie…more about that later. Now I have a lovely view off the deck and I think I’ll go stare at it for a while.

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Today—I’m not making this up, it was on the calendar in our Cape Cod Guide—is National Lobster Day. We couldn’t let such an important holiday go by, so we celebrated appropriately. But first…

When we dragged ourselves out of bed this morning it was a beautiful, sunny day. The first of its kind on this trip, as the rest have been grey and gloomy. So we decided to go to the tip of the Cape and visit Provincetown, or as the locals call it, “P-Town”.

Along the way we stopped for a view of the salt pond, which doubles as a shellfish nursery:
Salt Pond, Eastham, MA

It’s just up the road from the Nauset Light, a fact that would escape us for about 9 hours. Did I mention Rosemary was driving? And yet, we all survived intact. Anyhow, we eventually achieved Provincetown and spotted the Wood End Light. (The lighthouses are all called “lights” rather than “lighthouses”; I don’t know why.)
Rosemary pointing out the Wood End Light

It’s called Wood End (we learned) because it stands where the woods used to end before deforestation mania took hold and nearly took the Cape with it.

Next we visited this charming shop
Hammock shop

…where I bought one of these to replace my defunct backyard swing. SO comfortable! SO happy! SO glad Southwest Airlines allows 2 checked bags for free!

swing chair

Not me or my chair, but close enough

We strolled through the town. Provincetown is one of those locales where alternative lifestyles are not so alternative, but it’s not high season yet so we missed the big drag queen parade (thank goodness, I just hate it when a guy in a dress is prettier than me!) and various similar activities. It was mostly traditional family groups today.

We got our picture took:
Susan, Rosemary, Vikki on the pier

Visited the library, which has a boat inside it—and we’re not talking the kind in a bottle!
Rose Dorothea inside Provincetown, MA library

And of course, ate lobster.
Governer Bradford patio sign

lobster alfredo

I went for lobster alfredo

Rosemary with lobster

My cohorts had broiled lobster w/garlic & onions

Vikki with lobster

Thou shalt not waste even a morsel

After all that, the memories get a little hazy. There was a trolley ride—excellent tour of the town & National Seashore, I recommend it! More shopping…I believe ice cream made an appearance somewhere along the way…and then we went hunting for more lighthouses. Which we found!

Cape Cod Light

Cape Cod lighthouse

Nauset Light

Nauset Light

And apparently, when a lighthouse’s services are no longer required, they’re sent to retire in a forest:

Three sisters lights

2 of the 3 Sisters lights

These three used to stand much closer—much, much closer—to the cliffs before they were replaced by the Nauset light and now hide in a clearing in the middle of the woods. Bless their hearts.

There’s more, but all that sunshine and walking and digesting and climbing hills and walking on rocks has taken its toll. My companions have already crashed (fully clothed and snoring ferociously, I might add) and it’s time I did, too. (I think I’ll change into my jammies first, though.)

See you tomorrow!

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Boston apt

Not large or fancy, but great value

This was our small but adequate Boston accommodations. Fantastic location, decent space (unless you actually wanted to dry off in the bathroom, but that’s another story). But then we arrived at our home for the week on Cape Cod.
View from our room

View from our room

Oh. My. You can see the beach from our window and the deck outside it. You can walk to said beach in about 1.5 minutes. So we did.
bridge to beach

Life is good.
Especially when this is just 3 minutes away.

Chicken Oscar

Chicken Oscar (w/lobster, asparagus, & bearnaise sauce)

Stuffed sole

Stuffed sole

Seafood trio in tomato cream sauce

Seafood trio in tomato cream sauce

Life is very good.

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