Posts Tagged With: summer

If I saved more money, I would……buy a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare

View from our room's balcony at the Marriott Surf Club Aruba.

View from our room’s balcony at the Marriott Surf Club Aruba.

Earlier this August, I spent a week of relaxation and fun on one of my favorite islands, Aruba.  Their current “One Happy Island” marketing campaign portrays the island and its feeling perfectly. I was definitely happy the entire time while there, and as the campaign states, their weather is ideal. This was my second time on the island, and it rained for about an hour and was cloudy for a total of maybe four hours.  The rest of the time, the weather was PERFECT. A breezy 90 degrees and mostly sunny during the day. Cooler, breezy, and probably close to 80 at night. Last time, it didn’t rain for a single second while I was there. You gotta love an island with amazing blue waters, white sandy beaches, and palm trees that’s also a desert that hardly ever gets hurricanes!  I love the Bahamas too, but hurricanes would be the one thing deterring me from planning an August trip there.

Enough small talk about the weather.  This spring, while driving around the Boston area and listening to my favorite top 40 radio stations, with commercials about “One Happy Island” reminding me how great the island is every 10 seconds, I made the decision that I would just HAVE to go.  Who says traditional advertising is dying?  That radio commercial worked just fine on me.

I was very lucky to stay in a family’s suite at the Marriott Surf Club, which is a villa timeshare resort located in the same complex as a Marriott hotel and the Marriott Ocean Club villas at the northern end of Palm Beach.  Featuring a number of nice amenities, including a large pool, lazy river, swim-up bar, free wifi, sunset views, daily activities for both kids and adults (everything from Zumba to Iguana Interactions) and more, the hotel was the ideal place to spend the week.  Although we spent a couple of days sightseeing on the island and on a snorkeling trip, the rest of our time was spent laying on the beach reading, cooling off in the ocean, or aimlessly floating around the lazy river during “happy hour” while sipping refreshing Aruba Breezes.

The bedroom of the 1 bedroom villa.

The bedroom of the 1 bedroom villa.

Since the Surf Club is an easy walking distance to the hotel strip with lots of restaurants, shops, and bars, most nights we wandered out for some dinner, drinks, or souvenirs.  A perfect location in case you ever get bored of the tons of amenities the hotel offers.

Decorated in a casual, beachy blue theme,  the rooms inside the resort are ALMOST as amazing as the pool and lazy river outside it.  Our group stayed in a studio and 1 bedroom villa that were connected with a conjoining door.  So, two couples got to sleep on the luxuriously comfortable Marriott beds, while the other couple struggled through the night on a pull-out couch. I mean the couch wasn’t that bad, but the big beds are so much better. If I could squeeze one of those white comforters in my carry-on, I totally would steal it. Between the two rooms, we also had two large bathrooms, a kitchen with a dining table, a small kitchenette in the studio, a living room area, and two balconies with ocean views. Having our own kitchen was great because we were able to buy groceries for breakfast and lunch, helping us save a lot of money AND calories. As I’ve written before, bringing food on trips or buying groceries for breakfast or lunch can help you stay within your budget and allow you to splurge on nice dinners and desserts! Perfect, because in my next post you’ll see just how much I splurged both financially and calorically.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was getting into the routine of waking up leisurely, heading down to the fully-equipped gym on the first floor (which I surprisingly actually did a few mornings), returning to the room for a quick breakfast, and having to make the difficult decision of whether I would sit by the pool or on the beach for the day. Tough life.

Now, my stay at the Aruba Surf Club was great, but it’s not the only reason why I want to own a Marriott Vacation Club timeshare.  If you’ve spent more than two seconds on my blog, you know I love travel (and ice cream but I guess that’s besides the point).  With Marriott Vacation Club, I could choose a resort in a location where I would want to travel to often, most likely somewhere in the Caribbean or Hawaii for me. And then, the best part, on years where I don’t visit my timeshare I could try one out somewhere else in the world. Florida, Vail, multiple Hawaiian islands, Myrtle Beach, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, France, Spain, Thailand…the list just gets better and better! And those are just the locations in the “collection”; it seems that with the timeshare you can also visit other Marriotts and various different hotels around the world.

Come on bank account, start growing! Fast.

The beach at the Surf Club at sunset. Such amazing views!

The beach at the Surf Club at sunset. Such amazing views!

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The Search for the Best Ice Cream in Massachusetts: Rota Springs

SMALL Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Coconut Almond Bar ice cream!

