The Cape House.

When Cassidy and I were first together in 2004, it was quick and full of fire.

It involved wolves, moose and whales quite seriously. Six hour flights and walks through Ocean Beach sunsets. All wild present, but not enough stories, memories and photos of the lives and times that touched us through the years. I believe it’s because we thought we had time – that once we got the wolf howls and the dolphin symphonies out of the initial way, there would be long days of photo albums on rainy days, and storytelling. Stories about his brothers and his dad and their summers on Cape Cod.

Cape Cod

Two years and one month after we broke up, who knew we’d be back together and he’d bring me there to the Cape house? Late at night from New Jersey, with candy bar stops and a speeding ticket along the way. Gifted always at sleeping, I think I slept through the speeding ticket. Maybe he even tried to weasel his way out of it using my exhaustion as an excuse. I was getting in my sleep then, to prepare for this second trip out to Cape Cod. The first one had involved a rude ex-boyfriend and an anxiety attack, so I don’t think about that one often. This was something different. Somewhere between the time we crossed that bridge and drove up nearly the whole arm of the Cape, and then drove back down to reality, we rented movies, visited slow November beaches, walked through the then-quiet streets of Provincetown, and ate at fancy restaurants. We cuddled under blankets too.

Cape Cod

These old, knitted blankets still held their pull and warmth under heavy history. We had nowhere to be, except eventually of course, back to New Jersey and back to San Francisco. The days stretched on impressively. It felt like we had time.

We can go often, but that doesn’t mean it happens as much as it should. Quite frankly, beach towns depress the sh*t out of me during November. March? Better. More hopeful. It’s the active, alive pace I seek about summer – if only to know I can hide away from it anyway, in the woods of Truro, where Cassidy’s dad built the Cape house decades ago. I think if I were to go in the winter, I would still love it. We go every July at least, and watch this house only get better and stand the tests of time.

cape cod

This was the first year, maybe, that I felt the slight wear and tear around the edges of time. I think it might have been mostly just me. The vertical dunes looked daunting, and I dreaded them more than ever, although I found that taking a midway break to take in the views and get a gulp of fresh sea air was really helpful. Throw in some photos and people didn’t even notice me gasping for air, because they figured I was just stopping to take photos of the beauty. Well, that part was true too.

Cape Cod

At night this year, the generation above us knew to go to bed when exhausted, rather than to fight it for the pulls of card games and ice cream. Or in my case, rather than try to cram book reading and mindless Facebook scrolling into every last minute of the night. Oh, and there was ice cream for me too. Twice, in fact. Athena liked to stay up with me too, for part of the night.

During the day, she proved to be the most amazing beach dog.

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And the kids didn’t put up much of a fight to finally go to bed after these full days, and they were so ready for each morning.

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And the house.. It feels alive every minute.

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I felt tired and stoppable at times, especially after climbing dunes, which I attributed more to a tougher summer and not drinking enough water, than to anxiety and allergies. Both were virtually non-existent at Cape Cod. Every time summer starts, I honestly feel like it could last forever and that we have an unlimited amount of chances to experience this. Can that last?

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I believe itโ€™s because we think we have time. There’s a lot of life in us yet, isn’t there?

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Until we meet again.

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More on Cape Cod soon! Including sunsets, tide pools, and Eddie Money. (obviously)

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer, a mama of two, a Lifestyle Blogger/Social Media Influencer/Brand Ambassador, and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns, the Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.

Comments

The Cape House. — 132 Comments

  1. GORGEOUS. I’ve been so excited for these photos, can’t wait to see more. I love your love for summer. Your dread for winter is like my dread for summer here in AZ. I wish I knew what it was like to experience 4 seasons. But at least I have your blog to help me feel like I’m somewhere where I can experience that ๐Ÿ™‚ Living vicariously through you and your beautiful Cape Cod summer getaway! And those old, knitted blankets are the best.

