We'd planned four days in Falmouth for two main activities: for Camerawoman, taking pictures of weeds, and for Bicycleman, bicycling. As we set out, all meteorologic signs were ominous,
as were the usual semiotics at the approach to the Cape.
Over the years we'd stayed at the Resort many times, including the year we had to evacuate with Hurricane Bob nipping at our heels. The joint was, the website announced, "under new management," which, in retrospect, could have been read as ominous as well. The lobby was starker, more pomo, with the whole wall behind check-in taken up by a stark, white bas-relief of vertigo-inducing waves. The rest of the lobby was busy proclaiming an abstracty "beach grass" motif. The grandmotherly concierge was gone, the little gift shop replaced by a photo studio. The rugs had been pulled up and the lobby echoed painfully.
Needless to say, our desk clerk couldn't find our reservations. The other desk clerk was busily flirting with a tall, patrician man about thirty years her senior who was boasting about his golf exploits. Our clerk seemed more interested in joining the golf conversation than in disentangling the snafu that could have left us facing no room in the inn. Eventually, between holes of golf, he found us a room. He rattled off some information regarding meals: the restaurant was no longer open for dinner, but there was a "barbecue" we could attend.
Great. A barbecue. You'd think after all these years I could deal with the traveling-while-vegan thing. I'd already been confronted with a veggie burger slathered with mayo (note to self, remember to ask them to HOLD the goddamned mayo) and, later on the trip, would encounter the certified meat-free "Tomato Basil Soup" that was actually "Cream of Tomato Soup."
"Can we get the Globe in the morning ?" we thought to ask, realizing the gift shop, the purveyor-of-yore of papers, was no more.
No we could not. USA Today -- that Wal-Martian lowest common denom of newspapers -- was available. There was a "convenience store" up the road we could try if we really wanted something as retro as a real newspaper.
Did I mention that it was raining ? Raining really hard ? And that the wind was blowing at about 40 mph ? And that trees were falling into the road ?
The first thing that caught my eye was a big sticker of an airplane on our room's mirror. It annoyed me. I reached up to pull it off and the cockpit came off in my hand. Demoralized, I stuck it back on.
We unpacked. Our room was damp, machine-chilled and
better rendered in crime-scene black-and-white.
The books I'd packed
were definately thematic.
And the next morning, not surprisingly, the Hotel Lobby, the former site of free cups of morning coffee, was javaless.
After a bad movie, a lot more rain, some drizzle and mist thrown in for variety, a tour of the family mansion of nervous industrialists (complete with an exhibit of abstract art fit for the MOBA) and (half of) a sophomoric, over-priced summer theater production of a musical that the brilliant Stephen Sondheim should disown* -- we cried uncle and came home early. In the rain.
Via, appropriately enough, the evacuation route.
*A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum