Cape Cod in Winter–Part 2–Welcome to the Dark Side or should I just say ” to the other side”

disclaimer–these articles are not meant to put a black cloud on MV. Just because we don’t speak about it, does not mean it does not exist.

Here are some interesting things I found out –RIF.  Now I am not forming an opinion of the place, just examining it.  Like anyplace it has its good and bad.  I would still revisit and I hope you give it a go as well.  100k plus people a season cannot be wrong!!!

The Dukes County Jail and House of Correction, in Edgartown (Deborah Becker/WBUR)

(Small excerpt from an article)

I’m looking at what from a distance looks like just another historic home in a peaceful neighborhood in downtown Edgartown: white pillars on the front porch, shuttered windows and a landscaped yard. But about two dozen inmates are serving sentences here, and 85 percent of them are in jail for crimes related to opiate use.

Benjamin Fogg, 31, of Edgartown, was released from jail last month, after being incarcerated for 16 months. His drug use started when he was prescribed painkillers for an injury and became addicted.

http://www.wbur.org/2014/06/03/vineyard-heroin-abuse

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The dark side of Martha’s Vineyard

Beneath its idyllic exterior, Martha’s Vineyard – beloved holiday destination of America’s well-heeled – is rife with depression, alcoholism, drug abuse and domestic violence.

(read on using the link below)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/6104806/The-dark-side-of-Marthas-Vineyard.html

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Martha’s Vineyard’s illegal immigrant ‘secret’

It is known as the idyllic summer playground of America’s wealthy liberal elite that has enchanted Democratic US presidents from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8571162/Marthas-Vineyards-illegal-immigrant-secret.html

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The alternative Martha’s Vineyard that you won’t read about in the press

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/8/the-alternative-marthasvineyardthatyouwontreadaboutinthepress.html——

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Black and White on Martha’s Vineyard

If the Obamas join the Clintons and Caroline Kennedy on the island this August, they’ll be visiting a vacationland known for its liberal politics and for its self-imposed racial segregation.

http://nymag.com/guides/summer/2009/57472/

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Search for summer employees begins in the winter oversea

http://www.mvtimes.com/2014/02/05/search-for-summer-employees-begins-in-the-winter-overseas/

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I would like to visit when the normal crowd is there and just see what it is like.  Who wants to crowd fund our trip???  We need 5000$.  What for you ask?  4 bedroom place with 2-3 baths, close to the ocean, available cook for dinner, to pay for bringing our cars (baby carriage, bikes, baby gear, suitcases, snacks, parents, cibling and gear,  kayak (lol, when we get one), gas for 2 cars to make the round trip), money to pay for food and entertainment–5 to 7 days

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Cape Cod in Winter–Part 1 (get your tea/coffee and pastry and find a comfy seat)

New Parents–new ways to travel–new destinations:  road trip time, to all the places people raved about but that just escaped us before!!

We decided to visit Cape Cod, the second Cape we did in the last 5 years.  The last was Cape May.

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Stayed at the Cape Codder in Hyannis Massachusetts.  Also visited an inn, which I will fill you in on later.

http://www.capecodderresort.com/

Cape Codder stats:

not far from downtown

down the block was a Whole Foods and across the street was a Stop & Shop

has a spa and a wave pool, provides marshmallows for roasting, crazy maze like design of the rooms

indoor and outdoor heated pool, lifeguards on site, two onsite restaurants with bar

our room had a balcony, two large beds, and served our purpose (relaxation)

While in Hyannis we drove around and to the end of roads or rather till there was nothing interesting to see. We came upon this inn-Simmons Inn.  We were driving along the road and saw that the inn had red cars in front of it- fancy ones, so we stopped in the front and the owner was excited to have us see his collection as well as pay the admission fee. (yes fee)  The guy had about 50 cars hidden away. He was a former racer.