SMALL Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Coconut Almond Bar ice cream!

Nestled in a residential Sterling neighborhood, Rota Springs Farm serves some of the best homemade ice cream in central Massachusetts.  They offer a huge variety of over 50 hard ice cream flavors ranging from classics like vanilla and chocolate to apple pie and cowabunga crunch as well as a number of frozen yogurt, sherbet, and sorbet flavors.  Each month, they also debut a new limited-time flavor.  In July, they were Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Lavender…Interesting. For those not looking for a simple cup or cone, they also have many different sundaes, frappes, and toppings to chose from. In my opinion, the toppings are totally unnecessary, though.

Rota Springs had been off my radar for quite a while, and I know that I hadn’t visited in several years.  Last weekend, I was thinking of going to Cherry Hill again (which of course I love), but they close at 9:00 pm and there wasn’t enough time to make it there after finishing dinner.  I didn’t want to have to resort to the options that stay open later and get an unoriginal dessert like a Fribble from Friendly’s or a soft serve vanilla cone from McDonalds. Suddenly, I remembered Rota Springs and quickly looked up their closing time. 9:30 pm. Perfect. We had just enough time to make it there.  When we arrived, the lines had died down and were very short.  I stared at the flavor board for a few minutes and decided on two flavors, thinking I was hungry enough for the small size.  I chose a combination  of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough and Coconut Almond Bar on a sugar cone.  The cone I received seconds later was overflowing with cool ice cream deliciousness.  As a messy eater, I knew that I couldn’t finish without some disastrous spillage and multiple chocolate stains on my khaki shorts so I asked for a cup and began to feast on my favorite dessert.

I haven’t had coconut ice cream in a long time, and it was worth it to try something new. The Coconut Almond Bar features a coconut ice cream base with coconut flakes, whole almonds, and shaved chocolate. Very good, but definitely not a favorite.  I think with a few more chocolate flakes would have gone a long way, but then again I’m a chocolate addict in addition to being an ice cream addict.  My second flavor, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, was just as amazing as I imagined. Always one of my favorites, this flavor features a chocolate ice cream base with generous chunks of cookie dough, peanut butter swirls, and chocolate chips.  Some many of the best flavors combined into one! It was cool, creamy, and absolutely perfect! I also tried a bite of Greg’s Apple Pie ice cream, which tasted just as it sounds and was a perfect reminder of how Fall will be here before we know it.

In addition to creative and tasty homemade ice cream and letting customers try two flavors in their very LARGE small cup or cone, Rota Springs has a few other positive features.  First of all, they stay open past 9:00 pm, I mean who can really finish their dinner, digest, get to an ice cream shop, and savor their dessert by 9:00 pm? 9:30 isn’t much, but it offers a little additional time that I think is necessary.  Also, the prices are very reasonable and you get much more than you pay for. My small cone was under $4.00 and I was beyond satisfied when I finished. All in all, definitely one of the best ice cream places in Massachusetts.

Next time you’re in central MA, be sure to stop by Rota Springs. I know I will!

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Southern Jersey Shore Favorites, Along with Some “Best Ice Cream” Contenders

Outside of Sunset Pier Restaurant

Outside of Sunset Pier Restaurant

One of my favorite summer trips from the past few years doesn’t involve passports, security lines, or currency exchanges.  Don’t get me wrong, I love travelling internationally and visiting new countries, trying exotic foods, and experiencing cultures that are completely different from ours.  But the semi-regular long weekends at my friend’s parents’ beach house in Sea Isle City, New Jersey has become one of the highlights of my summer.  The relaxed atmosphere combined with the minimal expenses creates the ideal getaway.

Almost every year since graduation, my roommates and I, and possibly a few others make the 6 hour drive from Boston down to southern New Jersey on a Thursday evening.  After some rush hour traffic outside of Boston, the ride is usually smooth from there (except for the times that I’ve accidentally gone over the George Washington bridge…TWICE).  Along the way, we’ll stop for a traditional rest stop dinner, and we’ll arrive at the beach house around 1 or 2 am.  Much better than wasting most of the day driving and inevitably hitting much more traffic.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this beach house isn’t some little, rundown house near the beach, it’s a large, new, three-floor home that boasts four bedrooms, quite a few bathrooms, a kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, two decks, a grill, a ping pong table, and more.

During the weekend, we’ll spend our days laying in the sun and swimming in ocean at the beach that’s just a five minute walk from the house and most nights we’ll grab some food and drinks from the local grocery store and cook some healthy and delicious meals on the grill.

