Sunday, October 26, 2008

Catch Up: October Review I

This month turned out to be rather action-packed for me. Nor is it over yet, neither the month nor the non-stop thrills. Since the action has thus far taken place away from computer access, I haven't been able to post anything here, and it's been making me crazy. There's been so much I've wanted to write about. There was the fabulous mini-convention of east coast bloggers who love chocolate and fried foods (where were YOU?) held Columbus Day Weekend on Cape Cod, then I attended my 20th college reunion, and next weekend I'm off to Virginia to help celebrate the wedding of my friends Jeff and Megan. All of that, and I haven't gotten to tell you about the fabulous walk I took, way back at the beginning of the month, with my friend Cheryl, through Inwood Hill Park. So very much to show, and tell.

Of course the Cape Cod Weekend has already been well documented in word and picture by my cohorts, I'm not sure I have much to add. So mostly I'll just show you some of my photos from the weekend.

Because this trip was actually somewhat planned in advance (unlike the first one, which I decided to do about three hours before leaving), I was able to catch an earlier bus, and pack some food, so I arrived earlier, and less famished. Nonetheless it was heaven to sit down with Jess, Marc, Greg and Badum to chicken & noodles and blackberry cosmos. The three of them had already had a chance to get acquainted that afternoon, so we were well into the swing of things before too long. Jess made note of the fact that I had been introduced to him and Marc by a fictional character. The same is true for me and Greg, actually. How's that for a weird wrinkle from this interweb thingy? I take credit for introducing Greg's blog to Jess and Marc though, so we came back to earth at that point.

The Nest was mostly painted at that point, so I got to take in the progress of Greg's master plan, in particular the wonderful living room. The cave drawings are great, and there are hidden little treasures to find if one keeps looking, and is willing to move some furniture.

After Jess and Marc returned to their B&B, Greg, Badum and I caught up a bit more, then went to sleep, having decided we'd get up to go see the sunrise. I made it clear that I was on board for this plan only if we reserved the right to go back to bed once we got back, for an hour or two. This sort of thinking had never occurred to Greg, and since he was the one who had to work later that afternoon, it helped seal the deal. I'm really glad we did it. The experience was magical.
This was my first view from the parking lot, as we headed towards the beach. I think that is some sort of life-guard station. I was completely captivated by the color reflecting in the sand, and took roughly a bazillion shots like this. I chose to share only this one with you. You're welcome. Fun shadows, and that beautiful, clear, morning light. This was the shot looking back as we headed back to the car. We were not the only folks up for the sunrise. We weren't even the first ones there. And I'm not counting the fishing boats we saw heading out to work. Greg had been telling me about beach peas the night before, for some reason, so we were both pleased to find these blossoms by the parking lot. I love how the light is catching the branch in the lower left.
My gallant host, getting his own shot of the beach peas. Look at these cute boys! This is outside the diner where we ate on two occasions. Behind them is what Greg says a very nice plant nursery; Jess was afraid his husband would wander over and buy the place out, but Marc exhibited an admirable level of self-control. It's a good thing, because I doubt either Greg or I would have been much help. Well, we wouldn't have helped Jess, I mean.
As readers of the Midnight Garden know, Greg and I did sleep after the sunrise, then luxuriated in some coffee, chatting, and lolling about, before we headed off to a local cedar swamp. Funnily enough I've been here before, but Greg never had, so it was fun to share his first visit. It's really too bad Blogger doesn't come with scratch-n-sniff, or smellovision or something, because one of the wonderful things about a cedar swamp is the scent. Cedar by itself is wonderful enough, but to have it floating on sea-air must give it extra magic. Suffice it to say, the memory of the scent is why I wanted to go back, and it lived up to my memory. The visuals were great too, though, and until you make your own trip, you'll have to make due with them.

The boardwalk winds through the swamp just a few feet about the water.
After our hike, Greg and I met Jess and Marc for brunch (meaning breakfast for us, lunch for them). We showed up looking exactly like guys who had just been in a swamp. Or maybe painting something. Or painting something in a swamp. Fortunately our companions were gracious about being seen in public with us. After eating we dropped Greg back at the Nest so he could get cleaned up for work, and the three of us headed up-Cape to Provincetown.
I had actually been here once before too, with my family, but I didn't have much memory of it. Marc had visited a few times, but Jess had only gotten to drive through it once, in the rain. As almost the last weekend of the Summer, the place was packed with hordes of people, giving the place a sort of "every day is Pride day!" feel.
This was near our parking lot. I thought I'd include it, just so you knew we really were on the Cape. I think all tourists are required to have at least one shot like this, when visiting New England.

Someone on Commercial Street had a very nice garden. This doesn't do it justice.
Yes, so very, very gay.
Lots of places sell temporary tattoos, for some reason. I toyed with the idea of getting one on my forehead, a dragonfly, say, but decided my three companions would probably have refused to be seen in public with me, especially since I still looked like I'd spent the morning painting something in a swamp.