Inside the extended shed the cars were in rows and were sitting on rocks. He had rugs between the cars and his many cats were hanging out in various cars. You could feel the elements inside so in the dead of winter it would be ridiculous. As to the cars, they were not super maintained.  The supporting paperwork was not kept in great condition either.  We also went inside the barn which had been converted into rooms and also into the inn itself.  It was definitely oldish–the inn, but I did not feel the quaintness. The owner was a widow so in my opinion “perhaps” that might of explained the lack of a welcoming touch. I always envision a “historic” property still maintaining its charm but with modern undertones.  This one was okay but needed 15% more love. The owner has his room on the ground floor in plain view.  (I shrugged my shoulders and said “I guess.”  He was also a collector of Scotch.)

On another part of our drive we tried to get as close as we could to the Kennedy Compound.  It was in sight and though there was almost no one in the area, I knew that the trees had eyes and the minute we tried to drive down the road to the house, out would come every conceivable undercover whoever.  So we glanced from a far and kept on our way just admiring the quiet and the coastal scenery.

We also visited Martha’s Vineyard late in day–this is what happens when you relax on vacation. That was interesting on all levels.  First we could not drive onto MV as it was upwards of 100 dollars to take a car along (naturally).  It was okay though and the population was slim–after all, it was winter time or close to it.  We walked on the island for a little, not so easy with a baby carriage, but manageable.  Jaywalking is out of the question, cutting through paths, peeping in windows and dashing in and out of stores being the not so easy part.   Our bright spot was meeting a woman who had been there for 65 years. She was biracial and mentioned that MV was one the places her parents could live and not be tormented back in the days. (I had forgotten the movie INKWELL.)  She picked some thyme for us from a neighbor’s tree (neighbor was not there by the way) and I have it to this day.  I pick from it occasionally when I am making a chicken dish. It is sitting in a Ziploc bag.

We ate at the hotel one night, a British Pub, and at a tapas place.  We had nothing spectacular.  The breakfast was good though-the one pictured.

I was curious then to see what else was up with MV and to refresh my knowledge of its recent history. CHECK OUT MY FOLLOWING POST ON CAPE COD!!! 

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Provincetown area beach at sunset
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Simmon’s Inn
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Sea Street Cafe
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Sea Street Cafe II
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Sea Street Cafe III
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West Beach Area
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Simmon’s Inn Servant’s Entrance
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Provincetown area beach sunset II
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West Beach Area II
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Hyannis Port

Cookie Rant and Rave!!!!!!!

I would like to go off on cookie makers everywhere…….

So it has been my bad fortune to taste/ have really bad cookies. Don’t let me start on cakes.

Where do I start!  Subway-used to be my go-to. Not anymore. Scrawny cookies. They have since thinned out the cookies. It is no longer enjoyable.

A chocolate chip cookie should have the right amount of chocolate chips. Mrs Fields, I do not remember it being anything special. I also have a bone to pick with oatmeal cookie makers. Where is the oatmeal and what is up with the overflow of raisins? This again should be a perfect balance.

I used to get cookies from a place close to where I worked and sometimes I felt like the cookies were bought. They just had a non-authentic feel about them. (the donuts were homemade though)

I also had cookies from Insomnia and Panera.  Insomnia is good but my favorite is now Au Bon Pain.  So how did I arrive at that conclusion you ask.  Well I was on my way to a meeting at a Yoga Studio in Manhattan.  I was coming from home (Westchester) and I had not had a good sweet in a while. That together with the food that would probably be served at the Yoga studio (at least what I thought would be served) prompted me to stop off at Au Bon Pain.  I remember the store from when I worked in Manhattan.  I could always catch a snack on the way back home. (1.5 hour ordeal) So I got the two for the price of one chocolate chip cookies.  I was hesitant but it was one of the few cookies left.  Some were in a basket on the table also.  So I tore into it and was instantly fulfilled.  It was relatively fresh so the chocolate chips melted in my mouth.  I have to say, I will seek out an Au Bon Pain to get my chocolate chip cookies. The jury is still out on the rest of the cookies.  I have to continue my search for the best Oatmeal Raisin cookie and then the White Chocolate Macadamia nut.

