For our second major stop on our New England 2013 tour we made the short two hour drive from Newport, RI to the very tip of Cape Cod to visit Provincetown, MA. Matt being more familiar with New England made the executive decision that Provincetown had the most to offer of the small Cape Cod towns, and from my limited experience I’d have to agree with his assessment.
Provincetown or “P’town” as it’s affectionately referred to by locals, is famous for its diverse culture and is a popular vacation destination for the LGBT community. I’m not really sure how it came to be that way, nor do I care. The atmosphere was that of acceptance, which I found to be quite refreshing and everyone was friendly. The main drag in Provincetown is called Commercial Street and runs parallel to the bay. It is lined with bars, shops, local color, and limited drama. There’s something to be said about a beach town that’s not laden with half naked people, hordes of children, or obnoxious frat boys.
Commercial Street, Provincetown, Massachusetts
The drive out to P’town was easy going. We stopped at a place called Box Lunch in Wellfleet on our drive and had some wrap style seafood sandwiches. The lobster roll was as delicious as expected. We drove down to the pier at Wellfleet and had our lunch while admiring the view. It wasn’t a bad little detour but other than amazing views and one or two restaurants Wellfleet didn’t seem to have as much to offer as Provincetown.
A few musts in P’town:
- Our choice of lodging was perfect. Benchmark Inn is a little B&B within walking distance of Commercial Street and everything there is to do in P’town. The owners were welcoming and attentive without being overly intrusive. The European style breakfast with homemade bread and hand selected cheeses was a welcome break from the “continental” breakfast we were offered at the other stops along our trip. I would highly recommend this place and I fully intend to return. Matt and I spent a lot of time just hanging out on our deck enjoying the view.
The view from Room 7, Benchmark Inn, Provincetown, MA
- Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch was a fun touristy day outing and we actually saw a few whales and sharks. I’m glad we had the experience but I feel like this is one of those things I’d likely never do again.
- Bicycle rental was very reasonable. We rented bikes for $20 each for a half day and road out to Race Point Beach. I’d suggest packing a bag and a lunch and spending the day at the beach before heading back. The trail is roughly 7 miles total and there are some hills. It was a breeze for Matt but I definitely struggled a little. A stop at the beach is a nice way to break up the trip.
Me & Matt at Race Point Beach, Provincetown, MA
- If you get sick of seafood as I’m ashamed to say I did, El Mundo was a great little Mexican treat with authentic margaritas, decent queso dip, and awesome service. They even worked seafood into a few of the specials if you’re into that sort of thing.
- If you’re in the market for a nautical themed tattoo, piercing, or other abomination, I can’t say enough about the service at Mooncusser Tattoo; friendly, welcoming, and non-judgmental. Don’t ask me why I know this.
- On our last night in town we mingled with some locals at Old Colony Tap bar and “restaurant.” Although we didn’t eat there, the beers were cold and fast and the service was friendly. The bartender is a bona fide Cape Cod native whose family has owned the bar since 1954. The only downside of this place is that I wish we would have discovered it on the first night instead of the last. That and the slanted floors.
A few disappointments (if you can even call it that):
- I’ll have to admit as much as everyone talked up The Lobster Pot I was expecting more. It wasn’t one of my favorite meals and the portions were way too big. From what I remember though, the prices were reasonable and the service was good. Oh, and I did really like the Clam Chowder.
- I was moderately annoyed with the service at The Squealing Pig. They advertise themselves as an Oyster House and yet the bartender gave us attitude when he had to shuck our oysters. It definitely gave me a bad taste for the place.
- We happened into a place called Fanizzi’s one night and I thought the crowd was either really odd or really old. It’s hard to say from my notes. It could be the fact that I was drunk when we got there and knocked a candle over when we sat down. No, I didn’t start a fire, but it did get a little awkward after that.
Next up – Boston
First, let me start by saying I had a truly lovely vacation to New England. Two weeks of hotels, restaurants, and site seeing is a bit overwhelming to cover in one blog post so I’ve decided to break this up into several entries based on where we made our overnight stops. I attempted to take notes along the way, but as you can imagine, eventually all the lobsters, tequila shots, and port towns started to run together. I will do my best to capture the highlights and lowlights of our road trip.
The first official stop on our trip was Springfield, Massachusetts. Matt used to live there back when he had more hair (I’ve seen pictures it’s wasn’t a good look), so we stopped in to to visit with some of his friends and family. Friday night we had dinner at a place called The Fort, which is a German themed restaurant with pretty cool décor and even more impressive food. Much to Matt’s disappointment, I don’t really like German food – and don’t get me started on my distaste for sausage. That being said, whatever the hell a schnitzel is was surprisingly good and the homemade dressing was an added treat. If all German food tasted like that I’d probably eat more of it. Just keep those damn sausages away from me (TWSS).
The Fort, Springfield, Massachusetts
The second night in Mass we enjoyed a home cooked BBQ with some of Matt’s family which was a welcome beginning to our two-week adventure. They filled our bellies full of roasted pork, corn on the cob, and beer. Need I say more?
Before arriving in Newport, we made a detour to the little town of Mystic, Connecticut. Other than almost choking to death on a slice of Mystic Pizza (yes this really happened), our detour was rather uneventful. Mystic is a gorgeous small port town and if you’re up that way it’s worth a stop. Unfortunately, the only thing I now associate with the town is I almost died there and the pizza isn’t that great.
