Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I think I'll go to Boston...

It began as a whim of an idea. "Let's go on a girls' trip somewhere." I don't remember who suggested it first, but it stuck. You know when you start planning something with a group, and in the back of your mind there remains an inkling of doubt that you are
really going to go through with it?

That inkling was never allowed to exist.
We were women determined.
We were going on a trip.

Where to was the question. We brainstormed some ideas, but once someone verbalized the words "Cape Cod", (again, I don't remember who suggested it), there was no turning back.

Cape Cod...October leaves...Bed & Breakfast...
Boston...Four of my favorite women in the world...
What more could I ask for?!

The trip was planned for early October in hopes of some leaf peeping opportunities. Besides, it just seems RIGHT to go to Cape Cod in the fall.

My best friend, Elizabeth, her mom, Sheila, my mom, my sister, and I packed our bags while singing along to Augustana's "I think I'll go to Boston".
Or perhaps that was just me who did that....

Our non-stop Southwest flight arrived in Providence, Rhode Island later in the evening. Therefore, we had booked a hotel there for the first night with plans to drive to our bed & breakfast the following morning.

With a flight behind us and nothing in our future for the rest of the night, (besides the La Quinta Inn and a typical hotel bed adorned with a gaudy comforter), we decided that dinner out was in order. Don't all normal people eat when there is no other option?? :)

We had done a little research (of course!) before the trip, so we picked up our rental Jeep and made our way to LEGAL SEAFOODS. Contrary to the implications of its name the restaurant was not boring, the waiters didn't use confusing jargon, nor was it a cover up for a Mafia-run establishment. Just to clear things up.

It was around 8:00, and my stomach was hungry for some seafood!
I savored my lump crab cake, grilled shrimp, and blackened scallops. Between my satisfied hunger, quality seafood, and good company, the first meal of the trip was a sign that good things were to come...

Welcome to Annabelle!
My mother...she is magical sometimes. I don't know how she does some of the things she does. One mystery is how she cleverly utilizes coupons to where the store pays her to buy a product.
Another is how she found a place like Annabelle's.

Tucked away in Sandwich, Massachusetts, (the name of the town alone is remarkably appropriate and slightly entertaining), this GEM of a bed & breakfast beholds an experience that I cannot even begin to explain.
If a building could be an action, Annabelle would be a bear hug from your best friend.

The Sandwich Police are out to get those soggy subs and cheap cold cuts. The world is a safer place.

Our first breakfast at Annabelle's:
Classic Belgium Waffles with berries & peaches with thick cut bacon.

Breakfast was lovingly prepared each morning by Paula, the delightful innkeeper. One is sure to make friends with Paula and her husband, Brian. When someone feeds you so well, you can't help but like them!

I always enjoyed the attention to detail given to each dish. The edible flowers on my plate each morning also made my day a bit brighter.

Into the big city...
We decided to take the train into Boston for a day of exploring "Bean Town". What a historical, interesting city Boston is! It did not feel overwhelmingly big - like New York, for example. Yet there was so much to see and so many stories to be told!

At Quincy Market, we stumbled upon a gelateria.
Fresh gelato + sunshine = delight

One thing I truly LOVE about metropolitan areas is the diversity of culture that is reflected not only in cuisine but in music, art, community events, festivals, and overall feel of the city.
Elizabeth suggested we find a Thai restaurant for dinner since it would probably be authentic. And so the search began...
"Drunken Noodles" at Bangkok Blue
Wide rice noodles stir-fried with chili peppers, garlic, bean sprouts,
basil leaves, and thick sweet soy sauce.

Dinner was incredible...all that we had hoped it would be!
However, we were enjoying our time together so much, that we left the restaurant with only about 20 minutes to get ACROSS town in order to catch the LAST TRAIN back to Sandwich!!

Mom, Sheila, and I led the pack with our mad power-walking skills. Actually, mom and Sheila decided to make it a race making the entire situation comical. Mental image: my 5' tall Asian mother out-walking Sheila and me (who are both at least 5'8" tall) as we struggle to keep up the pace. (I might have had to jog a bit to catch up once or twice...) Elizabeth and Julie huffing and puffing a good 8 feet behind us only made us laugh harder. Which, in turn, made it more difficult to keep up.

We like to live on the edge.
Or sometimes, it just works out that we have to.

Good thing we caught our train back to Annabelle's that night. It would have been a crying shame to miss breakfast!
Crepes filled with cream cheese & blueberries and served with homemade vanilla cream syrup and honey-cured ham.

The gardens are seemingly endless on the grounds of Annabelle's. Each morning I would take a walk to explore and enjoy the variety of flowers. There was also a neat old grist mill at the bottom of the hill where grain was ground into flour years ago.

One day of our trip, we devoted to driving up the cape to the very tip at Provincetown, Massachusetts. It was a leisurely drive filled with life stories, genuine laughter, honest conversation, and a relaxed sense of exploration. Along the way, we made random stops anywhere that seemed interesting. One of these occurred when we noticed a wooden building with a lot of character. It seemed to be an old general store.

Upon entering, we were overwhelmed with the feeling of stepping into the 19th century! We were engulfed in walls of iron skillets, pans of homemade fudge, shelves stocked with yo-yo's and wooden toy tops, jars of marbles, tin advertisement signs, and a soda shop counter where a chocolate malt was just an order away.

Julie couldn't resist getting a "Whoopie Pie" - creamy sweet filling sandwiched between two soft cookies. Think a gigantic Oreo...only more nostalgic...and delicious...

Photo opportunity along the cape.
This was one of the neatest feelings I have ever experienced - surrounded by water, seeing endless blue, a clean breeze swirling all around us, feeling peacefully content in the silent presence of people who truly KNOW me, being STILL.
If I could have bottled up this moment.

Otherwise known as "P-Town" and proud of it!

Lunch at The Lobster Pot included lobster tail, red potatoes, corn on the cob, lobster bisque, and of course...bibs.

Where the magic happens each morning.

Our last dinner in Cape Cod started off with a small glass of hot, fresh apple cider.
This dining establishment was a splurge, but "go big or go home", right? Well, unfortunately
we went big but still had to go home.

Slow cooked lamb shank with root vegetables.
A warm and satisfying farewell meal.
Reflective of the feel throughout the entire week.

I was so excited about tasting this dish that I forgot about the existence of my camera! This picture may be missing a few bites, but it is still enough to make my mouth water.
Cinnamon Oatmeal Pancakes with streusel, apples, & blueberries
Homemade herb sausage
Fresh fruit & yogurt smoothie

We made some British friends from "across the pond" during our stay at Annabelle's. It is amazing how much you can learn from people when you are in an environment where sharing seems natural, boundaries are forgotten, and honesty ensues.

Not only was all the food delicious, but the opportunity to spend quality time with these incredible women satiated a much deeper hunger within me. It was a chance to share experiences, newness, excitement, precious memories, funny moments, and LIFE with one another for an uninterrupted week.

My only question is - when is the reunion??...

1 comment:

  1. Reunion please! I so enjoyed reading the Cape Cod blog and relived some wonderful memories. It would be such fun to go on a second trip like that...I could even go back to Annabelle's some day. And the food we enjoyed! Wow, I had almost forgotten how great it was - each and every day. Thanks so much for writing about our special trip! Love you,