Our month on Cape Cod—day 1

~Saturday~ Since I’ll continue working remotely through at least the end of the year, my husband (Bob) and I are opting for a change of scenery. We’ve rented a little place on Cape Cod for a month!

I’ll work Mondays through Thursdays and take off Fridays during this time. For Friday day trips, P-town is about 35 minutes north of us and Hyannis is about 35 minutes south of us—with its ferries to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. You might be renting a place in New England if one of the kitchen amenities listed is a lobster pot!

I also have extended family in Fall River, MA; Westport, MA; Swansea, MA; Assonet, MA; and Tiverton, RI (all within about an hour-and-a-half of us) who we’ll try to safely visit during our month here, since none of them have ever met Bob.

This is the first of daily blog entries I’ll make to remember our experience.

Departing Raleigh, NC

We had our alarm set for 3 a.m., but at 2:20, we both realized neither of us was going to fall back asleep, so we just got up, had some cottage cheese for breakfast, finished packing the very few things we didn’t pack last night, and got on the road some time between 3:30 and 4:00.


Reason #263 that it’s a good thing neither of us has kids, because there really wouldn’t have been room for any of their stuff. The car was packed to the gills.

Maximum trunk space used

Maximum back seat spaced use

Just enough space for Bob to sit in the passenger seat


Bob had planned food for us to eat en route, and the highlight was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and homemade banana bread. We enjoyed this at a rest area in Maryland at about 9:13. It seems early for a lunch, but since we’d started out at 3 in the morning, it was apropos.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches

Individually wrapped homemade banana bread slices


The trip was fairly uneventful. We did have a little confusion at times between what route Google Maps was telling us to take vs. what our AAA Trip Tik was telling us to take vs. just staying on I-95 North the whole way.

We made 3 stops along the way, and we were surprised, and pleased, at the vast majority of people that were wearing masks at the rest stops and gas stations.


The tolls situation was less than ideal. Once getting north of Virginia, there were more tolls than we’d anticipated, and some of them ended up not collecting, some of them had cash-only lanes, and some of them were designated as “pay-by-mail” tolls.

The first toll road we approached had all the signs intact about stopping to pay your toll, but when we got to the booth, it said to just keep on going. We didn’t know if they weren’t collecting tolls because it was Saturday, or because they didn’t want to staff the booth because of COVID-19, or what.

Getting on the New Jersey Turnpike, the “NO EZ-Pass” lane we got in flashed yellow lights (from green) after we’d already chose the lane, and when we got to the booth, it wasn’t staffed, and a digital sign flashed: “No tag scanned. Keep moving.” Our booth/lane looked just like the 2 on either side of it at which we saw a driver take a ticket from a machine as they went through. Since there was no machine from which to take a ticket at ours, we just kept going and no one chased us or stopped us. At the end of the turnpike—I’m pretty sure we went the entirety of it—I told the cashier we didn’t get a ticket, but that we’d entered at the Delaware Bridge, and she charged us $18 and some change, which was the price indicated for a “lost ticket.” Whatever.

There were definitely more tolls than we anticipated. We paid $18.85 to go over that unimpressive George Washington Bridge, on which they could use some of the money they’re collecting to repave, if you ask us.

And a few of the toll booths were pay-by-mail booths where they scanned our plates, I guess. We’re concerned that we’re not going to see our mail for over a month. We need to look up how long you have to pay them before they start accruing late fees or fines. We can’t even ask our neighbors to be on the watch for them, because our mail is being held at the post office until Nov. 14.


We did hit a highly annoying snag on I-95N through NY, where we experienced bumper-to-bumper traffic for about 45 minutes to an hour. And it was one of those situations where traffic would just come to a crawl or stop for no obvious reason whatsoever. After some time, it would pick back up—with no accident or any other thing in sight that might explain the slowdown—and then again after some time slow down again for no apparent reason. At what point we said:

Really? Bumper-to-bumper traffic? On an interstate? On a Saturday? During a pandemic?


We arrived at about 4:30 p.m., which was 13 or 13.5 hours after we left. I’m not sure how this tripmeter on our car calculates time, but it seems to be an hour or so off. The mileage seems correct, as Google maps estimated between 761 and 821 miles.


Because we were ready for a celebratory drink after a day on the road, the first thing we did was set up the bar in the place and have a toast to the start of our month-long adventure.

Then we took a short walk to the Cumberland Farms convenient store super close to our place to buy some ice, and we each got an ice cream treat. (Me, an ice cream sandwich; and Bob, a Cumberland Farmhouse black raspberry chocolate ice cream sandwich.)

There were two (frozen, Red Barron, pepperoni) pizzas left in the fridge, and we had one of those for dinner after checking with the owner that it was okay to eat them.

Bob made up our bed, and I laid down on it at about 8:30 and started reading a book on my phone on Libby. The next thing I knew, it was 5:00 in the morning Sunday.

Hopes and dreams for tomorrow

  1. Take a ride to see the area.
  2. Drive to the nearest “big” town, which is Orleans, MA, to its Stop and Shop grocery store and TJ Maxx store.
  3. Bob to unpack and put away everything in our house.
  4. John to set up each of our personal computers and then set up his workstation, including a printer provided by the owners.
  5. John to devise our daily blog entry.

Comments are welcome about this entry in the form below. | Read our day 2 entry.
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5 thoughts on “Our month on Cape Cod—day 1”

  1. Now that you guys are within spitting distance and closer to God’s country aka Maine, possible rendezvous? Love to meet Robert and catch up. If not, we can try for next time I’m in the Carolinas. A couple of years ago while doing the tourist thing we went on a cranberry bog tour on the Cape. Nice country! Keep it coming and enjoy!!

  2. I remember those tolls. We lived in NJ until we moved to Raleigh. There were many many trips back and forth until the NJ finally sold.

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