I actually took this on Sunday, when Jess, Marc, and I took a tour of local candy stores. (Read both Jess' and Marc's accounts for more details.) At one point Marc was in a candy store, Jess (poor soul) was seeking parking, and I got caught by the bright, shiny things in the window display of the business next door. When Marc eventually found me, I was slack-jawed and staring at all the pretty colors. Back in Provincetown, on Saturday, this was the view as we headed back to the car. It was fun to say I got photos of both the sunrise and the sunset that day. No, I know it's not that hard, but I've never done it before. I'm not usually a big sunrise kinda guy.
I wish I had gotten at least one shot of Badum, since he was also great company that weekend. Like most cats, he gets revved up at night, regularly giving into fits of what Greg calls 'the zooms'. Saturday night I began to wonder if perhaps this term was misleading in its suggestion of random impulse; I got the distinct impression the cat was actually in training from some sort of athletic event. Greg thinks it might be the De-Cat-alon.* Whatever it is, Badum devoted some serious energy to it that night. There was a lot of mouse-hockey (involving a small, catnip-scented toy mouse), and let me tell you, this boy has some mad dribbling skills. He's smart about training though; while Saturday was long and rigorous, both Friday and Sunday nights were lighter. Unlike my last visit, he never came to sleep on my chest though. Frankly I was a bit disappointed.
So that is just some glancing shots at a wonderful weekend. If you haven't already, go read Marc's, Jess', and Greg's accounts for their unique takes on things.
I'll try to write about my reunion in the next few days, before another joyous celebration wipes all memory of it from my mind. I rather like the pattern that has been forming this month for me of celebrating old bonds, and forging new ones.

* I take no responsibility for this. Please forward all complaints to Greg.


Java said...

This is a lovely account of your special weekend with friends on the Cape. I love the pictures. And your descriptions are priceless. You looked like you'd been painting in a swamp? What does that look like? Actually, I saw the pics on Jess' blog of you in P'town, and you looked as wonderful as ever, so I'm taking your comments with a grain of salt.

Now I want to go to the cedar swamp.

Greg said...

This was a terrific account of the weekend--ah, and what photos! I know what you mean about the sunrise--I see them so rarely but the light is just incredible and I took way more pics of it than I could share...

As for the Cedar Swamp, what a cool place and a great trail system. I do recall a light parfum du Coppertone wafting amongst the cedar and seamist, though, too.

And for the records, the Zooms are generally pretty random. You got a special exhibition that night, I think, the likes of which are rarely seen in Catdom.

That last picture is great!

tornwordo said...

Great pictures. One of the things I love about our present digs is that we can see the Eastern horizon from our kitchen/patio. I get to see the sunrises pretty much every day.

I thought of you yesterday when I bought myself a drinky bird. I can't get him going perpetually though. He drinks five or six times and then stops. What am I doing wrong?

Birdie said...

What beautiful shots. All of your accounts are different and make a well-rounded picture of the events. I don't do sunrises. I grew up on the west coast of FL, so I'm hooked on ocean sunsets. Much easier to witness.

This is interesting: "...only if we reserved the right to go back to bed once we got back, for an hour or two... I'm really glad we did it. The experience was magical." Just sayin'.

Jess said...

Thanks for that lovely post. I felt myself re-living the weekend as I read your account of it. Also, thanks for adding to the weekend itself and making it that much more special!

Eric said...

Lucky Duck!

Patrick said...

Java: actually Jess only showed one photo of me in P-town, the one where I'm hugging Marc. All the others are from the next day, when I was a bit more presentable.

Greg: oh yeah, I'd forgotten about the Coppertone. Sorry about that. Beats having me burst into flames of course, but we'll have to go back when I don't have to slather sun protection.

So Badum doesn't seem to be maintaining his training regimen? Was he just showing off for me that night, you think? I'm still mightily impressed by his mouse hockey moves.

Torn: I think every kitchen should face east, frankly. I'd love to be able to see sunrises every morning. My parents' house is lined up that way as well.

RE: the drinky bird, wow, I don't know what to tell you. Are you completely soaking the whole head of the bird before you get him started? If you're only dipping his beak in the water, that might be the problem. The glass needs to be just the right height too, so he can reach the water but has to lean almost horizontal to get to it.

Oh hell, I'll just have to come visit and we can figure it out together.

Birdie: You make me blush! I mean we went back to SLEEP! Goodness. And while said sleep was wonderful, it was the sunrise that was magical. You little minx.

When I first moved to Seattle, I found it very disconcerting to have the sun set over water. I had seen more than one sunset off the west coast of Ireland, but even so, it somehow seemed wrong to have the sun setting over water in North America. My family spent a fair number of summers in Maine and other east coast locations. I guess somehow that just had more weight for me than the Irish ones. That weekend was fun though, since I got to see the sun rise AND set over water.

Jess: it was a treat getting to be with all three of you (four if we count the cat). Oh, I got SUCH a lovely postcard from the Lobster Claw Restaurant last week. :)

Jess said...

That's funny! I forgot about the Lobster Claw postcard! I hope you're hanging onto it. It's worth keeping!

Greg said...

For the record, I'm totally down with the idea of a dragonfly tattoo...though perhaps your forehead is not the most discreet place for it.

Meanwhile, we had another mouse hockey exhibition, a presentation at LEAST as athletic, if not moreso, than when you were last here. We got a new catnip mouse, don'tchaknow...