Newport, Rhode Island was high in the running of my favorite destinations on our trip. I don’t know what I was expecting, probably something more like Mystic, but I was pleasantly surprised by the coastal location, the shops, the food, and the plethora of activities. I am convinced that New Englanders have been intentionally keeping Newport a secret from the rest of us. We stayed during the week so it was a bit quieter than it probably is on a busy summer weekend, though I’m sure I would prefer it that way. I could see it easily turning into a drunken, popped collar kind of crowd.
Newport, Rhode Island
Hanging out on our roof deck, Newport, RI
(not pictured, #allthechampagne)
- The clam chowder at Brick Alley Pub was by far my favorite of the entire trip and I had at least 10 different kinds over the course of two weeks.
- The Mooring had some good fresh seafood. If you go you must try the Bag of Doughnuts which are basically little fried seafood fritters with some sort of amazing dipping sauce. Just thinking about them right now is making me want some.
- Sailing! If you’re on the water, it’s the right thing to do. We tried Adirondack II which is a Schooner (I have no idea what that means but it made Matt happy and they served me mimosas so who am I to argue). The staff was incredibly friendly and the weather was perfect.
Adirondack II, Newport, RI
- The Clarke Cooke House has a great view and atmosphere. We had lunch there and were happy with it but I wouldn’t say it was my favorite food-wise. Booze helps.
The view from Clarke Cooke House, Newport, RI
- The Cliff Walk is a must do while in Newport. It’s a short, easy walk along the cliffs with breathtaking views of both the Ocean and some of the historic mansions that line the cliffs. There is also a beach at the entrance that I wish we would have had more downtime to enjoy.
The view of The Cliff Walk as seen from Easton’s Beach, Newport, RI
- Matt insisted that I add The White Horse Tavern to the list, something about it being famous and old. It was definitely really cool. The food was good too, but the portions were huge. I would suggest sharing the Bouillabaisse. While delicious, I felt like I was wasting a lot. The atmosphere itself was a little stuffy. I don’t know how to explain it other than I felt like I had to use my inside voice and keep my elbows off the table. It’s also possible I saw a guy there who actually dates back to the 17th century.
- Newport did not seem very dog friendly to me, which is a stark contrast to some of the other stops we made. Maybe not a deal breaker for some, but it may affect my decision to return should I decide to bring Olive on our next trip north.
- The local wineries were not our favorite. Newport Vineyards was particularly odd. It’s located in an apparent strip mall which is currently in the middle of being renovated. In addition to the lacking décor, the employees were actually quite rude. It felt like we walked into their living room and asked them to poor us some wine. I would highly recommend avoiding both the winery and the wine. If you must visit a winery while in the area, Greenvale Vineyards had a much better view and a friendlier staff. That being said, we decided after those two stops not to try anymore New England wine – well, until Bar Harbor, but more to come on that.
Greenvale Vineyards, Portsmouth, RI
Next up – Cape Cod
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that all opinions expressed here are personal and have not yet garnered me any monetary gain, though I’m not opposed to that option.
This weekend as the second part of my personal yoga journey I set out with my friend Dave of J. David Photography to capture some yoga poses in nature. For our first photo shoot together we ventured to the Virginia side of Great Falls Park early(ish) Sunday morning – though probably not as early as Dave would have liked. It should be noted that if you’re attempting any sort of alone time/meditation/peace, it cannot be accomplished in Great Falls after 11:00AM on a weekend. In an attempt to avoid as many people as possible we hiked a couple miles just north of the overlook area, which is much less populated. The foliage on this April weekend was not as green and lush as either of us had hoped, but the weather was spectacular.
The shoot itself proved challenging for me. This was my first attempt at yoga on uneven ground in any formal capacity and I wasn’t nearly as capable as my ego would have liked. It’s also less than peaceful to have a camera in your face while trying to hold a pose – as you can tell by my apparent scowl in most of the pictures. My modeling career obviously would have been short lived. It was a bit frustrating until I became comfortable with my surroundings and reminded myself that yoga isn’t about perfection. Here are a few of my favorite shots and poses from the shoot.
I call this one Tree on a tree. I was literally standing on a fallen tree branch. WHY AM I SO SERIOUS!?
Side Plank – Dave did some pretty cool black-n-white/lightening effect with this one, (that’s the technical term). It’s one of my favorites.
Meditation – Ok, so I’m fake meditating for the photo, but how peaceful do these surroundings look?
Warrior One Overlooking the Falls. I’m channeling The Seven.
Wild Thing — You make my heart sing.
Dancer Facing the Falls — One of my favorite yoga poses.
Tri-pod Headstand Variation – How can you not smile when your crotch is in someone’s face? #TWSS
Side Crow – I love, love, love any pose that challenges arm strength.
Twisting Down Dog — Twisting out the margaritas from Saturday.
Headstand Pike – It’s a really fun pose to practice and great for the abs!
As you can tell from the progression of the photos, once I started to have fun with it I felt more at ease with the process. Still, there were a few positions that I can do on a mat that I had difficultly holding for a camera, such as Hummingbird or any handstand variation really. I do have some pretty gnarly bruises from my multiple attempts though — so that’s something. Hopefully, if we venture out again I will have had time to work on these more challenging poses. And maybe we can find some flat ground to work with!
All in all, I am happy with the results and I had a great time challenging myself. Thanks again to Dave for his patience and awesome photography skills. I can’t wait to see how he does at my Mom’s wedding next month.
Peace, love, and #alltheinversions,