Summer on Cape Cod…the smell of fresh cut grass, the whoosh of the surf, a light breeze on hot skin, corn on the cob with butter, tender lobster meat melting in your mouth. Cape Cod is the essence of summer, and Woods Hole is the quintessential place to enjoy it.
My summer started with a visit to Stoney Beach (an easy walk from the Woods Hole Inn) and my first swim away from the shore. Looking back at the bay dotted with waterfront estates and sweeping lawns, I felt a release from the worries of winter. I reflected on all the things I love about our little village — scientists walking around with lanyards, wooden boats bobbing on their moorings, the smell of charcoal from my neighbor’s yard, rabbits that tear around at dusk, twinkling lights of the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard reflecting on the harbor, sunset with music playing at Quicks Hole, warm popovers in the morning from Pie in the Sky, my favorite tea at Coffee Obsession, a cool pinot grigio on the dock of Landfall.
Last weekend, I put all the winter coats in the basement and dusted off the paddle board, the life preservers and my flip flops. We moved the dinghy to the beach, and collected the Mirror (a tiny wooden sailing vessel popular here) for racing in Great Harbor with the Woods Hole Yacht Club. I located last year’s stash of sun screen, my summer shorts and t-shirts, swimsuits and coveralls.
Oh summer, with your visitors galore and friends from faraway places. We wait for you all year, then you are here and we wonder, can it really last through October? Oh yes… in beautiful Woods Hole, the answer is yes.
I am constantly bragging about how mild the weather is here, how rarely we get snow, how when we do it melts right away. Readers of this blog must have heard me reference the warm “gulf stream waters” dozens of times and even heard me lament the brief sledding opportunities, the short pond-skating season.
Not this year: snowed yesterday, snowed last week, going to snow tomorrow. It’s been so snowy, most people are officially done with small talking about it, annoyed with the over-reporting of it all and beyond the bend about shoveling their driveway “One. More. Time.”
So this blog is NOT about snow.
No, this blog is all about dreaming of summer. Walking down my street in this snow scape, it’s really hard to remember that in just a few months my neighborhood will transform — with clusters of kids giggling and snapping their towels, summer people perched at the waterfront with lobster dipped in butter dripping off their chins, Woods Hole Inn guests sitting on the deck watching cloud banks drift over Vineyard Sound, the strum of cicadas at twilight, the feeling of dusk on a sunburn, the glow of fireflies as open mic night gets cranking at Pie in the Sky. Oh yes, a girl can dream.
So as the wind blows outside and we brace for another nine inches tomorrow, please enjoy these classics from the dreams of my summers past.
One of my favorite parts of running the Woods Hole Inn is building a team of people who come together to deliver a fantastic guest experience. I am particularly blessed this summer with a great group who have worked seamlessly together all summer. As we approach the dog days of August, I reflect on how lucky I am to work with such a talented, committed, knowledgeable and thoughtful crew.
Thank you to each and every one of you who made and is making summer 2013 memorable for all our guests. You make it look easy!
Woods Hole has the most distinctive Fourth of July parade in America. Organized by the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), this gathering of young scientists celebrating our nations birth is filled with costumes, dancers, and balloons. Representing things like cell reproduction, neurobiology, marine resources and much more, student laugh and dance their way down a spectator-packed Water Street.
Tossing candy along the path, the parade takes starts at noon every year and takes about fifteen minutes. One fun tradition is that after students cross the drawbridge, they break into a serious water-balloon fight, a nice respite from a hot Cape Cod day.
On the porch of the Woods Hole Inn, we offer cool lemonade, iced tea and Charlene’s fresh baked cookies to as many people who will fit. It’s a great birds-eye view of the whole event.
Half hour later, the streets are empty as people dash back to the beach. Ahh, Cape Cod summah.
Hope to see you there next year! Happy Fourth.
Summer is always too short, and the days and weeks are as fleeting as signs of the season – beach days, blooming flowers, and warm midday rainstorms come and go as fast as they arrived. My summer in Cape Cod has been too short, but entirely fantastic and memorable.
Living in and becoming apart of the town of Woods Hole has been wonderful. Before my time on the Cape I have always lived in larger cities and I was originally unsure about spending three months in a “small, sleepy” town. However Woods Hole has surprised me again and again and kept me very busy for the last couple of months.
While the list is long, some things I will miss most about living here are,
The smell of the Inn breakfast in the morning and my hot cup of coffee.
Every morning a delicious, gourmet breakfast is prepared in the Woods Hole Inn for the guests and I love starting my day with the warm smells of freshly baked muffins and just brewed coffee. There is something inherently comforting about walking down the stairs to the heartening smells of a hot breakfast.