    • You know what’s funny? I keep a lot of different cities on my weather bug on my phone, just to torture myself. During the summer months, Cape Cod’s weather forecast is even better than San Diego. And I thought nothing was better than San Diego. Then again, ask me to check in December and I will change my tune.
      These are only half of the Cape Cod pictures because I didn’t want to overwhelm everybody, and I’m all about the new faster website!

  2. Cape Cod is such a special place for me and this post hit me hard. I spent every summer there with my family from when I was about 4 or 5, until my mom died. I have so many great memories of her on the beaches of Dennis, in all her glory. She loved the beach, she loved the Cape and she loved summers with her family. I thought I had so much time with her…

    • I think you might take more from this than nearly anybody. And that makes me happy because I wrote it when I felt drunk, although I wasn’t drunk, but I was tired and I hoped I knew what I was talking about. It’s just about not measuring things in numbers. And amounts of summers you have left. When you get older, sometimes it seems to slip away more. I always think I have endless time to visit the house, and then summer ends again.

  3. Beautiful pictures! I don’t want summer to be over, mainly because I really dislike winter. Although there are a few good things about autumn and winter! We had a really funky summer, mostly rain and a few sunny days, not cold but not very warm either. Can you believe I’m sitting on my balcony typing this in my infamous blue robe? I hope next one is better!

    • Have I heard about this infamous bathrobe? When I was a kid my brother had a blue bathrobe that looked like a blueberry. And he used to do a really funny bit from a sketch comedy show about a blueberry, that is not appropriate for this blog but maybe I’ll find you a clip.
      I always think summer will last forever, and I’m always bewildered when it doesn’t. I do love fall but winter is unbearable to me.

  4. Tamara, I am now more then ever just a bit down that summer is indeed just about over and wishing that we just shad bit more time. I got to be honest, I do love the fall, but there is indeed something so special and right about summer. I know we have had this conversation before, but still just like you I am a summer girl at heart always. Beautiful and breath taking though and loved getting a bit of a glimpse into your time at the Cape House again this year. And remind me to tell you about our Eddie Money connection here when I get a chance ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Tamara you are a magician with a camera. Please, please come to Australia for your next holiday and photograph my children you capture it all so beautifully. Come in January it is Summer here then.

    • I think you probably know that would be the biggest dream of my life. And your beautiful family! And then you could take pictures of my family with your beautiful eye.

    • I don’t even know why more people don’t have hammocks. We don’t have one at our house. I love them so much. Once I was snuggling up with an old flame on his hammock, and a giant deer walked right up to us and got spooked and crashed into the woods. Scared the life out of me!

  6. Such an awesome post! I love the hammock shots the most. Gorgeous. I didn’t get a lot of beach time this summer (that’s a norm for me) I should change that next year.

    • Last year we went to Cape Cod in August, and it was cold and raining the entire time. This was four days. So we didn’t get a lot of beach time last summer. This summer made up for it pretty nicely.

  7. I want to hide in your suitcase the next time you go!! What a beautiful place and wonderful memories. And I still can’t get over how cool your dog is ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’ve never been to Cape Cod, but I have the same feelings about our annual trip to the beaches of Lake Michigan. This year it was only for the weekend, and way too short.

    When we went hiking on our vacation, I stopped to take lots of pictures! I attributed my being out of breath to the altitude. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Yes it was the altitude! I’m going with it.

      I think most people could insert their own special place here and feel the love. Whether that be their beach or lake!

  9. Lovely! I’ve only been to Cape Cod once, but I really liked it. It didn’t have the crazy, crowded beach vibe that makes me dislike beaches so much. (Ahem, Florida, I’m looking at you.) I’m hoping I can get my parents and sister together for a big family beach vacation in the next couple of years. We did a family trip to Colorado 2 years ago but the kids were too little to really enjoy hiking and the mountains. I think the slower pace of the beach would be a better fit, even though I’d take the mountains over the beach any day.