Since we’re saving so much on transportation and food, and not spending any money on a hotel, there are a few things that I’ll go out and splurge on. Some of my favorites are listed below.

  • Rick’s Breakfast House is one of the best breakfast spots that I’ve been to, not only in New Jersey, but anywhere.  They’re open just for breakfast and lunch and are a popular spot in Sea Isle City with lines out the door on summer weekends.  Luckily, we went on a rainy Friday morning and got right in.  The service was quick, the menu was comprehensive, and the food was delicious.  Usually, I leave a restaurant breakfast completely stuffed and sometimes nauseous. Since I always want both pancakes or French toast and eggs, I’ll end up ordering some monstrosity with multiple pancakes, two eggs, sausage, homefries and toast.  Rick’s offers the perfect solution! A breakfast that’s called the Little One with one pancake, one egg, toast (the extra carbs are mandatory for me because I need to put my eggs on toast), a choice of sausage or bacon, and a choice of homefries or waffle fries. Waffle fries for breakfast, what gets better than that? My meal was perfectly sized and I left the restaurant contently full, happy, and ready for my beach weekend.  For those that are looking for healthier options, Rick’s also offers egg white omelets and fruit sides with berries.
  • Sunset Pier restaurant: One night, Greg and I decided to go out on a little date night.  Looking for a close, inexpensive restaurant, we came across Sunset Pier.  With great TripAdvisor reviews and a location right on the bay a 10 minute walk from the house, Sunset Pier seemed like the ideal restaurant to try.  We arrived in the early evening and were pleasantly surprised to get a table out on the shaded deck without a wait.  The views of the bay were beautiful and I can imagine the sunsets are amazing.  The dinner menu includes reasonably priced appetizers, sandwiches, salads, seafood, and pasta entrées. In the mood for seafood, I ordered a mahi-mahi sandwich, and Greg ordered the Seafood Royale.  My sandwich was tasty, and I had never tried mahi-mahi before so I was happy to try something new.  Greg’s dinner, though, was so delicious. A pile of linguine in a white wine garlic sauce with mussels, clams, scallops, and shrimp. Yum!
  • Waffle Bowl sundae from Marita's

    Waffle Bowl sundae from Marita’s

    Marita’s Homemade Ice Cream: Anyone that I’ve met knows that I love ice cream.  It goes beyond that, though, you could say that I’m addicted to ice cream and I’ll take any chance I get to satisfy my cravings with another cool, sweet scoop of heaven.  Although I’ll eat any type of ice cream or frozen yogurt, homemade hard ice cream is my favorite.  Marita’s offers a wide selection of traditional and specialty ice cream flavors, frozen yogurt, frappes, and more.  I decided on a waffle bowl sundae and ordered it with cookie dough and chocolate chocolate chip ice cream, hot fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and a cherry. Amazing.  Mixing the crushed waffle cone with the ice cream and toppings definitely hit the spot.  Also as a plus, Marita’s has quite a bit of outdoor seating at large tables and benches and stays open late (I believe either 12 or 1 am!).  Who likes ice cream places that close at 9?

  • YoHo Frozen Yogurt:  In addition to traditional ice cream, I’m also always looking for some new self-serve frozen yogurt to try.  With more and more frozen yogurt shops popping up around Boston by the week, I wasn’t surprised to see a few in Sea Isle City.  YoHo is decorated with a bright, modern, beachy theme and serves 10 rotating soft serve flavors and over 30 toppings to choose from.  As I do at most self-serve places, I filled my cup with multiple flavors (chocolate pretzel, vanilla, and chocolate) and topped it with some of my favorites (chocolate chips, crushed waffle cone, M&Ms, and more). The yogurt was sweet and there were toppings in every bite. And frozen yogurt’s healthy…right?!?
  • Atlantic City:  Only a little over 30 minutes from the beach house, Atlantic City is the perfect place to spend a couple of hours one evening.  We headed up there on Saturday night and after arriving at Caesar’s, we spent some time walking along the boardwalk, eating more ice cream, and doing a little bit of gambling. I allowed myself to spend $40 on roulette betting the minimum on red or black or one of the other outside spots, and happily left $50 richer than I came.

One tip I just remembered, always carry cash.  Most of the spots above are cash only, and of course, you never want to get caught in AC without cash and have to use one of their $5-fee ATMs.

