August 22, 2019

An Ode to the Family Summer Vacation

“We took our children on vacation, oh yes, of course we did. We took them to the beach. We never got it together to own a second home; no country weekend cottage, no beach house. We never even got it together to achieve a recurring rental, or to return to a particularly beloved motel or holiday cabin — I’m not sure we ever stayed in the same place twice. We took what we could get, generally at the last minute.

But we took our children to Cape Cod. We rented a series of tiny cabins, with thin walls so we could hear the children squabbling in their minute square bedroom, and with kitchens we generally didn’t use, since what’s the point of going on vacation if you’re just going to stay home and cook? But we did manage to return multiple times to the late lamented Mildred’s Chowder House; the restaurant closed in the 1980s, but everyone in my family has vivid memories of Mildred’s signature dish.

Actually, we always made resolutions about provisioning so at least we could give the kids a nutritious breakfast in the morning (vital to eat breakfast, just ask me, I’m a pediatrician), but often we didn’t get it together to have breakfast fixings on hand — that’s why you might want to ask me about the Hole in One doughnut shop in Eastham (and while you’re at it, you could ask me about the fresh cream doughnuts we used to get in Rhode Island at Allie’s Donuts when we drove to Horseneck Beach; everybody remembers those as well, even though we haven’t been there for a couple of decades).”

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