    • Is there such a place that has mountains and beaches? That’s my paradise. And Jersey shore, I’m looking at you too for the crowded and annoying pace of life.

  10. It’s funny how us bloggers are so spread and how each of us feels at the end of summer. Your winters are brutal and I totally understand because I get sad mid February that summer is right about the corner. My season is coming up. There needs to be a word for Fall/Winter combined. We really only have two seasons. Fall and Summer. Since I primary grew up around beach towns, I LOVE an off season beach. It’s so peaceful. Of course and we can be barefoot on the beach in November. I’d like to experience Cape Cod one day.

  11. The peace sign, the hammock and the ones you love. I cannot think of a better way to spend the summer. I’ve never visited Cape Cod, but would love to experience it one day.

  12. I love Cape Cod! We have had some of the best family memories there. My parents are finally buying there own house there and I just can’t wait. Vacationing with the whole family is just the best. Beautiful pictures!

  13. Love love LOVE this history of this house and this place and ALL the photos. What gorgeous captures of your regal dogs, standing watch, no hair out of place. Of your kids, especially in that tube thing and on the beach. Just a great memory of the past and making memories for your kids.

  14. OMG HOW DARE YOU HOLD THESE PICTURES BACK FOR SO LONG! These are so beautiful! And just as I was ready to let summer go, I want to hold on for at least another month! Those beaches…those smiles! That life! Beach cities are most definitely depressing fall/winter.

    • There is still about a month of summer technically, right? And I can’t believe I have held onto these too. And guess what? This is only half of the bunch. You get more!!

  15. Gorgeous in every way!!! I could lose myself at that Cape house and on the beach and forget about any other world even if just for a few days!!!
    And, I think that might be one of the best hammocks ever!!

  16. Reading your post, I felt like I could sell Cape Cod. There is a certain feelings and senses that I associate with the Cape during the summer. I think you can only know what I’m talking about if you have experienced it yourself; I’m sure you know! And the beginning of summer does really feel like possibilities….and then I feel like it doesn’t always quite live up to that, though I do enjoy it. I look forward, though, to prolonging my summer a bit with a post-Labor Day trip down there ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That is so awesome that you still get to go! When I first went, I thought it was an eerie place. I was in Orleans and it felt very isolated and now my experience is completely different and I am enamored with it.

  17. Athena always looks so focused – like she is going to take off and get whatever she is staring at the second after the shutter clicks. I needed some beach pics today – thanks:)

    • What’s really funny is that after the picture clicks, she still stays there. She is only nine months old and I’ve never met a better companion dog. I just love her so much!

  18. This is stunning. Yes the photographs (that’s a given – especially the hammock ones) but the whole sentiment of believing that we have all the time in the world. I definitely feel like I’m running out of that time now that it’s the end of the summer (still so much I want to see and do!). I haven’t spent much time on the Cape. Weekends here and there and one week one summer with my side of the family which was…interesting. I was 8-months (or 9?) pregnant with Everett and I swear my family almost made me go into labor!

    • ha! Did you give them credit for making you go into labor nearly?
      My husband is older than me by quite a bit and he always said that the older he gets, the more aware of time passing he gets. Makes total sense, of course. I just miss those days of thinking of endless summers.

    • I met him once!! Sadly my post won’t get into detail about that one, but my radio DJ sister was introducing him at a festival and she also introduced him to us backstage. Swoon.

  19. Oh I love your beach photos. I love the beach. The water is so soothing to me…and the sea air. Your trip looks like it was so wonderful…and Athena looks like she loves the beach too.

  20. So so glad you posted these photos and you make me want to go to the beach with YOU and your kids! And I so admired Scarlet floating alone – I’d have taken the photo of the boy with my hovering hand over him because I’m psycho paranoid and well. I LOVE them. So happy you had such an amazing trip!

    • Oh honey, I totally want to go to the beach with you. I still owe you a beach photo shoot. I won’t forget that.
      My photos may look wild and free, but there were two other adults on each side to make sure nothing happened..

