Oct. 3rd, 2018

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We left Thursday for a long weekend on Cape Cod, as you do. Well, as you do if you are us. Because Yarmouth, MA features the Edward Gorey House, the former home, now a museum, of the artist Edward Gorey, who I adore with the fire of a thousand suns, AND the Whydah Pirate Museum. Also, a couple of good restaurants, some cafes with tea, some historic homes and pretty marshes. Thursday was a travel day (it’s much cheaper, but takes a few hours, to go by bus from Boston to the Cape, FYI).
 
Friday was the big trip to the Edward Gorey House, by which I mean that we walked about ¾’s of a mile down the street from the B&B and around the corner, with some stops along the way, to the village green. We got to admire the fantod sand sculpture out front, which was outstanding (there was sand sculpture competition in progress, so this is, alas, not permanent). We arrived inside just in time for a tour led by a docent who is one of Gorey’s cousins. She had some fascinating anecdotes as well as some personal connections to the various displays, which was very cool. Honestly, the whole thing was glorious. I’ve been an Edward Gorey fan since I was a fairly wee tyke so seeing the art, his coat, his designs for various things, the pillows from the set of Dracula (which I saw on Broadway with Frank Langella when I was 12 or so), all magic. There’s even a lovely whale statue in the garden designed by some students from the Parson’s School of Design as a tribute and an amazing gift shop. The museum also sells editioned prints—guess what’s showing up soon? Reader, I squeed in fannish delight and my credit card gently smoked.
 
Then we went across the street to Parnassus Book Service, which is a fabulous antiquarian book dealer. I asked about Gorey books and art and the owner turned me loose on her signed poster collection, the books and a box of things from the recent estate sale of one of his friends, Helen Pond, the set designer from the celebrated Cape Playhouse. It was Gorey geek heaven! I may have picked up a thing or three, plus a book that is proving far more hilarious than I expected (which I’ll name if it continues so). Bliss.
 
After some rest and tea and a dinner and more rest and working, we were up on Sunday for breakfast. This involved sitting in the B&B’s garden with a bunch of international tourists and getting a fine view of the giant stone frog with the stone chain around its neck. Why a stone frog? Well, being New England and all, we expected sacrifices and elder gods, but nothing untoward occurred while we were there. We hopped in a cab and went over to the Whydah Pirate Museum after breakfast. This is a great museum! They do a nice job of talking about how Caribbean piracy developed and how it was linked to the slave trade (quite a few escaped and/or freed via raids folks joined the pirates, etc.). There are interesting models and interactive displays and a marine archeology setup so you can see artifacts from the wreck being cleaned. Highly recommended if you’re in the area.
 
Then there was more tea and more historic house tours and then dinner. And then the 3AM fire alarm, which roused…only me. But I did check the place out pretty thoroughly before going back to bed. Then it was off to the Hyannis Transport Center with a former Bulgarian chess champion (our cabbie) who drives cab and helps out at his kid’s pizzeria in the summer, then coaches the national team back in Sofia during the winter. All in all, a splendid trip!

 

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