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Monday, July 27, 2015

Santa Clause on Vacation?

We had a surprise visit from Santa Clause at our Inn this summer, not something you expect in July on Cape Cod. Our guests come from around the world, but this is our first guest from the North Pole. Yes the Polar Express runs from Hyannis to Sandwich at Christmas time, but this time Santa came in a Toyota, I think. And truth be told he only came from New Hampshire.

What I in the world am I talking about? I normally check our guest in when they arrive, but I was away from the Inn and missed seeing our newest guests until breakfast the next morning. As the white haired couple were seated, I thought there was something very familiar about the man with the long white beard and shoulder length flowing white hair. With his wire rimmed glasses and a twinkle in his eye, yes for all-the-world he looked like Santa Clause. He in his bright red tee shirt and her in a red summer dress, they looked like Mr. & Mrs. Clause on a beach vacation.
Mr. and MrsSanta aka Dan & Diana Greenleaf

Over breakfast, we learned Dan Greenleaf is a professionalSanta in New Hampshire and his wife, Diana, does play Mrs. Clause. Another guest with thinning gray hair and spotty gray whiskers expressed his suppressed interest in playing Santa and peppered Dan with questions. Dan happily shared information and suggested visiting the website of the New England Santa Society, an organization he help found to bring more professionalism to the business of being a Santa.

The NESS holds regular meetings where Dan has presented on topics such as liability insurance and how to price you services. Recently they held a meeting on Cape Cod and I remember seeing a picture in the local paper of these Santa look a likes bowling in Mashpee. Dan had attended that meeting and was in the bowling picture.

Dan also proudly pointed out his affiliation with the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas, obviously one more very important selection criteria to think about as you look to engage aprofessional Santa for those Holiday parties.

I think Dan and his associates are in a league above the Mall Santa. Dan is more like the Kris Kringle character played by Edmond Gwenn in the 1947 Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street, than the Bad Santa as played by Billy Bob Thornton, a movie not destined to be a true classic. Also, please make note that Billy Bob’s character was not a real bearded Santa.  

Jan and I have promised to be good for the rest of the year in hopes that Santa Clause with fill our stockings with Christmas joy this year. Come visit us at our Inn and you may even see Mr. & Mrs. Santa Clause on their summer vacation at our in; a very special way to have Breakfast with Santa.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pizza in our Sandwich?

I live in Sandwich, but all I can think about is Pizza. Even though on Saturday June 27, our town of Sandwich is celebrating its annual Sandwich Fest, all I can think about is Pizza. During Sandwich Fest, we close town Water Street, overlooking the beautiful Shawme Pond, for a festive all day street fair that this year includes over 90 Street Vendors, Juried Local Artists, Craftsmen, and Retailers. The main focus of the day is the selection of the “Best Sandwich in Sandwich”. The town’s restaurants and caf├ęs offer their best culinary specialties in hopes of winning the Sandwich crown and bragging rights for the next year.  

So why can I only think about Pizza?

Because the Brown Jug just fired up its new outdoor pizza oven and is now offering some of the best pizza I have ever tasted. Since we returned from Florida, we have watched as Brown Jug owner, Michael, transformed the side patio from what was a lovely secluded space to a wonderful Italian style outdoor Pizzeria. First, the old crab apple tree that dangerously bombarded you with falling apples was removed to expand the paver tiled area that was to be the future home of the new pizza oven. Michael also added a new gated side entrance and a beautiful canvas awning. We missed the day the crane lifted the massive oven over the arborvitae hedge into its new home. 

The oven itself is a work of art with its' hand crafted Italian mosaic tile exterior that houses a state-of-the-art oven assembly. It took a few days to connect and adjust the new equipment, but it was worth the wait. As always, Michael uses only the finest ingredients with which Jamie, the pizza master, was creating unbelievable pies. 

Many of us locals knew about the Saturday test run and soft opening that offered ‘free’ pizza; we did plan our lunch break around this event. Paula from the Dunbar Restaurant and Tea Room, also an accomplished chef, was already promoting the new pizza as not only the Best in Sandwich, but also the Best on Cape Cod. Our Inn guest from New York, who heard about the Brown Jug from us over breakfast, had high praise for creative offerings, and they are no strangers to great pizza options.  

This is why I can only think about Pizza and am looking forward to lunch and another great experience at the Brown Jug. I hope you will visit Sandwich for the annual, fun Sandwich Fest, but save a little room for a slice of pie at the Jug.
Charlie Preus, Pizza Taster, Assistant Innkeeper, and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center

Friday, June 12, 2015

Cape League Baseball 2015

The Cape Cod Boys of Summer are back for the 2015 season. Founded in 1885, this is the 130th year of the Cape Cod Baseball League (CCBL). The CCBL is one of the premier summer leagues for college athletes to show their potential. It is one of the few leagues that use wood bats like in Major League Baseball (MLB). Remember, most organized non-professional baseball has been using only aluminum bats for years. So some college stars of today may never have competed using regulation wood bats. The CCBL is a proving ground of sorts to see if great armature prospects have what it takes to make the transition to the big time. In the first round of the MLB draft a few days ago, 14 of the 19 college players selected had played in the CCLB last season, and over 270 CCLB alumni played in MLB in 2014. The success of the players gives credence to the leagues motto: America’s League ‘Where the Stars of Tomorrow Shine Tonight’.     

Map showing Cape Cod baseball league team locations
Cape Cod Baseball League Team Locations
With 10 teams from Falmouth to Orleans, there are five games played almost every night from the June 9th opening day until to the final games on August 2; followed by the East-West regional playoffs and then the Championship Series. Often guests at our B&B will take in a game of our local team, the Bourne Braves, up the road at the Doran Park, overlooking the Cape Cod Canal. Admission is free and a night of exciting baseball is guaranteed. We provide camp chairs to our guest to make the viewing more comfortable. We have had quests who were related to a player plan their Cape Cod site seeing around where their hopeful future MLB player’s team was playing that evening, and to see all the scheduled games they can during their stay. See the CCBL website for complete list of scheduled games and location of team fields.

     The 2014 Cape League Champions, the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, are off to an 0 and 2 start in the first games of the 44 game season. Not looking good for a repeat, but not as bad as their MBL name sake Boston Red Sox, who continue to sit on the bottom of the Eastern Division standings. For both teams, we hope for the best and say ‘Go Sox’!  If you love baseball, come and stay with usat our Inn and we will loan you a comfortable chair and direct you to the nearest ball field to see some top notch amateur baseball.  

Article written by Charlie Preus