Apr 25, 2006

Second - the vacation

We walked the one-mile dyke over to Long Point in Provincetown, which is the very tip of Cape Cod. It was deserted; the only other couple on the beach was leaving as we trekked across the dunes towards the mouth of Plymouth Bay. In the distance, we could see Coast Guard vehicles near the Wood End Lighthouse. It's amazing to think that Long Point was once a fishing village – probably one of the earliest settlements in the New World. Not a trace of humanity remains. The homes were all "rafted" back to the mainland by the early 1800's.

As we napped on the beach, distant spouts indicated presence of whales. We could see a few clearly through binoculars. Then, we gasped – there was a whale about a thousand feet from the shore. The great beast just floated for several seconds and finally dipped and vanished out of sight. Thanks to the wonders of GIS, Chandreyee created a map to illustrate our adventure, click here to see the details.

Ethnic cuisine is a rarity on the Cape. There are a few Thai restaurants in Hyannis/Falmouth and Inaho at Yarmouth is said to serve the best sushi in Massachusetts, but that about sums up the diversity. Thus, we were surprised to find a South African restaurant on Commercial Street. I had earlier asked our gentle inn keepers about Portuguese restaurants in the area – in my warped imagination, Provincetown was still an old whaling town. The duo, Steve and Dave, were at a loss for words. They gently stumbled out the statement that the Portuguese had slowly left Provincetown (as the gay population in town reached the "tipping point" -- they did not say it, just my editorial). The re-gentrification is well noted in Karen Krahulik's "Provincetown". More on this on my next blog.

The Cape Cod Light and some other lighthouses in the area have been re-located owing to the sliding cliffs. We did a quick tour of the Cape Cod Light while waiting for our dinner reservations. The lighthouse is surrounded by a golf course, a fitting statement of the Cape's advertised image as a golfing paradise.

First - the realization

Whenever life turns a corner, I experience two contrasting emotions. Let me first explain what turning a corner means to me. It usually means that I experience first hand something that I never knew before or I may have understood to be true, but I had never previously stepped in those shoes. After the experience, the realization becomes complete and meaningful.

The first emotion is happiness, even though sometimes the realization, or the experience that leads to it, is not happy. The realization I am about to describe here is not an unhappy one. It's about a relaxing vacation. All these years, I have perceived vacations as periods of time were one wrung out the last drips of juice from each milli-second, every waking moment was spent in exploring new areas, immersing in different cultures, sight-seeing and so on. I usually need a few days after a vacation to recuperate. The term R&R was not in my dictionary. Then, we made good a plan that we have discussed often over the years. We spent the weekend in Provincetown.
Provincetown is not that far from home, and for me, even closer from work. A day trip there is quiet possible, we have done it often, but spending the weekend there amounted to a relaxing vacation. I will hasten to add that "relaxing vacation" did not mean curling up on a recliner atop a deck, and hopping in and out of the hot-tub (the B&B offered both the hot tub and the deck). While the wife slept in, I went for a 6-odd mile bike ride, mostly through majestic sand dunes, in the early morning hours. After breakfast, we spent the better part of five hours walking around on different beaches (more on that in my next blog). After a relaxed meal, we ambled along Commercial Street, and retired back to the B&B to watch a movie. When the wife fell asleep a little way through the film, I crept in to the afore-mentioned hot-tub with the book du jour. The evening was spent in a little more sightseeing, a cozy dinner and another attempt to watch the movie, though we both fell asleep quickly. The next day, we climbed up to the top of the Pilgrim monument. Several pictures later, we left for home.

My point is that we did a lot, but it all seemed relaxed, we did not maximize our time there, a fair amount of time was spent lying around and watching {gasp} TV ! Yet, we left sated and feeling complete. I am happy, knowing what R&R truly means, and relieved at understanding that it is not a complete vegetative state.

The second emotion is sadness. I have to find some way to bring sadness into everything, it's genetic. My melancholy stems from the deeper realization that I have aged a little more, yet again. What are experiences if not markers of time.

Apr 3, 2006

Cliffs and Beaches

Living in Quincy, Massachusetts, we utilize our extreme proximity to water and hilly terrain to the fullest extent possible. The water part is obvious, the Atlantic, or at least Quincy Bay, Town River Bay and various coves are clear on any map. They are actually too close, so much so that I have to pay a surcharge on my home insurance!! The less obvious is how much of hilly terrain there is -- 7,000 acres stretching from Quincy to Dedham, a.k.a. The Blue Hills.

I hiked there yesterday, a standard practice for me on most non-blizzard Sunday morning/afternoon! The difference is that I did it with a group of strangers (though not strangers for long) through the Boston LinkUp website. It was a great group of people and a good time was had by me, and apparently all.

(R to L: Wayne, Jennifer, Deepak, Melinda,Me @Blue Hills)

(R to L: Wayne, Jennifer, Deepak, David, me, Blue Hills)

The planned hiking morphed into a hike --> lunch at Newcombe farms (an excellent suggestion by Jennifer) --> walk through Webb State Park --> hanging out on, and by, Wollaston Beach. All in all, a great day's work.

Photos above and below were provided by our Romanian friend- Melinda.

(RtoL Deepak, Chandreyee, Wayne, Melinda - Webb State Park)

(RtoL Wayne, me, Melinda, Deepak, - Wollaston)