“I’ve always wanted to visit Cape Cod,” I say to Mark, “I can’t believe I have never been there in all these years of our residence being in Massachusetts!”
“You are not missing much,” Mark replies, “It is busy, built-up, touristy and the beaches are fair compared to what we have been used to all these years.” He doesn’t mention that he has only been partway up the Cape.
“Well, I’d like to see it for myself one day and I think, with our plans of going to California in a month, we have to go soon, because who knows when we will be back on the East Coast,” I add.
“You can’t be serious,” Mark continues, clearly thinking I am losing my mind with all the plans we have coming up already, “We seriously do not have time for another excursion this month and we couldn’t afford a weekend on the Cape anyway.”
And that is the end of the discussion. He is right. It is the beginning of September and we have just wrapped up our four-and-a-half-month house sit in Heath. All our stuff is spread out in the room of our home base in Newburyport, where Mark’s parents are happy to have us around for a bit. We have doctor visits scheduled, errands to run, friends and family to catch up with and a five-day vacation to look forward to…
Every day, I get house sitting notifications in my inbox from the sites we have signed up and paid for. None of them look very interesting or promising, so I delete them. One day, when sitting in the waiting room of the oncology department at Dana Farber, a particular listing grabs my attention: a one-week house sit in Truro, Cape Cod, with one dog, the last week in September. Perfect! “Listen to this…” I read the description to Mark, “And, it is the last part of the month. We don’t have much planned then.”
“Sure,” he gives in, “Write them an email and we will see what comes of it. They will probably get a lot of applications, because it is on Cape Cod.”
Within 24 hours, I have written the owner, she replied, we had a conversation over Skype and Mark and I are “hired”! We were going to Cape Cod and hoped the weather would be as pleasant as it usually is that time of the year.
Since we were only expected to arrive on Saturday evening, Mark and I had the whole day to explore the sights along the way to the Outer Cape, where Truro is located and where neither of us had been. We lucked out with nice weather, but only that weekend. Come Tuesday, it was rainy and grey for the rest of our stay. Luckily, Sunday is a day off, so we made the best of our time then.
After settling in the cottage – it almost felt like a vacation rental, because of the location and our short stay – and taking sweet dog Tiu for a walk in the neighborhood Sunday morning, Mark and I put our hiking boots on and walked the Great Island Trail in Cape Cod National Seashore. It was a pretty tough exercise, not so much for the length of the trail (8 miles) to Jeremy Point and back with a detour, but because most of it was in soft sand. We traversed dunes, forests, hills and beaches, being surrounded by salt water most of the way. It was great!
During the week, we woke up early to let out Tui, feed her and snuggle in bed, before we got to work at our computers. We took breaks to hang out with the cute Pit Bull Terrier – she often came over to ask for extra pets – and walk her along a nice trail in the National Seashore, since the property bordered this nature reserve. We planned our walks and outings in between the rain storms and were amazed at how cold it could be already in September. If there was one thing I didn’t bring, it was my wool hat!
One afternoon, we walked the ocean beach in the hopes of finding a seal colony, which we did.
Another late afternoon, we ventured into picturesque Provincetown, which was only a ten-minute drive away. I still wanted to make a few stops north of Truro, like a bay side beach and a lighthouse, so we fit that in as well, shivering as we walked to the sites, and skipping others because it was just too cold to enjoy. Soon enough, it was time to leave the Cape again, but not after having a wonderful night with our fabulous and grateful hosts.
A one week house sit is very short and I doubt we will ever do it again elsewhere, but this one just “fell into our lap” at the right time and we are very glad with the opportunity it gave us to see a bit of Cape Cod and have a nice stay with Tui.
Best feature(s): Location on the northern, quiet side of Cape Cod, proximity to a great trail to walk the dog, vegetable garden we picked from every day.
Best “gadget(s)”: The rustic cottage had everything we needed. We loved the porch out back and the bird feeders, attracting winged (and non-winged) animals.
Surprise(s): Mark and I had no experience with American Pit Bull Terriers and were pleasantly surprised with Tui’s charming, sweet and affectionate personality. The owners of the cottage were very accommodating and even cooked a delicious meal for us on the last evening.
Downside(s): The unfavorable weather during most of our stay. This meant we couldn’t use the porch or enjoy the sunshine on beaches and in town, where walking was quite cold and windy.