cape cod

Provincetown
  • Dahlias

    (originally published on October 3, 2013)

    This summer, the Ptown neighbors expanded their dahlia flower bed. It went from this in May ...

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    ... to this towards the end of the summer.

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    I took photos again every time I was there. New gorgeous flowers popped up in between visits. A few of my favorites ...

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    And, now, I am missing summer more than anything. Pumpkins just don't compare!

  • Tiny's

    (originally published on June 13, 2013)

    You know how I always say you have to look up? Tiny's in Ptown is a perfect example of what you'll miss if you don't. 

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    Located upstairs on a second floor deck on Commercial Street, the place is easy to miss. Tiny's focuses on local food (most ingredients are purchased within 150 miles) and has some amazing healthy and unique options for any foodie.

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    Plus it has a view of the water and of the street traffic below, which, if you know Ptown, is the best show on earth.

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    I had their lobster dog -- house made lobster sausage sauteed in brown butter and topped with a dill slaw. It was delicious! And the fries were just perfect!

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    I also had the most refreshing basil and pink grapefruit soda made from fresh squeezed juice, basil syrup, and a splash of soda. 

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    I plan to return many times this summer so I can try other things on their wonderful menu! And remember to look up. You never know what you'll find.

  • 25: Swim for Life *the actual event

    (originally published on September 17, 2012)

    I've been dragging my feet. I don't really want to post my last summer-themed topics. Sigh. Here goes ...

    Last weekend was Summer Extension Weekend, which is filled with rituals we've developed to close out the season. One of the most important ones is cheering on the swimmers who participate in the Swim for Life. And this year was the 25th anniversary so there were lots of swimmers and lots of cheerleaders to help us with our closing weekend. Some scenes form the morning ...

    They added flags to help the swimmers know where to go when they reach land. Definitely helpful! I've seem them come ashore up and down the coastline.

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    This is my friend, JR, who had a friend swimming again this year.

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    The drum section leading the cheers.

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    So great to see so many people participating (with the landmark Pilgrim Monument in the background.)

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    Gorgeous blue sky day!

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    This instagrammed photo is my best shot of the actual swimmers. It was such a low tide that they hit sand far out into the harbor. JR and I thought they should have to sprint to the waterline. This is a sporty event! Run!

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    Towards the end of the pack, the kayakers who guide the swimmers start to land on shore.

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    And the surest sign of the end of the Swim  ...

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  • Sunrise, Sunset

    (originally published on September 14, 2012)

    The Mr. and I crossed off an item on his Life List recently: watching a sunset and sunrise over water in the same day. I don't think there are many places where you can do this as easily as you can in Ptown, which sits on a sandbar in the middle of the ocean.

    We had set the alarm for 5:00 am the night before and were pretty efficient about grabbing clothes and some coffee before jumping in Black Beauty for the short ride to Head of the Meadow beach. When we arrived, there were a few other people there and a handful of seals out in the water (so cute! and so scary these days with those Great Whites swimming about in our waters).

    I decided the best thing to do was to climb the empty lifeguard chair and watch from there. I had always secretly wanted to sit in one. As it turned out, it was super buggy up there and we decided to walk around instead. So I did something else I always wanted to do: a Baywatch-style dismount. Mistake. My back went into a spasm and I spent the next two weeks not able to bend. Here we are sitting on the top of the chair in the dark before my sports injury ..

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    When the sky started to lighten up, it looked like this. Puffy and pink.

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    And THEN! a red dot of a sun appeared above the horizon! We thought it would appear over to the right in the center of the streaks so we were shocked that it popped up where it did.

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    So pretty! And totally worth getting up in the dark and the hobbling I had to do for weeks afterwards.

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    On the way home, we saw a group of turkeys! So wild. (Heh! Heh!)

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    For the sunset, we picked up pizza and sandwiches from Twisted Sister and drove over to Herring Cove. A couple of things about this photo: 1) The cooler was my grandfather's. They don't make them like this anymore! 2) You can see that Tipper is laying in the sand rather than on the blanket that we brought for her. She clearly gets by on her looks.

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    There are always a lot of people here for the sunset, many of them doing exactly what we were doing. Some only there for the grand finale. Others with beach fires set up for the long haul.

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    It was a pretty sunset. Not super dramatic, but nice.

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    There was some cloud coverage preventing us from seeing the sun actually go over the edge, but the aftermath was quite lovely.

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    I'm so glad we took the time to do this. Such a simple thing.

  • Gallery Signs of Ptown

    (originally published on September 11, 2012)

    This week, I'll be closing out the summer slowly on Juniper Disco. (I don't care that it was 68 degrees yesterday, those flip flops are not going anywhere!) The summer-to-fall transition is the hardest for me, so give me some time. I'll get there. But if one more person tells me how much they love this cool weather ...

    As I've been walking around this summer looking for shapes, I've noticed the diverse signage for all the galleries. (I've also noticed signs in general, as you well know.) Here are a few of my favorite art gallery signs ...

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  • Summer of Lobster

    (originally published on September 8, 2012)

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    Lobster sliders, Harbor Hotel pool, Provincetown

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    Lobster truffle mac and cheese, Front Street, Provincetown

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    Curried coconut lobster chowder, Frappo 66, Provincetown

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    Lobster tips, The Tip Tap Room, Boston

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    Lobster rolls, PJ's, Wellfleet

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    Fourth of July lobster roll, Clubs at Charles River Park, Boston

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    Lobster bisque, Odyssey dinner cruise, Boston

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    Lobster grilled cheese, Hot L, Provincetown

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    Lobster carnage, Moby Dick's, Wellfleet

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    Lobster roll, Moby Dick's, Wellfleet

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    Fried lobster tails, The Mayflower, Provincetown

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    Lobster rangoons, The Coffee Pot, Provincetown

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    Warm Maine lobster with caramelized summer corn, Eastern Standard, Boston

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    Lobster roll, Governor Bradford, Provincetown

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    Surf and Turf Burger, Local 186, Provincetown

  • Yarn Bombing in Ptown

    (originally published on August 31, 2012)

    When I first saw these around town, I thought, "Oh how fun! Someone made cute little sweaters for the sign posts!" And then I learned that it was a thing. Yarnbombing has been around for a few years apparently, as I learned on Wiki. Whether it is political or just creative, it's added another level of whimsy to the town.

