Tag Archives: food

Our month on Cape Cod—day 27

~Thursday~ We started the day-long celebration of Vivian’s 60th birthday with a trip to the Chatham Pier Fish Market for a lobster roll.

Restaurant sign
Chatham Pier chairs
Chatham Pier menu
Vivian and Jeff

Our feeding frenzy included—Vivian and John enjoying the buttered lobster roll, Bob enjoying the grilled salmon burger, and Jeff enjoying the regular lobster roll:

Buttered Lobster Roll: Fresh lobster meat tossed in warm butter
Grilled Salmon Burger: Fresh salmon burger, lettuce, avocado, and lemon aioli on a brioche bun
Lobster Roll: Fresh steamed lobster meat with a touch of mayo

Vivian’s birthday festivities:
Vivian with Dom Perignon and shot glass necklace

Slice of lemon birthday cake with candle Vivian blowing out candle
Dom Perignon bottle Dom Perignon bottle with poppers

A Dom Perignon toast to the birthday girl

We also made a video, complete with a hanging birthday sign, happy birthday music in the background, birthday glasses (trigger warning for epileptics) with blinking candle frames, and a birthday hat for the honoree. There is also inadvertent running commentary in the background.

We were going to edit it, but ended up just posting it in its entirety. I can’t easily embed a video here, but if you’re a Facebook friend of John, Bob, Vivian, or Jeff you can watch it there.

John, Bob, and Vivian ended the night with yet another game of Scrabble and Catch Phrase.

Today was a good day.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 26

~Wednesday~ With more reading after visiting that cemetery on Sunday, I realized that that’s not the cemetery where those 3 Mayflower passengers were buried. To that end, Vivian and I went looking for the “real” Cove Burying Ground, which was a couple of miles away from the one we went to on Sunday.

Cove Burying Ground: “This is the oldest cemetery in Eastham, MA (Cape Cod) and very historical. Most of the people buried there are related to Mayflower families and were instrumental in the founding of the area.”

Giles Hopkins
Born: 30 Jan 1607 | Hursley, City of Winchester, Hampshire, England
Died: 26 Apr 1690 (aged 83) | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Buried: Cove Burying Ground | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA

Constance Hopkins Snow
Born: 11 May 1606 | Hampshire, England
Died: Oct 1677 (aged 71) | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Buried: Cove Burying Ground | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA

Lt. Joseph Rogers
Born: 23 Jan 1602 | Watford, Daventry District, Northamptonshire, England
Died: 15 Jan 1678 (aged 75) | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA
Buried: Cove Burying Ground | Eastham, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, USA

Other interesting graves we saw there included:

Here lies the body of Mrs. Hannah Snow the wife of Mr. Silvenus Snow, died August 1750 in the 37th year of her age.
Here lies buried the body of Mrs. Mary Knowls wife to Col. John Knowls, died Nov. 7, 1745 in the 73rd year of her age.
John Doane—deacon of the church, deputy to the general court, and one of the assistants to the governor.

While Vivian and I were out, we stopped at The General Store to see if they had any tchotchkes and for Vivian to check out the “penny candy.” She bought a refrigerator magnet and a Charleston Chew.

Our next stop was at the liquor store attached to The Superette, where Vivian was in hot pursuit of a bottle of red wine and some Narragansett beer, which is to say we hit the jackpot!

A quintessential “Fall River beer,” and one my dad drank all the time
Narragansett 12-pack
Narragansett can

Mid-afternoon, Bob and Vivian went for a 2-mile walk and reported back with some pictures:

For dinner, we cooked chicken, zucchini, and chouriço on the grill, having the chicken and zucchini for dinner tonight (with a few bites of chouriço) and some green beans for Jeff.

We ended the evening with a game of Scrabble followed by a game of Catch Phrase.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 25

~Tuesday~ It was a beautiful weather day to take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We drove down to Falmouth (about an hour) to catch the ferry from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven.

