Friday, June 1, 2012

Using Silence to Recharge Your Batteries

We all have our happy place. You know by now that mine is in Truro on the Cape where time appears to have stood still and life is just much less hectic. Over Memorial Day we went on our first camping trip of the season, much later than normal, but since our lives are consumed by Jack’s baseball schedule, this was the first time we could get away. We had actually hoped to go on our first solo camping trip, sans kids, back at the beginning of May to celebrate Tim’s birthday and our anniversary but my parents would have had to contend with 4 baseball games at either end of the state so we scrapped it. We decided, instead, to take advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend - the kids stayed at my parents for two nights and then camped with us one night. I love my kids, but man, silence is a true gift. In fact, we had so many minutes of silence between Friday night and Sunday morning, that when we picked the kids up, I thought someone had turned my ear drums on high. We didn’t get down to Truro til late Friday night but we set up quickly and had decided to head out to dinner. I have found my new favorite place…Black Fish in Truro. Absolutely adorable, rambling building that maybe was a house at one point. So cute inside with tons of candles, pillows on the chairs, just oozing charm. Their strawberry basil martini had been featured on Zane Lamprey’s Drinking Made Easy. It’s a funny show if you haven’t seen it. Basic premise is this guy and his friend go around the country exploring bars and restaurants, making signature drinks with the bartenders while having a lot of fun. I’m not sure how someone was so lucky to get this kind of gig…traveling the country, sharing drinks and stories with strangers, and doing it all with your best friend…while getting paid?! I’m in! Anyways, they had done a segment on the Outer Cape and highlighted Blackfish's signature martini. I can tell you, it is worth the ride to Truro. I told the waitress that we had come specifically for the drink because we saw it on Drinking Made Easy and she just blinked at me for a minute. I thought perhaps I had made a mistake in mentioning it…perhaps she had no clue what I was talking about but then she said “Oh my God! That was me! I was the bartender that mixed the drinks with Zane!” Jackpot! I think she was shocked that anyone had seen it…and was excited to chat about it. We ended up getting the inside scoop on everything and she even showed us pictures of Zane and his friend Steve that she had taken with her phone. I love connecting with people…strangers really….over little things like this. We left the restaurant saying “See you soon!” to our new friend. Oh, and by the way, the food there is absolutely to die for. On Saturday, we got up early to find the sun had come out and we headed out to breakfast. Afterwards, we just drove around for hours, exploring the ins and outs in Truro. Throughout our travels, we found a road named Meredith Way, got an annual permit to drive on the beaches in the National Seashore, and found a new favorite pottery place in the middle of nowhere. We also hit a bunch of yard sales, with our best score being a little, mini propane Weber-looking grill that we can use on the beach. We did not even have lunch….we had no schedule and we never even thought of it. The kids would never have put up with driving around in the car for hours and not eating. A free-wheeling weekend for me wouldn’t be the same without a list of the things I wanted to do. At this point, items still on our list were take a hike and go to Mac’s Shack for a drink. Tim had mapped out a hike for us but we couldn’t find the starting place. Instead we just drove around the kettle ponds in Wellfleet, along dirt roads, coming across little cottages in the woods. We drove in almost complete silence, both of us entertaining visions of coming across a “For Sale” sign on some ramshackle cottage with a yard sale price tag. Some day. We went back and forth on whether we should bother to go to Mac’s because we also wanted to get out to the beach to enjoy appetizers and watch the sunset. When you have these rare moments to spend some time together, it always feels like you are trying to cram so much into a little bit of time. I said “We should do it…it made the list…we really wanted to do it.” We made a pact to just have one beer and then head back to prep for the beach. Well, two Whale’s Tails, a Painkiller, and a Heifenwiezer later we were on our way to the beach. At how awesome the beach was. Driving through the dunes, with just the sound of tires crunching into the sand, is like music to our ears. Surprisingly there were tons of people out there but even with the crowds, you can always find your own little spot of bliss away from everyone else because the beach is so big. Out came our $5 yard sale grill and 15 minutes later we were munching on nachos and beer. We took out our books and read for about an hour, watching seals pop up right in front of us now and then. After watching the sunset