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  • An Afternoon of Art by the Sea

    (originally published on August 30. 2012)

    On Sunday, N and I went to see the Motherwell exhibit, Beside the Sea  -- marking the 70th anniversary of his first visit to Ptown -- at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum. I remember when the building was dark and cramped. It's now uber modern and light and airy with terrific large gallery space. For a small town, this museum is rather impressive.

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    This is all I can share of the exhibit, as no photographs were allowed. If you have an opportunity to go, please do. Robert Motherwell was longtime resident of Ptown and created large amounts of work here. It's always amazing to me how much creativity is inspired by this place. 

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    A nailhead figure greeted us on the way in.

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    The other major exhibit was a showing of art from the Long Point Gallery, the longest continuing cooperative gallery in Ptown (from 1977-1998.) It was completely self-run by member artists, and the spirit of which continued the art colony tradition of Ptown. Here's the sign that hung out front.

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    Photographs were allowed in these galleries. A few views for you to get a sense of the place.

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    Provincetown Pier, Paul Resika

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    The Gothic VII, Judith Rothschild

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    Nocturnal, Michael Mazur

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    Lynching, New Orleans, Edward Giobbi

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    Ah, Winter!, Tony Vevers (I was immediately drawn to this work ... until I saw the title. I'd change it to, Ew, Winter!)

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    Man and Woman #1, Nora Speyer (The detail on this snake was incredible and the paint was so thick, it was practically three-dimensional.)

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    After we absorbed as much art as we could, we drove down to the far West End to take a look at Robert Motherwell's house, Sea Barn (at 630 Commercial Street). 

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    Only one house separates it from Norman Mailor's house. Imagine, just imagine, what that must have been like. Especially if you were the one who lived in the house in between them!

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  • 25: Swim for Life

    (originally published on August 28, 2012)

    Sunday was a gorgeous day in Ptown. Perfect for walking into town in the morning, no one around. People were either sleeping off their Saturday night, at the beach, or hanging out with the Vice President who was at the Pilgrim Monument for a fundraiser. I took a ton of photos, bought a space hat for my costume for the Space Camp Party at Camp Mighty, and grabbed an iced coffee to drink on the deck of the Aqua Bar while watching the boats move in and out of the harbor and the sun sparkling on the water. Although I could feel the weight of summer ending and the deep sadness that always accompanies it, late August can be pretty amazing.

    In a couple of weeks, Ptown will hold it's 25th annual Swim for Life. As part of the celebration, 2,500 prayer ribbons collected over the years are displayed in front of the town library. Each one is dedicated to someone who has been honored, both in life and in death. Most have died from AIDS. I took some time out of my morning to photograph them and read through the messages. I'd like to share a few with all of you.

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  • Provincetown Carnival 2012: A Space Odyssey

    (originally published on August 17, 2012)

    Yesterday was the best day of the year in Ptown!  A few scenes ...

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    And the parade begins ...

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    Miss Richfield holds court.

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    Scarbie (remember when I was her assistant?)! She turned it out.

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    The Hat Sisters with their alien sea horse hats!

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    Miss Universe contestants.

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    That's my mom in the corner. People loved her Elroy costume (we all went as the Jetsons, but that's another post.)

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    The Marc Jacobs float.

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    Next year's theme: Vegas!

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    The aftermath of the parade ...

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    And the drive home down Commercial Street (I HIGHLY recommend you do not try this yourself. Experienced Ptown drivers only.) Mom was like the Queen with everyone commenting on her hat. N got some more beads and a "You're sexy" from one fan. And I shoulder danced with a guy outside the car. Perfect ending to a perfect day.

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  • 5th (and Final) End of the World Bar Hop

    (originally published on August 3, 2012)

    Five years ago, several of us sat in the back room at Fanizzi's and hatched a plan. The evening began at Victor's -- when we arrived, ready for dinner, we were told they were completely booked. After eating snacks at the bar and sipping a cocktail or two, we landed across town, ordering a second round of snacks and cocktails. "We should do this every year!" And thus, an annual family tradition that has come to be known simply as "The Bar Hop," was born.

    We've been to many fine establishments over the years and even survived torrential downpours during the year of the "Splash Dash Bar Hop." Five years is a big deal. And 2012 is the end of it all. So we kicked it up a notch ... with tshirts! Here's the front ...

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    And here's the back ...

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    The evening began at Napi's with good cheer and good snacks.

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    We then stopped in at The Squealing Pig (yes, Bostonians, it's the same Pig of Med School area popularity. Except they have oysters).

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    Third stop was the Top of the Pot.

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    Our tshirts were very popular. We had people coming up to us all night either telling us how much they loved them or asking why it was the final bar hop (one of us would just turn around so they could read the back of the shirt.) I also could hear people reading the text on the shirt out loud to each other and making comments and laughing. 

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    After our third stop, we realized we needed some food and as we could see the Surf Club from the deck of the Pot, we scooted across the beach into their back entrance and plopped ourselves at the bar.

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    Just so happens that the opening ceremony of the Olympics was starting so we were able to see most of it from our bar stools.

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    And the final stop of the evening, as tradition dictates, is the Governor Bradford. If you are ever in Ptown you must go there for Drag Karaoke. The place is filled with all sorts of people (meaning if you are uncomfortable in a gay bar, you'll be just fine here.) Most patrons are pretty impaired by the time they get up and sing so it can be hilarious. One poor guy, Mousy, was so out of it that he stood up on stage with his mouth open while Dana (below) sang his song for him. Later, he was seen curled up on the floor in front of the speaker.

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    Lest we end up like Mousy, we called it a night and headed home hopeful for next year's theme: "The Mayans Were Wrong."

  • How I Became a Drag Queen's Assistant

    (originally published on July 31, 2012)

    I'm back at work. But I still have lots to share with you from my vacation including a surprising evening at Wednesday bingo night. You may remember that last summer we ventured over to the local UU for our first foray into the Ptown bingo scene. Well, they switched it up this year!

