The Colours of Autumn - Cape Cod

Trip Start Sep 07, 2008
Trip End Dec 10, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Thursday, October 30, 2008

We arrived into Boston last night, after an almighty 7 hour drive (which is quite short these days), and I would like to say that it was 'four seasons in a day' - unfortunately it was not.   It was winter:    rain, snow, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow and more rain......   It was actually snowing as we were driving, and it comes upon you suddenly that you're not aware of how treacherous the roads become.  We saw two cars (on either side) that had spun out and crashed, just seconds before we drove past.    Interestingly enough, the truckies don't seem to notice, and roar down the road doing at least 70 miles per hour and somewhat more.  

Needless to say, we were extremely happy to get to our destination in one piece, and were delighted to find that the camping site we had booked was 5 star - as far as camping goes.    It's called Normandy Farms Family Camping, and has been in the family for  generations!    It started off as a farm that had been deeded to a young 'prisoner' who'd worked for years.  In 1759 he was deeded 53 acres for around 7 pounds.   Each year the farm has grown in acerage.  It has been used for dairy, chickens, sheep and the family has continuned to clear the land, from  what was wilderness 245 years ago.   Now, the 7th, 8th, 9th generation are here, in the same piece of land, running an amazing four season camping resort.    How amazing would that be?  To be working on the same piece of land that your parents, grandparents, great and great and great ....have worked before you??    That's hard to comprehend.  But you can imagine then, the pride they have in the place.

This, is the first piece of history, in an area that is FULL of history, as we are going to discover (and I will share with you) over the next few days.

Obviously, this morning, it was difficult to drag the kids away from the Rec Hall and playground.  However, we did manage to get on the road late morning - and so pleased we did!  We wanted to explore Cape Cod - for those of you who read novels, watch TV (Murder She Wrote), Cape Cod is VERY well known.  It was also a favourite summer place for the Kennedy family and many others like them.   So I was keen to take a look.  What we weren't prepared for, was the beauty and sheer brightness of the tress that lined the highway on our way up -   their gorgeous autumn colours, nearly shone.   I've never seen anything like it.  And I apologise in advance, but we couldn't really get a photo of it .....    1) because difficult to stop on a motorway (especially in the truck!)  and   2) because the frame of a camera is too small to capture the miles ahead of you, and around you that they eye can see .... So....... You're just going to have to believe me.   The drive (and I mean an hour of it), was probably as much part of the attraction, as Cape Cod itself.  SO worth doing!

Anyway, pull off the highway at any point, and you're in for a treat.  I'm going to try and describe the towns of Cape Cod, because there are many.   They are quaint, picturesque, perfectly manicured, in keeping with the historic flavour - no 'flashy concrete palaces' here - although, this is definitely an affluent area.    There is a subtle ambience, a style with a homely comfort, that is not easily achieved.  We were amazed that EVERY building, for miles and miles and miles, in EVERY town, was in keeping with this 'tradition'.  Even the 'Dunkin Donuts' building was an 'old' cottage, the wooden churches with their tall steeples were painted the most brillant white, the bank (complete with drive-thru and ATM), could have been a 100 yr old home in Parnell, you wouldn't have know what it was, if their wasn't a sign outside.   The summer houses had carefully cut hedges, bird baths, shutters, and sunrooms, with street names like Myrtle Lane.   I hope you're conjuring up the image, because it was exactly as it sounds.  Peaceful, perfect (for those of you who have seen the film Pleasantville, it was kind of like that), but of course much more real, and realative to us.   I could happily retire there, although, I do feel, I would need to have a few more coppers in the jar.   

I'm trying to think of a place in New Zealand, I can relate this area too -  sort of Parnell, certainly the shop fronts were like that  - but no snobbiness.   Otherwise, there's nothing really.  As I said, this wasn't just one little town, this was town after town like this for 60 plus miles.   Beautiful.   I can see now, why so many people are drawn to this area for their summer vacations - the beaches are incredible, and you feel so sheltered from the cities, and that 'other life'.   

Just as a note, a lot of these homes are not necessarily old, in fact we saw some just being built, they are made to look old, (presume strict council regulations) however there are definitely some historic sites around the villages. 
Most enjoyable day, finished with dinner at the LongHorn Steakhouse ( 2nd time out in 6 wks), and  then back to the campsite for a swim in the indoor pool for the kids and a soak in the hot tub for us!    Aaahhhhh........
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