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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Cape Cod Celebrates 4th of July, 2010

 Patriotism is alive and well on Cape Cod, evidenced by the abundance of Independence Day Celebrations with parades and fireworks demonstrations throughout the area. This is Americana at its’ small town best. From Sandwich to Provincetown and on the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, flags will fly and folks with gather along sidewalks to watch parades and on beaches to view fireworks. Some lucky folks will be enjoying fireworks exhibitions from boats afloat on rivers and bays. Whether you are a native, a wash-ashore, or a vacationer, what a wonderful time to be on Cape Cod.

As the 4th falls on a Sunday this year, some villages and towns on the Cape have opted to have their celebrations on varying days from July 1st to July 5th. Here are dates and times various villages and towns have scheduled their events. Osterville will hold their parade on Friday, July 2nd at 11:00 am starting on Webster Street, continuing onto Sea View Avenue and then onto Warren Street. Chatham, Centerville, and Orleans will hold their parades on Saturday, July 3rd.

With the theme “From Sea to Shining Sea,” the Chatham parade will began at 9:30 am on Main Street.  The Independence Day Celebration on Nantucket starts at 10:00 am and features a dunk tank, face painting, watermelon and pie eating contests, and a puppet show. The Town Firefighters, with the old hand pumper, will square off in water fight with the Volunteer Firemen on the Flint Ranney Antique Fire truck. Fireworks will begin at 9:00 pm and the best viewing will be off Jetties Beach. Shuttle service to the beach is encouraged.

Holding their parades and events on Sunday, July 4th will be Barnstable Village, Bourne, Falmouth, Provincetown, Cotuit, Sandwich, and Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. The parade in Barnstable Village, featuring the Barnstable High School Marching Band, will start at 9:30 am on Railroad Avenue, proceed down Route 6A and onto Mill Way to Village Hollow where additional activities and celebrations will be held.

The Town of Falmouth really rocks with a Bike and Carriage Parade. Families dress in creative Uncle Sam costumes and join the parade. Beginning on the Falmouth Village Green at 10:00 am, they stroll down Main Street to Margaret E. Noonan Park where a patriotic sing-along commences. There will be a fireworks celebration at 8:40 pm at Falmouth Heights Beach on Vineyard Sound which can be viewed from several locations in Falmouth.

The 4th of July Parade in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is a long-standing tradition. Kilt-clad bagpipers, veterans, floats, fire trucks, and animals parade through downtown. The parade gets underway at 5:00 pm. If you are going to be on the Vineyard, you may want to contact the Edgartown Board of Trade for the exact parade route so you can arrive early to stake out a good place to view the excitement. The fireworks will begin on Edgartown Harbor at 9 pm.

The Provincetown Parade will step off at exactly 11:00 am and is nothing short of spectacular. It’s worth the trip to the end of Cape Cod to see the fabulous floats as they careen down Commercial Street. Fireworks will explode at 9:00 pm on Provincetown Harbor.

Charlie and I will be front and center on Main Street in Sandwich to view the “Spirit of Sandwich” parade as it passes the Hoxie House and enters Town Hall Square. Charlie never misses his favorite 4th of July tradition of Strawberry Shortcake offered at the First Church of Christ following the parade. We end the evening listening to Dale and the Duds at the band stand on Shawme Pond. We always get a “bang” out of the boat parade on the pond…an unforgettable experience. Maybe we will see you there.

Full details on the festivities will be available at local Chambers of Commerce.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Cape Cod Wine Tasting: A great way to try new wines.

Charlie’s Weekly Wine-ings

What a week for wine!  Since my June 17 blog I have gone to two official wine tasting and a few not so official ones.  It is my job to stay as current on the available wines so I can find great wines to share with guests at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast. It’s tough work, but someone has to do it.

A formal wine tasting is a great way to learn about new and different wines. The more wines you taste, the more you also learn what you like. Because, it doesn’t matter what anyone else says about a wine, the key is if you like it, you should buy it and enjoy it. Wine tastings expose you to a broader range of wines in a setting where everyone else is also exploring and leaning more about wine. We are lucky here in Sandwich Center to have weekly wine tastings at the Belfry Bistro that also pair each wine with food. So, not only are you tasting new wines, but have the double benefit of savoring how the wine and selected foods actually improve when experienced together. This is my kind of continuing adult education.