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    It is now hosted by the nicest drag queen in town, Scarbie. We bonded on our way in and she complemented me on my golden tan. Loved her immediately!

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    Isn't she fabulous? She has a ton of awesome hats like this and outfits to match, which she wears around town promoting her show.

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    Right after I took this photo of Scarbie, I started Instagramming it, completely focused on my iPhone. When I looked up, I noticed everyone was staring at me and my family was telling me to get up there. Apparently, Scarbie had asked who that "sweet little thing is" and asked that I join her at the front of the room to "check her balls." Which I did. I even got to do a little Vanna White while I was up there! She also asked me to pull the drawer so all the balls could drop and go into the bingo bin. It was FUN!

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    We also got free popcorn!

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    I especially love the indescribable joy of daubing. I've decided I'm going to buy a few for myself and daub, daub, daub. I love those little colored circles!

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    None of us won, but I did get something new to put on my resume! If my day job doesn't work out, you can find me in the basement of the UU, shouting out "B 13. B 13."

  • Paddle!

    (originally published on July 26, 2012)

    Whenever people in Provincetown do something -- anything -- they go all out. And everyone else cheers them on. No matter what it is. It's one of the things I love about this place.

    So this week, Whale Week (actual whales -- it's not like Bear Week) is no different. It is sponsored by one of my favorite organizations, the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies. These are the people who pioneered marine mammal disentanglements and who head out into some of the most dangerous of conditions to save whales. 

    As part of their efforts to raise awareness about marine debris issues, they created the Build Your Own Paddleboat competition. We gathered along the edge of the Ptown Harbor to watch, not sure what to expect.

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    Points were awarded for multiple things, like use of actual marine debris in the building of the vessel ...

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    Aesthetics were key -- which included costumes. I LOVE his!

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    Yep, that's a tux. And he wore it to paddle.

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    And, of course, buoyancy was important. No pre-testing permitted!! 

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    They then raced out to the green kayaks in this photo and back. This one was trouble from the start but it had a pink flamingo so I was rooting for it!

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    Classy Trash and his tuxedo.

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    Looks good, right? Not so much. They were last to get back to shore. But they did raise the most money!

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    See the guy in the background riding the bike? We all could not stop laughing because he was just splashing himself in the face the whole time. His partner is in the water pushing the thing.

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    And the guy with my favorite outfit didn't even leave this spot. The "boat" fell apart!

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    Some of the first to return ...

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    In the end, Classy Trash won the duct tape trophy and bragging rights. We decided as soon as my engineer sister finishes our Jetsonmobiles for Carnival Parade, she can get started on designing a boat for me and the Mr. for next year's competition. And I'll work on some fabulous costumes! There will be sequins and glitter and neon and ...

  • Breakfast at Devon's

    (originally published on July 24, 2012)

    After two days lounging at the pool, the Mr. and I decided to spend the day in town. We started off with a wonderful breakfast at Devon's.

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    Most people like to sit outside and watch the people traffic on Commercial Street. Those tables were all taken so we sat inside ...

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     ... at a lovely table by the back window. The Mr.'s blue shirt and blue eyes matched the interior. How cute is he?

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    And here's our view through the screen window. There was a light sea breeze drifting through. They also had great music playing -- a little Cut Copy to go with the airy feel of the place. (You can leave that playing while you read the rest of the post.)

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    His and hers morning brew ...

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    The Mr. ordered the Portuguese omelet with linguica, roasted red peppers, onions, and cheddar with sourdough toast. Yum!

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    I had the cornmeal pancakes with wild blueberries. And applewood smoked bacon. The liquid fat still bubbling there, as you can see.

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    We then spent the day walking around town, filled with energy from our wonderful breakfast!

  • The House on Center Street

    (originally pulished on JUly 22, 2012)

    Across the street from the Provincetown Library is this house that I've been fascinated with forever. There is so much going on in the yard outside!

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    There are large statues everywhere. From a large form of Ganesh with what appears to be a small cat praying to it at the base ...

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    ... to this fascinating representation of some sort of winged man with a crystal ball ...

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     ... to another winged creature that could be straight out of The Wizard of Oz.

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    There's also a giant mosaic snake slithering up the side of the building by the front door.

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    And a cute, kinda out of place, cat fence.

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    The stone wall  -- my favorite part -- was clearly meticulously created with these wonderful gems, stones, and miscellany added to it.

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    How cool is that?

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    While I was in the library, I took a photo from above.

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    I would love to see the rest of the place up close. Can you imagine what is inside??

  • Provincetown Library

    (originally published on July 21, 2012)

    I promised earlier this summer that I would investigate the newly renovated library in Ptown. On one of those 90+ degree days last week, I ducked inside to see what it was like.

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    As nothing in this town is like anywhere else (in fact, the town's tagline is "Like Nowhere Else"), there is a giant sailing vessel inside.

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    Built in the 70s and 80s, the half-scale model of the Rose Dorothea dominates the interior. You can see it from every level of the library (except the first floor, be sure to go up the stairs!).

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     I love how it expands beyond the space of the central room.

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    It wouldn't be a Provincetown building without an art gallery. This is Harry Kemp, the Poet of the Dunes, and the namesake of a road we travel every day, Harry Kemp Way.

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    And, finally, there is the view from the third floor windows looking onto Commercial Street and into Provincetown Harbor, where the fishing fleet is docked.

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    This is definitely a well used library. There were people everywhere inside, looking for books, working on computers, sitting in the chairs reading -- even on a hot day in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week. I can totally see myself bringing my laptop to this place and spending some time working here. Couldn't be more inspiring!

  • Dead Pilgrims

    (originally published on July 12, 2012)

    The Winthrop Street Cemetery was my last stop on the Secret Garden Tour on Sunday. Not because it was the actual last stop but because I was about to pass out from the heat. This part of town is completely sheltered from those wonderful ocean breezes and I found myself calling my mother to pick me up (which probably hasn't happened since seventh grade.)

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    During the tour, one of the shuttle drivers told me that this is where the people who died on the Mayflower were buried. So when I arrived at the checkpoint, I asked very excitedly, "Where are the pilgrims?" Blink. Blink. Seriously? It's hot. Just show me the pilgrims.

