I think there comes a time in everyone’s life, especially around the summer, where you realize that you absolutely need a break. I hit that point in early August, so it’s a really good thing I had some vacation plans handy. As in, the first vacation I’ve taken (as in, a real vacation where I don’t work at all) for five years. So, Lucky Guy and I hit the road and took off for Massachusetts and the sandy beaches of Cape Cod.
I’m someone who doesn’t realize burnout easily, but once all the signs are there, it’s absolutely crucial that I get the Hell out and get some rest. It’s the time where everything becomes hard, where writing —for me, at least —becomes a Herculean effort. We’ve been through a lot this summer, folks: both Lucky Guy and I had some pretty serious medical concerns and both of our businesses took off like a rocket ship at the same time. We eventually turned to each other in July and realized that for us to save ourselves and the whole concern of “us,” we needed to get out of New York and slow it way down. We needed a few days worth of saving grace in the way of peace and quiet.
And that’s exactly what we got.
I won’t bore you with vacation photos of every single place we went because one of the mandates was no working. Which means, no blogging or writing or taking and posting a million Instagram photos (even though I managed to sneak a few while we were basking in the sun…I know, I cheated.) But if I can encourage you to do a few things if you head to this idyllic vacation haven, please note the following:
Rent/bring a car – I’m saying this for us New Yorkers who forget that every place other than our five boroughs usually requires vehicular transport. Having a car for a few days was incredibly freeing. We took the train from the city to Stamford, CT, to rent the car (cheaper than renting it in the city,) and just hit the highway. Which means that I got to exercise a few car trip rules, like the mandate that we must stop at a Cracker Barrel somewhere en route. Driving into Cape Cod and around the island brought the most beautiful sights. It also led to plenty of awesome food discoveries around our location of Chatham, like Sundae School Ice Cream Parlor, and George’s Pizza House in Harwich Port.
But, since our house had a grill and a full kitchen, we cooked most meals at home, which saves money and allows for awesome romantic meals. Filet mignon and grilled vegetables are best enjoyed in a hammock, I must say.
Explore the ponds – While the Cape is known for it’s stunning beaches (Lighthouse Beach off Main Street is stunning, that’s where the photos above originated,) I’ve never seen anything like the freshwater ponds that are all over the island. They’re much smaller beaches, but they’re immaculate and they have something I came to really cherish: silence.
A few kids will splash around the water here and there, but otherwise, you can swim in water so clear you can see to the bottom. The ducks are so tame they’ll come up and join you on your blanket. Not to be believed.
I also made a friend: a little perch followed me around for a day. Lucky Guy and I named him Percy.
Bring the sunscreen – I hoard sunscreen all year from press packages so I can enjoy the best the minute I see sand. The Aveeno Active Naturals sunscreens proved to be absolutely amazing: water-resistant and with amazing sun protection. We were out in the sun and sand for four of the five days and neither of us have any sun damage. See also: this is also because I had us on a timer to reapply sunscreen every 20-30 minutes with an SPF of no less than 30 in cloudy weather and 50+ sunscreen in stronger sun. I also switches us to SPF 70 by the third day. You will also want bug repellent (mosquitos so large they could carry away small animals,) so we also brought a ton of Avon Skin-So-Soft, which came in SUPER handy.
Rent bikes – Eventually, please ditch your car and rent bikes. The sweet ladies at Barb’s Bikes will totally take care of you if you’re in the mid-Cape. They will also be kind enough to fit you for a bike and show you the ropes for those of us who have never been on a mountain bike. I crashed my bike twice before I got the hang of it. I’m not too proud to admit that. But I can also ride that bike sitting, standing, and coasting on the pedals.
Related: The best mountain bike under 200.
Pack some skin-loving products – I’m a big fan of replacing lost moisture and fun in the sun will really take it out of you, so I packed full sizes of Neutrogena Rainbath (obsessed with the Pear and Green Tea fragrance) and Body Oil. The Triple Repair Fortifying Leave-In Treatment was amazing in the sun and kept my hair from getting too parched. I also do not leave the house without the Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. I have it in every bag; it’s the difference between lizard skin the night after swimming or soft, supple hands. I prefer the latter.
Fall in love – Honestly, most people in New York are Hamptons aficionados, but I think the Cape is where it’s at for us. I’m already looking to book a trip back this fall and I think we may go for a couple of weeks next year. But it was a nice way to unwind and recharge before Fashion Week. I didn’t pack too many clothes, and I lived in a bathing suit, a sun hat, t-shirts and cutoffs for a week. It was heaven. We found heaven, we found peace…and we found each other again.
We love you, Cape Cod. See you next year!