In April of 2008, Mom, Rachel, and I were in search of a last-minute plan to get away for the vacation. We reminisced on the trip we took with Ann, Caroline, and our Auntie Lala to Florida years ago. Whether the idea to drive up to Niagara Falls started as a passing “Oh I would love to at some point…” or a definitive idea, I can’t remember. But this story began when Ann, Caroline, Mom, Rachel, and I drove up to Canada on an eight hour car ride in April 2008. We bonded over jokes, many laughs, and an understandable fear of falling into the Falls. Okay, that may have only been me. Regardless, we had a great time, and decided to do it again next year.
The following February, the five of us took a plane to Washington D.C. Again, we had a great time, and agreed to make this an annual event. Just the five of us, getting away for a week or so during vacation. This brings me to this evening’s story, the fourth chapter in the book of our girls’ getaways.
On Tuesday, the five us embarked on our journey to Cape Cod at the crack of eleven…okay maybe it was noon. But on vacation, who’s keeping track? We made two stops on our way to the Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster. One was at the Macys to find all of us much-needed swim gear. The other was at the Cheesecake Factory for lunch, where our waitress seemed to store all her waitressing supplies in all the unconventional ways imaginable; Mom feared to ask for a straw. We caught up over lunch (we hadn’t seen each other since November), and laughed about my abnormally small thumbs, which were a new discovery for Ann. The jokes and laughter had begun, and already I knew it was going to be another enjoyable vacation. The two hour drive was nothing compared to the 8 hour drive we all endured on our trip to Canada a few years ago. We arrived at the beautiful resort and found our cottage quickly. Rachel, Caroline and I put on our new swim gear and found the pool in no time (and of course, snuck into the jacuzzi underage.)
We stayed in that night, eating Cheesecake Factory leftovers, and watching American Idol. Much to my disappointment, in Cape Cod I was surrounded by many Siobhan Magnus fans 😦 We also watched Glee. Rachel, Caroline, and I are obsessed, and I think our upstairs neighbors in the cottage could tell by our frequent screams and cheers.
The next morning, we ate breakfast, and Mom and I walked along the beach. It was beautifully peaceful, in that time between the sunrise and high noon sun. The tide was out, which allowed us to search for hermit crabs, and admire the ‘snail graffiti’ in the sand. When we got back, the five of us set out to rent bikes, not knowing what was in store for our poor hind ends. This is when we met Kandy with a ‘K’ who was extremely nice, and most memorable for insisting that we wear helmets. Dear Kandy, this is my public confession that those helmets did not so much as touch our heads. Just thought you ought to know! Sincerely, Amanda
We took the Cape Cod Rail Trail all the way up to Eastham and stopped for sandwiches, then ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. We all were suffering a mild soreness at that point, and decided to head back right away. I’m not sure when exactly it sank in, but I’m willing to guess that it was around mile 18 that fatigue and pain started to set in. Not to mention the sunburns that were developing on those of us who hadn’t thought to put on sunscreen, and easily turn a nice shade of lobster (for example, me.) By the time we got back, we barely had enough energy to speak. We flopped down on the grass of the resort, and merely grunted. Kandy greeted us later with a, “I had a $10 bet going on whether you guys would make it back or not!” We were in okay enough moods to appreciate the joke, but none had the energy to spare a laugh. However, Kandy gave all five of us full permission to use the hot tub!
After the much-needed jacuzzi, we went to dinner at the pub in the main house of Ocean Edge. While waiting, Ann chanced a scolding and got us sodas from the bar while we were in the waiting room to be seated. When we were seated at our table, we all gingerly found ways to sit in the chairs so we wouldn’t feel like we were sitting on barbed wire. This is when we met Mirna (pronounced Meer-nah). Mirna had an interesting accent, so we all guessed where she was from. When we asked her to finally tell us, she said she was from northern Lebanon. As soon as she told us the name of the town though, it slipped out of our minds the next second. So to us, Mirna became “Mirna from Shmirna.” We all agreed that if we could, we would take Kandy with a K and Mirna from Shmirna home with us because they seemed to brighten our days that much more. After dinner, we retired to the cottage, chocolate cake in hand, to watch American Idol Gives Back.
The next day, Ann, Caroline, Rachel, and I took a walk along the beach and sat (still uncomfortably) on the rocks for a while, just talking. I could start my day like this every day if I had the option. Then we went back to the cottage to get Mom, and headed off to the Beach Plum Spa in Harwich for facials, massages, and a day of relaxation to take away some of the soreness from the previous day. Needless to say, it worked. Feeling refreshed, we grabbed dinner in Chatham at a nice eatery with an over-accommodating owner. But hey, no complaints here! The food was great, and we shared many laughs to celebrate our last night on vacation together. Then to ice cream, and back home to watch the Project Runway season finale.
The last day, Friday, we spent shopping in Mashpee. We got some cool things, and really just spent the day walking around, enjoying the sun. The highlight of the day was going into Coldwater Creek after Mom, pretending to have run into our long-lost mother who abandoned, yes all four of us, years ago. Out of shock, embarrassment, or maybe a combo of the two, Mom inched towards the door, with the four of us disco-ing after her. Vacation well spent? I think so.
They say people have tendencies to surround themselves with the people who compliment their personalities, and bring out the best in them. It’s trips like these, where we joke about whatever Rachel happened to shout in her sleep the night prior, and our neighbors who sound like clog dancers in the middle of the night, that I come to realize, and re-realize, that these are the people you hold on to forever. These are the ones that love you no matter who you are, but allow room for you to grow. I can’t say I’m the perfect spokesperson for keeping in touch, especially with none of my relatives living in this state (I know, it’s not an excuse!) BUT I’m learning a thing or two about who the Kandy with a K’s and Mirna from Shmirna’s in my life are- those people who make you laugh and feel good, no matter what else may be going on in the day, the week, or the world. Those are the people we surround ourselves with, and rightfully so.