There is something about the light on the Cape that washes away the worries of the world. There is something about the air on the Cape that lets you sleep soundly at night. There is something about the wind in the pine trees above that lulls you into peace. Water, sky, earth combine to whisper that all will be well with the world.
That's Cape Cod
Where the friendly little houses are
With the blinds of blue and green,
Where the water-lilies lift their cups -
The fairest ever seen -
Within the sound of Ocean's roar.
That's Cape Cod.
Where the gaily painted wind-mills whirl.
And Bob-whites call and Whippoorwills:
Where the roads wind among the trees.
And every breeze some white sail fills;
Where roses climb on old grey walls
When soft-voiced summer stands and call.
That's Cape Cod...
Bernice Hall Legg
West Dennis July 2018, Photo by Barry Friedman
"Book this place before someone else beats you to it! Summer Pines Cottage represents the very best of what Airbnb has to offer: an incredible home, a stunning location, and a great host who wants you to have the best possible stay. The cottage itself is fabulous. It's flooded with natural light, the internet is extremely fast (well over 200 mbps down and 10 mbps up), and the recent kitchen renovation is a dream. Valerie had thought of every item we could need while cooking. In terms of location, Kelley's pond is a stone's throw away, the beach is just down the road, and West Dennis is perfectly positioned to explore all of Cape Cod. We travel extensively, and our week-long stay here quickly became one of our most memorable Airbnb experiences. If you're planning a trip to Cape Cod, look no further! - AirbnbNomad
We recently had bnbNomad stay at Summer Pines Cottage for a week for a comprehensive guest experience report. They gave us an outstanding review, a detailed report and beautiful new photos!
Spring is the season for whale watching on the Cape and there are many opportunities to take a whale watching cruise or to watch whales from the shore. Humpback, Finback, Minke, Pilot and Right whales swim the oceans around Cape Cod. The closest off-shore whale watching to to West Dennis is Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises https://www.whales.net. Their jet-powered, state of the art vessel Whale Watcher heads offshore to Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary for an unforgettable encounter with the whales. The waters around Cape Cod consistently rank as one of the world’s top 10 whale watching destinations and with over thirty years experience, and a sighting rate of 99%, Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises can provide you with the whale watching adventure of a lifetime. If you want to try to spot whales from the shore, the best place to do that is the observation deck at the Race Point Beach visitors center in Provincetown - you can borrow binoculars from the ranger to see whales off the shore if you are lucky. Happy Searching!
What a little bit of ingenuity and hard work can accomplish: Our cottage kitchen renovation story
Our vintage 1940's cottage kitchen at Summer Pines Cottage with an antique farmhouse cast iron sink was charming but it wasn't very functional for cooking so we decided to renovate the kitchen over this past winter. We were working with a tight budget and knew that we would need to do some of the work ourselves and try to source the materials in creative ways. We started by taking down the cabinets ourselves with a crowbar - an easy and strangely satisfying task. We found another happy home for the farmhouse sink and decided to tackle taking up the tile flooring next. After many long hours with hammers and not much progress, we realized that we had to turn the tile removal and refinishing the nice old wood floors to professionals who had the expertise and the right equipment for the job. That done, we set about looking for cabinets. We were lucky to find a Boston couple on CL selling their beautiful, fairly new kitchen as they were tearing down their house and rebuilding. Their only requirement (besides cash) was that we helped them take down their cabinets and appliances, so off we went to their house with hammers in hand. It was a long and hard process but we did learn how to use a crowbar and reverse electric screwdriver. We also learned that granite countertops are VERY heavy! That done, we shuttled each cabinet and appliance down to the Cape and drew up the plan of our new kitchen using the measurements of the cabinets and the space. We enlisted the help of a very talented carpenter to creatively build around the cabinets we had so that it all looked built in. He created a large island on wheels with some extra cabinets and added cabinets above the stove, fridge and washer and dryer for a "built in" look. We found matching paint and painted all the new pieces to match the cabinets. Due to the tight space, I had to forgo a sliding barn door to hide the washer and dryer but found that a curtain did the trick and added to the cottage feel. Wanting a clean look, we found the deep sink, smaller profile european faucet and white quartz countertops at IKEA. Add some rush stools and cottage decor and we were done - only took from October to March!