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    It's really kind of a cool place --a small scrub pine forest mixed with sand and really old graves.

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    There's the pilgrims!

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    Hmmm ... so we don't actually know if they were buried here. We're just guessing.

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    In any case, I am glad I saw it, even as I crouched in the tiny shade print of a crabapple tree, sweat dripping down my back, bugs biting at my knees, waiting for my ride. The smell of the pine needles alone brings me back to my childhood on the Cape. It is inextricably entwined with this place and must have been exactly what those dead pilgrims smelled when they were here. Or there. Or over there. Or wherever they may actually have been.

  • Breakfast at Chach

    (originally publised on July 10, 2012)

    On Sunday morning, mom, N, and I went to breakfast at Chach. Known mostly to the locals and those who spend a lot of time in Ptown (um ... me), it is a place somewhat out of the way and not easy for daytrippers to get to on Shankpainter Road. It fills up quickly and we were lucky enough to get there right before the rush. A brief, mouthwatering pictorial (hope you've had your breakfast already) ...

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    Eggs benedict

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    Mushroom, feta, and spinach omelette

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    Huevos rancheros (These were mine! All mine!)

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    We left three clean plates in our wake.

  • Secret Garden Tour 2012

    (originally published on July 9, 2012)

    Sunday was a glorious (yet hot) day in Ptown for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum Annual Secret Garden Tour (the 15th). This year we were shuttled to the West End behind Bradford Street, an area I have spent zero time in. I had no idea all of this was back there.

    I love looking at other people's homes. (Oh, come on! You know you do, too.) Houses are small and compact here so homeowners have to be really creative with their space. Anyone can decorate a big home with a big yard -- you don't have to make as many choices. But with a small home you are forced to curate your life. Some photos of the details ...

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  • Let Sleeping Sharks Lie, or How to End Up on Dateline

    (originally published on June 28, 2012)

    One of the first things you learn when you move to Provincetown is to respect the tides. (Wait ... did I mention I lived there full-time for three summers?) I learned that lesson the hard way in a scarring and traumatic life experience that involved sea gull attacks (never go near them when they are nesting!), getting lost in the brambles around the lighthouse on Long Point because I forgot to note what the path back looked like, and SWIMMING with my gear across a flooded portion of the breakwater, certain that a shark was about to attack. (And wishing I had listened to my mother, who told me to be careful.)

    This particular little stretch of land has taught me some huge life lessons over the years. Every year I hike out to this spot to see what Mama Nature has in store for us. Most of the 20 years of coming here, I've been able to cross this stretch without too much trouble. The best years are the ones where I can just take off my flip flops and walk across, ankle deep. The worst are those like this ...

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    These photos were taken at exactly low tide, I might add, so it will never be more shallow or less wide than this. That water is cold, it is deeper than you think, and the sand under it is soft. I promise you, if you attempt to cross, you will be knee deep in sand and up to your chest in water. (Information also learned the hard way.) One year a woman was trapped out here while the water rose around her and she had to be rescued by boat.

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    It may look like nothing but it is a huge barrier to the rest of the beach, my favorite beachcombing grounds, my tract of solitude (no one goes that far out), and the final scattering place for my Nana's ashes. Last summer, I gave my Nana a nice view of Race Point Lighthouse and the location where hundreds of migrating birds land at the end of the summer. She loved birds. To visit her, I'm going to have to get creative. And brave.

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    The other options for reaching that section of the beach involve a hike to Hatches Harbor via the Fire Road (my last trek there had me lost and fearing a featured appearance on Dateline), renting a kayak for the long trip in shark-infested waters, or a long, long walk from Race Point Beach (where I did see an actual 5 foot shark one year. Short story, long: Shark washed up on beach. Looked dead. Fellow beachgoer touched it. Shark came back to life and swung around almost biting said beachgoer. Me running as fast as I could up the dune and refusing to come down to the beach. Ever again.)

    So ... the best option? We'll see. I'm sure it will make a great post. Or a really good Dateline story.

  • Galo de Barcelos, or dead roosters

    (originally published on June 27, 2012)

    One of the most recognizable emblems of Portugal is the Galo de Barcelos (remember I'm multilingual). Provincetown paints them all over their roads for the festival. I found a few versions around town of the magical dead rooster of Portuguese lore.

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    Love the party hat crown on this one.

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    And the Roman soldier's helmet (with smiley face) here.

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    I found this one outside someone's home near my mom's house. Cute and tiny!

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    I live in a community where they don't let kids write on the sidewalks and paved pathways with chalk. I love that Ptown paints on their own roads!

  • Blessing of the Fleet

    (originally published on June 26, 2012)

    On Sunday, the Provincetown Portuguese Festival continued with the 65th annual Blessing of the Fleet. I'm not Catholic, or even remotely knowledgable about the saints and blessings and religious aspect of this, so let's just go with the concepts of good luck, prosperity, and protection for the fishermen in their dangerous occupation.

    Gosh, I love this photo. If only there were a drag queen in the crowd, it would have made it just perfect. And maybe someone eating a lobster roll.

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    These noisemakers were fascinating. I wonder where I can get one? 

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    I love how the guy is looking right at me and smiling. Probably because I hopped out into the middle of the street to take it.

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    After the procession, the fishing fleet heads out one by one to Long Point to get in line for the blessing. 

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    This boat won best decorations (or something like that), which also came with the honor of housing the statue (which we called the Pope -- not Catholic, remember, so I can say that) for the actual journey.

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    Love their traditional costumes, but it was so hot. That must have been sweating.

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    The fleet heading out to Long Point.

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    We all piled onto the old Provincetown ferry to view the fleet parade while each one was blessed as it passed. 

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    Look closely! Someone is proposing! We cheered wildly, of course.

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    Waiting in line to get blessed.

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    This is the last dory fisherman in the fleet. He rows out in his orange dory and does everything by hand with lines. Amazing, isn't it? Hard work!

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    And this is the oldest boat in the fleet, built in the 1920s!