So my two formal tasting last week, sponsored by my friends at Cellar 55 Wine Merchants, introduced me to Joseph Phelps’ wines from Napa and Sonoma and Drappier Champagne from France. The Phelps tasting was an opportunity to try some higher priced wines by the small glass that I may not have bought a full bottle just to sample. Good wine tastings are also an economical and fun way to explore the vast world of wine. The Drappier tasting was Wednesday, June 23rd, and special since it was also Jan’s and my 37th wedding anniversary. We made an evening of sipping great Champagnes with friends. Here’s to the next 37 years.  

My guest wines this week actually came from a less formal tasting with Rick, the wine manager at Blanchard’s Liquors in Hyannis. I found a new French white and revisited a nice Paso Robles’ red. My white is a 2007 Le Poule Blanche, a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Viognier that yields a delightfully refreshing wine. My red is a 2006 Clayhouse Syrah, mainly made from central coast Syrah grapes with a unique blending of minor amounts of Grenache, Mouvedre, Cabernet, Petite Sirah, and Malbec that makes a big but still smooth wine. I am anxious to see what my quest think of my choices and will let you know next week.  

Happy Wine-ing,

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Resident Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cape Cod Summer off to a Great Start in Sandwich

The summer of 2010 is off to a great start here in Sandwich. The weather is beautiful with warm days and cool nights. What more could you as for when you’re vacationing on Cape Cod? It is hard to believe that it’s almost July 4th, but it’s still June and Sandwich has an abundance of events to entertain visitors and locals.

On Friday, June 25th, Heritage Museums & Gardens is premiering a new exhibit featuring the works of Frank Vining Smith (1879 – 1967) who lived and worked in Hingham, Massachusetts. An avid sailor, his works are informed with an authentic appreciation for the sea and its' ships. Inspired by his love of the sea, he became known as America’s finest marine painter, gaining the critical and monetary success seldom achieved by artists. As some of the works in the exhibit are from a private collection, this could be your only opportunity to see them.

The following Sunday (June 27th) at 2:00 pm, James Craig, author of Frank Vining Smith: Maritime Painting in the 20th Century, will be at the museum to share his insights about this prolific artist. You can purchase a copy of his book on site and he will be happy to sign it for you.

On Saturday, June 26th from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the lawn of the Sandwich Public Library, there will be a juried show and sale featuring twenty of the region’s finest jewelry artisans. Unique creations in silver, glass, mother of pearl, vintage buttons, semi-precious stones, and much more will be available for sale. Pick up a memento of your visit to Cape Cod or a gift to delight someone special.

Also on Saturday, June 26th, the Dexter Grist Mill is opening for the season. The restored mill is just across the street from our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, and dates back to 1654. Corn is still ground there using the mills' centuries-old gears and the oak waterwheel driven by water flowing from Shawme Pond. You can even buy a bag of ground corn to take home with you. We use corn meal ground at the mill in our Rosemary-Roasted Corn Muffins that we serve for breakfast at the Inn. The mill and its’ resident swans are perhaps the most photographed scene on the Cape so, bring your camera.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cape Cod Quahog Day Held in Sandwich, Massachusetts

Monday, June 21, 2010 is not only the first day of summer, its Quahog day on Cape Cod. Doug the Quahog shows himself and makes his prognostication about how many weeks of beach weather we will have on Cape Cod this summer.  This is the second of what is becoming a popular annual event here on the Cape, and we are excited that it is being held in Sandwich this year.  Although we are a bit dubious about the accuracy of the little bi-valve’s predictions, it will be lots of fun for those attending.

The official ceremony will be held at 4:00 pm at Hemisphere Restaurant located on Town Neck Beach in Sandwich. There will be live music by Black Wampum and free samples of “Doug’s Mud” ice cream, named in honor of the little Quahog and generously provided by Polar Cave Ice Cream. A 50-50 raffle will be held at the event with proceeds going to the National Marine Life Center in Buzzards Bay. Don’t know what a 50-50 raffle is? You should come and find out. If you win, you could go home with a little something extra in your pocket!

Quahog Day is the beginning of a week-long celebration of a very welcome summer season with “quahog” activities all over Cape Cod. If you go to Clancy’s in Dennisport, tell your server “I Love Doug the Quahog” and receive two delicious Quahogs for the price of one. Catch of the Day in Wellfleet will offer a Quahog Day special featuring Homemade Quahog Pie paired with Cape Cod Beer's Cape Cod Red. And, you really shouldn’t miss the Stuffed Quahog eating contest at the new Quahog Republic Dive Bar in Falmouth on Wednesday, June 23rd.

