Friday: this was the day in the original plans that was going to be cah-razy, because I was going to try to do the top half of the rail trail. Well, most of my biking plans have been not-happening, although I will try to get one in here in Ptown. So it was kind of a leisurely day, actually.
Got up, started a load of laundry, lazed until about 800, when I got showered etc and went down to breakfast. As I posted on FB, the musak in the breakfast room, every damn morning, was ‘classical instruments playing pop music’. Like a string quartet playing “Hallelujah” or a harp playing Journey. It wasn’t awful, but it sure wasn’t good. But the breakfasts were all quite good.
Back to the room to pack. The washer/dryer is very much like the one at home, and I’d assumed the last load would take a half hour to dry, but of course it took longer and never really did finish drying. Oh, well, I put the soggier stuff at the top of the suitcase.
Loaded up the car, set off. First destination, Wellfleet, which promised quirky shops and art galleries. I just plugged “Wellfleet” into the phone and ended up at the harbor, which admittedly had a gallery and a shop and some other stuff, but was clearly not the place I wanted to be. Took a walk around, then opened the guidebook for some specific site to search for. Found one (the church where the bells ring in ship’s time) and aimed there. Ended up leaving the car in the church lot, probably not supposed to, but no one around. They have a farmer’s market there on Wednesdays, but nothing was happening today. Did the walk around town, went in the quirky shops and galleries, didn’t find much of anything. In general, I’ve been happy to be here ‘off-season’, because I don’t like crowds, but a lot of places you can really see how it empties out and how everything is set up for 20 times as many people as I was seeing.
Decided to see if the flea market, a bit out of town at the drive-in, was open – it wasn’t. OK, then, off to Truro. But I really needed to pee and so ended up going out to the Marconi station park area. (where the first transatlantic message was sent). There isn’t really anything to see there other than pretty beach, so I did that, and moved on.
So, I pulled out my guidebook and realized that Truro didn’t really have a center to speak of. OK, so I went to the Cape Cod Light, which was very cool. (Pictures later.) And decided to get lunch. I needed to get the car back by about 2:30, but it was still quite early and I had time to kill. Went to Savory & Sweet Escape, which had been recommended in the guidebook, but the only ‘savory’ they had was pizza. No tables either, except outside, but that was fine (although it was blowy and chilly). Pizza was actually excellent, but it made the 3rd meal out of the last 4 that I’d had pizza. Can one get tired of pizza? Yes, one can.
Next task was to tank up the car before dropping it off. I passed a Shell station 10 miles out but thought, ‘surely I’ll pass another gas station’ before I get to the airport. Nope. The Provincetown Municipal Airport is at the end of a long road winding through a nature preserve, and I had to keep stopping for bikes to cross (they have special bikeways that light up). Got to the airport, sighed, used the phone to find the nearest gas station, and retraced my steps… and again after I filled the tank.
The airport is very small and they had just a few spaces for the Enterprise cars. Unpacked the car. One sad, yet possibly laden with meaning, event happened. I had a cropped photo of Charles and Leopold (my late cat), which was adorable and hilarious, that I’d been using as a bookmark. While I was putting things in bags, the bookmark fell out and it was so windy, the bookmark went sailing away, never to be seen again. Goodbye, my sweet boys, I whispered. I hope I have another copy of that photo somewhere, it’s really cute.
Went in the airport, no activity whatsoever, except two security people who approached me, puzzled. “Are there any Enterprise people here?” No, of course not, you leave your keys in a box. Then the next thing was to figure out how to get into town. Turns out they have a free phone there with a list of the cab companies. I randomly choose “Ptown Cabbies” and called. “10-15 minutes”, the guy said. Ten minutes later, a cab from “Pride Ride” pulled up, driven by a stereotypical dyke. I assumed that was for me (remember, nothing was happening in the airport), but she was there to pick up 4 guys who’d just flown in on their own airplane. (Apparently, all commercial flights were cancelled, it was so windy.) And my cab pulled in a few minutes later.
