Monday, September 22, 2008

End of Summer, August 2008

With the end of summer and the start of fall, the days start to get shorter and the days of summer seem to slip away. As the light at sunset begins to change and the evenings start to cool. Such is the time marked by end of summer...

A visit to Cape Cod for those of us from the west coast can be a refreshing taste of Americana. Some of my favorite places to visit while there were...

If you like ice cream Four Seas Ice Cream is the place to go. There is always a line and the delight is worth the wait. After all you might run into someone you haven’t seen in awhile and catch up on what everyone has been up to. Once you make your way in the front door, you step inside to an old fashion soda fountain counter and it feels like home. Loaded with so many different flavors of homemade ice cream, Four Seas is a treat for the child in all of us.

There never seems to be enough time to visit the beach when we are home. There is nothing like enjoying a long walk on the beach in the afternoon light while collecting shells and spotting old mollusks on the shore. For my children and I the time spent doing this was full of quiet reflection and relaxation. Catching up on thoughts and ideas and plain old just “hanging” out.

Vintage Lizzie in Dennis, MA was great for finding trinkets and treasures for the home. There are many little towns dotted along the coast of Massachusetts and so many of them have great antique stores. From Dennis to Provincetown you can find many little wonders along the coast.

Our trip took us to Hyannis Port where we spent a lovely week in a traditional Cape Cod style home overlooking the water. The small town of Hyannis Port is made up of a series of small streets where kids can spend the summer riding up and down the lanes without supervision. The water is always close by for quick dips and long sails.

When I am on vacation it is nice to break the rules. Stay up late and sleep in. Such was the vibe at our rental home. There is style of living much like the style of Nanette Lepore does in her spring 2009 collection, clothing that is relaxed and easy with a feminine touch. Eat when hungry, sleep when tired. After all it is vacation. For me I like the unexpected… like the outdoor shower outside our house. Which was fantastic way to get clean and felt like summer camp. The small tool cottage in the back garden with its worn weathered shingles and rickety gate. Or the full bloom of roses and the green grass of summer. All are reminders to stay in the vacation mode. Casual tennis shoes and hand-me-down quilts for cool nights, it all is part of the experience.


Cape Cod style is inspired by a life style dictated by living near the sea. Everyone here is somehow connected to the ocean. More than nautical motifs and shades of blue, the design is unique and organic to the people who live here. Sixty-year-old men, just getting back from their afternoon sails, wear Sperry Topsiders and kelly green whale prints in earnest. Nantucket pink shorts and Izod shirts are sported by thirteen-year-old bushy haired boys, who pull the sail carts back from the pier. There is no pretension in their style; it is how their fathers and grand fathers dressed when they spent their summers here. You can feel the lineage of a unique style.


The long harsh winters require the winter styles to be warm wools and tweed, but when the days get longer, bright cotton prints and solids are everywhere, as if to taunt the colder days. Faded shingled homes against light blue skies are reflected in the interior d├ęcor. Crisp whites gleam in the bright sun light like sails stretched from the mast of the wood sailboats. Summer breezes blowing softly on our faces stirred childhood memories of care free summers that seemed to last forever. Not only is the style of this beautiful area unique in its origins and region, it illustrates a profoundly American theme and our relationship to the sea.

Sailing across Nantucket Sound on our friends fifty foot, one hundred year old wood yawl, you can almost feel the curvature of the earth. The coastline village towns are filled with architecture that looks almost fairytale in its uniformity. The light at this northern latitude is so much different than home and you can sense winter around the corner, encouraging everyone to enjoy what’s left of this incredible season. I love all the details and functional references that make up the design of a life by the sea. Shell motifs are on fabrics and decorate treasure boxes. Rope details and nautical reds outline safety and style. Small reminders like a ship-in-a-bottle find themselves randomly sprinkled as a theme everywhere. Just as Michael Kor's spring 2009 collection is full of nautical and americana references. On our arrival the sea was as warm as bathwater because of the Gulf Stream water flowing north, but only a five days later the temperature had dropped more than 10 degrees. The cooler evenings brought out polar fleece and blue blazers, almost worn interchangeably no matter how casual or formal the affair. The texture of the fabrics seems almost woven in the weather and landscape. While a casual first look leaves you thinking this style here it is mostly driven by its conservative culture, when you emerge yourself in it, you see how authentically it is spawned from the life style. Like the beach inspired accessories from the Just Cavalli spring 2009 collection, the sea subtly inspires and takes over.

Like the memories of summer... these are the moments that we treasure.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

So beautiful!

tamara said...

Beautifully written. I feel like I have a taste of Cape Cod which is a place I have always wanted to go. Thanks for your attention to the little things while you were on your trip. Sounds wonderful!

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