Of course, Sea Isle City also offers multiple bars in its downtown area and a bus that travels along the main roads for cheap and quick transportation for a night out drinking.  None of the bars seem too remarkable to me, and this year we chose to stay in and relive our college years with a round of Kings and summer beers.

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Sun, sand, and some good food…in Aruba

Jolly Pirates boat

When I was first thinking about writing this post, I was going to do a “top 10 things to do in Aruba” or “Aruba top 10,” but the more I thought I about it, I couldn’t really come up with a top 10.  Don’t get me wrong, my trip to Aruba was amazing, but it mostly consisted of laying by the pool, floating in the ocean or in the lazy river, reading, and relaxing.  Definitely do all of those things if you go to Aruba. That’s what a Caribbean beach vacation is all about, but you should also consider the following:

  • Jolly Pirates 1/2 day snorkeling trip.  Like every other island that I’ve been to, Aruba has many different options for snorkeling day excursions. They all seem the same. Big sail boat or catamaran, a couple of stops for snorkeling, possibly a mediocre buffet, an all-you-can drink bar serving some rum punch, etc.  The Jolly Pirates trip was one of the better ones that I’ve been on for a few reasons.  First of all, a half day is enough time.  We stopped at a couple of places to snorkel; one was super rough/wavy and had views of a sunken ship and the other was calm, shallow spot with some nice fish.  Our third spot was my favorite, though.  We all got to swing off the boat into the water on this huge rope swing. So fun! Maybe it’s because it rained during my snorkeling excursion in Puerto Rico and the water was so rough in Cancun that people were vomiting, but Jolly Pirates in Aruba was definitely my favorite.
  • Sight-seeing.  We rented a car, so one morning we took a quick trip to a few of the different tourist sites on the island: a light house, a tiny old chapel, and the “land bridge” on the other side of the island.  The water on the other side of the island was blue, choppy, and beautiful, but again, a half day was enough for this. Afterwards, I was ready to head back and lay by the pool and read some more.
  • Go into Oranjestad. The largest city and capital of Aruba, Oranjestad boasts some typical touristy shops, more restaurants, and some stands to buy souvenirs from the locals.  A lot of the buildings were painted in pretty pastels, and I’m glad we got to spend some time walking around there.

The other side of the island

As you probably know, my second favorite hobby-after travel- is eating.  So food is always a very important part of my trip.  Not 5-star gourmet food, but just tasty food, especially the kind that comes in big unhealthy portions.  We went to the Hard Rock Cafe (hahaha…I all of my friends that hate chain restaurants, I think their fajitas are good and cheap, no matter what country you’re in!) and a fun hibachi restaurant, but I would recommend:

  • Fishes and More: This cute little seafood restaurant is located on the strip of restaurants by the Palm Beach hotels.  We stopped here one night and I had a great meal of Mahi-Mahi out on the patio.  It was my first time trying Mahi-Mahi, and it was very good.  The nice Aruba breeze and the band down the block playing “Sweet Caroline” made the evening even better.
  • El Gaucho Steakhouse: My meal at El Gaucho was definitely one of my favorites on the island.  Although it’s located off a hard-to-find street in downtown Oranjestad, it was worth the longer drive and getting lost.  The restaurant is known for their steaks, so I ordered one of the more affordable smaller options, and was still completely stuffed when I finished.  The steak was cooked to perfection and came with three sides. 3 sides! I love sides, so I was very excited about that.  The garlic bread that came out before the meal was also great, and we polished off a few baskets before our food even arrived.

And of course, I can’t leave an island without a giant margarita in a plastic souvenir glass from Senor Frogs! Aruba was no exception…I may be too old for it, but I am still adding to my plastic cup collection. And yes, my over priced $27 margarita was delicious.

Oranjestad, Aruba- Marissa and I in front of the sign

Oranjestad, Aruba- Marissa and I in front of the sign

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Spending too much money on food….again

A few weeks ago, during  “spend more than you can afford on food week, but be ok with it because it’s a discount” (aka Restaurant Week), I dined at two new restaurants: Morton’s steakhouse and Skipjack’s.  Skipjack’s, a seafood and sushi restaurant in the Back Bay, was alright but unremarkable.  Morton’s, on the other hand, now that’s a story.

I’ve written about Restaurant Week before, but for those who don’t know, Restaurant week occurs in Boston a couple of times a year, and during these weeks, expensive restaurants offer pre-fixe menus that include a choice of appetizer, entree, and dessert for $33 per person.

