Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape Cod- the World's Repository of Fudge, Taffy, Jams & Jellies!


For my Birthday Time this year, Jv10X and I decide we'd stay at the Cape for a week- do some biking, kayaking, Provincetown-ing, catch some rays at the beach.  We were so psyched because it was pre-tourist-season, so it would be peaceful.

Well, things didn't quite turn out as planned: we were disappointed by the place we stayed in (I felt their website was rather misleading), lots of places were not open because it was pre-season, and it was cold and rainy. So that definitely put the kibosh on whale-watching, kayaking and anything ocean-y at all.  If the rental places weren't closed, it was just too damn cold (think 55 degrees and windy and cold rain.)

So, as they say, we were given lemons, so we made vodka tonics. The first night, we went to P-town to scope out the scene. As it was late evening, there were very few stores open, but it was really peaceful without too many people around, so we walked all over, making note of the places we wanted to visit over the next week.  Provincetown has nice shops, lots of cool galleries, theater....a lot of stuff in a fairly small space. We checked out the Marine Specialties shop, and that was quite the diversion!  Tons of army/navy surplus from around the world, and just....stuff. Clothes, toys, home goods, pith helmets- you name it! We also stopped at Wa, which has a Zen garden and some completely stunningly beautiful objets

The next day, we did manage to get in a fabulous bike ride at the dunes. It was pleasantly cool out and we had gone early enough to avoid the visitors that came later.  The landscape was really bizarre- all the scrub pines and sand looked like an alien landscape and you could smell the salt mist roses everywhere. The bike path was really nice, paved, and boy, there were some huge hills to navigate. After the ride, thighs aflame, we checked out the visitor's center and found out that a whale (dead) had been washed ashore several weeks earlier - they had pictures of a crane picking up the enormous tongue off of the beach!  It was the Gene Simmons of whales, I believe....

After dolling ourselves up to have a nice dinner in honor of my birthday, we went back to P-town earlier than the night before and stopped in at id. So many gorgeous things here, too!  I picked up a beautiful, simple vase there and I wish I could have afforded, oh, ALL the jewelry. Not everything they have is online, so keep checking that site as they add to it. We grilled the owner about things to do around town, why wasn't everything open, and where shall we eat? We had decide to go to The Mews, but we wanted some local input. A place called Victor's was recommended to us, they have tapas, so we thought we'd give that a shot and then go to The Mews afterwards to sample as many of their 256 vodkas as we could. Well, after walking the length of P-town twice, we couldn't find it:  the next day we realized we were about 10 damn feet from it. (We did the exact same thing the night before trying to locate The Mews- we stopped about 50 ft from it and turned around thinking we had missed it. ) 
So, we went to The Mews, and we're SO glad we did! The setting was great (nice, dark, relaxed, ocean view), the staff were fabulous, the food was divine as was the vodka.  Hands down, the Tuna Sushi Tempura was the winner out of everything we tried - I could eat that every day of my life. We also tried the crabcakes, which were delicious and the mushroom strudel, which was great, and Jv10X had the skirt steak and scallops, which he really liked. I really recommend this place if you're looking for an elegant, but relaxed, restaurant in P-town.  And, look who's also eaten here: Bob Mackie, Bozo the Clown and John Waters!
We were fortunate enough to be sitting next to a table of three women, and one of them was also celebrating her birthday- they were out on the town, and very fun. One of the women created all the stained glass pieces in the restaurant, and she took me to the lower level dining room to show me some really spectacular pieces. 
We tried four vodkas: the Snow Queen from Kazakhstan, which was best chilled, had a nice, mildly sweet taste and light on the tongue; Youri Dolgoruki from Russia, which was also best chilled, and that had a more astringent, citrusy flavor, also light on the tongue; the always incredible Zubrowka bison grass-flavored vodka (one of my top 3 favorites) and is nice not chilled; and my new favorite, a lovely Ukrainian by the name of Nemiroff Honey- Pepper: I had this 'neat', and I think that's how it should to be served. It smelled strongly of honey, but the honey taste was delicate, not cloying, and it had a little zip to it from the pepper. It was a beautiful gold color and very warming. 
I was hoping that we could have smaller 'tastes' of more vodkas, but they don't have that option. The servings were a good size, so after two, I was feeling no pain. 

