today was my day off. it was my first time this year cashing in a personal day. on the agenda: a trip down to cape cod with julie lepage, who was on unpaid vacation today. despite the prospect of rainy weather today, julie got a hold of me yesterday and said she was still avaliable for friday's adventure. very brave of her, considering how she no longer has health insurance coverage for the time being.

i got up this morning at 8am, loaded the bicycle into my parents' ford explorer, and drove to somerville to pick up julie. i saw her cat (under the bed), i saw her turtle (under a log in the fish tank), we shared a leftover chicken calzone, she got her bike, we pumped air into the bicycles' tires, we put her bike into the suv, and we headed out. a more seasoned veteran of the cape than i am (the last time i went was over a decade and a half ago), julie had printouts ready to tell us where we should go once we got there. it was this veteran experience that made her realized i was driving 93 in the wrong direction (north instead of south) so i u-turned back to the proper bearing. this day could've very easily been a north shore adventure instead of a cape cod adventure.

after about 2 hours of driving (and a futile attempt to find good radio stations, despite the fact that britney spears' "oops! i did it again" got stuck in julie's head all day, i'm definitely making a mix tape for my next road trip) and through the aid of my etrex vista gps, we made it to our first destination, the pirate's cove in south yarmouth (728 main street), for some miniature golf action, which i hear is a staples of good cape cod fun. this would be my first time at miniature golfing. a bit hungry, we got some food in the gift shop (nothing substantial, just dessert food), i got a large blue slush puppy, julie went with some ice cream and a bag of cape cod potato chips. back on the main course, the admission was $7 per person, julie picked a pink ball, i went with red. the golf theme of pirate's cove is of course piracy, the sailing kind, and throughout the elaborately decorated multileveled course (with many waterfalls and rivers), there were replica pirate booties, pirate graves, pirate ships, pirate hideouts, and the occasional animatronic talking pirate spewing out good old fashion pirate talk. a half submerged galleon would occasionally fire from its cannon and smoke the whole course. it was surreal, and too bad we could only do one miniature golf course, because along the way we saw some others, and in julie outdated cape cod guidebook, there seemed to be a few more that were even more lavish than pirate's cove. it goes without saying that in the 18 hole course, julie totalling schooled me, but i did get two hole-in-ones versus her single hole-in-one. my problem was i hit the ball way too hard, a few times it ricocheted dangerously close to being permanently lost into the water. i have to work on that soft touch if i am to succeed in the cutthroat world of miniature golfing. the final hole, after you sink the ball, it rolls down a chute and comes out into a bucket by the front desk (for eventual recycling).

our second destination took us to chatham, to the chatham light beach. the beach sits on the southern tip of a large sandbar known as the cape cod national seashore. a sign posted at the entrance alerts beachgoers not to disturb any marine mammals that might be using the beach (we didn't see any). it was a cold and overcasted day, not much for sunbathing, not much for swimming, so julie and i just walked down a length of shoreline, tossing a wiffle ball with the jai alai paddles she had purchased from cvs. midway through i took off my socks and shoes and rolled up my jeans so i could get ankle deep in the atlantic ocean. cold! but at least i've fullfilled a dream i've had since wrapping up my project at work, that i would go to the beach, rain or shine. walking back, i found somebody's lost silver necklace in the sand, a little cape cod souvenir.

chatham light

beach erosion

julie saving
dead balloon

julie on
beach edge

& shoes

high tide!

the claw!

feeling very hungry, we were out to find a good place to have lunch. julie suggested the beachcomber in wellfleet, one of cape cod's few (if not only) beachfront restaurant/clubs. located on cahoon hollow beach (which was also along the cape cod national seashore), we took a little inconspicuous road off of the main highway to get to this place. the parking lot for some reason was full of suvs (i guess they're a favorite mode of transportation amongst the patrons). feeling cold (it was starting to rain slightly when we left chatham), julie and i both had a small cup of clam chowder ($4 each) to warm us up. for the main course, she picked the fish and chips platter, i went with the seasonally priced fried oysters platter

(platter comes with fries and cole slaw all served on a taco bowl). when our orders arrived, julie vinegarized all her food. i tried some as well just to see what all the big fuss was about but quickly switched back to ketchup for fries and tartar sauce for fried oysters. i almost couldn't finish the final few pieces because i was so stuffed. the waitress asked us whether we were on vacation. we told her it was our day off. after food, julie showed me the beach, which was essentially this steep drop 70 ft down below.

next, we drove to provincetown, the very tip of cape cod. we went through truro, the town that's slowing sinking into the ocean. originally the idea was to park down by a bike trail and ride 5 miles into town, but with the cold weather and the rain, we opted to go directly to provincetown instead. for those who don't know, provincetown has a large gay community. before getting out of the car, hetero-julie was fussing around with her short hair to make herself look pretty for the lesbians. we parked at one end of commercial street, giving us a good tour of the place as we walked to the other end. it wasn't raining by then (or a slight drizzle at most), but still cold, so julie and i both got small chai lattes to give us some warmth. like i said before, it's been over a decade and a half since i've been to the cape, and likewise to provincetown, therefore i had very little recollection of the place, so everything seemed new to me. provincetown is a very happening place, and commercial street is full of restaurants, bars, art galleries, antique shops, clothing stores, movie theatres, and a myriad of other boutiques. a lot of places had signs that read, "no food, no drinks, no dogs, no strollers." another interesting thing was the number of well tended flower gardens throughout the town. for me, i was especially interested in the stores that sold anything you could decorate a home with. there was one place that catered in asian items, and i was mesmerized by the expensive collection of insects. walking by an antique place (scott dinsmore), my eyes quickly saw a cast iron insect sculpture sitting on the floor. i backtracked to take a closer look, and saw that it was actually a votive candle holder shaped like a bumblebee (i thought it was a cicada at first). turning the price tag around i was astonished to discover that it only cost $20! i must buy! so i did, had the clerk package it for me in bubblewrap, and i spent the rest of my provincetown stay much like many of the other men, holding a fashionable gift bag in my hand, much to the amusement of julie. julie also told me it was refreshing to be in a place with so many gay men, because she doesn't feel the leering she'd usually get from straight guys. here, most of the men could care less about her gender! i told julie i was going to get her in trouble by telling one of the lesbians that she (julie) was actually very interested in sapphic love but just a little shy, needed some aggressive affection in order to open up. the big event happening this weekend was some sort of film festival featuring john waters and elvira, mistress of the dark. we saw long lines of people snaking out of the theatre. a couple we bumped into at an opened ceiling mall asked us, "are you going to the festival?" to which we both replied, "no." but in hindsight, julie and i should've said, "by festival, do you mean the orgy? then yes."

bachelor's buttons

spanking the

p-town mall


lobster pot

measure your


provincetown was the last stop on our little adventure. we got back into the car and drove home, stopping once in hyannis to get some gas. it started to rain a little heavier, but nothing too bad that'd tie up traffic. i drove julie home, she retrieved her unused bike, and then i drove back to belmont. checking the gps log, we drove about 273 miles, 6 hours 18 minutes of which where we were actually moving. that's not so bad, considering we went all the way to the tip of provincetown, and then came all the way back.