An April 2004 trip
to Cape Cod by bmesser
Quote: This was my first exchange, my first Gold Crown and my first week vacation without my family!Although the air was still cool, the flowers were in bloom and the sun was warm.
If visiting the cape before May, many shops are still closed and the coastline winds still very cold. Prepare alternate activities besides what you would think of as typical Cape.
Cuffy's has good quality souvenir shirts and sweats. There is a factory store, but it was closed when we were there. We still found good deals in the main stores.
Wrentham premium outlets are only about 1 1/2 hours away and have a lot of great stores. If you have AAA, visit the manager’s office first to get your discount booklet. These are also available for a fee if you don't have AAA. We went here on a rainy day and had a great time spending our money! As most of the walkways are covered, we only had to make small dashes through the rain and did not carry an umbrella or wear raincoats.
If you are going to the islands, you will need reservations if you plan to take your car over.
The resort is well located and easy to get to. The South Cape Beach is 3.3 miles down the road, a shopping area and two grocery stores are about a mile in the other direction. Being close to route 28 and relatively close to route 6 gives you access to anywhere on the Cape. The furthest trip, of course is to Provincetown where we took a great whale watch trip. We saw three types of whales and also saw dolphins and harbor porpoises. Our final stop had whales and dolphins passing right by the boat.
A large premium outlet center with 152 stores is located about 1 1/2 hours away in Wrentham. We spent a rainy day there and did plenty of damage! Almost any store you could ask for was there. Since the beach was still too cold, we spent the other days wandering through the shops of Chatham and Hyannis and spent some time on various hiking trails. The digital camera came in handy at one trail as I took a picture of the posted trail and we could reference it as we came to forks or dead ends in the path.
The units are spacious individual homes, so you don't have to worry about noises through the walls or above the ceiling. Hot tub in the master bath, but none at the pool.
The recreation area has an indoor pool that looked well maintained although rather small. There is an outdoor tennis court that also looked well maintained, a small playscape and horseshoe pits. Across the street was a basketball court. Equipment and board games could be signed out at the front desk and videos could be rented. In the corner of the lobby was what appeared to be a lending library of used books.
A few umbrella tables with chairs and three lounge chairs were outside the pool areas for community use. There is also is what appeared to be an activity room with tables and a Ping-Pong table. This was enclosed, but glass sided, looking like a large freestanding screen room. Too bad they don't have any organized activities.
I just got back from spending a week on the Cape with a friend. My first full week vacation without my family. I have to admit I missed them!
I was a little disappointed with my first Gold Crown resort; I expected more. They have no planned activities, not even a meet-and-greet info session. We own at Southcape and find them to be just as nice.
We had a carpenter ant problem. There were various ant traps, but they were not working. We killed at least six a day and that was only being there primarily for breakfast and dinner. Otherwise, the units seemed to be in good condition.
The woman behind the counter at check-in was rather abrupt. She called the maintenance man over to inform us about a broken handle on the accordion doors to the master bath. They close, but a handle was missing on one side. We had a few other exchanges with her during our stay and her demeanor didn't change.
There was another woman who worked in the office areas that was very nice, but the main customer service person needs lessons in customer service. The only pleasant encounter was when we left. She didn't bother charge us the 25 cents for an 800 number call we made for whale-watch reservations.
You enter the unit into a large sitting area with a TV room to your right and the master bed/bath straight ahead. The guestroom is on the opposite corner of the sitting area and the kitchen is to the left. There is a small deck both in front and back. The back deck had a table with four chairs and a lounge chair. There is a charcoal Weber grill, but the inside was rusted so we couldn't barbeque.
The kitchen is a large eat-in kitchen with all appliances (no blender). The kitchen provided:
Small dish soap container
Salt and pepper
6 packets of dishwasher detergent
a few napkins
multipurpose glass cleaner (no paper towels)
Bars of soap
Extra trash bags.