The Steamship Authority ferry
Ferry boat picture
From the top deck
Top deck close
Also from the top deck
Top deck out
The mast
The mast
The mask
The masked man
Fairies on the ferry
The masked men
Arriving at Martha’s Vineyard
Approaching Vineyard Haven

We arrived in Vineyard Haven, walked around for just a little bit, where we found most things closed—between it being off-season (their season ended October 28) and with COVID-19 negatively affecting some of the few places that might otherwise have been open.
Vineyard Haven map
We caught “the city bus” from Vineyard’s Haven to Edgartown hoping to find more things open there, including a place to eat lunch.
Edgartown map

A couple of Edgartown businesses we passed, in what turned out to an arduous search for an open lunch place, included:

The Covington Restaurant and Bar
The Covington
The Boneyard Surf Shop (pirates are everywhere)
The Boneyard

Bob took a peek into Edgartown Books:

Edgartown Books’ staircase
Edgartown Books’ extensive Martha’s Vineyard collection

And we did finally find a place open for lunch:
Espresso Love restaurant
where John got the Turkey Club, Bob got the Chicken Avocado BLT:Espresso Love sandwiches
Vivian had their grilled chicken, havarti, & pesto sandwich, and Jeff had their chicken salad sandwich.

We got home after dark and had a “robust”—of both drinks and snacks—happy hour, and then we just had some clam chowder for dinner, before John, Bob, and Vivian played a game of Scrabble:
Completed Scrabble board
and then tried a piece of that maple walnut fudge that Bob and Vivian made, which was ready and cut up into 1-inch, 81-calorie-each squares.

Done fudge
Sliced fudge

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 24

~Monday~ We made the 1.5-hour drive to Fall River and back where Vivian and I showed Jeff and Bob many of the places we lived in that city.

Fall River is where both of our parents and their families are from, and we moved around a lot in that area as my dad did a one-year tour of duty in Vietnam and then was on “recruiting duty” (for the United States Marine Corp) and moved to wherever they needed a recruiter next.

Here are the houses we visited today:

914 Eastern Avenue | Fall River, MA | February 1961 – January 1963. While we lived here, John was 4-6 years old and Vivian was 1-3 years old. The street to the left side of the house (in the first picture) seemed like a very steep hill at the time, and John rode his new bike down it one time, gaining so much speed that he made a sharp turn into a driveway to try and slow down, lost control, and crashed with the handle bar going through his left (face) cheek. He still has the scar to prove it, because dad didn’t think it was worth going for stitches about it and just taped it together.

Front entrance
Side entrance

72 Dover Street | Fall River, MA | November 1964 – December 1964 and June 1966 – July 1966. We lived here the first time was when John was 7 and Vivian was 4, and the second time was when John was 8 and Vivian was 5. Our vovó (“vah-voh”) and vovô (“vah-voo”) owned this 3-story house—where they lived on the first floor, our aunt Vivian (my dad’s sister) lived on the 2nd floor, and our uncle Eddie and Aunt Laura lived on the 3rd floor—and we stayed with my grandparents for these 2 short periods of time until we found a house of our own to live in while dad did each of his 1-year tours of duty in Vietnam.

The 3-story view
This front porch used to be screened-in, and my grandfather sat on it a lot, sometimes playing his mandolin
Apparently a Martin (no relation) still resides on one floor of the house
We used to get “penny candy” from “Mr. Harris” at this store a hundred years ago

22B Carver Street | Fall River, MA. Our mémère and pépère, our maternal grandparents, lived here for a while, and it was virtually “around the corner” from my paternal grandparents’ house on Dover street. Their address was “22B” and it was the bottom right apartment.

56 Howland Street | Fall River, MA | July 1966 – December 1968. While we lived here, John was 9-10, and Vivian was 6-7. We remember a “mean landlord,” Mr. Daniels, who lived on the first floor of this house, while we rented the second floor from him. We went in that door to the right, which had the stairs to the upstairs just inside of it. Vivian remembers friends of hers while we lived here named “Norene and Dorene” and whose fingers were fused—two of their own fingers fused together, not one of Norene’s fingers fused to Dorene.

45 Breezy Lake Drive | Coventry, RI | December 1968 – December 1969. While we lived here, John was 11, and Vivian was 8. We lived in this split-level house for a year while my dad was in Vietnam the second time. My aunt Annette (my mother’s sister) and her husband, Uncle Frank, lived in the downstairs, which had been closed off as its own apartment. All the while (and for a total of 30 years), my uncle was building the house next door. He was a stone mason, and he cut each individual stone of the exterior of the house to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. There are a couple of other pictures of the house in this old posting of John’s. Breezy Lake was behind these houses and we had lots of fun ice skating on it.

The split level next door
The house that Uncle Frank built

Other places from our childhood that we visited today included:

This is a hot dog place we lived for as children, and one of the things we missed most moving down south. Sad, but true.

St. John’s Club
St John’s Club is “the Portuguese club” that my dad belonged to for years and years, and where he was sort-of a “local hero” (being a Marine, going off to war and back). There were 2 sides to the club, the bar (where only men could go), and the restaurant side, which included a jukebox that Vivian and I used to do The Salty Dog Rag and a line dance to a couples dance to Winchester Cathedral. Today, we ordered some steamed clams and some chourico (Portuguese sausage) sandwiches, 2 of our childhood favorites.

Notre Dame Cemetery
We brought Vivian and Jeff by to visit our grandparents, who Bob and I had visited the first week we were here.

Paternal grandparents
Maternal grandparents

We had a full day and completely forgot about visiting the Lizzy Borden house, about which we’re okay.

Back at the house, we played a game of Scrabble, skipped dinner in favor of appetizers, and later played some Catch Phrase.

Bob, John, & Vivian’s Scrabble game
A peach and jalapeño cheese ball

On our way out of Fall River, we dropped by to see our Aunt Vivian and Uncle Nibby, spending about a half hour sitting in their driveway catching up with them. So nice.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 20

~Thursday~ It was with great pleasure that I hung out both my figurative and literal, respectively, out-of-the-office message at the end of my work day.

Gone fishing sign Gmail O-O-O autoresponse

Bob walked for about an hour-and-a-half today. He visited the miniature golf course as part of the Red Barn collection of shops. Not exactly sure if that rabbit is getting ready to take a dump or get hit with an errant golf ball in a place that’ll really hurt.

Putt-Putt donkey
Putt-Putt goat Putt-Putt rabbit
Putt-Putt pig

And saw potential retirement editing work for me should we decide to retire in this quiet little town.

Dinning Missing 'on'

Speaking of signs, look at the Roger-superscripted-s Barber Shop. I sort of like it. It’s like a portmanteau of an apostrophe and the possessive “s.”

Barber shop Barber shop name
Pets welcome, people tolerated, mannequins abandoned
People & pets sign Mannequin in door window

The art of art. Buoys-as-art seems popular here. That dentist office sign has a lot going on. Is it a dentist office? Is it an art studio? Is it a dentist with her art displayed in the waiting room? Is it the “fine art of cosmetic dentistry?” It seems to be the latter if her website provides any clarity. And with all that said, she’s very accomplished.

Humanity sign Buoy art Fine art of dentistry

One of my favorite people from high school arrived late this afternoon, and we had a wonderful evening eating, catching up, and playing games. Bob made dinner and Kathy provided the homemade Boston Cream Pie for dessert. Bourbon and wine may have been consumed throughout the evening.

Catch Phrase
Dinner Boston Cream Pie

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 18

~Tuesday~ I had no work meetings today, but I did have a 5- to 10-minute impromptu video chat initiated by a colleague who’s good about keeping in touch.

We both took walks today, Bob’s earlier in the day and much longer than mine. I did mine after work, and, no, I didn’t purposely walk a route that would look like an erect penis in the MapMyWalk app. It just happened—like good, morning wood.

Bob’s walk: 2.9 miles
John’s walk: .65 miles

Before I set out on my walk, I checked out the laundry and book exchange building, which Bob has been in several times now, but I hadn’t yet seen.

In checking out the book collection, I saw the book Bob just finished reading (highlighted in red) beside the book he contributed (highlighted in green) to the collection.

This was my first walk just to get some exercise (which I had planned to do every day while we were here since we don’t have access to an elliptical machine, but I haven’t done it), and I went into the US Post Office, which Bob also has been to several times, just to check it out. It’s much bigger than I had imagined.