Cab ride was short (and cheap) and there I was at the Brass Key, a nice B&B that my friend Martin had recommended. Warmly welcomed by two guys behind the desk, where we had this conversation:
“Eric. Eric… and Sean?”
“Nope, just me.”
“Because there’s a wedding and we’re supposed to give out welcome gift bags and they just gave us a list of first names.”
“Oh, then yes I absolutely am one of those people.”
(we all laugh)
One of them helped me with the bags. (“I’ll take the suitcase no problem”. “Are you sure? It’s really heavy.” “Sure”. Two minutes later, “boy, it really is heavy, isn’t it?”) Showed me to my room. I’m in the “Captain’s House”, which is right by one of the heated pools, and my room is right inside the door, so I can get and have gotten to the pool in about ten steps. The room is lovely – not a whole apartment like Dennis Port, but enough room for a bed and a chair, unlike Oak Bluffs. Big bathroom, nice closet and a little fridge, which I was not expecting. Little keurig coffee maker. Very nice.
I unpacked, spread the damp stuff out on the bed to dry, and got myself together to explore. Went to the front desk for touristy maps and a little instruction (the famous place where the tea dance happens is not far away, for instance) and set out to get the lay of the land, which basically meant walking the length of Commercial Street. Got a mocha first, then did the short end, then back. It was a beautiful day, though windy, and quite crowded with pedestrians. This place is fun and funky and I could tell immediately I was going to have a good time. I’d already looked at the ‘events’ at the back of the tourist mag and had decided to go to a drag show that finished at 8:30, but it looked like a lot of restaurants closed at 9:00, so that might be an issue, but I figured I’d find some place, it would be OK.
Back to the room for resting and cleanup (and a dip in the heated pool). Then I realized after I’d already changed that I’d never picked up milk for in-room coffee, or distilled water for the CPAP machine, and I hadn’t really seen any grocery stories. Back out – the phone tried to lead me to a general store that didn’t exist, but I ended up going in a wine store and the friendly proprietor steered me to a CVS on the next street up from Commercial – which is how I found where the big tower is. CVS didn’t have distilled water, but did have milk and caffeine free diet soda, so got those and went back to the room.
Plan was to go to the tea dance to see what that was like, then go to the drag show, then to dinner. I went into the Boat Slip, a place I’ve seen pictures of from my all my friends a thousand times over the years. It being cold and windy, they had tents set up with wamers, but there was still a crowd of people out in the untented section. Apparently, it was ‘caftan day’, or such, many people were wearing caftans and they took a big group picture of them. Lots of very gay outfits, very fun, and one guy doing some dance routines with spinning rainbow flags. It was quite crowded in the tents. I felt like a potato in denim, but I was not the only potato there, every body type and age was there, and quite a few straight people. (the cutest guy there was with his wife. Or was it his mother? Meow.) I had a pretty good time, but that cosmo was right up there with the worst I’d ever had, so when I finished, I decided to get dinner before the drag show. I went to Local 186 and had a fantastic “Brit” burger and a cider.
Off to “The Anita Cocktail Variety Hour”, hosted by Anita herself. I shared a bench (a pew, really) with two adorable British bears who’d just arrived in town, and we got all chatty. The show was fun, but it was all lip-synching, and I like drag to be more than that. But it was really good. Some numbers done were “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, “Call Me Maybe”, “If I could turn back time” (as Cher), and such. Also a very funny and very filthy parody of “I love the nightlife”, “You want the buttsex?” (Oh, look, I found it online. It’s disgusting, be warned.) See, that’s that drag should be. Funny, subversive. Anyway, had a great time. Back to the room for news, knitting, and just a bit of Drag Race, I was quite tired.
Right after I post this, I’ll be doing a guidebook review, then figuring out how to spend the day. It’s beautiful, but (again) windy.