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:: Cape Cod

(Once again, Amy picks up the slack and writes.. Tons of pictures are also posted here and here in our Kodak gallery.)

For the past few years we've made a trip to Cape Cod every summer. In general, we try to time it to coincide with my brother's trip to Cape Cod so we can all hang out on the porch drinking beer together. This year my brother's trip happened to coincide with Craig's trip to Las Vegas. Which left me with 3 options:

  • Stay home with 6 month old Benjamin all by myself for a week.
  • Hang out in Craig's Vegas hotel room with Benjamin while Craig attends the conference.
  • Fly by myself (with Benjamin) to Cape Cod, and hang out with my extended family while waiting for Craig to finish his conference and join us.

None of these options particularly appealed to me, but I thought option 3 would be the most fun. At least I wouldn't be alone with a baby all week. The only really hard part would be the plane trip. I managed to work myself into a panic over this 5 or 6 hour flight. What if Benjamin was inconsolable? What if he didn't sleep at all? What if I had to breastfeed while sitting next to a huge and unpleasant man? What would I do with Benjamin if I needed to pee? How would I carry all the stuff and the baby?

I made it through the trip without any horrible incidents. Benjamin didn't sleep as much as I wanted him to, but he also didn't scream (much). And there was a woman seated next to me, not a leering pervert. And I worked out a system for the baggage. You know, you would think at some point someone would have offered to help me, but no one did. I'm not sure I would have accepted help anyway. It's a strange society we live in.

My parents met me at baggage claim and we took a shuttle bus to the hotel. There was a truly upset child on this shuttle bus, one who had had enough traveling for a lifetime. Boy could he scream. It made me feel lucky that Benjamin was taking things in stride.

The next day we made our way to our beach house in Falmouth, with a stop in Worcester to visit one of my aunts first. It's always great to be at this house, because I grew up coming here every summer. It's just a happy place. I was excited to be bringing my child to the same place I had such good memories of. We all worked on settling in and getting ready for my brother and his family to arrive the next day.

Benjamin was starting to get a little freaked out by this point. I think he missed Craig. And he had a little cold. And was just generally out of sorts. But really, he was doing pretty well, and so was I. My parents were helping me out, but still, it's hard to be away from the routine and familiarity of home. And being away from Craig made me realize just how much he helps, even though he's only home for a few hours before bedtime.

The next day Dave, Gretchen, and the 3 kids arrived. The house was suddenly a whirlwind of activity. I can't really remember much of this week. Except that Benjamin got harder to put to sleep, and I missed Craig and his help more and more. I didn't even take any pictures, even though Craig had sent the camera with me instead of taking it to Vegas. Which is why Craig had to make a (very cute) drawing of an air conditioner.

After much pleasant hanging out on the porch and walking to the beach with Benjamin in a backpack carrier thing (Ergo!), it is finally time for Craig to join us. Poor Craig takes a red eye. On his birthday. And then upon arriving in Boston, he gets on a bus to Cape Cod. Poor Craig. But Benjamin and I are very happy to see him!

Next comes the weekend, which brings lots of visitors. The annual pre-4th-of-July Block Party is on Saturday. So my cousins and their kids show up to enjoy the fun. And Kelly, Stephanie, Trey, and Zoe also come! And so do Todd and Laura! Lots and lots of people in the house. For dinner, we (Craig and I, Todd and Laura, and the Kellegouses) decide to try take-out from a barbecue place I saw an ad for in the Yellow Pages. Amazingly, they had pretty good pulled pork. It may be easier, from now on, to convince Craig to visit Cape Cod, now that he knows he can get a bbq and sweet tea fix.

On the night of the fireworks (which was not on the 4th of July for some reason, though I can't remember why or when they actually were), there was something crazy in the air and none of the kids would go to sleep. We had intended to have Benjamin sleep through them, if possible, but we tried and we tried and he would not fall asleep, not even for a second. The same thing was happening with Gus, though I think Ari and Milo were allowed to stay up on purpose. Then, when it was dark enough, the fireworks began, and we saw that there would have been no sleeping through it. The whole house vibrated each time another one went off. We walked down the street to the water so we could watch the show. Benjamin wasn't scared at all. He was actually having a great time! It was more fun to watch his delighted face lit up all green, red, and white, than it was to watch the actual fireworks. When an especially loud one went off, he would giggle.

We spent a lot of time hanging out on the porch, and going for walks down to the beach. Every now and then my mom would watch Benjamin and Craig and I would go for a quick swim. We were also able to go out to eat without Benjamin a couple of times. One rainy afternoon the three of us tried to drive to Wood's Hole, but of course everyone in the area had the same idea, as Wood's Hole is full of cute little shops. So instead we went to a Thai restaurant in Falmouth, and then ran over to Dunkin Donuts and bought a dozen to take home for the rest of the gang. The doughnuts were well received. When aren't they?

As any trip to the Cape that doesn't include the Island Queen is a failure (in the wise words of my grandfather, Hampie), we made sure to make the round trip to Martha's Vineyard one afternoon. Benjamin loved it when I held is head over the edge of the boat so he could stare down at the water. Dave and family met us on the return trip, and my father was waiting on the jetty to wave hello as we came back into the harbor.

Then it was time to say goodbye to my family, and we headed for Boston. We had a hotel for a night there, so we managed to have dinner (burritos!) with Todd and Laura, and lunch the next day with the Kellegouses. Then we took a cab to the airport and began the trek back across the country. It was a good trip, but traveling with a baby is exhausting.

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