I also noticed that this building that I thought was a house is actually a bank. Other than the mention of an ATM (and, admittedly, the “Member FDIC” notation, if you know what that is), it’s not at all obvious it’s a bank. Maybe if instead of the “5,” it said “nickel,” or the “5” was paired with “& Dime,” it’d’ve been obvious.

Bob made a “Fall River staple” from my childhood for us for dinner tonight. It was “beef chow mein,” as we added ground beef to it along with the sliced celery and chopped onions. Yummy!

It’s time to brace ourselves for the evening (and probably days to come) with some bourbon and champagne on hand (for various outcomes) as Election Day 2020 unfolds.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 15

~Saturday~ We had planned to check out the meat raffle to see what it was all about, but when we got to the Eastham Elk’s Lodge, where it’s held, there wasn’t anyone there.

Our next stop was going to be the Eastham Superette to pick up some champagne—in it, or in the attached liquor store—and to see what they actually carry in that little store for future reference. Outside the Superette was this little gem of a sculpture:

“Cape Cod Gothic” – 2016 (Anita & Seymour Codd)
Jamie DaLomba – Metal Sculpture Art; JJ Welding – North Eastham
Also nearby, I cannot lie, was this intimidating street.

and coming out of the store, we noticed that the Eastham Windmill, which we had planned to check out at some point, was right across the street. Also on “the green” near the windmill was a “Memorial Buoy Tree,” which is a tribute to its deceased creator, Eastham native James Filliman, who was “a clammer, a builder, a beach walker and collector, who enjoyed using things he found in nature.” Read Jimmy’s obit, if you’re interested.

Maggie, Bob’s niece—his oldest sister’s daughter—and her partner Phil arrived today from Dorchester, Boston for an overnight visit. Maggie’s a chef for a living, and she brought dinner!

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie: Spicy ground beef with olives and raisins topped with whipped sweet potatoes; Cauliflower: Roasted with browned butter, cilantro, pepitas, and lime; Mixed Greens: Pumpkin spiced-pecans, cranberries, crumbled goat cheese

After dinner and many cocktails, we played a fun game during which we laughed and laughed and laughed:

“What’s something you do that’s irresponsible? was one of our questions, which led to hilarity.
Saving pennies on the penny

Here are some of the words contained in our collective responses. Two of them were kind-of popular:

It was a real fun evening—laughing a lot and learning a lot about each other. And bonus—we got an extra hour of sleep afterward.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 14

~Friday~ I took a vacation day today, like I’m doing every Friday while we’re here.

We drove to Sandwich, MA to check out the Sandwich Glass Museum. We arrived right on the (11:00) hour, which is when the glass-blowing demonstrations start, so we joined one just a couple of minutes into it.

The gentleman made 2 pieces while we watched, the first was a small vase, and the second was a small pitcher.

After his demonstration, we walked around the museum, which was much bigger than it looked like from the outside.

I dream of Jeannie houses
Festive glass

I really liked these fish-themed pieces:

And 2 other favorites of mine:

Crucifix candlesticks
Blown trick tumbler

If you’re interested, you can see lots more in this public Facebook photo album.

After the museum, but before we left Sandwich to head back to Eastham, we stopped at the Bob O’Malley’s Whaleback Restaurant, and oh what a treat it was. The place looked much smaller than it did in the pictures on the web, and there were only 2 cars in the lot when we arrived, which we didn’t take as a good sign.

But inside, it was a quaint little place, and Beth invited us to eat in, since there was no one else in there. And she was so nice, and of course, very mask-cautious putting it on whenever she came to our table.

We ordered one seafood platter to share and each a stuffed quahog. It was all so delicious!

Once back in Eastham, we stopped at the Stop & Shop grocery store to pick up just a few things in anticipation of guests we’re having tomorrow and Sunday. Bob’s niece, Maggie and her partner Phil, who live just outside Boston are going to visit us for the weekend.

At home we played a game of IRL Scrabble, with which enjoyed some hot tea to take off the chill. It was pretty cold, windy, and rainy out there today.

We finished off the eggnog with some eggnog martinis for happy hour tonight, and had a light dinner, since we had such a filling lunch.

I’m declaring my second Friday vacation day here a success.

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 9

~Sunday~ At about 9:30, we headed to Fall River, which was about a 1.5-hour ride. This is the city I grew up in until a year before we moved to North Carolina when I was 13. For the year right before we moved, we lived in Coventry, RI, which we’ll visit when my sister gets here early in November.

Our first stop in Fall River was to the Notre Dame Cemetery, where both sets of my grandparents are buried. We had a hell of a time trying to find my paternal grandparents’ grave (just like I did last year—and never did find it), and it turns out the person in the office had given me the wrong plot information—think way off, like on the opposite side of the cemetery.

Thanks to my cousin, Sandy, who volunteers there and who was in touch with us yesterday with a picture of the headstone, and who provided us with the correct section and plot number by text today.

Another of my cousins, Patsy, met us there, and together we located the grave. We’d brought some cleaning materials with us, and Bob ingratiated himself to my grandparents by spit-shining their headstone.

And as it turns out, my grandfather did have a middle name, which means my father really wasn’t a junior, but since I seem to be the only one devastated by that, I’m just going to let it go.

We also found (and cleaned off) my paternal grandparents’ grave, where I said a quick, socially distanced prayer.

Our next stop was for lunch at one of our favorite childhood eating haunts, and we passed Fall River’s “flat iron building” on the way. Doesn’t every big city have one of these?


They had a buy-5-get-1-free special, which we couldn’t resist. I got “sauce and onions” on mine (they don’t call it chili; they call it sauce), and Bob had ketchup, mustard, and dill pickles on his.

We wanted to stop at Amaral’s Portuguese Bakery while we were in town, but they were closed today. Fortunately, while at the cemetery together, we’d ask Patsy about places to get some sweet bread, and she said they actually sell Amaral’s products in the grocery stores, so we stopped at a Stop & Shop and bought some of my Portuguese/Fall River favorites:

On the way back to the Cape, just outside Fall River, we passed an exit that was very close to my Aunt Rita’s house, and I wanted to make sure she and Bob met, so I gave her a call to see if she was home and up for a short hello from outside.

She was, and we did. Love her to pieces.

An hour-and-20-minutes later, we were back in Eastham, just in time for happy hour, after which I had to have something for dinner on those sweet rolls we’d just bought. And what could be better on a Portuguese sweet roll than some chourico (Portuguese sausage)!

I know you’re glad this day and blog entry are over. If I say Portuguese one more time…

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Our month on Cape Cod—day 7

~Friday~ I got my first-ever “cut on the Cape”—a haircut, that is. Bob did it using our new clipper set, which includes a vacuum and trap that catches the hair while it trims.

That must be a “sample” of gray hair that came with the clippers to show you how the vacuum works.

At a little after 9 a.m., we headed south to Yarmouth, where we stopped at Target before going to The Edward Gorey House, which opened at 11 a.m.

For those who don’t know: Edward St. John Gorey (February 22, 1925 – April 15, 2000) was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books. His characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings. Many people know him for his artwork for PBS’s Mystery.

The curator was very knowledgeable and likeable and did a good job of giving us an overview of the house and the life of Mr. Gorey. In this public Facebook album, you should be able to see the just under 50 pictures I took in the museum house if you’re interested.

Upon leaving, we asked the curator if he knew where we could get some “clam cakes,” and he gave us a few possible places, from which we chose the Chatham Pier Fish Market, where we both ordered the “famous” clam fritters.

Less than a mile from this restaurant was the Chatham Light lighthouse, which a lot of people confuse with the Nauset Light lighthouse that’s on the bag of Cape Cod chips (which has a red section to it, and which we have a picture of further down in this entry), and since we were so close to this one, we stopped by for a picture.

On our drive back, we saw this amusing sign—which I at first thought was mocking my hips—as we entered into a densely populated area:

And then back in Eastham, we saw this sign, which we of course had to get a picture of, in the front yard of a house on the way to the Nauset Light lighthouse:

At the Nauset Light lighthouse, we used the bag of Cape Cod chips we bought specifically to use as a prop in this picture, and then I added the text to it once we got home.

Rounding off our “clammy” day, we had some fantastic clam chowder for dinner that we bought in the seafood section at the grocery store on Sunday.

I am going to go ahead and call my first Friday off here a big success. Tomorrow, we’re planning to go up to “P-town.”

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