Planning a romantic getaway this spring to enjoy the Cape without the crowds? Here are some great spring events that couples might enjoy in April and May on the Cape. Come stay at Summer Pines Cottage and enjoy - we still have availabilities both these weekends~
Toast of Harwich on April 27th is a fun night of casual elegance with terrific food and wine and an auction at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club. http://harwichcc.com/cape-cod-vacation/2018-toast-of-harwich
April 28th is The Festival of Museums, a free one-day celebration of Cape Cod’s museums and galleries offering a fun packed day of surprising and exciting events and activities. http://capecodmuseumtrail.com/current-promotions
May 4th-6th is Brewster Blooms, a free 3-day festival with a 2-day juried fine arts and crafts show, a Cape Cod 5 Bloom Run, an antiques and arts excursion to many fine galleries and a Friday night band concert followed by a town parade on Sunday. http://www.Brewsterblooms.com
One of the most iconic pieces made on Cape Cod is The Cape Cod Bracelet or sometimes called The Cape Cod Screwball ® Bracelet. This simple silver bracelet with either a silver or gold ball are seen all over the world and most recently on The Batchelorette. The story behind the original bracelet is a panacea for this day and age of internet shopping. Each bracelet is made lovingly by hand by Dennis-based Eden Hand Works. The original bracelet was designed and crafted by former teacher turned silversmith John Carey in the 1970's. At first, it was bought by a few people in the Dennis area but its popularity took off around 2000 when a Dennis native actress wore it on a TV show. Carey died in 2012 and now Eden is run by his daughter and his son-in-law creates the bracelets. The little one room store, formally a garage, on Route 6A in Dennis only does direct sales with cash and checks - no credit cards, no mail orders and no internet. Demand is such that the store offers tickets for a time to come to the store to purchase your bracelet and the line is often around the block during the summer. There have been many knock offs so recently Eden has added a silver tag with the Eden logo to each piece they sell. If you have an original Eden bracelet, you can bring your bracelet to the store and once confirmed that it is authentic, you can purchase the tag to add to your bracelet. They are open starting in June and as a big supporter of local Cape Cod businesses, I plan to be there with my daughter to purchase our own Eden Cape Cod bracelets~
“Life should be a search for Truth and Beauty, all else is mere existence.” —John Carey, 1984
Some people immediately think of the pilgrims as the first people to settle on Cape Cod but as many of the Cape's village and place names remind us, it was the Native Americans who first lived here. At least 5,000 years ago, The Nauset people sometimes referred to as the Cape Cod Indians, lived in what is present-day Cape Cod, living east of Bass River and lands occupied by their closely related neighbors, the Wampanoag. Although no longer distinct as a tribe, most of the Mashpee Wampanoag band are descended from Nauset people, who currently number 1,100 people and are federally recognized as Wampganoag meaning "Easterners" or "People of the Dawn. It was the Native American who taught the colonists who ventured back to settle on the Cape after establishing themselves at Plymouth, how to strip the blubber of whales who stranded on the beaches. Although the last native speakers of their Massachusett language, Wôpanâak,died more than 100 years ago, since 1993 Wampanoag people have been working on a language revival project and have produced new native speakers. Before the pilgrims arrived, the Native Americans had already named many areas, which encompassed the Cape's piney woods, rolling dunes and sandy shores. The original name of Hyannis is of Indian derivation as are many of the Cape towns. This original Indian name was Iyannough, in honor of the young sachem who first received and welcomed the colonists. The name has since gone through modifications of Janno, lanno, Hyanno, and finally Hyannis which still has the flavor of Indian syllables. So as you go over the Sagamore bridge to visit places like Hyannis, Poponesset, Mashpee, Sippewissett, Pocasset, or Nauset Beach or take a drive on 6A, once a Native American trail, stop a moment to appreciate that long ago the special Cape beauty and natural surroundings inspired others to name and choose it as their own.
My December post usually has holiday events that take place on the Cape but this year I simply want to wish all of you peace, well-being and hope that wherever your holiday plans take you ~ that you spend them with those you love.
I am a designer and Cape native who loves cottage style, simple, small house living and guiding people to the hidden treasures