It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood when we woke up on the seashore of Cape Cod. The waves just never stop making that "you are right next to the ocean " wave noise along the beach – its as if you are right there next to the ocean. We all reflected on how this was the first time any of us had been able to enjoy such a location in our close to 40 years of life. Ahead of us on this day was adventure in Provincetown, Cape Cod and seafood shopping so I could fulfill one of my many cooking dreams – grilling lobster.
Yesterday we visited Plymouth Rock, where the Mayflower pilgrims built their original settlement. Today, we went where the Mayflower first landed in the "New World" on the very tip of Cape Cod, the place now known as Provincetown, and the home of the ostentatious Pilgrim Monument. We made only a few jokes about the Puritan beginnings of European culture in what is now known as the United States, and what they would think of the monument we built to them.
Provincetown is listed as a "must see" for Cape Cod, but as we drove there it became obvious that it is a tourist mecca as the prominence of resorts with dozens of tiny cabins rose up upon the land, along with stores featuring large inflatables that look like pizza, unicorns, swans and poop emojis. What would the pilgrims do? or say if they saw this land today?
The Pilgrim Monument sits on the top of the hill overlooking Provincetown, and until we drove into Provincetown I had no idea it even existed. It was built in 1902 with much pomp and circumstance to commemorate the landing of the Mayflower. Next to it now is a museum and visitor center staffed with the most friendly and cash register inefficient staff ever. But despite the technical difficulties they were very lovely people – literally attempting to get the best deal for every tourist who walked in the door on the $12 full price admission.
The museum features the history of the monument (its build and inaugural celebration), the former life of Provincetown as a whaling port, and some basic information about the first few days of the pilgrims who landed here in the Mayflower. Specifically, the museum talks about the Mayflower Charter, an agreement for the common good that apparently solved some of the discord that was on the ship by the time they first came to land.
The pilgrim monument is many many stories tall. I lost count of how many there were going up. But they give you a sticker if you make it to the top (pretty sure you could lie). You also get some really cool photos of the cape.
After climbing all the way up to the top we just had to come down and spend some time in the gift shop. I ended up purchasing a book about the first Thanksgiving (which I plan to critically analyze) that included recipes from early America. I also purchased a stuffed lobster that we named CC. Here he is enjoying the view back at the timeshare with Jimbo.
Being a tourist who climbs an innumerable amount of stairs works up an appetite so we wandered down from the monument into Provincetown proper and looked around for lunch.
We found some things that looked very touristy and poked our heads into the Visitor's Center where we found a lot of information about drag shows, bear events, male wet T-shirt contests, art galleries, and AIDS benefits – it was an interesting concentration of decidedly gay culture for such a small town and visitor's center. It did not help us find lunch, however.
We picked a place at random for lunch, sat down and proceeded to order a bunch of lobster in a bunch of different ways. There were lobster wontons
and last, but not least, Portuguese Lobster (which as you can see here is lobster smothered in tomato sauce).
It was officially a filling lunch and an indicator that this team of vacationers is in the lobster game for the long haul. We may even eat lobster in all the possible ways – but there are a few more preparations to go. To walk off lunch we took a short walk on a long pier where not much was open because it is the end of season and a lot of things are now done until next June.
At the end of the line Jodi and I got ice cream made by Cape Cod Creamery inside the gift shop of the Pirate Museum (we did not go into the museum because it seemed too cheesy).
I chose salted caramel and Jodi picked up Rum raisin.
Then we walked back down the pier with our ice cream and to the car checking out the art and other locations of interest along the way.
On the way back to our timeshare from Provincetown we stopped at Truro Winery because we could – and did a little wine tasting – because that is what you do there. I was that annoying person who kept asking questions about where the grapes were from, who the winemaker was and what style he was trying, and – where did these grapes come from again?
The wine was interesting but very unmemorable. Two varietals of grapes were grown on Cape Cod (the ones for the sweet dessert wines) and everything else was sourced from California and New York. The lovely individual pouring the wine was very annoyed that I was asking questions and interrupting her deal – which was disappointing as I wanted to learn about the wine. The most memorable part was the shape of the bottles (they looked like lighthouses) but I did not take a picture. But while we sat there tasting we did make a plan for dinner and find a place to source it.
Here are the experts talking about what to do to best transport that pile of lobsters (in the foreground) from the seafood market to our timeshare home.
It was to be grilling time very shortly. We gathered a couple other items (including vegetation) from the vegetable stand attached and headed back home to set up our grilling situation on the patio of the resort. It was to be epic – both as a mess and in flavor.
Our tools were a little janky between the make-do knives and the not-quite-at-the-top-of-their-game-grills, but we managed.
It was a feast that took more than an hour of prep, and was completely devoured in minutes by the five of us. Grilled lobster is the bomb. But we enjoyed every minute of our lobster feast on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at our Cape Cod retreat.