Mobile Phone User click here
In today’s Cape Cod Times, I read an article about one of Cape Cod’s quirky independent bookstores, Parnassus Book Service. Located in Yarmouthport along the Old King’s Highway (scenic Route 6A), the store has always been a curiosity. A Cape Cod institution for the past 50 years, Parnassus is a jumble of old and new. Clearly not subscribing to the Dewey decimal system of organizing book titles, the shelves of Parnassus are filled with a seemingly random array of everything from “how to” to “whodunit”. (more…)
View Cape Cod Lighthouses in a larger map
Last summer, Rich and I headed down Cape for a day of exploring, as we often do when guests are safely off on their own adventures. The day dawned bright blue with clear skies, a picture-perfect day for exploring. We headed east on Route 6 checking the map for interesting places to scout out for our guests. I spotted Highland Light in Truro and charted a course to this new and as yet unexplored (at least by us) destination. (more…)
My all-time favorite gift of love from my husband came not on Valentine’s Day, but at Christmas last year. It had been a particularly rough year for us due in part to the challenges of running a business in a tough economy, plus the added stress of helping a family member get through a crisis. Though we tried to make the holidays a special time for celebrating friends and family, there were the occasional moments of sadness and longing for the carefree days before marriage and family and entrepreneurship. (more…)
Yesterday I wrote about why Cape Cod is such a great place to visit, even in the winter. Today I want to offer you a few specific events to consider making a trek to the Cape to attend this month or next. Anyone of them would be well worth your time and money.
January 23-24: 21st Annual Cape And Islands Orchid Show. Hyannis Resort and Conference Center, Hyannis, MA. When Rich and I first went to the Orchid show, I was recovering from back surgery. Rich was nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs watching me maneuver around the exhibition hall with my cane. But the beauty of the exhibits and the exotic orchids soon won him over. And the opportunity to talk with the exhibitors on the art and science of orchids was irresistible. As a result we bought several specimens to try our hand at propagating them, and even though we did not have much success, the afternoon we spent at the show was like being transported to some exotic island. In January that is a welcome respite from the winter cold.
February 6: 5th Annual Osterville Chocolate Festival, 10AM to 3PM, Main St. Osterville, MA. There was a chocolate festival in North Conway (where we used to own an inn) every February. The event drew hundreds of people who cross country skied inn to inn to sample the innovative chocolate creations of the innkeepers. I supposed the idea of cross country skiing between the venues was a way to minimize the impact of the extra calories consumed that day by the participants. Although the Osterville event does not require any physical exertion, it is a really fun event to attend. And who can resist chocolate? (Save for my husband and best friend who are not chocoholics like me. I’ve always been a little suspect of that…)
February 12-14: Fourth Annual Boatbuilders Show, Resort and Conference Center, Hyannis, MA. Often on a summer’s day, Rich and I will drive down to the marina at Sesuit Harbor in Dennis. Our favorite little clam shack is there. You eat outside at picnic tables in the “most beautiful dining room on earth” as designated by the proprietor, J.C. The view is of the boats in the marina and the channel out to Cape Cod Bay. On any given sunny day there is an almost constant stream of boat traffic. We watch each boat as it traverses the channel, admiring the lines of a Boston Whaler, the flying bridge of a fishing vessel, or the cut of a sail. We dream about owning such a boat one day, and motoring around Cape Cod or out to the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. We know it’s a pipedream, but still for those lovely moments as we eat our clams and drink our beers we are transported to another lifetime and all its possibilities. I think that is the allure of a boat show…to dream, if only for a moment, what life would be like if you owned a boat. The Boatbuilders event showcases boats built in small numbers by small shops on and near the Cape and elsewhere in New England, and the purpose of the show is to showcase the beauty of the boats and the people who build them. In February, it is far too cold to be sitting at a picnic table at Sesuit Harbor. But when I go to the boat show I can return to my summer’s dream of owning a boat, and while I am there, the world is full of possibilities.
A recent photo on the cover of the Cape Cod Times featured a rare Allen’s hummingbird on a feeder at a home in Harwich Port. Though it is not unusual to spot a hummingbird on the Cape, it is a rarity in the dead of winter. And this particular bird is worthy of a cover story because its normal habitat is coastal California and parts of central Mexico. Now I am not a bird expert, but this strange occurrence signals to me that this hummingbird has stumbled upon one of Cape Cod’s greatest secrets. It’s a great place to hang out at any time of the year. Let me tell you why.
Although it does snow here from time to time, the snow never lasts long. A good storm might drop as much as a foot at the beginning of the week, but by the time the weekend rolls around we’re looking at green grass again. Seriously, I saw golfers out the other day at the Hyannis Golf Club on Iyannough Road. I was out doing last minute Christmas shopping and there they were enjoying the back nine. Mind you, they were dressed for the weather, but they were golfing none-the-less.
Temperatures can dip into the 20s, and perhaps even into the teens in the wee hours of the morning. But 30s and 40s are more typical even in the dark days of winter. And now that the winter solstice has passed, the days are getting longer. Of course, it’s not beach weather yet, but it still is comfortable enough for a long walk on the beach. Casey, our yellow lab, loves a good walk on the beach in the winter. All kinds of cool things wash up on the beach after a good blow. Last year a vagrant buoy washed up on Sandy Neck Beach and created quite a stir. And the year before that the remains of an old shipwreck surfaced a Newcomb Hollow in Wellfleet. Winter is the perfect time to treasure hunt…you never know what you might find.
Winter is also the best time to go to a restaurant you may have been wanting to try. Off-season restaurants offer discounts, early bird dining, prix fixe menus, and other great deals in an effort to lure new diners. We take advantage of the slow winter months to find new haunts to recommend to our guests. Some restaurants also host wine dinners, cooking demonstrations, and themed events that are not only a great bargain but enormous fun. I’d share some pictures of the Naked Oyster’s Hawaiian Luau a couple of winters ago, but I’ve pledged to protect the innocent.
Now that the holidays are over, some of my favorite shops are offering deep discounts to deplete current inventory in an effort to ready themselves for their spring and summer stock. Red Fish Blue Fish on Main St. in Hyannis is a great spot to find fantastic gifts for next year’s stockings at up to 75% off. Having been caught in the crunch of finding fun and funky items for the stockings I stuff this year, you can bet I’m going to be taking advantage of that sale.
Finally, most lodging properties are offering great deals for both midweek and weekend travel. Here at the High Pointe Inn in West Barnstable on Cape Cod, we offering 25%
off a 3-night mid-week stay from now through March 31st. That’s a savings of more than $100 off our regular low off-season rates!. We also have a great 3-night Romantic Valentine’s Getaway Package that includes side-by-side in-room couples massages, 3-course gourmet dinner for two, a bottle of chilled champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries. And for our teacher friends, we just put together a Teacher’s PET package for February and April vacation weeks.
For more information on these and our other great packages, call us toll free at 1-888-362-4441 or visit our Specials and Packages page on our website.
After all, if hummingbirds want to hang around on the Cape this winter, there must be something to it.