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Archive for the ‘Kid-Friendly’ Category

Wow - if the 80s are back in fashion, then the Ice Cream Cafe's sign is really en vogue

If the 80s are back in fashion, then the Ice Cream Cafe's sign is really in vogue

As I sat on the porch at Ice Cream Cafe in Orleans, greedily demolishing my cone of Peppermint Stick, I wondered to myself if I had been too quick to declare, as I had done on this blog two months earlier, that Four Seas serves the best ice cream on Cape Cod.

When I visited the Ice Cream Cafe, I did so with a bit of childish skepticism. I knew my favorite ice cream place, and this wasn’t it, so why was I here? And when I saw the woman in front of me in line receive her ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone with a topping of gummy bears (making her cone look more like a Pop-Art installation than a delicious dessert) I questioned the sanity of both the scooper and the customer. Gummy bears on ice cream? Is nothing sacred? But it was my turn to order, so I stuck with a standard that I’ve been ordering at Four Seas since the age of three – Peppermint Stick in a sugar cone, and, for the love of all that is holy, please hold the gummy bears. (more…)

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blueberries 2

The large number of unripened blueberries at the Taylor-Bray Farm's blueberry patch means that they'll be be berries to pick for the next couple of weeks - at least!

We are thick into blueberry-picking season and I don’t know of any pick-your-own spot more beautiful than the one to be found at Taylor-Bray Farm – a gorgeous, 22-acre working farm in Yarmouth Port that dates back to 1639. I arrived at the farm early in the morning – tupperware in hand – ready to do some serious picking. As I walked the verdant fields toward the blueberry patch, with views of the Black Flat marsh stretched out ahead of me, I saw two cottontail bunnies hopping about and a multitude of swallows flitting and flying low along the grass. And then I saw the glorious blueberry bushes, standing at about 7 feet tall and heavy with both ripened and unrippened berries. Ah, yes, I thought. This is a perfect summer moment.

I got right into the patch, greedily picking all that my quickly working fingers could grab. My mind emptied and quieted. Much like a ninja (if a ninja picked his own fruit, which I’m sure he does), I was focused; I was quick; I was agile. As soon as my tupperware was full, I climbed into my car, my hands wrapped around my bounty. Then I looked at the time – an hour and a half had passed since I had arrived at Taylor-Bray Farm. Had it been that long? It only felt like a few minutes.

(more…)

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The bandstand was paid for and built by the volunteer amateur musicians who make up the Chatham Band.

Ever since the 1940s, families have gathered during the warm summer months on the gently sloping green of Kate Gould Park to attend the Chatham Band Concert. From 8 to 10 p.m., on Friday nights only, forty band members ranging in age from teens to octogenarians, all dressed snappily is red and blue uniforms, squeeze into the bandstand with their instruments in hand. As dusk settles over the town, the bandleader turns to face the crowd and shouts, “Hi-De-Ho!” and the audience merrily replies, “Hi-De-Ho!” and it is that call and response which begins every Chatham Band Concert, a tradition beloved by generation after generation. (more…)

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Happiness on the left, unbridled hysterical joy on the right

Two of the many faces at the Barnstable County Fair - Happiness on the left and unbridled, hysterical joy/terror on the right.

As I stood in line to enter the Barnstable County Fair, a thick blanket of grey clouds hung low in the sky. The wind was strong and rather cold. There was a slight drizzle, which threatened to turn into something more disruptive, and, because I arrived just as the fair gates were opening, the crowd was sparse. Yet, I was incredibly excited to be there. And, judging from all of the energized kids running around me, I was not alone in my state of ebullient anticipation. Since as long back as I can remember, the sight of a ferris wheel arching high up over the skyline has always thrilled me. The county fair – with its deep fried treats, rusted, neon-covered rides, moist-eyed farm animals, and exhausted, chain-smoking carnival workers – is an age-old summer tradition that I look forward to every year. (more…)

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Where am I? Provence? My eyes could not believe the color of these golden fields of heath at the Welfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Where am I? In a Van Gough painting? My eyes could not believe the color of these golden fields of heath at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

Once I was out walking around the salt marsh, heath, and ponds of the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, surrounded by the happiest birds on Cape Cod and some of the most profound beauty I’ve ever seen, it seemed impossible to me that I’d spent a lifetime on the Cape without ever coming here, but somehow (dumbly) I managed. But now that I’ve been here once, it will be difficult to keep me away from this incredible place. The Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, located off Route 6 in Wellfleet (close to the Wellfleet Drive-in) and part of Mass Audubon, a Massachusetts organization that fights for wildlife and habitat protection, is a hands down, must-visit destination on Cape Cod.  (more…)

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A busy but swiftly moving flow of people shared the pure pleasure of minigolfing amongst the pirate kitsch

A busy but swiftly moving flow of people shared the pure pleasure of minigolfing amongst the pirate kitsch

The poet Frank O’Hara wrote, “I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless I know there’s a subway handy, or a record store or some other sign that people do not totally regret life. It’s more important to confirm the least sincere. The clouds get enough attention as it is.” So, though I share neither O’Hara’s impulse to ignore those beautiful clouds in the sky, nor his genius, I too will pen an ode to the least sincere, to a land of turquoise dyed water, artificial grass, and terra cotta-colored boulders manufactured out of plaster. This is a love song to Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf in South Yarmouth. (more…)

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Rows of delicious lettuces at Coonamessett Farm

Rows of delicious lettuces at Coonamessett Farm

I knew I needed to rethink my food shopping routine. The majority of the produce that I’ve purchased at the supermarket has been a little lacking in the flavor department. Chilies with no bite, garlic with no zing, pathetic heads of lettuce, and cucumbers with so much wax coating that I’d rather have it in Madame Tussauds than in my salad. I’m not a locoavore – by any stretch of the imagination – and I’ve got a thumb so black that even jade plants die by my hands. So what is a lazy girl, who wants to taste a little food in her food, to do? The answer, I discovered, is Coonamessett Farm in East Falmouth – a hidden gem of bucolic splendor where you can pick your own fresh, flavorful, and delicious veggies, fruits, and flowers. (more…)

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