The cookie was so good I was proud to eat it in front of the gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and vegetarian members of the group–who met at the yoga studio.  I even gave the second one to my husband.  He liked it.  We had eaten Stop & Shop chocolate chip cookies recently and I found that to be somewhat satisfying as well–a distant second.  My husband had even bought cvs cookies–he must have been out of his mind.  We have one box left and are only slowly eating it. (no wasting) Iccckkkk!!!.

Check out these reviews!

http://www.timeout.com/newyork/restaurants/from-chocolate-chip-to-peanut-butter-the-best-cookies-in-new-york-city-2012-bakeries

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/guide/just-add-milk-nycs-top-5-cookies/

So the first link shows specific cookies and the second seems to tout the whole lot of cookies produced.

If you like cookies and have a favorite place, please share.  I will check out mail order cookies.  If you have experience with that, let us know.  

Valentines Day 2015-retrospective

Places in the running to take my husband out to (a look back)
Lady Mendl (made a reservation and cancelled)
Podunk (almost got a reservation but was turned off by it not having a restroom)
Tea and Sympathy (in the running till the end)
Equus Restaurant (reserved and went)
The Pierre Hotel (oh how posh that would have been–same price but we would have to be on our best behavior)
The Kings Carriage House (cute, somewhat fancy but no people watching compared to The Pierre)

So I was seeking something very specific-afternoon tea. I recently learned of its beginning and that it is different from High Tea.

http://oldfashionedliving.com/lowtea.html

http://britishfood.about.com/od/diningdrinkingtradition/a/Tea.htm

All this time and I did not even know. I have been watching or rather started watching a show called ‘Escape to the Country’ and it’s all about house hunting in the UK on mostly ridiculous budgets.  On one episode they went to the place where afternoon tea began and the host actually went to one.  It was so interesting and I was like I need to experience that. (I spent time in London as a student and visiting my relations there but it was such a long time ago and I could not even remember the specifics.)

So long and short of things, I was seeking afternoon tea.

So how did I choose the horse place????
Well I needed a specific time. Some of the places or most rather had it between 3:30 and 5:30–my babysitter needed to be home by then.  Also the first place Lady M, was pretty expensive and I somewhat let someone else’s view sway me away. So I cancelled that. And I thought maybe I’ll go local, after eliminating a bunch I came to Equus, which used to have it but stopped it a while back. By this time I had already spent so much time researching and rereading reviews and was afraid not to get anything set up so I decided to make a reservation at the horse place. I figured I could cancel if necessary and had up until the night before. I was thinking of going to Tea and Sympathy and hitting the British store next door. We would then splurge a bunch of money on digestives, chocolates, tea, etc. But in my mind I knew it would be really crowded and we would have to wait. It was really cold-polar vortex squared. It was late into the night I decided we would go local.  The back story is that I was on the fence a whole week before and one thing swayed me to the horse place.  AMEX has gift cards that are in partnership with OPENTABLE-a discount rather.  So I had points to burn and well, I figured free money would help me splurge at this restaurant.  (Use your resources, don’t be ashamed.–If it was more I would have dropped 125$ worth of cards. I only used $75 worth.  LOL)  So I was a high roller, dropping 125 for brunch, which actually turned out to be  a ton of food, such that by the second course I was almost done before beginning.  So did I get my money’s worth, probably.  The location was awesome and I can see why people pay to go there–I am not to be included in the term “people.” 🙂

In the end the horse place (aka EQUUS at the Castle Hotel & Spa) was decent. 6/10 I have had better duck. My husband’s fluke was good.  The dessert was good but I am not a cream person so would have enjoyed the Sticky Toffee Pudding- Toasted Vanilla Brûlée Paste, Chai Jelly and Vanilla Ice Cream.

See the pictures below.

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