Like usual, I figured that a steakhouse would be the best value during Restaurant Week.  I mean, who would want to spend $33 on a $25 meal, especially when you usually don’t get an appetizer or dessert.  I tend to go with places that have $45 steaks and $10 salads so I can save some money.  Morton’s seemed to have one of the best menus, so Greg and I made a reservation and headed there on a Wednesday night.

Mistake #1: we left too late to take the T and drove down to Boylston St. and parked near the Prudential Center.  Parking couldn’t be more than $15 for a couple of hours, I figured…

We headed to the restaurant, which is located in the basement of a nice apartment or office building on Boylston St. and almost missed it because all you see from the street is a small sign over a door.  We stepped into the busy restaurant, and immediately felt too poor to eat there.  We were seated by a host in a tux and brought to a nice table covered in a white linen table cloth and set with wine glasses and multiple utensils.

Our server arrived and asked if we wanted to see the full menu or the restaurant week menu.  I responded by saying that we wanted to see both. I needed to add up the regular totals to see how much we were saving! Little did I know, that “seeing the full menu” meant listening to the server recite the entire menu while pointing out different cuts of raw meat on a cart. Impressive! They didn’t make us do that at Chili’s…

While we reviewed our menu, we ordered some wine (cheapest Pinot Grigio on the menu-$10 per glass).  It was good, but not any better than the $7 per bottle wine I usually drink.  I happened to glance at the table next to  us while their food was being delivered, and saw the size of the Filet Mignon. TINY!  There was no way Greg would be full from that, even if we had a salad and dessert.  Of course, they had two Restaurant Week menus, one for the regular $33 and one (slightly haha) more expensive one that added seafood to the entree.  At this point, any thoughts of saving money were out the window.  We both ordered off the more expensive restaurant week menu, and decided on Caesar Salads, Filet Mignon with seafood (scallops wrapped in bacon for me and stuffed shrimp for Greg), and a chocolate lava cake with ice cream (me-of course!) and key lime pie (Greg).

Before our salads arrived, we got a large loaf of warm bread. It was delicious and free. The salads were very good, and the portions were big.   Our entrees arrived, and I enjoyed every bite.  The steak was cooked to perfection and the large bacon-wrapped scallops were great.  Even the sides (mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus with a balsamic glaze) were tasty.  I tried one of Greg’s shrimp, and I think it was one of the best parts of the meal!  Then, dessert came, and it was definitely my favorite course.  The chocolate lava cake was the perfect size, and came with fresh raspberries on top, and a scoop of cool vanilla ice cream.  The contrast between the hot fudge in the cake and the cold, sweet ice cream was amazing and the fresh berries made it even better.

The service was perfect, as it should have been since the server was making off of just our table what I used to make during a slow lunch shift at Sports Depot or Friendly’s.  She was friendly and attentive, and between each course, she scraped the crumbs off our table and gave us new silverware.  Once, I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I came back my napkin was folded in a fan shape on the table.

When the meal was done, I was extremely full and not even upset when I saw the bill.  The final total was more than I expected to pay when I walked in the restaurant, but not as much as it could have been.  I think the final total, if we had ordered everything separately would have been around $200.  Needless to say, we saved quite a bit.  The experience was worth every penny, although I don’t plan on going back again soon.

We strolled back to car, happy after a great meal, and headed out of the garage.  On our way out, I was hit with the biggest price surprise of the night. $27 for parking for a little over 2 hours on a Wednesday evening. Ridiculous!

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The search for the best ice cream in Massachusetts: Part 3- Pinkberry

Pinkberry photo from their website

As everyone knows by now, ice cream is by far my favorite food.   Unfortunately, it’s also one of the main reasons why I’ve gained so much weight since starting my job back in early 2010.   For about 6 months, my mentality was: work=stress=ice cream.  I worked late, stopped going to the gym, and ended each and every day with ice cream.  Not a smart plan.

Recently, I joined a new gym, and in the process remembered that going to the gym is actually a much better way to deal with stress than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s…of course my love for ice cream still remains.  I am trying to find some healthier alternatives, though.  I love Berry Freeze and the rest of the self-serve tart, healthy soft serve frozen yogurt, but sometimes I need something sweet and chocolatey.

I’d always been skeptical of trying Pinkberry because I somehow thought that you had to pay per topping, and  I loved Berry Freeze where you could pile on as many toppings as you wanted, covering the tart taste of the yogurt with strawberries, oreos, and chocolate sauce.  A couple of weeks ago, though, my roommate finally convinced me to try Pinkberry.

