How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Part 1.

I have to be honest. When Cassidy first told me about our long-planned, cousins reunion at the beach house in Truro that Cassidy’s family owns, I was less than pleased. I was missing the birthday party of a darling girl I wanted to celebrate and I don’t like missing Northampton weekends because they’re so full of promise. Promise and fairs and berries and the like. I also don’t usually put myself in situations where I’m lacking much needed space. I grew up in a big family and our summer vacations were a bit cramped, I’m sure, but I didn’t care because it was my family. Ever since a fateful weekend in our San Francisco one-bathroom apartment in which one of our invited houseguests had a stomach flu and one of our uninvited houseguests was a freakin’ mouse next to the shower, well, I never fully recovered. I need space. I need to know there’s a room in the middle of the night in which I can read or ground myself or check email. In actuality I rarely, if ever, get up with anxiety in the middle of the night at home. Yet I still like to know there’s space for me if I need to! It helps.

Our summer Truro plans included no room for space. All four bedrooms were booked, as well as with three children, a last minute addition sleeping in the living room and two relatives out on the yard in a tent. I was a little afraid for myself.

Did I mention I’m not really a beach vacation type? There’s only so much sun I can take and I didn’t even own a bikini until this past weekend. I do like to relax but as one of Cassidy’s wise cousins said over the weekend, “A family reunion isn’t rest and relaxation. Being alone or with one other person is.” He’s right. I usually choose my vacations based on adventures – moose, whales, interesting new places. I wouldn’t ever think to plan a crowded family trip in the same exact state I live in. Three+ hours away, sure, but the same state! Is that a vacation?

Did I mention how wrong I was and how if I sound like an ungrateful idiot, it’s because I am? Well, I was.

I learned my lesson this weekend. I learned it good. After a 4-5 hour car trip first to Hartford and then back into Massachusetts up to Cape Cod, and then another hour up the crooked, flexed arm shape of this wondrous “resort peninsula.” We arrived. We were open to the love and the reunion. This was taken seconds after we got out of our cramped car:

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She feels the love. Two out of three grandmothers were there. And another two-year-old. And a sweet 11-year-old. And lots of cousins. And a cute dog to boot. It nearly blew her mind.

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Cousin Sarah is beautiful inside and out. I especially liked how she patiently took such good care of Scarlet when I decided to fall asleep face down on the bed after too much beaching.

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They are distant cousins but I couldn’t help but gleefully photograph their pre, during and post-kiss adorableness. Two two-year-olds in a crowded house could be a recipe for disaster but it was a very peaceful vacation. Except that she totally wants his water bottle in a few of these photos:

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Later that night after dinner, Cassidy and his brother decided to go fishing on the local, quiet beach. It was chilly and the fishing poles took up the whole backseat and I had to illegally sit on Cassidy’s lap while we drove, my head hitting the windshield repeatedly. I wondered if it was such a good idea to tag along…

It was.

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And then we called it a day. We got there late afternoon and managed to accomplish quite a lot.

Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of what we did after this first glorious night. To be continued…

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