My 1950s Beach Vacation


The view from my patio/reading/writing spot.

Okay, in most ways, my vacation was NOT very much like those taken in the 1950s. But in some ways it was, and it was quite a departure for us!

We’re time-share suckers. My inlaws have had time share since before we were married, and one year we did the meeting thing at a resort in Myrtle Beach and ended up buying in. So we’ve stayed at a cabin resort in Tennessee and a sprawling place in Orlando. Big, two-bedroom, two-bath places with full kitchens. Plus a couple of different places in Williamsburg, VA, thanks to my inlaws.

But we wanted to go to Cape Cod. We couldn’t do it when the kids were younger, because New England is a WHOLE different place from Myrtle Beach. It’s seasonal, the places are smaller and older, and people actually use their time share instead of banking it. So we finally were able to do it this summer, at a little place in Provincetown.

And I mean LITTLE. The kids were in a studio in the main building that overlooked the parking lot. Their room had AC and was a little bigger than ours, but it’s A room. Sofa bed and Murphy bed. Tiny TV. Table and two chairs. They also had a full stove with an oven and a decent-sized bathroom. Our room was pretty much the same, except we only had two burners on a countertop, and our bathroom was tiny. But we looked out on the ocean. BOO-yah.

So okay, there was a lot that was great about that. I spent a lot of time on the patio, reading or writing (a little) and I spent a few mornings and an evening on the actual beach. But these tiny rooms were so close together. We overheard everyone’s conversations. The screaming kids next door were not well supervised, and once even came into our room. And we had no AC, so we ended up sleeping with the doors open (no windows) so we had the awesome breeze. It make me think of back in the 50s, when people went to the same places for vacation every year, and were in and out of each other’s rooms, having a community event all week or even all summer.

We were also right next to the volleyball net, so there were often people playing right outside our room. One afternoon, there was a huge party, with booze and music and interesting people, like the guy who wore a pink strappy one-piece bathing suit and neon pink sock/legwarmer things with a matching sweatband around his head. We didn’t judge. Hey, we were in P-town! 🙂


I made a friend during low tide on Monday morning.

I was a bit sad that we were on the bay side of the Cape, and the location was so full of seaweed that we couldn’t really swim. I mean, huge piles of it landed on the sand every night. And there wasn’t really much surf, since it was sandbar heaven. We went to a beach on the ocean side one day, but it was calm (aka boring), and it was like someone used an infusion blender in the water. The seaweed made the water soupy.

But we did have a super-fantastic experience with a whale watch. There’s a sanctuary over a shelf about an hour from Provincetown, and we got to watch a huge pod of humpbacks feeding, including a couple of babies. The guide counted 18, and she said she’d never seen so many at once. There was also a pod of dolphins before we left the harbor, and we saw finbacks and minke whales, too. The humpbacks were INCREDIBLE, though. Right next to the boat at one point!


The water turns green from the bubbles they use to bring up the fish.


We ate at The Lobster Pot, which was awesome and had a wonderful staff. The server seemed to love his job, and the host (owner?) went to the same college as my daughter (my husband was wearing an Emerson T-shirt) and I think that got us seated twice as fast as we normally would have.

The rest of vacation was filled with a visit with my brother and cousins after four long years, dinner with a friend, and hours of watching Olympics with my family. Definitely a winner of a trip, even if the effects of it lasted zero-point-three seconds after leaving the Cape. Alas, such is the way we live today!

What’s the best/most memorable thing you did this summer?

My farewell relaxation spot on the last night. This guy hung out staring at us forever!

My farewell relaxation spot on the last night. This guy hung out staring at us forever!