Alas, another long weekend has come and gone this summer and I am back home writing about it. From Friday through Tuesday, I enjoyed a reprieve from the muggy congestion of Manhattan on a brief jaunt to Chatham, Cape Cod with my best friend of 15 years, Amy. As my bestie is currently living in London, it was a treat to get to see her over her birthday weekend stateside.
While the drive up was a bit of a doozy (there was a monsoon happening in Connecticut and my windshield wipers are less than effective), the rest of the trip was pure bliss. Having spent several summers at the Cape with my family as a kid, it was a welcome return to be back and I was pleased to see very little had changed in the past near-decade since I had been there last. We were blessed with sunshine, walking distance to the beach, and some of the best seafood I’ve ever had.
Our first afternoon was spent sipping beers at the local drinking hole, The Squire. Unassuming and a complete dive, this place offers some of the best New England Clam Chowder around. It’s a must-go both for the soup and an occasionally raucous night out (a missed opportunity this go-around). We popped across the street to the Candy Manor to pick up some treats (I highly recommend the Ritzies -- a delightful combination of ritz crackers, peanut butter, and milk chocolate) and then settled in for a night at home with the fam.
The next day, I was able to convince Amy into a bit of exercise, and we enjoyed a lovely jog down to the beach and some outdoor stretching on her back porch. She will say that the best part of working out is getting to utilize the outdoor shower after the fact, and while skeptical at first, this beautiful little appliance is in fact a gift to this earth. I could go on about the benefits of this Cape Cod necessity, but I will stop at IT IS THE BEST. Once we were cleaned up, we headed to another Chatham staple, the Kream ‘n Kone -- a greasy, humble, and incredible spot for fried fish and lobster rolls. We (somewhat regretfully) followed this meal up with a trip to the beach by their home, and enjoyed the sun and the sea air for a few hours before joining the rest of her extended family for an evening of socializing, chardonnay and a family-favorite (and always competitive) game of Salad Bowl.
On the third day, we were joined by another close friend, Maisie, who drove up from Boston for the birthday festivities. This day was spent enjoying a morning in town, followed by an afternoon at Chatham’s most beautiful and also most notorious shore, Lighthouse Beach. The water was quite cold and the current was strong, but luckily for us, no sharks were spotted on this beach day. Once we were all outdoor-showered and cleaned up, about 25 other friends and family members joined us at the house for a birthday celebration and clambake for Amy. Between games of cornhole and plates of the freshest seafood in Massachusetts, we celebrated the night away. As this event was the first party hosted at the house (it was purchased last year), the family was on a mission to find their house signature cocktail and each family member created their own libation and the guests judged the drinks. Not surprisingly, Amy’s beverage, a twist on the Aperol Spritz with a hint of basil, was the victor. It was certainly a night to remember.
The remainder of the trip was spent beaching, eating way too many Cape Cod Chips (if you know, you know), completing a particularly challenging jigsaw puzzle, and laughing until it hurt. While there were a few hiccups along the way, this trip, in its perfect simplicity, was truly one of the best memories of my summer, and it serves as a reminder to keep those best friends close, even if they live 3,500 miles away.
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