great island, wellfleet, massachusetts.

On a coworker’s recommendation I visited Great Island in Wellfleet all the way back in April. I’ve gone back since and it’s just as magical (and empty!) if you catch the right day in summer.

Great Island isn’t actually an island anymore – since the 19th century it’s been connected by a growing sandbar. You can read a quick history lesson here.

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TO VISIT

Here is the guide from the National Park Service: http://www.nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/upload/FinalGGGreatIsl.pdf

They have a small parking lot that my GPS can’t quite figure out. If you want to visit and your GPS says you’ve arrived, keep going about another half a mile until you see the lot on your left. You’ll go over a small bridge with a great view just before you get there.

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race point, provincetown, massachusetts.

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Confession time: despite moving here more than a year ago, I hadn’t driven all the way up to Provincetown until last week. Oops. The only time I had been to the tip of Cape Cod was as a kid, when I had taken the boat from Boston with my family one summer. Memories are so weird. I remember exactly where the boat docked, which bench we sat on with our ice cream. But anyway, I digress.

I’ve heard incredible things about the beauty of Race Point, so I put it on my summer bucket list. I’m happy I checked it off so soon. The place was essentially empty. I don’t envy the people working there to prepare the beach for the summer since this winter kicked the poor Seashore around. It was a very where-the-heck-am-I feeling, the landscape is unlike any I’ve ever seen before. The range of colors on the dunes themselves was dreamy.

And then I got to the water.

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I may need to print these out for my house (happily named the tide pool, by the way – every proper beach house needs a name, I think). I could look at these shades of blue all day.

 

Italia Part 2: Fano & the Mediterranean

This is the second of two posts on my recent trip to Italy. Read Part 1 here!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early for our beach day. My friend and her mom and I drove over a mountain or two and headed east towards the Mediterranean! [note: apologies for minimal photo editing today, i’m out of time this week!]

Part of the issue with talking in three languages is that I miss a lot of what the plans are, so Saturday was full of surprises for me, despite my friend having told me in at least one of the languages what was happening. What I definitely understood was that there is abig weekend market in Fano, and I would be there. If you know me IRL, I can shop. We’ll call it a strength and a weakness.

il mare, what beautiful words to see.

il mare, what beautiful words to see.

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I was far too busy actually shopping to truly capture the feel of that market, and besides, I couldn’t ask in Italian if I could take pictures. (Puis-je prendre des photos? was a sentence I learned on day one in Brussels, especially after pissing off some fishmongers at Garde du Midi). I’d call it a success though – I may or may not be coming home with a new pair of Italian shoes. 🙂 I felt like Cinderella.

After the market it was time to head to our… campground? Here was surprise #1 of the day. I somehow completely missed that my friend’s family has a campsite on the sea, complete with a car trailer, and that I’d be meeting the extended family over lunch, haha. We showed up and this delicious plate was staring me in the face.

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It was made with all kinds of fish, from shrimp to clams to lobsterlike things to bony white fish from the market. In the top corner is a zucchini salad, and we also had green beans, white rice, and fresh Italian bread. Surprise #2 – Italian bread tastes completely different from home, it’s far less salty but equally as useful for sopping up tomatoes and herbs. Mmmm mmm. They got a kick out being able to talk to me in “francese,” but I liked listening to the Italian surround me while I was eating.

This was my first view of the Mediterranean.

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I did what any sensible ocean lover would do and walked right out to the water and swam. It only lasted about ten seconds before my friend was sent to calmly ‘rescue me’ because ‘people have died swimming after eating as much as I did beforehand.’ Seems a lot more severe than the ‘wait 20 minutes or you’ll have a stomach ache’ I was used to hearing, haha. I didn’t want to concern anyone though, so I “forced” myself to nap in the sun for a bit, haha. Did I mention how much I love this country yet?

We were on the beach for hours, collecting shells and playing with the one year old in our company. One thing that was different from home was the people walking up and down the beach selling things, like knock off purses, bracelets, hair wraps, and pinwheels. The only time I’ve really seen that was in Haiti (and I still wear the necklace I bought from that man to this day). Not only that but they’re walking around in jeans and long sleeve shirts! Eesh.

When we got hungry again, my friend took me to the best little piadina restaurant in Italy. I’m not even sure if it was in a town it was so remote. But surprise #3, piadina is REAL darn good.

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Especially when accompanied by Italian beer. I got prosciutto, rucola, and stracchino. Oh look at that, we’re back to the best meals of my life list. Deliciously filling and warm and gooey and quintessentially Italian.

I learned about six or seven words while I was there – per favore, ciao, grazie, si, francese, inglese, and machina, haha. Putting on my (miserable) Italian accent even allowed me to order a meal for myself by pronouncing the menu appropriately and throwing “e vino per favore” on the end. I was a little proud, though I’m sure the waitress choked back laughter when she heard me speak.

In my last post I mentioned our drive to the top of a mountain for a photo shoot. This time it was to see an ancient Roman tunnel carved out of the mountain. The plaque on the outside said 76 AD. Like… thirty years post Jesus, we’re talking. Italy, you’re SO OLD. But you’re aging so gracefully so it’s okay. 🙂

The tunnel was really small, but this picture should give you an idea of how fast you’re supposed to drive through it regardless.

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On the other side we pulled over because the sun was hitting the mountains just right. I love the color of the water and the sun together.

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Too tired to continue our day, we passed out as soon as we got home… again. I’ve never fit so much into a vacation and yet felt so relaxed! Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the 16th century farmhouse we ate at, with an infinity pool next door. If it sounds like heaven… that’s because it was.

buona notte, italia

buona notte, italia