May 26, 2024
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May 26, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Studies show that taking the occasional vacation helps you live a better life. Experiencing new sites, taking in the local fare, learning new things; it all contributes to helping you be a better, more refreshed you. What happens when your traveling companion is not a big fan of spending money? You look up the hotel you are staying at for free, on points, and make sure it isn’t listed in the bed bug registry. You pray to the lord that when you open the door to your hotel room, there aren’t any dead bodies lying around and the sheets and towels are clean.

Recently, husband #1 and I decided to venture out to Cape Cod. When I googled “free things to Do in Cape Cod” my computer did not laugh at me, but came up with a website from Boston.com titled, “25 Free Things to do in Cape Cod.” I kid you not. Though a couple of them were a little mundane, i.e., how many nature preserves and ducks in marshes do you need to ooh and aah over, some of the other stuff was pretty interesting. Here is a brief review of some of the sights on the site just in case your family is thinking of going. Before we begin, I will answer the question of “what did you do for food?” We had a refrigerator in our room and we brought along a grilled cheese maker (best invention in the world-did you know it could make tuna melts?). Just lovely; we had turkey on bread for dinner, which is about as classy as it gets, unless of course, you put mayo and some pringles on the bread and then it is even classier! We also brought all of our own drinks. Baruch Hashem.

Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory: The factory is located in Hyannis, which was a 30 minute drive from where we were in Eastham. The tour itself takes four minutes; six minutes if you walk really slowly and two minutes if you are with screaming children. It is cute and there are lots of other things to do in this neighborhood, most of which are not free, but the highlight was the free bag of chips you got at the end of your tour. If you are really cheap, you can say it’s your lunch.

Cape Cod Lavender Farm: This is worth going to, but bring your best hiking/walking shoes. The lavender is beautiful and there is a trail you can hike on. Hike is an exaggeration; it is a walking trail. Be sure to bring bug spray and your sense of direction. Husband #1 was a little skeptical about the whole “lavender” thing, too feminine, too girly. Well, I had to bring out the big guns and say “Do you remember how many baseball games I have had to go to?” And then he stopped whining.

Woods Hole Aquarium: Woods Hole is another quaint little town with lots of adorable restaurants (no, none of them are kosher) and shops filled with lots o’ stuff. The aquarium has seal feedings for their two seals at 11 am and 4 pm. Plan your trip to coincide with that because the place itself only takes about 30 minutes to get through. Parking is also an issue. There are some meters around the area and only one side-street that had free parking. Or, we just think it was free and we were lucky not to get towed.

Provincetown: We gave in and paid to go whale watching because it was so worth it to be in a boat next to an actual whale. Spend the money on that.

Cape Cod Rail Trail: This is a 22 mile trail that you can get on from several of the towns. Great for biking and great for walking. It is scenic, it is peaceful and, yes, free.

Lighthouse Tours: We found one in Nauset Light beach, but there are several all over the Cape. The views are exquisite, but don’t go if you are claustrophobic. Tight space and tight staircase; don’t say I didn’t warn you. You also need to pay for parking, so husband #1 sat in the car and I went up without him; 20 dollars saved is 20 dollars you can spend on the awesome drive-in movie which is also in Eastham.

Cape Cod Baseball League: Check the schedule and try to catch a game; many MLB players started out playing in these games. You never know whose autograph will one day be worth something! We did not go to a game, because I refused, but, when we went to the JFK museum in Hyannis, included in the 10 dollar per person charge was a tour of the Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame. Mind blowing experience…ssnnnoorree.

We didn’t get through all 25 things on the list, but we did what we could and just being near the ocean and breathing in the fresh air is worth it all. I highly recommend a trip to the Cape…even if you aren’t a Kennedy.

Banji Ganchrow had not been on a vacation with her husband in a very long time. It was very lovely and she would now like one of those big houses on the ocean, preferably the one that was also next to a Ben & Jerry’s.

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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