The bathroom also had extra soap, no lotions or shampoos or hair dryer, towels for six, no extras. Towel exchange is on Wednesday. There are three washers and dryers at $1.00 per load (dryers only go 1/2 hour so really takes $2.00).
Our last day we were finally able to enjoy the sun and spent the day on the deck and on the lounge chairs by the tennis court. Came home sun burned like any good Cape visit.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 2, 2004
Cape Cod Holiday Estates
97 Four Seasons Drive
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Restaurant | "Zoe's"
My girlfriend and I split a small two-item pizza and it was plenty for the two of us. Two men or teen boys would probably want more. Some teens were enjoying grinders and they were generously sized.
While we ate, families with kids of all ages came in to eat as well as younger and older couples. The customers appeared to be locals as well as tourists (spotted by their Cape Cod logo-wear!).
The restaurant was very clean and bright. Many subs and pasta dishes offered for around $5 and pizzas up to $14.50. Great prices, especially for the Cape.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 1, 2004
39 Nathan Ellis Hwy
Cape Cod, Massachusetts 02649
"The Callery-Darling Conservation Area is a great place to spot woodland and water birds, such as the great blue heron, the largest heron in North America, which fishes in both fresh and salt water. There is a trail system here comprising some 2.4 miles wandering through lands where foxes, rabbits and deer make their home."
The trails are easy and not too long. You start near the entrance to the parking lot and there is a map made by the boy scouts near the entrance of the trails. We took a picture with the digital camera and used it for reference when we came to a fork or dead end. They aren't entirely accurate, but they were close!
The trail loops back on one side of the street and you can cross the street to hike the other side. The trails to your right as you face the beach have little white arrows nailed into the trees to help mark the path.
We came across what appeared to be two vultures, but they flew away before I could get their picture. Large black birds with red turkey-like heads. Otherwise, no other wildlife spotted besides a red squirrel.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 1, 2004
Callery Darling Trail System
Center Street, Gray Beach
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Attraction | "Whalewatching"
All excursions leave from MacMillan Pier in Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. The ticket office is located in the Chamber of Commerce Building at the head of the pier. If you don't see a whale, you will get a pass for another day.
Not to worry on our trip. Just barely out of port, we came upon our first whales. The speaker told us what to look for, explaining how the whales make "footprints" on the top of the ocean. The old time whalers used to think this was actually oil left by the whales. Actually it is a result of the large amount of water displaced by their movements.
It was also explained that although there is a lot of sophisticated equipment on board the boat, none of this is used to locate the whales. They look for clusters of birds on the water because that means there is an abundance of food. Then they look for the whale spouts. As you know, when the whale comes up for air, there is what appears to be a steam burst coming from the whale. We learned that different whales also have different spouting patterns.
Our first sighting was of a pair of finback whales. We also saw a harbor porpoise at this stop. After the activity slowed down, the engines were revved and we moved further out of the harbor. Before leaving the harbor, we saw more finbacks and one humpback.
The speaker again instructed us on the whales’ habits. During the winter, they go to southern waters of South Africa and the like. There they will focus on mating and do not eat a lot of food. Having lost a lot of weight by the time they are back in our coastal waters, they need to consume a lot of food. This is good for the whale-watching industry because you can easily spot many whales on one short excursion. It's all about the food!
Since we still had not left the harbor, the engines were revved once again and we headed out to our last spot. And what a spot it was. Dolphins and whales came right by our boat. We saw many more humpbacks out here and there were some blue whales, which we were told was a rare sighting. One was a mother and baby pair and we were told this was the first baby blue whale they had here. One female blue was ensnared by a fishing line that another boat of team members were trying to get off her.
Although it was freezing cold and I did get sick despite the Dramamine, this was the highlight of our week. These are huge and beautiful creatures and I can relate to their motto. It's all about the food!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 2, 2004
Dolphin Fleet Whalewatching
Provincetown, Massachusetts 02663
+1 800 826 9300