  21. Good golly, I love your photos!!!! Your photos always take my breath away – seriously. You have a way of capturing light and emotion that I don’t think I have ever seen in someone else’s photos. One of these days, you are going to take pictures of my kids. It will happen – someday!

    • I believe it, Lisa. I mean.. we met, didn’t we??? We shared bad breakfast pastries together!
      I can’t wait to do this too. I get very nervous about photo shoots, even when I know the people (sometimes especially) but I also get REALLY excited.

  22. so much gorgeous I don’t even know where to begin. And I am distracted because I am watching the new season of Dr. Who and hello…. Doc #12 is Scottish! and yet I keep getting pulled away from…..(hell? was that a T Rex?!!) .. to those sweeping beach views and that amazing hammock. I actually was invited to the Cape this year — and I was so excited at the prospect of actually seeing this place I have always wanted to visit. But it was an impossible dream this year.
    Well, until now…. because I kinda feel like I just went. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Funny because my husband is watching this right now and I’m listening. I think I was reading your comment at the same time as the T-rex here too.
      Totally Scottish..
      I can’t believe you were almost at the Cape! You could have taken my family photos. It was a disaster trying to get that done..

  23. I have never been to Cape Cod, but it looks beautiful! I love pretty much all beaches. There is just something beautifully calming being near water. Love the photos of the kids at the beach. Oooh – we love Eddie Money, can’t wait to hear that story.

    • I love all beaches too.
      Sad to say it’s not a great Eddie Money story.. however, I do have one.
      My sister was introducing him at a festival and she let us meet him backstage. He was dazed and confused. I liked it.

  24. It looks like youโ€™ve got a beautiful place there for creating so many happy memories. Iโ€™m glad to hear that your anxiety (and allergies!) were lessened while you were there. Hopefully there will be enough good memories and beautiful pictures (seriouslyโ€ฆthey are all so pretty and happy) to get you through to next March.

  25. If I could live at the beach, in a perpetual summer, i think I wouldn’t feel so anxious all the time. I suppose if summer went on forever I wouldn’t appreciate it though! Love summer, love the beach. Your pictures are so beautiful as usual :).

    • I think that’s right. I always feel like if I were there all the time, would I have any anxiety at all because I never do there. It is nice to have that safe place. It would be different to live there though. Different stress.

  26. What amazing photos!! I would love to visit Cape Cod someday. I feel like beaches are such a magical place and also a little scary, because right under the surface of the water is a whole world we know nothing about. It makes you feel alive, tired, exhausted and all sorts of wonderful and mixed feelings. Thanks for sharing your vacation with all of us.

    • I know! Sometimes that really fascinates me. I would think that there are so many undiscovered sea creatures out there. They always say that so much of the ocean is undiscovered.

  27. What a magical place! I want to go there! I could almost feel the sun warming your daughter’s skin on the water….gorgeous memories you captured. That’s the kind of beach I want to live by.

  28. Goodness… You take some of the most beautiful photos ever… but what I love the most is how you always capture childhood wonder and excitement. All it takes is one look into your children’s happy faces to know that you are creating lasting memories with them that they will cherish forever ๐Ÿ™‚ You have just made me incredibly excited for my trip to the beach soon. There is something so incredibly calming about being so close to the water, isn’t there? XOXO

    Also? I want that hammock ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It is very magical! That reminds me that I had a dream last night that Scarlet asked me what made a place magical, and in my dream I told her that it was when a place contained a lot of laughter and happiness. I think I was right!

  29. The beach is magical.The endless ocean, the dunes, the carefree spirit of the kids. Love it. Love that hammock too – and your kids are just too darn cute. What amazing memories to have to return to the same house and same cape…can’t wait to see more!

    • That’s what I love! It’s like coming home again. When we used to vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, we would rent the same condo. That was really awesome and familiar.