The closest location to my apartment is on Newbury Street. “Kind of far for ice cream,” I thought. Especially considering there are 4 great ice cream places with in a 10 minute walk.  Up for trying something new, though, I got on the T and headed to Hynes.

When we arrived, the line stretched out the door.  Fortunately, it moved quickly.  Once inside, I realized that they charge a flat price for as many toppings that can fit in your dish. “Perfect,” I thought, knowing I wanted multiple toppings.

Their current flavors are: chocolate, salted caramel, original, coconut, watermelon, and mango.  I ordered chocolate, but they were out, so I settled for the salted caramel.  I’m glad I did. It was delicious! It didn’t have the strange, tart aftertaste that some of the more healthy soft serve yogurt does; it tasted like real ice cream.  Sweet, creamy, caramel ice cream, which I chose to top with dark chocolate crunchies, strawberries, chocolate chips, and heath.  The strawberries didn’t go so great with the caramel, but overall a good combination.

Another plus: they list out the calories of each topping and each size so you know exactly what they’re getting.  Imagine if Friendly’s listed the calories for the 3 scoop Reeses Pieces sundae on their menu?! I don’t think I want to know…

I was so impressed with my Pinkberry experience, that my roommates and I decided to go again a few days later.  This time, we decided to walk the entire way there and back.  2.1 miles each way.  Not such a bad walk on a nice summer evening, and we figured that walking 4.2 miles would burn off most of the calories from the  ice cream.

Luckily, they had chocolate this time.  I tried it topped with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and chocolate chips.  Another great combination!

The only downside is the price, I think my medium was around $6.50.  A little on the expensive side, but I’ll definitely go back.

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My first bike ride in 10 years…the Cape Cod Rail Trail

End of the trail in Wellfleet, yup I got that helmet when I was 8

A few weeks before my Cape Cod trip, a friend from work was spending over a week bike riding hundreds of miles in Europe with her family.  This quickly got me thinking that if she was able to ride hundreds of miles, I could probably tackle the 22 mile Cape Cod Rail Trail (well 44 miles if you go from one end to the other and back).  Of course, she spent months in spin classes and had definitely been on a bike more than once in the past 10 years.  I, on the other hand, had not.   I really think the last time I had been on a bike I was 12…maybe 13. 15 tops.

Early in the summer, I had made the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a paved bike trail that goes over former railroad tracks between Dennis and Wellfleet, one of my goals.  The week before my trip, I headed to Target and bought a $40 bike rack, and went to Leominster to get the bikes.  Of course, my bike had a broken tire, so I took my mom’s. My dad ended up putting the bike rack on the car (who knew this would be so difficult, I thought you just somehow hooked it too the truck, put the bikes on, and you’d be ready to go).  Apparently not.  Finally, an hour or so later, the bike rack and bikes were safely loaded onto the car and we were ready to go.

Greg and I headed down to the Cape for a relaxing 4 days in Orleans. Our first day, right after check in, I was ready to get biking.  What’s that saying?…you never forget how to ride a bike.  It’s true, I didn’t forget how, but bike riding was not tiring when I was 10!  We went a total of about 8 miles from our hotel which was pretty much in the middle of the trail and headed back. One of Greg’s tires lost air after a couple of miles and we had to head of the trail to a busy road…well more like the busiest road of the Cape -Route 6, to go to a gas station for air.

Along the trail

Two days later, after spending the morning at the beach and fueling up with some expensive lobster rolls, we were ready for round 2. This time, finally, we rode the 9 miles from our hotel in Orleans to the end of the trail in Wellfleet.  The trail was mostly flat, except for a couple of hills, and the scenery was nice.  The trail is mostly shaded, which was perfect since we were riding on a 85 degree afternoon in July.  We passed some marshes, wooded areas, ponds, seafood stands, but no ocean.  Each mile is marked on the side of the trail, so we knew exactly how far we went, and as we got closer and closer to 22, I began wondering what the end would be like.  Would it be a great ocean view? A place to get ice cream? Maybe a place for clam strips? No, the end….was a parking lot.  That’s it, a parking lot in Wellfleet, a mile marker that said 22, and a map.

All in all, though, it was a fun afternoon, and we got some exercise in during those 18 miles.  Bike riding became easier as I went along, although I swear no one has a butt small enough to sit comfortably on those seats.

Now I want to head back to the Cape and ride the trail in the opposite direction toward Dennis.  Some day, maybe, I will ride the trail from start to finish, and back. Maybe.

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