Captivating Cape Cod!

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December 10th 2008
Published: July 30th 2009
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Tuesday 23rd September (Day 29)

Burlington - Cape Cod

We started the day by having another fabulous supermarket breakfast (lots of fresh healthy food combined with all the bad American foods we can’t get back home) before heading for one last drive through the town and back south, through the University areas. We were making good time an on route to the Ben and Jerry’s factory - home of some of the best (and most random) ice cream flavours in the world. Unfortunately, for all the Kiwis reading this, Ben and Jerry’s isn’t available in New Zealand, but make sure you try it if you see some overseas. The factory was a bit further from Burlington that we thought, but we still found our way there easily. We went on a factory tour and learned loads about the business and how the ice cream is made. Vaughan especially enjoyed the taste testing at the end (the flavour of the day was something like Triple Caramel) - everyone on the tour got two helpings and there was still some left over, so Vaughan cleaned it up quick smart. Quite a good tour really, and only $3, with free ice cream - SWEET!

On the road again, we made our way back further south, passing more beautiful countryside, but eventually leaving beautiful Vermont and venturing back over the state line to Massachusetts. The drive was pretty easy because it was just on the freeway, and before long we were passing Boston, heading just below the city for the main route to the Cape Cod peninsula. We had initially planned to stay at the tip of Cape Cod, in a place called Provincetown, but decided that it would take us too long to get there and we would never have enough time to look around. Instead, we stayed in a placed called Hyannis, famous for beautiful seashore mansions, the Kennedy Compound, and the view out to Martha’s Vineyard. We made it to the peninsula in good time, passing many seaside marshlands, and driving over a few large bridges on the way. The road dwindled to two lanes and we were briefly stuck in a traffic jam, but managed to make it to Hyannis in one piece. We checked in to our accommodation and quickly ventured out again before the sun set, to have a look around the Hyannis area. We started by driving around all the small lanes near the beach, and eventually parked the car in a beachfront area. The large houses were just so impressive, but although the neighbourhood gave off a real sense of luxury, there was also a really casual vibe in the air. It was incredibly rural and family-orientated, and people said hello as they walked by. Everyone seemed to know everyone, and their children, dogs, etc. It was quite relaxing and nice down by the water too, where we stopped to take photos as the sun set. People living in Hyannis (and Cape Cod in general) clearly had a lot of money, but the Cape was almost their way of getting away from it all. And what a beautiful place to escape to - we could certainly see why!

We drove back around the town and down past the waterfront where the yachts were moored. There were a few waterfront restaurants selling famous Cape Cod clam/seafood chowder, and after a quick stop to take some more sunset photos at the marina, we headed back there for some dinner. We picked a nice restaurant but there was a wait to get a table. Luckily we had a few layers of clothing on, as the night was cooling off, so we were able to grab an outside table, which we didn’t have to wait for (everyone wanted to sit inside). The chowder was really cheap, so Vaughan ordered the seafood chowder and I ordered the clam chowder, just being tourists we were, and enjoying something different and local for a moment. The bowls were gigantic and steaming, and came with a whole load of bread - it was more than a meal’s worth. Because it was getting colder outside, the chowder was the perfect choice. We took our time and just enjoyed the view as dark set in. Incredible - cheap and easy dinner against a stunning landscape. Can’t ask for better than that.

Wednesday 24th September (Day 30)

Cape Cod - Boston

We jumped up fairly early as we had a big day ahead of us. With only one night in Cape Cod we didn’t have much time to see all the sights. We checked out and walked down the Hyannis main street for a brief look. There actually wasn’t that much to see, as the main draw card is the actual coastline, so we jumped in the car and drove north up the Cape to the national Seashore, a beautiful and fairly remote coastline full of various lighthouses, wildlife, sun, sea and sand. There was a bit of surf there too and a few people were bogey-boarding, but it was far more like some of the remote New Zealand beaches we were used to - heaps of space for everyone, and not many people around, even though there was a tourist bus in the car park. It was a beautiful sunny day, although a little windy, and we spent some time sliding down the sand dunes, taking photos and paddling in the water before heading over to one of the local lighthouses for a look. The whole area just had a real sense of space and calm about it - it was amazing, and we both really hope we are able to get back to Cape Cod some day. It was one of the major highlights of our trip. Apparently in the height of summer it is a lot busier however, so we were really glad we had visited when we did instead. After a quick look around the lighthouse we continued our trip along the Cape, but didn’t have enough time to make it as far north as we had hoped. We stopped at a place called Wellfleet on the way back, which is in the inward facing shore of the peninsula (it faces the mainland, not the greater ocean). We drove down to the waterfront there and looked at the boats, but it wasn’t quite as nice as the other areas we had visited, so we headed off south again. We had to make good time, as we needed to see the Cape and then drive back to Boston where we were heading for the night. We had passed a mini golf course on the way back down the Cape, and challenged each other to a game, but sadly it was closed. When we drove back past Hyannis on our way back towards Boston however, we saw a mini golf course that was open, so we stopped in for a game. The course was awesome (with a Cape Cod theme), and even had all these giant koi carp swimming in a pool in the middle. When we finished our game (sadly I think I lost to Vaughan by a few shots - that’s one game each on our trip), the guy at the mini golf place asked us if we wanted to feed the fish. It looked like it was pretty quiet there, and we were probably the only people that had come through all day. We fed the fish and then got some burgers at the fast food place next door, before heading off finally for Boston. The traffic was again pretty busy along the freeway, but we arrived back in Boston without any issues, and managed to find a park near our accommodation, in Cambridge - we were staying in the same B&B we had stayed in when we were in Boston for a night just previous to our trip to Vermont and Cape Cod, so it was easy to find, and the people seemed pleased to see us again.

In the evening we went back over to the Boston side of the river, and had another walk around Boston Common - there were loads of people around and it felt really safe, which was quite a change from many other large cities. We took a walking tour that was recommended by Lonely Planet, although some of the places mentioned were closed because it was after hours. Mainly the tour took us around the Italian part of town, called North End. We walked past one of the oldest cemeteries in Boston (very creepy-looking) and stopped off at an Italian and Brazilian restaurant on the way back, for a late dinner. It was a tiny place but seemed quite busy - they also gave you bottomless coffee which is always a big up in my book. I ordered an Italian dish and Vaughan had a Brazilian dish, and both of them were excellent! We would both seriously eat there again - so much food for your money. All authentic, all delicious, and pretty cheap too. If only we could remember the name of the place……

On the way back, we stopped by a local (Italian) late night bakery, packed full of people despite the time - it took about 10 or 15 minutes to get service, but it was well worth the wait. It was awesome to walk back past all the little Italian restaurants and see the people crammed inside, eating, drinking and talking happily. Even the people wandering around the small lanes were in good spirits, and the Italian district seemed incredibly exciting and interesting. All in all we had really enjoyed our time on the Cape, and in Boston. It was a shame we had split our trip to Boston into two short parts. This part of the USA had really caught our fancy and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

Additional photos below
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30th July 2009

Are you coming any further south?
Hiya, Great to see your blogs and that you are having such a good time. Are you coming any further south this time? We'd love to try and meet up. Loves, L
21st November 2010
Mansion near the Kennedy Compound, Hyannis, Cape Cod

This is a beautiful scene of their home.
5th March 2012
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, Vermont

kevin johin
i love you so mush you are good like a qwin
13th July 2012
Mansion near the Kennedy Compound, Hyannis, Cape Cod

I know who's house that is!
The owner of Wilson sports company lives there. We visited him a few times and stayed in his guest house that has over 5,000sq feet. Breathtaking view from the widow's walk and the house looks even better from the front.

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