Driving to Distraction
One of the reasons why I like being in larger cities when travelling is that we’re usually exploring on foot and the kilometres of extra walking per day serves to offset the calorie-rich foods we’re often eating each day. It’s unavoidable, as we’re often trying to sample the local specialities, in our case dishes like clam chowder and lobster rolls. If anything, it’s actually possible to lose weight with all of the walking that we get in. All of that changes once we start driving.
Yesterday was Wednesday which meant we were leaving Boston, picking up our rental car and drive about 130km to our current location which is the small town of Falmouth in Cape Cod.
Arranging our rental car turned out to be quite the challenge, all the way from home last month when we were planning this trip. We quickly learned that car rental availability for the dates we wanted were in short supply and way more expensive than anything we had ever paid for a 6 day rental. The car had to be picked up from the airport and we booked an Uber to get there, not seeing any issues as we had the exact address of the car rental location. It turned out to be one of the most difficult places to find and several times the Uber driver wanted to drop us off at a random location that in hind sight would have been a 20 minutes walk, with luggage, to the car rental place. It all worked out in there end but for a while we were both wondering if we’d ever get to the right location.
Getting out of Boston, as it would be for any large city, had it’s own challenges with lots of traffic but we had clear directions to our destination with our phone so it was really just a matter of navigating the city traffic. What was striking were how many other drivers we saw, driving at highway speeds, that were looking at their phones in one hand. This was about 6-7 drivers in a 20 minute period!
Exploring the Cape
In addition to seeing Boston, Cape Cod was also one of the places that I’ve wanted to see for years. It was a natural extension to any trip to Boston given its proximity and the small towns here are a complete change to the large city atmosphere.
We had great weather for our 4 days in Boston and we knew from the forecast that we’d experience some heavy rain while here in Cape Cod. So before the rain came, we took advantage of the sun and did a driving trip to the other side of Cape Cod almost as soon as we arrived, driving to the town of Provincetown . Getting to Provincetown from where we were based in the town of Falmouth was a 90 minute, 130 Km drive and admittadly it was a lot of driving in one day, also the same day driving from Boston. We didn’t know it at the time but this relatively small amount of driving would be eclipsed by a much longer drive we had ahead.
We’re going to need a bigger boat
One of the highlights of being in Cape Cod was a ferry ride to Amity Island. Movies fans will remember this from the movies Jaws. Actually, Amity is a made up movie name and doesn’t exist but the real life name of the island, Martha’s Vineyard, is where most of the movie was filmed.
Barb and I had rented bicycles the day before from a local bike store in Falmouth and took the bikes on the ferry with us. Despite the heavy rain that we had the day before, the day we planned to take the ferry to the island was perfect weather for a bike ride and it was just a 15 minute bike ride to the ferry terminal. We got to the ferry terminal early and by the time the ferry arrived to pick us up, there were easily 200 people there, several others also with bikes.
The 35 minute ferry from Falmouth harbour landed us in the small town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard. We started riding out of town, along the beach where we found a wide riding path parallel to the road and for about a 10Km we rode to the town of Edgartown. It was great weather to be out riding and a welcome change from the driving that we had been doing since leaving Boston a few days earlier.
The Long Drive and the Beach
By Saturday, about half way though our East Coast Adventure, we were leaving Cape Cod to get onto the road for a full day’s drive to our third destination of Wildwood, New Jersey.
Originally we thought the 650 Km drive would take about 6.5 hours but the heavy traffic along the way added another 90 minutes to the drive, making it a full day’s travel and driving through 5 US states: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
One of the interesting things we noticed driving through New Jersey was the celebrity names given to rest stops at the side of the highways. The first one we saw was the James Gandolfini Rest Area (star of the TV show The Sopranos). Then the Jon Bon Jovi Rest Area and the Frank Sinatra Rest Area.
We finally ended the long day driving getting to our destination of Wildwood and we were pretty tired once we arrived. In case you were wondering, Wildwood was not a random destination for us. It was a place that Barb added to this trip as she had visited here several times with her family starting when she was about 5 years old. Barb’s commented that it has been 50 years since the last time she was in Wildwood.
Although we only arrived here yesterday, there notable features of Wildwood is the long boardwalk and the massive beach, at least 200-300 metres of sand from the boardwalk to the water.
I’ll post the final chapter in a few days. I’ve been posting many photos on my photo web site here.