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    I felt very lucky to participate as a spectator this year. I tried to imagine what it was like when the fleet was at it's largest. 65 years of tradition. Humbling.

  • Provincetown Portuguese Festival

    (originally published on June 25, 2012)

    It is easy to forget that Provincetown is a Portuguese fishing village. With all the emphasis on artists, gay culture, and alternative everything, the former bread-and-butter of the town is often overshadowed. For one weekend a year, however, it is celebrated in grand Provincetown style. The town is decorated with Portuguese flags ... 

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    The festival runs for several days with a ton of activities -- concerts, dances, parades, and lots of food.

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    My mom got in on the action!

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    There was a parade on Saturday. Actually it was really 5 mini parades with 15 minute intervals in between. Not sure how it got so spread out.

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    But it was worth waiting all that downtime in between. Smokey the Bear joined us! 

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    Are those girls smoking cigarettes? 

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    There is a wonderful Portuguese food court all day on Saturday, too.

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    Linguica ...

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    ... and chorizo (chorico in Portuguese, I'm so multilingual) with peppers and onions.

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    Mom had the Portuguese soup (predominantly kale).

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    And we both had a linguica roll. I had the cerveja.

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    For some reason, this sign cracks me up. I especially like the wine-swilling smiley face and "OK" at the bottom.

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    There's a lot more from the weekend to share. More coming this week!

  • Provincetown Fishing Fleet

    (originally published on October 18, 2011)

    This past Sunday was a perfect October day. The Mr. and I had lunch outside and walked around town before we had to take the last -- and I mean THE last --boat back to Boston. While we were waiting in line, I noticed that the entire fishing fleet was docked (not something you see in the summer), so I wandered around and took photos to share with all of you. 

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    And the lobster boats ...

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    As we left, I noticed that all the sailboats were gone from the slips in the harbor. And they weren't out sailing. I was a little sad but I also felt like I had been given a wonderful gift to be able to see all the working boats in one place. Love this town!

  • Side Streets of Provincetown

    (originally published on September 26, 2011)

    One of things I wanted to do this summer was to walk all the side streets in Provincetown between Commercial Street and Bradford Street. There are 43 streets, some of them private lanes, not much more than driveway-size.

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    It took me four different outings to finish them all but I did it! I started at the ends and worked my way towards the center of town. And along the way, I found so many interesting things. Here's a sampling ...

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    A pink bicycle affixed to the outside of a second-floor deck.

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    A fun little seating area with all blue and one yellow chair.

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    A substantial lion statue (actually, there were two.)

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    A hidden, mosaic-like painting of the Pilgrim Monument on the side of a garage.

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    A metal ship AND a woodpecker on a street lamp.

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    A gorgeous gate.

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    A view like this down to the water on every street.

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    Beautiful doors.

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    A porch about to fall apart. 

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    A metal shark.

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    Paintings for sale. Honor system.

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    A wonderful garage.

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    Creative brickwork.

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    Someone's love of surfing.

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    Flowers. Everywhere.

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    An interesting fence.

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    A lobster doorknocker.

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    Color in the subtlest of places.

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    And done. Still amazed by all I discovered! 

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  • Provincetown Carnival Parade 2011

    (originally published on September 14, 2011)

    This post is long overdue. Because I tried to make a movie. And by "movie," I mean a slide show with music. But it crashed my machine ... and crashed my machine ... and crashed my machine. So, until I upgrade my laptop, play this song while you scroll through these pictures. And imagine the most fun, most joyful day ... that ends on the beach, of course!

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    This is my mom dancing with her new boyfriend! Doesn't she look happy? I love this photo!

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  • Dogs at the Swim for Life

    (originally published on September 13, 2011)

    Last year, Provincetown was named America's dog-friendliest place. No matter where you go, there are adorable -- and lovingly spoiled -- dogs. Here's a few from the Swim for Life ...

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  • Swim for Life

    (originally published on September 12, 2011)

    The weekend after Labor Day I have dubbed Summer Extension Weekend. Even though the summer crowds are gone and my pool isn't usually open, its still summer-y in the first weekends of September. I might even say it's perfect. The skies are bright blue, the sunshine is warm, and there is a nice crisp cool breeze in the air. It's also the weekend of one of my favorite events, the Swim for Life.

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    Hundreds of swimmers participate every year, swimming from Long Point to the Boatslip, a distance of 1.4 miles. I am always in awe of their stamina and bravery. The water can be choppy. Although there have been no Great White sightings this far up the Cape, I have seen seals out there. And where there are seals ... yeah, you know.

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    The event raises money for AIDS, women's health and the community. These prayer ribbons line the entrance and the entire back deck of the Boatslip.

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    Trampolina joined us this year. She looks prepared.

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    Swimmers' gear ... so organized.

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    Love the medical station next to the deck chairs.

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    There is a lot of cheering, which is the fun part. I love clapping for all of them!

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    One of the first swimmers to arrive. He looks fit to me.

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    It is Provincetown, remember. 

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    This year the paddlers' flotilla did an excellent job keeping the swimmers corralled. Usually there are a lot more that end up far afield from the Boatslip.

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    The drum beat is great! I've often wondered if the swimmers can hear it all the way in. I did overhear one of the swimmers say it was like being in your own emerald bubble out there. Except at the beginning when you get kicked in the face.

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    And in the end, all were safe ... and dry.

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  • Fanizzi's

    (originally published on September 12, 2011)

    One of our favorite restaurants in Ptown is Fanizzi's. We've been eating here before it was Fanizzi's (anyone remember when it was Pucci's?) and have celebrated many a life event here. The location is like no other! 

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    At high tide, it feels like you are surrounded by water on three sides. We opened that window shortly after I took this photo. I love the cool sea breeze. In fact, I often wish I could just curl up and take a nap right here. 

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    I ordered the Tropopolitan, which was a tasty tropical twist on a cosmo.

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    We started with the Asian potsticker appetizer special. Crunchy and salty. Yum!

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    The Mr. had the New York strip with a burgundy mushroom sauce, asparagus, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

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    And the rest of us ordered the scrumptious mustard nut crusted cod. It's definitely one of our favorites!