  30. Ohhh! These were Cape Cod pictures? I love that hammock. I can see why you all felt that tie was on your side. How relaxing and beautiful. I agree about beaches in the winter. I went to the beach at night with Harroll once when we were together and that was nice actually…it was early fall. Hmmm I wonder if we will get to a beach at some point one of these days. Not soon since I’m expecting and I’m loving the fact that I’m due when the weather will be so perfect here. ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. You don’t do a boring vacation or getaway, do you? Please don’t be mad if one day I write this novel and small, little slices are in it. Just small ones. Or at least their influences.

    I want swim trunks just like Des’ for my birthday.

    • Shark trunks are a necessity, yes.

      We don’t do boring very well, no. Of course my heart is breaking again at the thought of another summer’s end. This post is why.

  32. I love your photos!! I haven’t gone to the beach last summer! Can you believe that? We just went to the nearby swimming pools instead but they can’t compare to a beach experience. I love the colorful hammock and I bet Des was ecstatic because he had unlimited access to sandssss!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    • It’s so true. The sand. He is happy at a playground that has even a little patch of sand. I wonder what it is about sand with this kid! Where is the closest beach to you?

      • In truth, we live very near the beach. It’s just 30-minute drive away but we never went at all because that beach gets so crowded at times. LOL. Other beaches are 2-3 hours drive only. Maybe when we go home to our hometown. we can finally go because my parents are fans too.

        • I can understand about the crowds. I grew up somewhat near the Jersey shore, and I would actually pay extra money so that I could go to a private beach. I just don’t love crowds of people. It’s never crowded at our Cape Cod beaches. I imagine some of the public ones are crowded during peak summer.

  33. OMG – can you beam me to the Cape, please?! I’ll be very nice, really! That looks like one amazing family getaway you have there. The hammock just looks amazing. But I agree, it always seems like what is so near… can wait until – whenever. Same here. We have wanted to visit Cape Cod (and D.C.) since we moved to NJ. Have we done it yet – nope. Why? Always something else to do. But luckily that something else at least involves the beach, too. Only 5 weeks to go and we’ll be at the Outer Banks – beach galore! Yet, it also marks the end of summer, which makes me very sad *sigh*

      • Went to OBX the first time in 2011 when we had moved here and we return every year since in the fall. When here in NJ it is definitely fall, but on OBX it is still warm enough for shorts and bathing (windsurfing) in the ocean. I cannot wait. But the fact that we love it so much is also the reason why we haven’t been to CC yet ๐Ÿ™

  34. “I believe itโ€™s because we think we have time. Thereโ€™s a lot of life in us yet, isnโ€™t there?”
    Love that sentence, and at the same time it really scares me… That understanding of time definitely changes when you have kids, doesn’t it? Not only their time, but your own as well.
    Your pictures are fabulous and completely timeless, they could be forever! So glad you had a great visit there. xo

    • Not only that, but my perception of time changed from having one kid to two. I guess with him, I knew what was coming so I either wanted to speed it up or slow it down.

  35. Great post! I live on the Cape and we do our best to truly appreciate all that we have around us. We are hoping to prolong the summer with more beach time this fall. September is often the best ๐Ÿ™‚

    Truro is beautiful!! You are lucky to have such a special place to visit with family.

    • It’s funny to me, only because there are so many parts of the country that are much more north than here. And I have yet to even go up Maine to see the northern lights! One day.

  36. I love living on Cape. It is a place unlike any other for me. I do have to disagree about November, though ๐Ÿ™‚ The tourists are like your favorite company. They come, they enjoy and you meet wonderful people. But the fall? That is when you get that peaceful moment of just the Cape and realize just how perfect life can be. (PS-next year go the drive in, your kids will love it!)

    • I do probably agree with you in the long run. I used to get sad when I lived in New Jersey and I’d visit that shore when it was all closed up. The cape is different.
      We will be going in November this year and I can’t wait!

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