And so Columbus Day weekend arrived.
Plans had been made, scrapped, revised, changed, reconsidered, negotiated, discussed, analyzed and considered and finally…as the best plans often are, left entirely to chance. The primary details were all we needed to know: Jess and Marc were coming to town on Friday afternoon, and depending on the randomness of escaping Manhattan via public transportation at the start of a holiday weekend, Patrick would be arriving sometime later.
When I got home from work Friday afternoon, a pair of messages awaited. First, Jess and Marc had washed up on the Cape and found their inn…just up the street…and were going to freshen up and relax a little after the long journey. The second message brought the equally good news (unless you were one of those people who got knocked down between Brooklyn and the Port Authority in his mad dash to get there on time) that Patrick had managed to get himself on an early bus and so would be arriving sooner in the evening that we had dared hope.
Before too long, I had the chance to meet Jess and Marc, as we agreed to rendezvous at the Nest for some cheese and crackers whilst we awaited word of potential delays of the Lacey bus journey. What a pleasure to meet these two guys whose blogs I’ve been enjoying since last spring. They are every bit as friendly and fun as their blogging suggests and we had a terrific time getting acquainted.
Badum was happy to greet them, as well…perhaps most especially Jess, because felines do seem to have a special knack for identifying the Allergic Person in a room and loving them. Our friendships solidified as the three of us piled into the car to ride to the bus station, stopping along the way to pick up some Benadryl.
Patrick had just arrived before us, so we collected him and made the return trip to the Nest, all of us chatting like old friends already. Of course, the three of them really are old pals, as I was only making their acquaintance that day (well, Patrick and I met a few weeks back, as you may recall). Anyway…we were having some laughs, only sometimes at the expense of Nigel, the british ship-board computer who seemed to know best how to drive through town. ; )
Anyway, I wasn’t terribly good about taking pictures, we were having so much fun getting to know one another. Marc settled right into the kitchen, heating up the Chicken and Noodles he’d brought along for our meal, along with some of the challah bread he’d baked recently. And of course, there were blackberry cosmos and hard cider to distract us from anything bloggerly like photography, with the except of the one shot above.
I can assure you, however, that dinner was delightful. Terribly yummy and just the perfect meal, to my way of thinking, to break in the Nest on a cool October night. We talked and laughed pretty long into the evening, only winding down just a little before midnight.
Of course, Patrick and I do enjoy talking and seem to have lots to say to one another and so we weren’t able to get ourselves to sleep right away. However, we tried not to natter on too far into the night, since we had discussed the possibility of getting ourselves up dreadfully early to see the sunrise, since the weather forecast was promising.
Despite it being one of those cool early mornings perfect for sleeping in, we did manage to rouse ourselves and fortunately, it’s a short drive across town to Nauset Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. We were sleepy, but we still managed to get there just before the sun…and were rewarded with quite a show, kicking off with some fishing boats making their way splashily across the incoming surf.
It’s always cool to watch the color spread across the sky as the sun approaches the horizon, seeming to set the sea on fire. Being a night-owl, its one of those pleasures I rarely get to enjoy. In this case, the company doubled the pleasure…and with a second set of eyes, we were perhaps able to see a little more, too. Like the seal who kept popping his head up through the surf, or the birds that approached us hopefully, in search of early morning muffin crumbs or perhaps to see if we were made of gingerbread or something.
And what to say about my new pal, Patrick? Honestly, our friendship feels like a gift from the Universe. We are so comfortable together, enjoy looking at the same beautiful things the world has to offer, can’t stop ourselves laughing at the same silly jokes. And we love to talk. And listen. And worry. And talk about blogging and other bloggers. And a little, I suppose, about ethics, too. You know, the business of truth was a big deal for a bunch of us bloggers not very long ago.
As bloggers, we figure we owe a certain amount of truth to our readers, but just what the heck is Truth anyway and don’t you have to know what’s going on before you can figure out what to tell people anyhow? (Okay. Not if you work for Fox News…) And the thing is, people will think what they want to, no matter what…and so does it really make a difference what one says? Probably not. And so, to celebrate National Coming Out Day, are we telling you something by not saying anything? Maybe, maybe not. Who can say? At least we’re not trying to distract you with sousaphones.
Hell, no. We have the sunrise for that:
Before the weekend, I had mentioned the wild beach peas to Patrick, one of those local bits of flora that bear some relation to the sweet peas we grow in gardens (and that he’s nurturing on a city windowsill), and what a terrific purple color they are. I hadn’t imagined there’d be any blooming this time of year, however. So finding this one on the way back to the parking lot, where the car waited to return us to sleep, was a great surprise.
That sleep was a deep and welcome one, sort of rebooting us and we awoke not particularly early to what felt like a completely different day. Although we had plans for a hike through the Cedar Swamp in Wellfleet, we still followed Badum’s lead and found patches of warm sun in which to lounge for some stretching and coffee talk for a while, first.
Eventually we got ourselves properly motivated and out the door and arrived at Marconi Station in Wellfleet just before noon.
