Three new arrivals came to visit for two days and a night: my sister Jennifer, her daughter Hayley, and Hayley's friend Emily, who we've known since she and Hayley were young kids. We all went to Hyannis, the next town over from ours, famous for being home to one of the Kennedy family compounds. It has a really nice main street with unique shops and restaurants and outdoor cafes. We also went on a short tour at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory to see how potato chips are made, and we got free little bags of chips at the end. Yum! Free, freshly made chips are always good!
The Cape has playgrounds too...
Hayley and John in the car
In the evening, my mom, Jennifer, and I went out and did the coolest thing and by far my most favorite thing of the whole week. We went to the immaculately maintained old town of Barnstable for a Haunted History Tour. It was excellent! I can't say enough about how much I enjoyed it. It was from about 7:00 to 9:30 p.m., and it was led by members of the Cape and Islands Paranormal Research Society (http://www.caiprs.com/). In fact, the man who led the tour is good friends with Jason from one of my favorite shows, Ghost Hunters. The tour was the perfect blend of history and actual ghost stories, which makes sense, since hauntings are usually intertwined with the history of the place where the haunting occurs. We had a few very interesting experiences. I won't go into them here, but suffice it to say that I was more spooked than I've been in a long time! I'm definitely planning on doing this again next year!
The tour guide dressed in a colonial cape and hat. This was the first stop. This place is haunted! Among other things, the lights go on and off at random. The people who work there have actually seen the light switch flip up and down on its own.
The Crocker Tavern House, which dates back to the 1700s. This house is now in operation as a vacation rental, which is cool, but I'd be nervous to stay here given the weird things that happen in the house to this very day.
A creepy graveyard we spent some time in, haunted by two spirits. One is a little girl (we saw her grave) and the other is a big, dark, brooding type of entity that frightens even some professional paranormal researchers.
I wish I had more pictures, but it got dark out. There were several stops, and the last place we walked to was "The House of Eleven Ghosts," the Cape's most haunted house. It was really creepy, and really cool.
Friday, August 8th
We spent most of the day at Provincetown, which is up at the tip of the Cape. It's where the Mayflower first landed before landing for good at Plymouth. P-Town, as it's known, is a really unique place. It has tons of cool shops, and it's a really liberal, alternative kind of town despite being so old and historic. The thing that makes it really distinctive is that it's become a mecca for the gay community, which makes for some rather interesting sightseeing.
Hayley and John at a lookout point in Provincetown.
The view was so beautiful! I like how you can see the shadows of the clouds on the trees.
Trees, sand dunes, ocean
What would a summer outing be without ice cream? John ran around and frolicked without his shorts on in front of the Pilgrim Memorial. Hey, it's P-Town, so it's cool.
Jennifer, Emily, Hayley, and Mom
The Pilgrim Memorial tower
Can you spy John Howland and the Tilly names? Peter and John are their direct descendants.
Saturday, August 9th
My mom and I went out for a nice morning drive through some of the nearby towns. We went to the Sydenstricker Gallery (http://www.sydenstricker.com/) in Brewster, where she bought me a nice dish to add to my collection for my birthday.
When we got home, it was time to pack up, clean the house, and go. I was sad to leave, for two reasons. One, it was the end of vacation. Two, it was our last time in the house we've stayed at for the past four years. It's owned by friends of ours from my old ward in Mass., and they just sold it because they're moving to Utah. I'm going to miss it. We've had a lot of fun times there over the years, and it had a good location on the Cape and near the beach, and it had a wonderful hammock in the backyard that we all fought over. Next summer, we'll find another house to rent and maybe try out a new town, until someday we can afford to buy our own house on the Cape. Now that would be a dream come true! (Hint, hint for future birthday ideas, Peter!)