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    Fanizzi's is in the far east end so its usually devoid of daytrippers and the bar has an awesome water view. Every few years a storm takes out some piece of the place. And every time, they build it back and we can enjoy our little piece of heaven in the water. Have I mentioned I'd move in here?

  • Gallery Stroll Night in Ptown

    (originally published on September 3, 2011)

    Friday nights are Gallery Stroll nights in the East End of Provincetown. Last night, the Mr. and I left the house around dusk to participate in this summer tradition. Around that time of night the sky is a lovely shade of pink. As the sun fades, a warm glow emanates from the galleries. It was a bit crisp last night and we both wore sweatshirts. Normally, this sends me into a state of panic but I felt really cozy. The Mr. and I spent a lot of time viewing Anne Packard's work -- she really captures the vast open spaces of water and air around Ptown. The web site doesn't do her work justice and you should see her art in person. Yet another reason to visit this fantastic town!

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  • Jimmy's Hideaway

    (originally published on August 7, 2011)

    On our last vacation evening in Ptown, we finally had dinner at Jimmy's Hideaway. We've stopped by many a time, only to be told there was no room at the inn. This year, we made a ... RESERVATION. And we were seated at the best table in the house -- in the back room by the window with a lovely view of the garden and the harbor beyond.

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    These adorable little bits of art were right by the doorway.

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    We started off with a couple of appetizers -- tofu wings fried and tossed with house made hot sauce. I think I was the one at the table who liked these the most. They were really good!

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    Everyone else devoured the mini beef wellingtons with mushroom duxelle and a roasted shallot garlic demi. 

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    I ordered the Portuguese cod -- pan seared and served over basmati rice and topped with linguica, kale, kidney beans, and roasted tomatoes. It was hearty and totally delicious.

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    The Mr. had the oven roasted pork tenderloin with a mango and ginger pan gravy.

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    N ordered the lamb special.

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    And mom enjoyed the free range organic Statler chicken breast with a herbed lemon and sage rub in a roasted shallot au jus. 

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    We ended the meal with a yummy key lime tart.

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    Jimmy's was well worth the wait. I'd even make another reservation!

  • 4th Annual Family Barhopping Night

    (originally published on August 4, 2011)

    Four years ago, we started a family barhopping tradition in Ptown. We try to mix it up every year by going to different places. Last year we held the East End Edition, which quickly turned into the Splash Dash. We chose more centrally located bars this time around and, although it called for rain, we managed to escape Splash Dash II.

    We started out low-key at John Dough's upstairs, outdoor bar.

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    We had a great view of Commercial Street and did a lot of people-watching.

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    We also usually order some appetizers and snacks at each location. Below are the scrumptious Asian wings.

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    While everyone else ordered beer, I had a mango-ginger daiquiri. 

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    We then moved to Saki, a sushi and sake bar that is more like a Boston lounge than a Ptown bar. Its located in a building that used to be the Church of the Pilgrims. Love that!

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    The Mr. and I both had saki flights. He had the Honjozo Ginjo flight.

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    And I had the Junmai flight.

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    N. had some sort of yuzu drink and a very cool cat cup. With a purple twisty straw.

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    We then moved on to Napi's. They have a small bar so we weren't sure if we'd be able to get a seat. Its an awesomely festive and cozy place.

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    As luck would have it, we ended up with four chairs at the bar, some lobster rangoons, a few scallop wontons, and some drinks.

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    We then ended the night at the Governor Bradford, where I always order a mudslide. And where they have drag karaoke every night. This particular night was rowdy and the packed crowd had clearly started much earlier than we had. 

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    Next year will be our 5th Annual so we're getting Tshirts!

  • Bingo!

    (originally published on July 29, 2011)

    Wednesday nights are bingo nights at the local UU. Curiosity and the Mr.'s observation, "it's gambling," drew us in. Things are always more fun in Ptown so we had high hopes for a raucous good time.

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    For $1, you get a dauber in the color of your choosing. This is by far the most important choice you'll make of the evening. 

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    I choose teal (which looks like light blue in this photo) and the Mr. chose green. I cannot share with you the joy that holding that little dauber in my hand brought me. And then daubing away at each number called, hoping to win! 

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    I didn't win. The Mr., who has a lucky streak like no other, of course won! At intermission (yep, they take a BREAK), they ran a 50/50 game where if you have the number called on your card, that card is out. We all had to stand so if all your cards are out, you sit. And guess who was the last one standing? It was down to the wire, a showdown between him and one other guy. I clapped and cheered when his opponent sunk into his seat. 

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    We also got free popcorn!

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    It was a fun way to spend a few hours (minus some mean ladies at our table who spoiled my fun for a brief moment) and would definitely go back again. If only to use that dauber.

  • Fishing!

    (originally published on July 28, 2011)

    Yesterday, I FINALLY went sea fishing. It's been on my list year after year, but somehow I never found the time to do it. I have to say, I'm totally proud of myself for embracing the full experience. I baited all but the first hook myself, pausing slightly when the first eyeball popped out of the sand eel, but soldiering on from there. I only caught a crab (no comments, please). But it was THIS big!

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    The bait ... in through the eyeballs and hook around on the gills.

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    Like so ...

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    We started fishing for fluke, which required mastering the baiting and releasing of the line to the bottom. Got that down pretty quickly.

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    Lots of fluke were caught but only one keeper that was 18 inches. Not this one.

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    We then went on to fish for bass and blues, which required the mastering of a new technique, jigging. It's nothing more than moving your rod up and down to make the lure look like its a fish. Got that down, too. However, because the shelf drops quickly here from 40 to 125 ft, you have to drop your line the minute the first mate tells you too. The most stress I've had in two weeks.

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    Giant sand eel ...

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    We went back to fluke fishing after no one caught a bass or blue. Not one bite!

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    Some scenes from my rod ...

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    And THEN, the Mr. caught a fish! A tiny one, but it still counts. 

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    Next time, I really want to catch something so I know what that is like. Maybe even do some sport fishing! 

  • Sailing. Takes Me Away.