It’s not all about the food. From June 21st through June 27th, Atlantic Spice Company of North Truro, home of the Fantastic Clam Ram, is offering a one-pound bag of Bay Spice Powder with the purchase of a $15 Clam Ram. Cape Cod Beach Chair is having a week-long sale at their new store in Harwich; bring in a quahog shell and receive 20% of your purchase. By the way, their beach chairs are a must-have for the summer.

To round out the week, attend the annual Chowder Fest at the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis. While you are there, check their 2010 Summer Schedule and pick up some tickets to attend a live performance.

Whether you are planning an extended vacation or a quick get-away to the Cape this summer, we would love to have you stay at our Cape Cod B and B. We’re going to have a great summer…come join us.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's A Small World After All At Our Sandwich Bed and Breakfast

 Charlie's Weeklie Wine-ings

Guests who stay at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast continue to enjoy the Australian 2005 Formula -  Robert’s Shiraz, by Small Gully Wines, and the Italian 2008 Mascialrelli Rose d’Abruzzo. One recent quest was in the habit of returning from dinner and having a glass of the Formula, almost like a port. The Formula is bold and high in alcohol, so I guess it hit the spot for him.

In my June 9th wine blog I shared news of some of our wine loving returning guest. Having guests return is part of the fun of running an Inn. Another wonderful part is meeting new guest from around the world. Early in the season we are not always completely full midweek. With our prime location in the heart of Sandwich Village, we often have walk-ups looking for last minute accommodations. Young Europeans frequently travel without booking ahead. This week we had a wonderful young Spanish couple, who were visiting Cape Cod on their honeymoon, walk-up late in the evening. I called the Painted Lady and asked them to hold the kitchen open for Oriol and Nuria who were staving after a full day of exploring the Cape.

Over breakfast the next morning, the conversation drifted to wine, as it often does. Our Spanish guests asked about my experience with wines from their country. Although I have limited knowledge of Spanish wines, I had just the day before brought up form my cellar one of the few Spanish bottles I had, with plans to taste it again. My 2007 Els Pics Priorat from Bodegas Mas Alta was obtained last summer at a tasting of Spanish wines on the patio at the Brown Jug. Jan really liked this wonderful Grenache blend and this was the last bottle in my cellar. Upon seeing the bottle, Nuria became very excited and, in her excellent English, explained they knew it well and that they lived very near the vineyard. Nuria insisted on having a picture taken with Jan and myself holding the bottle of wine.

I call that a ‘small world of wine’ happening. I speak no Spanish and they were not completely fluent in English, but we found a common language in the wines we both enjoyed. Just one more reason for me to continue to seek out and enjoy wines from around the world so I am ready for my next international guests.

Happy Wine-ing,

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in Barnstable, MA

Charlie and I, along with a group of other Cape Cod Innkeepers, were recently invited to tour the Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary in the Village of Barnstable. This was our first time at this Audubon Sanctuary and what an amazing place to explore. It is a spectacular 110 acres of nature trails, butterfly gardens, vernal pools, salt marshes, and breathtaking views of the dunes and Lighthouse of Sandy Neck; a barrier beach that protects Barnstable Harbor from the pounding waves of the open ocean. This little gem of a place is a nature lovers’ and a photographers’ paradise.

What a perfect Cape Cod day we had for our visit. The sun spilled over the marshes and a slight breeze brought the glorious scent of beach roses mingled with that of other blooming native shrubs and plants. We were led on a walking tour by Ian Ives, the Sanctuary Director, that took us along a path through Spruce Forest where we strolled under oak, maple, and pitch pine trees, by American Holly trees, along Buttonbush Swamp, and into the wildflower gardens where milkweed and other plants grow that attract butterflies and bees. We watched as bees busily buried their tiny heads in the blossoms of plants extracting the nectar to carry back to their hives. We also saw, high up in the top of a pine tree along the Harbor Overlook Trail, evidence that a red tailed hawk had built its’ nest.

Within Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary is a sustainable farm with goats, pigs, and a very large white turkey. Volunteers help with the care and maintenance of the farms’ gardens and are invited to share in the yield. What a rewarding way to spend time learning about sustainable agriculture and how to exist and thrive in harmony with your natural environment.

This year Long Pasture is offering kayak trips, led by naturalists, where you will explore the pristine waterways and rich aquatic life that draw people to Cape Cod. You need only bring your curiosity and enthusiasm; kayaks, paddles, and life vests are provided. Pre-registration is required so make sure you call ahead to 508-362-7475.