we headed out, deciding to take a sand dune path we hadn’t seen before. The ride was gorgeous and it appeared to be a lesser traveled route. We couldn’t imagine why…the views were gorgeous and we stumbled upon a bunch of shacks nestled here and there in the dunes. Turns out, there was a reason why not many people traveled on these roads….it was a private road that only a dune tour company and national park service people used. The sign had been worn away by the years of sea spray and sand…but after coming across a tour company driver, he set us straight. And turns out the little cottages we were drooling over were artist shacks that are filled through a lottery system with active artists. They have no electricity, no running water, and no heat. To us, they were a dream. Imagine your driveway is a sand dune, and each day you wake up to the sound of the ocean and the view of a desolate beach? Sign. Me. Up. I could do without the outside chemical toilet though. That is not a vision in my beach shack dream. Not at all. We ended up getting a pizza on the way home. This was certainly unlike any other camping trip we have ever done. We hadn’t eaten one meal in the camper or even busted out the grill at this point. A half hour later we were munching on fattening pepperoni pizza, drinking our wine, and playing rummy. Who needs a grill? On Sunday, we headed out early, eager to get the kids. We had such a great time camping, we couldn’t wait to share the experience with them. And we knew they were excited to spend time in the camper again…it had been a long 7 months without any camping. We started our Truro with Kids Adventure at the White Cedar Swamp Trail in Wellfleet. It’s not a long walk at all, but it is really cool. There is a great path through the woods that then turns into a boardwalk that winds through a cedar swamp and then ends up in the Marconi Beach area. The views from here are just amazing – check it out next time you are down there. After that we headed to the beach for our second night of sunsets. We broke out the appetizers and fired up the grill for s’mores. After stuffing our faces we took a long walk on the beach, which is one of our favorite things to do…to see what treasures the sea has for us. Turns out the sea had decided to spit out 16 starfish! I have only ever seen 2 starfish in my life…that I stumbled upon naturally at the beach…so this was a highlight for me. We also found little bits of sea glass and various rocks and shells that the kids had to keep. It also was apparently seal night because we saw pods of about 5 seals at a time swimming by. Occasionally they would stop and stare at us. They are curious little creatures. The kids would then chase alongside them until they disappeared back into the ocean. By the time they got back, another crew of seal friends would be paddling by and the cycle would start all over again. No book reading but lots of moments of just enjoying simple things. The brilliant orange sun sank into the sea signaling it was time to go. We made our way back to the camper and decided to skip dinner and just have some more appetizers while we played cards. And then once again, the sea air worked its magic and slipped us all into comas very early in the night. These three day long weekends always seem to come at just the right time, don’t they? It was so nice to have the additional day before heading back into the daily grind. We finally got the grill out and made a big breakfast before we headed out on one more ride. We had not been down by the Truro harbor so we decided to explore around there and came across all these little dirt roads filled with houses overlooking the sea. Apparently I have raised worry warts because the kids blood pressure shot through the roof as we started down our first dirt path. Screams of “What are you doing?!” and “We are going to get in trouble!” filled the air. We explained that these were not private roads and we were just curious. We were still hoping to come across a little cottage in the woods that needed our love but the kids began to stress us out so we finally decided to just walk along Fisher Beach. One again, we walked away hauling all kinds of treasures, although the absolute best was a giant piece of lavender sea glass that the sea spit out at my feet! I have never seen a piece of sea glass this color – it was a total treasure to cap off a great weekend. I have camper blood back in my veins and can’t wait to go again. Unfortunately, our weekends are so full we won’t get back out there until July. The weekend was just enough of a dose of camping to hold us through until then, though. And sometimes you just need these little moments to be yourself …allow you to recharge your batteries so that you can go back to being a parent refreshed and ready for more. Bring on the end of the school year – I’m ready!


  1. My daughters name is Meredith. Whenever I go to visit her at school we always have to ride past the exit for Meredith NH. Truro is beautiful,but I have been there in years.

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