    (originally published on July 24, 2011)

    It was super hot on Friday. Like really, really hot. Too hot to go to the beach (there's sharks in them there waters), too hot to go to the pool (and soak in water floating a slick of other people's sunscreen on top), too hot to stay home (just a small air conditioner). So I headed out on the water where the promise of a 20 degree drop was waiting.

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    There are a lot of boats to choose from and I had not been on the Rachel B. Jackson yet so, despite her Disney show-sounding name, she was the winner. A few scenes from the sail ...

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    The Kalmar Nyckel arrived for its annual two week visit to Ptown.

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    And I just loved this red row boat against the blue fishing boat. To each his own.

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    It was great to cool off for a few hours and enjoy the slow, calm sail around the harbor. Glad I found a short reprieve.

  • Sea Rescue

    (originally published on July 23, 2011)

    As has been the tradition on Thursdays, the National Park Service holds a demonstration of life-saving practices -- held at the Old Harbor Museum at Race Point Beach -- that were used before there were those amazing modern search and rescue helicopter teams in the Coast Guard.

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    These life-saving stations used to be located up and down the coast of the Cape. And put to good use. There have been over 3,000 shipwrecks off the coast of the Cape in the last several hundred years. 3,000!

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    This is the guy in charge. Forgot what he's called, I was too distracted watching what they were all doing.

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    The station was manned by 7-8 local boys who lived there 10 months out of the year, 7 days a week, with the occasional day off. On Thursdays, in each life-saving station up and down the Cape, they held this drill that they were about to share with us. Each one had to line up and describe what their jobs were as they often had to do them in the pitch black, with driving wind, in the nastiest of conditions -- picture the Perfect Storm or opilio crab season on the Bering Sea.

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    First step was to bury the sand anchor.

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    The life-saving cart.

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    I know this looks like a toy but its not! They used this cannon to fire the rope at the mast out at sea so that they could save people using this crazy method below. If you miss, that's it. They all die. 

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    This lucky guy had to run out after the rope and tie it to the mast. I somehow missed who would actually do this if they could not reach the ship from their lifesaving boats from shore, which would be the only reason they would use this method.

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    They'd use the ropes and pulleys to bring the people on the ship to safety. We all clapped when he landed safely on the ground -- its such an amazing team effort!

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    Afterwards, we had a chance to wander around the station. I think I was the first one in there. I was so curious to see inside.

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    Quite the view!

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    The kids helped carry the ladder back into the station. It was very cute to watch. Although there was that inevitable finger pinch followed by tears.

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    I LOVE this porch. So Edward Hopper (note: follow that link, it's pretty neat.)

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    They only do this demonstration two places in the United States -- somewhere in North Carolina and here, in Provincetown. Adding yet one more reason to the long list of why this place is special.

  • East End Flats, Provincetown

    (originally published on July 22, 2011)

    One of the things on my *new list this summer was to walk both flats at low tide at either end of Provincetown. A few weeks ago I did the West End. And yesterday I spent the morning exploring the East End flats.

    I started out with Tipper so she could spend a little time on the beach, which she loves. She's a bit of a prissy thing so I was shocked when she went prancing through the water and was practically running across the flats. She has a lot of fur and was totally wet and covered with sand by the time I returned her to my mom. 

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    And then off I went. As you can see, its a very popular place to explore.

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    And it was hazy-foggy or something. I'm standing in the middle of Cape Cod Bay here. Provincetown in front of me. Truro behind me.

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    There were such interesting things to discover.

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    I think Tipper and I will need to make another excursion here before the summer ends! 

  • Beach Explorer

    (originally published on July 17, 2011)

    Yesterday I hit pay dirt. Halfway into my morning beach walk, I happened upon a section that was covered with tons of interesting organic things that seemed to have been dislodged from somewhere deep in the ocean. In my almost 20 years of walking this stretch, it was a first. And I was THRILLED. I ran (yes, I ran) up the beach to the dunes to drop my bag and my towel, sprayed on some serious bug spray (nasty greenheads!) and ran back down to the shore line.

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    I know most people may find my interest odd but I am always amazed to see what the ocean brings me. I love wondering, what is THAT? And, how long has that been in the ocean? And, what happened to that fish? And, is that a shark tooth? 

    As you can see, there was so much to explore. And the tide was coming in.

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    And, tomorrow, it will probably all be gone. Washed away and replaced with other bits for me to discover. Can't wait!

  • PAAM Secret Garden Tour *part one

    (originally published on July 13, 2011)

    This past weekend was the Provincetown Art Association and Museum Secret Garden Tour. They've been doing this for 14 years but this is only my second time. It is astonishing what the creative people in this town have done with the mostly small spaces available to them.

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  • Low Tide in the West End, Provincetown

    (originally published on July 7, 2011)

    This past weekend I did something I've been wanting to do for a long time. It wasn't planned. The Mr. and I got to the pool, arranged our towels in our regular spot, and as I started to sit down, I noticed it was low tide and there were people almost half way out into the harbor. "I'm going for a walk." And off I went. 

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  • Fourth of July Parade, Provincetown

    (originally published on July 5, 2011)

    Provincetown knows how to celebrate. It does it every day. Most people are overjoyed to be here and happy to be whoever and whatever they want to be. No judgment. In fact, you'll probably be applauded and cheered. So when there is an actual holiday, this town pulls it out. A few scenes from yesterday's Fourth of July parade, as viewed from the East End ...

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    It starts out looking like any other parade in small town America.

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    And then you notice something is a little different.

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    Interspersed with your typical solid core of fire engines ...

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     ... is Miss Richfield 1981 on her scooter wearing white patent leather platform boots. (We went to see her show last summer and N ended up on stage as part of the show. She's still traumatized. And the rest of us still laugh.)

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    And, yes, we have masons. Really old masons, chartered by Paul Revere.

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    And then ...  it's truly a Ptown parade!

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    We followed them down Commercial Street, people dancing the whole way.

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    And this is the essence of Ptown, captured in one shot. She was playing "Grenade" by Bruno Mars on her accordion, which we sang along with gleefully.

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  • Provincetown International Film Festival 13

    (originally published on June 23, 2011)

    Last week was one of my favorite weeks of the year. The Provincetown International Film Festival has become a family tradition and we love pouring over the schedule each year the minute it comes out and enjoying ourselves as we bop back and forth from film to film. Its a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere and the films are top-notch.

