First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vacation Accompli

The sky was blue like clouds had never been invented. The kids had made fast friends with a very nice man named Charles.  Charles had come up from Manhattan "on a whim." He grew up in San Francisco with summers at his grandmothers house in the French countryside ("It was so boring. It wasn't like it was Paris or anything. It might as well have been upstate New York. My dad got me a Eurorail pass when I was 14 or 15 and boy did grandma freak out about that! He can handle it, he can handle it, my dad said, but she was not happy.")

My Wife, lounging on the beach, took a moment from our Charles chat to beseech our daughter.  "Honey, it's so hot out and the water is beautiful, just try it." Up until then, we had spent most of our swimming time in the hotel's salt water pool.

The Peanut jabbed a toe into the foam near the shore. "It's cold," she bleated.

"Me and the Peanut, we're the glass half empty-girls," said Charles. 

And that is just a tiny sliver of the perfection that was our week in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  We stayed from Saturday to Saturday. The beach we played at was the hotel's private stretch. It was way more than we could afford but we didn't have to afford it. It was paid for by My Wife's Aunt.

The Aunt, along with her wife, are the legal guardians of My Wife's 14 year old cousin . . . The Girl. The Girl's father, after a long illness, died about 5 years ago. The Girl's mother is a human non-recyclable, so in his will he named his sister--The Aunt--The Girl's legal guardian. The Girl, a fine student, excellent athlete, and all around good kid, is an only child with no cousins near her age. She thirsts for family. 

About four months ago, The Aunt called and said to My Wife, "Do you have plans for the Fourth?" 

"No," said My Concise Wife. 

"Well, we'd like you to come down to Provincetown for the week of July Fourth this year. We go every year and we want you guys (including the dog) to come. The Girl would really love it. We stay at a hotel with a private beach and a salt water swimming pool and you can watch the fireworks from the beach and we'll pay for the room."

"Nonononono, that's too much, we can't do that, thanks for the offer but nonono we couldn't do that I, uh, no," was My Suddenly Inconcise Wife's reply."

The Aunt said, "You never got a graduation present (true), or a wedding present (true), or a honeymoon (with the notable exception of every single day of our perfect union, also true), you never go anywhere (apparently she'd never heard of a little place called "the movies.") just let me do this for you."

So we said yes. We were nervous as hell. A vacation. With family. Who paid! Sounds like the plot of an old John Candy movie.  In retrospect, an excellent decision.

Provincetown is clean beaches, sea waters teeming with life, houses that are New England quaint on the outside and marvels of open space and burnished Scandinavian wood inside. It's thriving night life, great restaurants, fabulous art galleries, a note-perfect Cher impersonator, great shows (Patti LuPone! Megan Mullally!) everything in walking distance, dog friendly, and people without a single unkind word for anyone. Everyone was so upbeat, so joyous, so gregarious and interesting and FUN. We weren't three days in before the kids told us they never wanted to go home. Who could blame them? 

The first day, The Girl was overwhelmed. The affection, the action, the expectations that our kids had for her knocked the pins out from under her. She needed a break. But as the week went on, they grew closer and closer and by the end she was the one holding their hands on our walks, waking up excited to play, spending hours with them at the pool, teaching them how to play soccer. We have plans to go to the movies (see?) with her later this week. Bonds happen quick like Krazy Clue when people are young.

We sat in the sand together and watched my kids' first real fireworks display. Glowing faces and shining eyes and all that. The Pumpkin Man kept up a constant commentary throughout the show. The Aunt said, "he really never stops talking, does he?" She has no idea. We'll be seeing a bit of them from now on, I think. The Aunt pronounced, more than once, that  "you'll have to come down again next year. We'll make it a tradition." We responded with stunned silence. We're slick like that. Family, luck, timing. That shit be crazy. 

As for me, I lived on the Cape some in my former life as a boy nomad and then again as a man-child. I was never a big fan. Until now. PTown. You stole my heart. Seriously, that was some rich food. I think my heart fell out near the library. 


Bonus Pics!

Praise Neptune!

The family marches steadily toward the downtown area,
intent on wreaking millions of dollars worth of havoc.
The kids looove tequila.

The Peanut caught it all by herself in an area called the Beech Forest.
I kissed it and it turned into Prince.
This is what is sounds like, when jokes die. 


  1. Free vacations (with indoor plumbing) are the best! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Wish I'd known sooner - I would have had your wife check out the bathrooms at the campground near P-town for me.

    1. 2 possible places, one right in town for campers only and one in truro near a beautiful beach called head of the meadow. We saw seals frolicking, FROLICKING I say, in the water there.

  2. No details on the tequila-infused havoc wreaking? Booooo!

  3. I love that you got a free vacation! You deserve it. Glad it was such fun!

  4. Awesome. We'll be there in about three weeks. Eastham, actually. But a whale watch out of PTown is on the agenda this year. And lobster roll. Lots of lobster roll.

  5. I've never been to P-Town. I'm told it's very important that I go. I'm glad you guys had a great time, and especially glad for The Girl.

  6. Excellent bonding. My son just acquired 2 new cousins via marriage over the weekend. Well technically, I acquired 2 new cousins, but who's counting. Instant bonding over the weekend. Kids are great. Sounds like a great family experience and all for free. Can't beat it.

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  8. Photos! There are photos on the blog! And not a single paper plate head among them :)
    I'm happy you guys had a great family vacation, you deserved it, and so did The Girl xo

  9. The best part of this post, and there are so many great parts, is that photo of the Peanut and Pumpkin Man praising the gods of the sea.


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