We left and window-shopped all the galleries, which were closed by the time we left the restaurant. One of the exhibits that we kept missing was 'A Dozen Divas' by Robert de Michiell whose caricatures were quite reminiscent of Robert Risko. We could at least see these pieces really well through the windows, and they looked glorious. We did manage to see several galleries' shows, but I thought the Simie Maryles gallery had the most interesting works- I'm not  huge fan of paintings, but I loved Roxie Munro's pieces as well as the glass art of Ian Sylvia, which was far more stunning than in any other pictures in that link. There's a long history of art and artists in P-town, but we tended to skip the galleries of the paintings of boats, ocean, bad figurative drawings and the like. 

The next morning, we woke up to a torrential downpour and when it stopped, we decided to take a walk along the main rails-to-trails bike trail that ran behind our motel. It was paved, really clean and after we had walked for half an hour, the heavens opened back up and drenched us is cold, fat drops of rain. With thunder.  So, after getting back to our room and peeling off our soaked garb, we checked the forecast and realized it wasn't the best day for a hours-long bike ride. So, we headed back to P-town, this time during the day, so we could just go to all the place we wanted to visit that were closed the two days before. This was definitely turning into a shopping & eating trip. We checked out Utilities, The Shell Shop, Womencrafts, Stax of Wax (I snagged some comics here and the adorable owner was selling his punk record collection- so much punk!  So much vinyl!), Yesterday's Treasures (where Jv10X liberated a funky-ass Coco Joe's ashtray/lighter combo set), got a hair cut by the fabulous Carl Thomas at Salon 54, ate at Wabi Dumpling (delicious! and we tried Sake2Me's Green Tea Sake that was lightly carbonated- amazingly delicious!), purchased dessert from The Purple Feather (sold to us by one of the many, gorgeous, flirty, flirty, flirty Bulgarian boys and girls who were working on the Cape for the summer), ate some awesome pizza at George's (with large drinky-poos, nice bartender, and the hilarious realization of how porn-y the closed captioning is for Andrew Zimmern's show)....um, then we tried to get into the Whydah Pirate Museum, but it wasn't open, of course - arrrrrgh. So went back to our room.

Surprise!  The next morning it was pouring rain! We figured it wasn't going to be a good day as we noticed the household across the street was loading its camper up with two of each animal...we had completely 'done' P-town, so we decided to cut our losses and head home. We will definitely go back to Cape Cod, and we understand from the locals that September is the best time to go. We met a lot of really nice people and had a great time wherever we went. 

And we did not succumb to the pressures of purchasing fudge, taffy, jams, jellies or $2 
t-shirts....but we have plenty of random pictures here.....

6 comments:

Cranky Yankee said...

Looks like you had a good time! Love all the funky art! And pirate motifs...

Hsin-Yi said...

I've never been to P-Town, but now I have to go! Love the pictures! Glad you had a good time overall. You deserve a lovely birthday.

26 types of vodkas eh? That sounds deliciously dangerous.

The Queen said...

Cranky, you know the pirate-y goodness was for you! We also snagged a few pieces of pirate ephemera as well...

Hsin, P-town is awesome-you would love it! Oh, and The Mews has a whopping 265 vodkas.

Hsin-Yi said...

265? I guess I misread that. Man, that would definitely kill me, but it's worth a try!

The Queen said...

The drinks were a substantial size, which is why we didn't have 10 apiece!
I definitely need to get my hands on the Nemiroff Honey Pepper vodka- if anyone sees it around, give me a heads up!

Wendy said...

Sounds like you had a great time! Even though it rained, I am envious of your trip. Hmm, vodka goodness. Yes, my thighs, too, are aflame.