The trailhead for the Cedar Swamp is adjacent to the site of the Marconi wireless station, which was built around 1901. Hardly anything remains of that bit of history now, thanks to the erosion of the cliffs all along ocean-face of Cape Cod…just a small pile of bricks and a few salvaged timbers. And a heck of a view of the ocean.
We heard from Jess and Marc as we were preparing to hit the trail and so made plans to rendezvous with them after the hike to have lunch before I had to head into work. So much for our communication skills, as it was much later that we learned they were only just a little further down the coastline from us at Marconi Beach.
The weather kharma for this weekend was truly fantastic. In advance of the weekend, every time I glanced at the forecast it seemed to improve just a little bit. Although we were hitting the trail around high noon, the temperature hovered in the sixties…and as we descended along the trail into the swamp, we could feel the temperature dropping along with us.
When I first started reading Loose Ends, one of the things that impressed me the most about Patrick (although I admit there might be a few different points on that front now) was his reverence for nature and the enthusiasm with which he strikes out for time spent exploring paths and green places. So it’s quite a lot of fun by now to have shared several such experiences with him and discovered that it is at least twice as much fun as I might’ve guessed reading his blog.
Really, you should see this man leaping and dancing along the trail! It’s like going for a walk with Mr. Tumnus, only he has a camera and is much cuter. We stopped constantly along the trail for closer looks at any number of things and I know we were both taking photos almost continuously.
We made the decision to follow the trail counter-clockwise, in hopes of not getting bottlenecked behind other walkers and there weren’t many people on the trail, anyhow. Despite this, we saw little wildlife, as we were also finding plenty to talk about along the way. Also, did I mention the leaping? ; )
Deciding which few photos to share with you here is tricky; I expect you will see photos from our Cedar Swamp walk on both our blogs throughout the coming dull days of winter. Here’s just a few to tease you.
All too soon, we had completed the looping trail of the boardwalk. It was time to leave the wonderful shade and whispering woods of the swamp trail and return to the car.
I’m afraid it’s more or less at this point that my coverage of the weekend and its visitors gets a little spotty, as I had to excuse myself for a pair of event shifts at work. Fortunately, these were both back-to-back shifts, so while I missed the very center of the weekend, at least I was able to enjoy my new friends’ company on either end of the weekend festivities. I understand there was touring down in Provincetown (and I heard something about a sunset there) later Saturday and some further explorations on Sunday afternoon. I will leave accounts of those to Jess, Marc and Patrick, who eventually are sure to have plenty to say.
Meanwhile, suddenly it was Sunday evening and the four of us regrouped for a lovely dinner out at one of our local restaurants, after which we returned to the Nest for coffee and a peach-blueberry pie. Of course, its always easier to relax and get a little raucous with the visiting when you are no longer in an upscale and respectable eatery, so we had a great evening.
And with a little sadness, suddenly we were gathering for a final breakfast on Monday morning before my three friends piled into the car and headed back to the daily burrs of the metropolitan area. It was a pleasure meeting Marc and Jess and my reading of their blogs will be flavored with a new appreciation of each of them now. I hope it shan’t be long before they’ll return to visit the Cape again…and with luck, it will neither be too long before I’m able to get myself down to the Metro area for a little fun in the Big City.
I offer my special and sincere thanks to Marc and Jess who, seeing the sad state of my kitchen here at the Nest (a pie server, a can opener and some flatwear…), bought me a lovely kitchen starter set of pots and saucepans and bowls, which will go along way (as Marc’s wonderful dinner already had) toward making the place feel more like Home. Thanks, guys – you’re the best!!
Oh, I know: I can hear you all clamoring: but Greg, isn’t there something more you should be saying about Patrick? Why yes, my preciouses, yes there is: before he left to return to NYC, Patrick gave me crabs.
Dark chocolate ones, from the Wellfleet Candy Company, you know, because of the anti-oxidants. Because he’s funny and thoughtful like that. There were more, but I’ve made pretty short work of them. You know how that goes, I’m sure.
There are some chocolate oysters, too, but I’ll save those for a rainy day, on the off-chance they offer the same mystical powers as the mollusks on which they are modeled. Thanks, Pal!!
And so the time had come to say goodbye, to all my company. M – I – C, K – E -Y….oh, wait, sorry, flashback to the Fifties there, or at least to re-runs in the Seventies of shows from the Fifties.
Ahem. And so with a few hugs and some waving, I saw them off onto the big bad highway.
I’ve heard it was a reasonably good trip back and I’m glad to hear that, of course. Jess and Marc are back to work, hopefully a little more relaxed than before the weekend away. Patrick, that jet-setter, is on a cycle of travel to a variety of locations now and will be for a week or so.
The poor man is no doubt snapping photos everywhere he goes and filling up his camera’s memory card. Be patient with him. Before long he’ll have returned to New York and be uploading all kinds of lovely images and thoughts, I have no doubt.
And what about you? How was your holiday weekend, this one that draws to an end the Summery Times for another year. It’s fun to see the fall foliage popping up in a variety of locations around the Blogosphere. And look, it’s my first real blog post at the new location. I hope you’re finding your way over from Blogger easily enough.