The Visitors Center for Long Pasture is located at 345 Bone Hill Road, off Route 6A, in Barnstable. Admission is just $4 for nonmember adults and $3 for nonmember children aged 2 to 12 and also for senior citizens. This is the best entertainment value you will ever find.

It is impossible in this small space to adequately describe this extraordinary place. Charlie and I are looking forward to many visits exploring this constantly changing natural habitat that captures the essence of Old Cape Cod. We hope to run into you along one of the trails. If you see us in a kayak, you may want to head in another direction.

Long Pasture on Facebook   

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sharing Wine With Returning Guests at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast

 Charlie's Weekly Wine-ing

The wines we are serving this week are a repeat of last weeks. The same international flavor with the Australian 2005 Formula Robert’s Shiraz by Small Gully Wines and the Italian 2008 Mascialrelli Rose d’Abruzzo. See last week’s blog for my comments about why I select these two wines.

The bigger question is why we did not serve them last weekend and what did we drink at the Inn. A great joy of running an Inn is to see returning guest, especially if they are a winemaker and bring samples of their craft to share. Our often-repeating guests, Lynne and Kevin from Canada, graced us this weekend with their presence. Kevin has been making wines for a number of years and always brings me his latest vintage to cellar until his next stay. Joining them was other returning guests, Priscilla and Bob from Saratoga, NY. The four had been here before at the same time and all enjoy wines.

We spent much time on the patio, aka Wine Patio, exploring Kevin’s handcrafted wines and a wide selection of others, but never made it to my selections for last week. Kris and Dave from Cellar 55 joined us to add their ‘professional’ opinions to this special tasting. The consensus was that Kevin’s 2004 Shiraz from my cellar was at it peak and was enjoyed by all. Do all wine’s taste better when shared with the proud creator of that wine? I look forward to Lynne and Kevin’s next visit, which will be the right occasion to open Kevin’s 2010 Pinot Noirs that are now maturing in my cellar.

So, last week we made a little detour from my planned wine tasting, but a lot of other great wine was still enjoyed. We now have last weeks’ selections to look forward to this week. Another win-win on the Wine Patio.

Happy Wine-ing,

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Red Wine Tasting at Our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast

 Charlie's Weekly Wine-ings

Hi all,    

My blog may be a day late, but not a dollar short. I was occupied yesterday by my continuing quest to find the right wine for this week’s offering at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast. In fact, I was at a tasting last night at the Belfry Bistro on its' beautiful terrace, the perfect place for a late afternoon glass of wine, or two. The tasting was all Australian and all red. David from Cellar 55 Wine Merchants shared four Shiraz in the big and bold style that many of us wine fans consider to be Australia at its best.

So for this week’s red, I am going with the 2005 Formula Robert’s Shiraz from last night’s tasting. Last year I had the 2004 and, I am pleased to report, the 2005 is just as good, or better.  The wine is from the Barossa Valley in Southern Australia and produced by Small Gully Wines. It is not for the faint of heart with an alcohol content of 15.9%, maybe that’s why I like it so much. A little goes a long way.

I was so excited with the reds, that I am not offering a white this week; I am staying sort of red with a light and refreshing Italian rose. The 2008 Mascialrelli Rose d’Abruzzo is 100% Montepulciano grapes form the Abruzzo region. It’s a great summer deck or patio wine.

I have gone a little international this week; let’s see how my guests like these selections.

Happy Wine-ing,

Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cape Cod Blooms: Rhododendron Festival in Sandwich

Cape Cod is never more beautiful than when the Rhododendron blossoms spill forth their stunning array of colors. To mark this annual event, Heritage Museums and Gardens and the Thornton Burgess Society have joined forces to feature thousands of these magnificent species in full bloom.

On June 4th and June 5th, from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm, there will be lectures by well known horticulturalists, gallery exhibits, book signings, a plant sale, and a rare rhododendron auction. You will also have the opportunity to tour eight spectacular private gardens in Sandwich, Cotuit, and Osterville. A printable copy of the brochure for the Rhododendron Festival is available online.

Tickets may be used both days and may be purchased at Heritage Museums and Gardens or at the Thornton Burgess Green Briar Nature Center. The fee is $25 for members of either organization or $30 for non-members. For further information, call 508-888-3300 or 508-888-6870, or visit their websites.

Heritage Museums and Gardens is located at 67 Grove Street, within walking distance of our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast. The Green Briar Nature Center is located at 6 Discovery Hill Road also in Sandwich.

Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts