Last week was the kid’s only decent length vacation from school. Spring Break! Party time! Let’s all pile into someone’s minivan that they borrowed from their mother and drive to Florida, spend the week lying on the beach and staying up til all hours, only taking breaks to make fun of the one guy who refuses to do anything but watch March Madness! Oh, wait. This isn’t freshman year of college? Fine. Change of plans. Let’s take it down a few notches and head even further back into my youth.
Growing up, the tiny village of Osterville, within the town of Barnstable, on Cape Cod was my second home. My sister and I spent the school year in Maryland, then, as soon as the bell rang on the last day, we hopped in the car to be whisked up the New Jersey Turnpike, across Connecticut, tossing quarters at six separate toll booths (now gone) to count our way across the state, past Providence traffic, over the Bourne Bridge and onto the Cape. There, we would pass the summer taking tennis lessons, snacking on penny candy, swimming in Crystal Lake, eating grilled cheese sandwiches at the Wianno Club, biking past multi-million dollar summer homes, and tanning on Dowses Beach. It was not a hard life.
Our summer home was with our grandmother. And she’s still in Osterville, living on her own at the age of 96. So, spring break this year was spent visiting Gran, as the kids and I haven’t seen her since before we moved to Belgium.
And who better to make the visit with than the sister I spent all those summers with. Lindsay and her two kids joined us, plus Nana and John to make it a family affair. With only a few days to spend in town, we opted not to venture too far, instead dividing our time between Osterville and neighboring Centerville and Hyannis, doing the things we always do. Beach, ice cream, peeking in on the Kennedys, candy, pizza, with some geocaching thrown in because I made them.
We were only able to spend a few days in Osterville, but I’m always thankful for the time I’m there. Some of my best childhood days were had in that town, on those beaches, with my family. Because while a borrowed mini-van drive to Florida is good for a week of fuzzy memories, it’s the ones made over a lifetime of visits that I want to share with my children.
Happy Spring Break!