Buenos Aires, by Noelia Diaco. Photo is not visible, used only for sharing on social networks.

Summer vacation: Cape Cod

September 20, 2015
I had been hoping for months that I would be able to go to the Cape with my family this summer. I wasn't sure I would make it with the cost of flights, Ben's limited vacation time, etc. Happily it all worked out and we spent the last week of August at my grandparent's house in West Yarmouth with the whole clan — my parents, my brother, my sister (who came up from New York because she loves me so much), my grandparents and our two golden retrievers. We sailed, ate lots of good food and played with the doggies.

I requested that we make one day into a family boating outing. Ben and I sailed the sunfish, my parents paddled in the single kayaks and Kim and Doug in a rented double kayak. I was pretty surprised that my siblings didn't disown me for suggesting this (we usually try to avoid getting roped into kayak trips — we've taken too many endless ones).

Family Christmas card?

We paddled to Kalmus Beach across Lewis Bay, which we like for its sandy beach, lack of wind and warm water. Not a bad place to hang out for the afternoon, right?

Wearing my dad's sunglasses from 1980

Like last year, we rented a sunfish and took turns sailing. The sunfish is a lot easier to handle than the Bahias we sail in Berkeley and the water is much warmer, which makes for a much more pleasant sailing experience. It's also easier for a beginner like me because I can mess up without capsizing. Shockingly, my sister even let me take her sailing, which was the first time I had ever sailed on my own. The conversation before we headed out went something like this:

Ben: You might capsize.
Kim: That's OK. I've gone swimming in Lewis Bay before.
Ben: Do you know how to right the boat? What will you do if you can't right it?
Me: Don't worry. We'll just swim the boat to shore.
Ben: Uhhh.
Kim: We've done it before.
Ben: And what if something breaks? And you're stranded out there?
Kim: Yup, been there too. As long as there's not a ferry coming straight at us this time, we'll be fine.

My family used to have a motorboat that constantly broke, so we're well acquainted with boat troubles on Lewis Bay. We once almost got run over by a ferry after our boat died in the middle of the channel. A motorized rubber dingy rescued us just in time.

Watch our awesome sailing video from last year.

My dad and I sailing home from Kalmus. Ben volunteered to take one of the kayaks. 

Ben and Doug returning from a sail. Neither of them is a fan of just sitting on the beach.
Look how much fun we're having.
After the beach, we retired to the roof deck for happy hour.

Leo's first time on the roof deck.

To reach the deck, you have to climb a metal spiral staircase. The dogs are terrified of it so my brother carried Leo up (Alex stays down below because he gets too anxious). To get Leo to go back down, we bribed him by putting turkey on each stair. Alex got jealous and wanted some turkey too so he started climbing the stairs from the bottom until they met in the middle. Everyone was laughing hysterically and couldn't believe that Alex was finally climbing the stairs. He never got him all the way up, but Leo is fearless now and climbs the stairs on his own.

On Saturday, my parents had to go back to Boston for the day so we planned some parental-free activities — dinner in Hyannis, minigolf and ice cream. As we explained to Ben, this was how we spent nearly every Cape Cod night of our childhood (plus the game "Bloody Murder").

We woke up early on Sunday to go clamming, after inevitably getting the time of low tide wrong. My mother's family has been coming to this house for 50 years, but somehow we haven't figured out a reliable method for knowing the tides (for the non-clammers out there, you can only clam at low tide, and ideally you want to start a little before low tide). In this instance, low tide was at 7:45 a.m. and we woke up at 8:30, oops. Luckily, we're experienced clammers and filled our buckets easily (we use our feet, other people use rakes, but we're much faster). We found so many clams that we gave our rejects to the other clammers.

Leo kept trying to steal the claims.
My sister and brother made linguini with clam sauce for dinner, which we followed up with an epic game of Trivial Pursuit.
  • How many years did William Penn live in Pennsylvania? Three and a half. (What kind of question is that???)
  • In what year did Hank Aaron surpass Babe Ruth's home run record? 1974. (Which somehow my brother knew, by thinking about the movie "Sandlot.")
  • What is the largest landlocked harbor in the world? San Francisco.
And of course, we spent a lot of time playing with the dogs.

They're better at soccer than we are. (Leo's back was shaved because he got a skin infection from sea water!)

Ben <3 Leo.

Alex greets the returning sailors.

Taking a nap after the red-eye

A few final photos:

Swimming on our last day

- Steph

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