We've lived in Boston for a long time but never gotten down to Provincetown, so when good friends Suzi and Ken announced their wedding in the P-town/Wellfleet area, we jumped at the chance to take a Cape vacation without a car. Friday morning June 22nd we took the "fast" ferry (about an hour and three quarters) from the Boston World Trade Center to P-town, and our beach weekend began.
The wedding guests were mainly staying at the Harbor Hotel, which is in P-town but on the far eastern edge, almost a mile and a half from the ferry pier. Since we had all our luggage, we took a cab from the pier to the hotel, but later we learned we could have taken a bus instead. In any event, we got to the hotel around 10:45, in time to catch the end of their continental breakfast. The lobby and covered-porch area are lovely, and we hung out between there and the pool until the staff were able to have our room cleaned and let us in around 11:30.
We hastily changed and got ready for the beach, and a quick walk across the street (Route 6A) and down a flight of steps led us to a calm, small, but nice beach. Marcus found a tiny hermit crab and kept it in a bucket most of the day, and we found another family with a three-year-old to play with. Samantha wasn't crazy about either the water (cool) or the sand (sandy), but decided she'd happily take a nap while I sat in the shallow water.
Around 3:00 we went back to our room and found out Sarah and Sean had arrived and were in the room right next door. We all headed out around 3:30 to spend the evening in Wellfleet; Sarah and Sean took their car, and we hopped in a Mini Cooper convertible Zipcar that lives right at the hotel (how convenient can you get?!). We grabbed a sandwich for Robert along the way and drove to the pier in Wellfleet. Marcus, exhausted from the beach time earlier, had of course fallen asleep in the car. I nursed Samantha and let him keep sleeping while Robert, Sarah, and Sean explored a bit, and eventually put the still-sleeping Marcus on my back and walked over to Mac's on the pier, where we lounged under their umbrellas on the sand and drank lemonade.
When Marcus woke up, he and Sean and Robert played on a beach for awhile, and then we ordered dinner--fried clams and oysters, grilled scallops, a scallop burrito, and some sushi. The clams, oysters, and scallops were all great, and you couldn't beat the unpretentious atmosphere. Sean and Robert and Marcus wandered off to look at a boat, which turned out to be a clammer unloading its haul from the day. The captain said he was short-staffed and offered to pay Sean and Robert if they helped him unload. Instead of negotiating to work for clams, though (mostly giant surf clams, with a few bags of quahogs), they just stood with Marcus and watched the entire process.
After dinner we went to the Wellfleet drive-in for spectacularly mediocre ice cream served with spectacularly bad service by a woman from Mississippi who was a tad ditzy. The drive-in also had an infestation of no-see-ums which drove me insane, a tiny playground with an old-fashioned merry-go-round mobbed with big kids, and a website which hadn't been updated, leaving me thinking we were seeing "Madagascar 3" and "Men in Black 3" when in fact we saw "Brave" and all left before "The Avengers." But really, who am I kidding? We don't go to drive-ins often enough for me to be picky, and being at a drive-in in a convertible was a lot of fun. Being rained on at a drive-in in a convertible was even more fun. The drive back up to the hotel, on slick dark roads, was less fun, but it was still a great evening.
Saturday morning we all had breakfast on the porch at the hotel, and we got to see Suzi, the beautiful bride, on the morning of her wedding day.
Since it was still grey and drizzly, and not quite beach weather, we then took the bus into town with Sarah and Sean after breakfast and walked around for a couple hours. We stopped at a Portuguese bakery for malasadas and other treats to eat while we walked. Marcus was super mellow and glassy-eyed, but he managed to consume a couple donuts from Robert's back. Everyone was talking about this Portuguese festival in town, and the "food court" they had; that turned out to be one tent with four choices, one of which was a hot dog. Sean got a pork sandwich there, and then we went to the Lunch Box on Commercial St. for lobster rolls. The sun finally came out, and we sat on the beach near the pier a little and Sean sketched and Robert and Marcus played. Samantha decided she liked the sand after all, and played in it happily, until the moment when she was all done right now with the sand and we couldn't get her out of it fast enough. After a little more window shopping and a vanilla cone with chocolate dip, we took the bus back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel, Robert took Marcus down to the beach again, and Sam and I napped in the room for a lovely two hours until it was time to go down to get on the shuttle bus Suzi and Ken had arranged to bring guests to the wedding.
The ceremony was on the beach at a yacht club in Wellfleet, and the reception was then up in a boathouse with a tent across the front of it looking out over the beach.
Marcus fell asleep on the bus on the way over, so I put him on my back and he slept through the entire ceremony and cocktail hour. Sam went up too during the ceremony, and then wanted to nurse and nap during the cocktail hour as well, so I stood next to Miriam, who had broken her ankle the day before, and the two of us decided we were not moving at all until it was time to sit at our table, as we were far too bulky to maneuver around. Humorously enough, one of the servers passing appetizers was the Mississippi woman from the night before.
Our table was in the back in the corner, which was really the ideal place. Marcus woke up after we'd already been up at the buffet, and he managed to happily down a hot dog while we all ate our lobsters and steamers. Samantha inspected the centerpieces and table decorations.
During the reception the sky suddenly darkened and there was a fifteen-minute burst of thunderstorms, followed by hail, and then a rainbow and a clear sky for the rest of the evening. We went outside again after it cleared, and it was just gorgeous out still.
Marcus and Samantha and I danced to "Sweet Caroline" (Suzi is nothing if not a Red Sox fan), but then he was sad when the song ended, and that of course is when Robert snapped the picture. Marcus also played happily with the toys in his gift bucket from Suzi, and he shared his crayons and coloring pages with Sean and John at our table.
these three photos above by Katrina Bernard Photography; used by permission
We took the bus back to the hotel around 9:45, and joined the wedding party at the fire pit in front of the hotel for a bit before heading in to bed.
Sunday morning, after breakfast on the porch again, I sat with Sarah and a dreamily napping Samantha while Sean, Robert, and Marcus drove to the nearby dunes, walked through the woods, and then up a huge sand dune. Apparently Marcus stumbled and got a big mouthful of sand, but it was still a happy expedition.
Robert and Marcus went down to the beach one last time while I packed and organized and Sarah and Sean left to drive the bride and groom back to Boston for a flight out. The hotel was nice enough to let us stay in the room until 1:00, so that's what we did, and then headed into town on the bus with all our luggage. We got two lobster rolls--first a classic one from the Lobster Pot, along with an oyster on the half shell, and then the "gilded lobster" from the Lunch Box (lobster salad, avocado slices, melted swiss cheese rolled up in lavash and heated). Yum.
While eating these blissful creations, we relaxed and enjoyed the two sleeping kids we had, one on each of our backs.
We got an ice cream soda then and headed over to the pier, where Samantha woke up while we were waiting to board the ferry and Marcus once we were already on board. We had a nice boat ride back to Boston, then a quick cab to the house, and then Robert and Marcus played up on the roof and watered our plants while I unpacked and got laundry started. We ordered in some Vietnamese food, and had a tasty dinner at the end of a great weekend away.
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Created: 6/24/12. Last Modified: 6/24/12.