We spent yesterday visiting the Cape Cod town of Sandwich. How can you not like a small seaside town named sandwich? I mean, it’s a small town, it’s on the water, and it’s named after food! What more could you want in a town?
Actually, Sandwich, incorporated in 1639, was named after a town in England with the same name. Settled by European immigrants nearly 150 years before the American Revolution, Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod and one of the oldest towns in the United States.
Our friends John and Chris Hallock are workamping at the Corps of Engineers Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center. Dug between 1909 and 1914, the Canal provides safe navigation for boats and ships so they can avoid the treacherous waters of the open ocean off Cape Cod.
The Visitor Center has displays on the history of the canal and its role in navigation, including the retired Coast Guard patrol boat Renier, a collection of nautical knots, and a video that tells the story of the canal.
It’s also a good place to watch boats and ships traveling up and down the canal. Visitors can sit on the rocking chairs on the porch, or on the grass, to watch the parade of vessels.
While we were there we were fortunate enough to see the Amistad pass by on the Canal. A replica of the La Amistad slave ship that was seized by its captive cargo in a revolt in 1839, the ship was headed for Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, she wasn’t under sail, which would have been an amazing sight to see, but it was still pretty awesome.
After the Amistad passed, we spent some time visiting with John and Chris in their fifth wheel. Chris is the graphic artist who designed our Gypsy Journal logo, which we use on the front page of the paper and our T-shirts. We had not seen them in several years, and it was fun to have an hour so to spend with them before they had to go back to their duties.
Our next stop was at the Sandwich Glass Museum, housed in the building that once was the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. For much of the 1800s, Sandwich was a major glass-producing town, and several glass factories operated here.
The museum has a wonderful display of art glass, blown glass, pressed glass, fused glass, etched glass, and any other kind of glass you could ever want to see. The galleries hold decanters and other items dating back to the early 1800s that were made locally.
We watched a young lady demonstrate the art of glassblowing, starting with heating the glass in a kiln at over 2300° and then working it into a decorative glass pumpkin. As she worked she explained the process, and when she was finished she answered questions from the audience.
By the time we left the museum it was after 5 PM and we were hungry. And if you’re on Cape Cod, how can you not have seafood? We drove back to a place called Seafood Sam’s, which has some good reviews. It was almost across the street from the Canal Visitor Center. The food was very good and plentiful, although I wasn’t impressed at all with the service. The self-serve soda machine was putting out flat drinks because they needed to recharge the carbonator, they had run out of ice, and the iced tea was just water, not tea. Myself and several other customers complained to the folks at the counter, but 20 minutes later they still hadn’t done anything. So I went up front to where they had a cooler with bottled drinks and brought two of them back to our table. I’m not sure what they were supposed to cost, but when I told one of the young ladies behind the counter what I was doing because I was tired of waiting for them to do nothing, she just shrugged. So the place gets a B+ for the food, and a D- for the service and employee attitude.Though I do have to acknowledge two young ladies doing a bang up job of bussing tables and managing the trash containers.
Of course, if you’re going to go to an island, you have to either take a ferry or cross a bridge. There are two bridges across the canal, one is high, and the other is even higher. Traffic was horrendous, which was probably a good thing because it kept me from noticing I was driving over a very high bridge! Somebody told me that some of the most aggressive drivers in the world are in this region, and I have to agree. If people aren’t changing lanes and cutting in front of you without signaling, they are tailgating you, or flying up on-ramps and into traffic without even a glance backward in their mirrors. I bet insurance rates here are really high!
We’re supposed to have scattered thunderstorms today, some of them with strong winds and heavy rain. If it looks like they are going to develop, we may just set tight here at home instead of venturing out. We’ll just see how the day develops.
Thought For The Day – Your friends love you anyway.