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    Kathleen Turner, Q & A after The Perfect Family

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    Whaler's Wharf Cinema

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    For the past fews year, I've purchased patron passes so that we can avoid the lines and the stressful fight for good seats. And we can change our minds at the last minute about what we want to see. Plus we get fun swag.

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    Albert Maysles (of Grey Gardens fame) being interviewed by Anne Sundberg,director of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work from last year's festival circuit.

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    Vera Farmiga

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    John Waters in a fetching skull print jacket.

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    Darren Aronofsky

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    Here's the list of films I saw with my ranking and a brief synopsis with links to each film site if you want to see the trailers:

    • Jiro Dreams of Sushi - 5: sushi, gorgeous food photography, and a story about really, really loving your job
    • Buck - 5: my favorite doc of the festival about an amazing soul who has a special gift with horses
    • Hot Coffee - 5: be prepared for some shocking stories and images in this doc about tort "reform"
    • Point Blank - 5: my favorite narrative of the festival, had me on the edge of my seat the entire time
    • Page One - 5: doc about The New York Times; David Carr is my new hero
    • Tabloid - 5: Errol Morris' new doc; the story is unbelievable!
    • The Perfect Family - 4: Kathleen Turner plays a woman who is up for Catholic Woman of the Year and struggles with her less than perfect Catholic family; funny and sad
    • Beginners -not balloted (but I would have given it a 4): a man who comes out at 75 and the impact his life choices have had on his son
    • Renee - 4: doc about a transgender tennis player
    • Hit So Hard - 4: doc about Hole's drummer Patty Schemel; great nostalgia for Gen-Xers
    • Higher Ground - 4: Vera Farmiga's directorial debut about faith
    • Project Nim - 4: doc about a chimp that was raised as a human child; it will crush you
    • Master Harold and the Boys - 4: based on the play about South Africa in the 50s
    • Mangus! - 3: dark comedy about a boy whose dream is to play Jesus in his school's production of Jesus Christ Spectacular (with John Waters in a cameo as Jesus)
    • Splinters - 3: doc about indigenous surfers in Papua New Guinea; really intriguing
    • On the Ice - 3: something happens on the ice but I can't tell you
    • Brighton Rock - 2: Helen Mirren and John Hurt wasted in this overly melodramatic film
  • Wednesday in Provincetown (+ Patio)

    (originally published on June 17, 2011)

    Wednesday turned out to be glorious in Provincetown. I took the morning boat over -- I got my favorite seat, a banana muffin, a cup of coffee, and settled in for the short jaunt over. At the very end of the trip we had a wonderful surprise. I knew as soon as they cut the engines that something was in the water and there she was, right next me! I yelled "WHALE!!," much to my own surprise and everyone else's, and ran outside to the deck. I was amazed to see how close she was to Long Point. You would have been able to see her easily from the shore.

    As usual, mom and Tipper were waiting to greet me on the dock in their usual spot. After our requisite drive down Commercial St and stop at Herring Cove (I need sand on my feet), we decided to enjoy the weather and eat outside at Patio.

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    Patio is right on Commercial Street and offers a perfect people-watching vantage point.

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    The Mocktail list was very clever.

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    Mocktails are not my thing, of course, and I ordered a chili passion fruit martini.

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    It was National Lobster Day (which I really think they need to move to July or August. Just sayin'.)

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    So I ordered the lobster grilled cheese, which was even better than I expected. The fresh tomatoes were really good with the lobster chunks. 

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    We then rambled down the street to Spiritus for some ice cream and ate it outside on the deck of the Aqua Bar, before wandering over to Gabriel's to pick up our film festival passes and swag bags. It was a great afternoon!

  • Heartbreak in Provincetown

    (originally published on May, 28, 2012)

    To know me, or to read this blog, is to know how much I love summer in Provincetown. One of the most important elements is the pool we go to every weekend and during our longer vacation weeks. The absolute best day at the pool is the Saturday of Memorial Weekend, which always feels like a well-choreographed reunion. We walk in. Dano, the bartender, makes some sarcastic remark. We then get hugs and handshakes. Dano shows us his latest toys (last year he got a bullhorn). We catch up on off season happenings (last year he went to Prague and showed us a picture of all the pool waiters who had ever worked for him, many of whom we knew.) We sit down in our usual chairs. The rest of the regulars show up and greet each other with hugs and kisses. Dano does his walk around checking for contraband food and beverages. Then he heads to the deep end of the pool where he starts his daily speech with "Welcome to the Provincetown Pool Bar and Grill..." and ends it with "Let's Party!"  We all cheer enthusiastically and the music begins ...

    So imagine when we walked in on Saturday and saw this.

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    I will admit my first impulse was to scale the fence, pull up a pool chair, and sit there anyway. When I realized I needed to consider alternatives, I wondered if I could convince the Mr. that he'd be perfectly fine at the Boatslip pool (be sure to click on that link.) Thinking there was a slim chance of that, we also considered the beach, which we quickly rejected for multiple reasons (and in that moment completely confirmed that we are Pool People.) I then remembered the Harbor Hotel, on the other side of town, had a pool. One phone call later and we were leaving our tears behind (and the sad empty pool) for a new adventure.

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    The pool at the Harbor Hotel is smaller and less "active" than our usual pool but we soon became enamored with some of the perks. It's more stylish -- turquoise and lime accents all around.

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    The bartender came around with cups of water for all of us and he was dressed in a nice turquoise shirt. More style points.

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    The drinks were better. The basil lemonade I had was made with vodka, lemon, and basil simple syrup. So refreshing! And it had a sprig of fresh basil in it.

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    The food choices are better. We considered ordering oysters and a bottle of champagne to show Dano what we were forced to do while the pool was closed.

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    As I bit into my lobster sliders, I started to think, "Maybe we should consider working in visits to this pool on a regular basis."

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    And are those real fruit bits in my peach daiquiri?

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    The smoked chicken quesadilla with caramelized onions and a jicama salad pushed me over the edge.

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    Even the fence is nicer. And the sign is spelled correctly.

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