Autumn in New England

Guess what?

Sometimes when you don't blog for five days, you forget how to do it, sorta. I tried six or seven different opening lines here and I'm terribly sorry to say that this is the best I've come up with. Just call me washed up, huh? (It probably doesn't help that I'm typing this as I half-watch yet another episode of Gilmore Girls, but you can blame Netflix for that. Totally not my fault.)

I had all the best intentions to get a Friday post up last week, but as I sort of half-mentioned, there's some family stuff going on around here that required every last drop of my attention, energy, and sanity in the tail end of last week. Luckily, Friday morning came and I was off to Cape Cod for a quick weekend adventure. Big bro and I took a few days to visit our grandparents who live on the Cape and by Saturday, we were joined by second cousins who are, in my grandmother's words, "a panic." (That means they're hysterical. They are. It's kinda like spending the weekend with the Sanderson sisters.)

Anyway, it was a whirlwind weekend and I couldn't totally shake off the stress — because I just don't have those kinda skills; I'm much less a "shake it off" kinda person and much more a "ruminate on it until you don't remember your middle name" kinda person — but it was sweet and necessary nonetheless. Here are some snaps of a perfectly — if a little gray — New England weekend on the Cape...

Driving down Main Street to see what was happening in Chatham, we had to pop out and take a look out on Wychmere Harbor. Somethin' 'bout a boat...
One of my favorite things about the Cape is how quaint, unique, and just pretty much precious everything is. Tell me you'd see a totally un-ironic mermaid themed store anywhere else in the world — one that actually managed to do year-round business no less?
We scooted over to scope out the view at Chatham Light. Not a ton to see, but the overlook area was surprisingly busy. It didn't make for any really good beach shots, but here's the lighthouse...
My grandmother is an excellent cook (do you know an Italian grandmother who isn't?) but the woman has an aversion to seafood that, try as we might, we can't get her to part with. And when you're on the Cape, it's pretty much sacrilege to not chow on some seafood. We went to Chatham Pier for lunch on Sunday where the food practically jumps out of the water and onto your plate. But first, to the lookout for a view of the fishing boats... 
On good days, there are a bunch of boats making trips in and out with their day's spoils. The best part about this is the seals who hang out around the dock, waiting for the fisherman to "drop" a few treats back in for them. I've been there on days where there are literally dozens of seals, showing off, flipping around in the water, hamming it up. But on the day we went this trip, it apparently wasn't a great fishing day. Only three boats were going out that day and two had long since come back, so there was just one shy seal who didn't feel like hanging with us.
Lunch was lobster bisque (bro) and clam fritters and French fries for me. These things are so good, it's worth the multiple mouth burns I got from eating in too much of a rush.
Quick back story: My grandfather used to own a printing business when they still lived down here in NJ, before retiring to the Cape. Being an artsy guy, my grandmother gifted him a set of chisels and paints one year, and he discovered his gift for woodcarving. The eagle (3' long) and fish you see are just tiny examples of the incredible work he's done. He began with small rockinghorses for his grandchildren, then graduated to large carousel horses, aquatic creatures, military-themed creations and the like. He's done some amazing work; I wish I had photos of more to share.

When he got older and the woodcarving became too laborious for him, he turned to painting. He's done some work in acrylic but works mostly in oils, and the shots below are not even a quality sampling of his best work. He's incredible, and the best man I've ever known. Talent and generosity and humor run deep with this guy. 

My grandmother was an antique dealer for many years as well, and has amassed quite the collection. They both sent me home with some of their collections — a crock (one of her "specialties," I suppose you could say), a wash pitcher, braided rugs, and a beautiful painting. I'll have to take a few shots of them soon and share as well.
So if you're in the Cape area and are in the market for a painting, print, a hand-carved wood sign or other masterpiece, or something special to add to your antique collection... I know a guy. And a gal. 

This house is one of my favorite places on the planet. My great-grandparents (my mother's maternal grandparents) bought this house in 1960 as a vacation home and to run as an inn — Inns and B&Bs make up the majority of vacation lodging on the Cape. As the kids (my mom, uncle, and their cousins) grew up, the house became a place to make family memories and it grew along with the family, mostly at the hands of the very talented and devoted men in my family. When my grandparents inherited the home, it became the backdrop to countless summer stays and holidays spent with my cousins and family friends. Every inch of this house has a story and holds a memory. This house IS Cape Cod for me. I love this place.
But eventually, we all must return to business as usual and life as we know it...

How was your weekend?
( Linking up with Biana )

Comments

  1. I love this so much! Everything about these photos is perfection. Glad you had a good weekend :)

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  2. aww what a fun weekend!! your grandfather is so fancy and i want to see the stuff you got from your grandmother. sounds awesome! i want stuff like that, haha. and yeah i'm definitely a stress on it and think about it till i'm blue in the face and giving myself a panic attack kinda gal.

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  3. I'm sorry the weather was crappy on Saturday but glad you still had a fun weekend!! I haven't been to the cape in quite some time and that food photo has me craving some seafood right now!! Happy Monday!

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  4. Looks like a really fun weekend!!

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  5. how cute and quaint. i have never been there but would love to!
    That house is adorable!

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  6. So pretty! Looks like a great weekend!

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  7. It looks so incredibly beautiful and quaint there! It's definitely on my list of places to visit one day. And how amazing that your grandfather just picked up such wonderful talents later in life!

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  8. So glad you had a good weekend despite the weather! You went to some of my favorite spots :)

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  9. The hardest part of a post for me is always the first line.....and sometimes the title! What is the deal? haha!

    The cape looks amazing!!!!!!!! It makes me think of that Freddie Prinze JR movie..Summer Catch Mmmm Freddie.....

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  10. Glad you had a good weekend hun! That place looks beautiful!!

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  11. After living in New England for 2 years, I'm ashamed to say I never made it to the Cape. It looks so quaint and pretty!

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  12. I think 'guess what' is a great way to start a blog post! ;)
    Your food looks absolutely amazing. Wow! Sounds like you had a great little adventure. My weekend was spent in Chicago, it was pretty awesome.

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  13. Love all the pics- such a great display of small town New England during fall!

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  14. beautiful pix! nothing beats New England in the fall!

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