Being less than a five-minute bike ride away from the beach.
Coming from landlocked Minnesota, it’s been an extra special treat living near the ocean. I can see it out my bedroom window, smell it when I walk outside and whenever its sunny and I have an hour or two to spare I go for a quick midday swim. I haven’t swum this much in ages and being in the sun almost everyday makes me feel like a kid again.
The small-town charm of Woods Hole.
Coming from Minneapolis, and having attended large universities both there and in Copenhagen, I’ve never lived somewhere that had the same feeling and atmosphere as Woods Hole. I love that I can go almost anywhere and run into someone that I know. It’s been interesting to feel apart of a community so easily and I’ll miss the sense of familiarity and friendliness that Woods Hole now has for me.
I’ll miss living in Woods Hole, and working at the Woods Hole Inn. It really has become a home away from home for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my perspective on the Cape, and all the wonderful things there are to do, see and try here.
Thanks for reading and all my best to my friends in Woods Hole,
from Guest Blogger Megan Jensen
Every summer prior to this one has been a Midwest summer – long days filled with senseless humidity, mosquitos, lakeside bar-b-cues, and countless county fairs.
When I loaded up my car three weeks ago and drove across the country from Minneapolis to Cape Cod I had no idea what to expect of the summer to come.
I’ve traveled all across the US, and having just returned from a year abroad in Denmark, I was excited to once again pack up my bags and explore somewhere new.
Being on the east coast and particularly the Cape has been very different, surprising and refreshing from what I grew up with.
When I had heard about this internship from former intern Caroline Matthews, who I met while studying PR and Design abroad in Copenhagen, I knew very little about Cape Cod. I imagined Woods Hole — which sounded like a storybook village — would be a quiet, sleepy town.
However, when I got to the Cape I knew I had made the right choice. Far from sleepy, Woods Hole is a busy place with plenty to do. Filled with restaurants, an active harbor and a friendly local community – Woods Hole knows how to keep you busy.
Most mornings I wake up early to the sounds of the ships in the harbor. Walk outside my front door and the ocean is there, the smell of the sea and a beautiful view of the water.
I’ve come to love Woods Hole and feel at home here – I can’t walk down Main Street or go out for dinner without running into someone I know.
I don’t miss being landlocked at all, and the beaches here are perfect for swimming day and night. When I’m not working, one of my favorite things is to hop on one of the inn’s beach cruisers and bike to nearby Nobska or Stoney beach or take a small cruise on the Shining Sea Bike Path.
I’m looking forward to what the rest of the summer will bring and hope to share some of my experiences, discoveries and “Midwest” take on the Cape with you.
Loving life and lobster barley-pops on the Fourth of July in Woods Hole.
All in a day’s work for Girl Friday Megan Jensen, behind the scenes at the Woods Hole Inn.
Summer in Woods Hole. Long evenings where the light lingers past 9 p.m. Steady ocean breeze from the Southwest. Cocktails on the stern of a wooden boat in seersucker suits and floppy hats. That’s what it looked like to me from the glossy magazines.
In my 22 years of relentless travel, somehow I had never made it to this corner of the world. I’m from Texas and like to explore with not much more than a backpack, a Lonely Planet guide and my Nikon D80.
Needless to say, I jumped at an offer to come to Woods Hole for the summer and explore. They told me they needed “marketing advice” which is fine since I just earned a BA in PR and journalism. But what I really came for is the chance to do a little more urban archeology: What makes this place tick? Why do people return here year after year? What is the real Cape Cod?
In my first week I spent a majority of my time wandered the village of Woods Hole. Two words: absolutely stunning. There’s a surplus of great seafood just waiting for a dash of cocktail sauce. The people are so unbelievably friendly— I certainly have made a friend for life with one of the locals who grew up North of here in Chatham.
My favorite thing to do so far is to borrow a bike and head down to Stoney Beach for some amazing sun set shots. Nothing makes me happier than to feel the weight of my camera in my left hand as the shutter closes in and out. In a blink of a second, I’ve got it— a moment that I will remember forever.
Even though Woods Hole is technically a village, there certainly isn’t anything sleepy about it. The nightlife is great. There’s awesome live music almost every night and tons of people to meet, even out on the streets. The ferry horns sometimes get me right up at 7 a.m., but I certainly don’t mind. It just means I start my day with a swim and a bike ride. There’s just nothing like that.
I may only be here for six weeks, but I look forward to sharing my perspective with you.