Cambridge, Boston and Cape Cod
Back to work now. After my extra long weekend to visit a friend in Cambridge, I can see why people love Boston. My friend claims that it sucks in the winter with all the narrow roads and snow, but it is definitely gorgeous in the summer time. And while Boston is known for its dirty waters, Cape Cod has beautiful, clear, see-right-to-the-bottom water.
My friend shuttled us around a lot this past weekend (thank you so much!) and here are a few highlights from our trip!
Food, food and more food! I had a delicious oyster mushroom burger from CloverKND, an afternoon cortado from Tatte Bakery and Cafe (in Kendall Square), dinner at the crowded but cozy Giacomo’s Ristorante Northend on Hanover. A second visit to Tatte Bakery and Cafe for brunch showed us that the menu options looked better than they actually tasted. Voltage Coffee and Art on our last day for an Iced Beyond the Sea (something to do with caramel and salted :P) and a 2-scoop cup (of Earl Grey’s and Lemon Sorbet) from Toscanini‘s on Main, where the winding line moved surprisingly fast helped to cool me down during the heat wave that Boston had while we were there. We also hit up Punjab (mmm) in Arlington for Indian food one night. I haven’t had Indian food in a while but this place was good (and now I want some samosas because I’m thinking about Indian food) and I ordered my favourite veggie korma. Service was slow, but faster than service at Pepe’s in Provincetown.
Tip for those who want to check out Giacomo’s. Expect to line up. If you’re lucky and you’re only a party of two, maybe you’ll skip over all the larger groups and get a table quicker. Make sure your entire party is with you and they only take cash here! I’d say it’s worth a visit. There’s a sort of charm to the efficiency that they run the place with. Prices are very decent and portion sizes are good. If you’re looking for something a bit more fancy, Neptune was another recommendation my friend gave me. Amazing lobster roll, I’ve been told.
Quincy Market is a delight both at night and during the day. On our second trip to Quincy Market, we confused our Uber driver with a LONGGGGGG and unintended detour to Quincy Market in the city of Quincy. Back in Boston, I was able to enjoy this little guy’s charming performance on the piano, harmonica and sax. Once our entire group arrived, we explored the stalls inside Quincy Market and I came across a pressed penny collector who actually had a cup of quarters and pennies with him while he pressed away.
Running along the Charles River was one of the highlights of my trip. I didn’t run for long since it was super warm out, but it was enough for me to cross 2 bridges (BU, Mass) and see both sides of the river. I can see why there are so many runners here. The picture of the city skyline was taken while on my jog. It’s also probably because of this jog that I tanned some more!
The drive through Cape Cod from Sandwich (yes that is a town name!) to Provincetown (aka P-town is a popular LGBTQ destination) is quite pretty. There is a lot of marshy land as well as glimpses of beach and white sand as you get closer to P-town. The 6A takes you through the towns and residences and some of these houses are quite pretty. Route 6 is the faster route to get to P-Town and it’s fairly easy to make your way from one to the other. We made a few stops on the way to Harbour Hotel Provincetown, where we were staying the night:
1. Sagamore, which had a visitor centre introducing the canal
2. Barnstable for a late lunch at Osterville Fish Too which mainly has outdoor seating (covered and non-covered)
3. Yarmouth for the long boardwalk
4. Brewster for Snowy Owl coffee shop which is actually not open yet, despite being advertised in a visitor magazine!
P-Town is quite beautiful and peaceful. We had dinner at Pepe’s Wharf and patio seating with a view of the water is always welcome. My wild mushroom ravioli was amazing and I would definitely go back for more. The only bad thing was that service was slow. We spent some time walking around town centre the next day which has some lovely shops. We managed to see some people starting to decorate for the parade this week. The neon lights at Lobster Pot beckoned us closer and we found it to be an extremely family friendly restaurant. It was busy but we were all happy with our food (portions were huge!) and service.
Tip for those who ever plan to visit Cape Cod in the fall/winter. Be sure to check whether the restaurants you want to visit are open! Seafood is seasonal (duh!) as I had learned the hard way on my Iceland trip. Many restaurants close their doors when it gets cold.
Finding a beach that was open to visitors along the National Coast was also a challenge, but a rewarding one. Most of the beaches are residential only and parking is only available for permit holders. We finally found our way to Marconi Beach, which was probably larger than the other beaches and spend a good few hours lying on the beach (hence my tan).
I could spend hours in bookshops. I tried not to on this trip, but I still managed to spend a bit of time in Brattle Bookshop. In fact, I spent most of my time at Brattle outside in their bargain book racks! Oh the joy of going through shelf after shelf of books that you can smell the pages from! I also made a stop at Harvard Book Store. How could I visit the Boston area and not step foot into this iconic bookstore?! Not a chance! They even have rolling ladders (I can’t be Belle, but I can take a photo and imagine, right?)! I also managed to find this cute little library on Harvard campus.