We all know the importance of this time of year. For those with children, it is the time just before school starts in September when there is still room for one last summer hurrah: the road trip. Families and friends all around the country pack up their minivans, sedans, or–if they are unlucky–Mini Coopers with all the trip necessities and head off to that beach destination, big city, or cruise that they have been dreaming about since that day in February when there was three feet of snow blocking their front door.
For those of us who happen to be single and in our late twenties, August is also the time of year when we realize that every one of our friends from high school is getting married. Not that I’m jealous. I really don’t have time to count how many of my friends are married or engaged because it just puts a damper on all the fun I’m having watching SportsCenter with my cat Mia, while treating myself to a dinner of Captain Crunch. Those lovebirds don’t know what they’re missing!
I want to settle down soon and find a good woman soon (Ladies, check out my picture on the bottom left corner) so we can have a son who will surely be a left handed, power pitcher and make it to the big leagues, become the Red Sox closer and lead them to another World Series title. All this after he graduates from Harvard, of course. I guess I should start saving money now.
Staying true to the theory that everyone other than me is getting married, I recently combined the summer road trip with a summer wedding. My friends Sarah and Steve got married on August 8th in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. My brother Matt, our friend Eileen, and I traveled in Eileen’s car to the Cape. I know the new hip/cheap trend is the “staycation,” as in taking time off and just staying in your own backyard, but nothing beats a real road trip. If you have enough people in your car, but not too many, you can save some dough on the gas as well.
Oh yea, the beer. Since this is supposed to be a beer column, there will be at least one mention of beer other than those that I imbibed during the wedding reception. This column will be a little different than most though. Next month I’ll have more of an emphasis on the beer, I promise.
Hyannis, Massachusetts, is famous for the Kennedy compound, but it is also home to Cape Cod Beer, a brewery whose motto is, “A vacation in every pint.” There will be more on the brewery later, but first an explanation of the shenanigans that took place during the trip.
The cottage we stayed in was amazing. Let me add that if you plan to visit Cape Cod, you have to rent a cottage. You just won’t get the true experience by staying in a hotel. If you have a large group of friends, or pair of families, you can save money. You can also have a different person or group make a dinner each night, which will also save you money so you can splurge and get that big lobster dinner at the end of the week.
The cottage was beautiful and enormous with a second story deck that was perfect for afternoon reading, sun bathing, and grilling. As for the shenanigans I mentioned earlier, the best and cheesiest sitcom writer could not have written a script with as many wacky happenings as that week entailed.
Since I really want to get to the beer, the following is a semi-quick run-down of the high jinks: Before we even arrived (many of the house guests got there before us), someone got a little annoyed with one of the toilets and decided to flush it over and over again. Due to the fact that this house had a septic tank instead of a sewage system, the toilet decided to overflow all over the bathroom floor. Hilarity ensued.
The day of the wedding a note was posted by the realtor on the front door stating that the neighbors were mad at us because we were having raucous parties at all hours of the night. This was untrue; at most we had a few people out on the deck in the evenings talking, so this made us all laugh. The note had instructions that the wedding party was to end by nine o’clock or the police would be called. End a wedding party at nine o’clock, no way José. It also called for us to promptly move our things out of the house at exactly 10 am on the last day to “avoid any further problems.” Needless to say, it was a bluff and there were no problems. Apparently renting cottages that are located in neighborhoods where most of the residents live year round is a bad idea.
The wedding was to take place on a beautiful beach in late afternoon. I traveled to the beach with the groom Steve, his father Norman, and Steve’s friend from California, Jim. The beach was huge and apparently nobody knew where the wedding was. After driving around for a half hour, we eventually found the site where the caterer was setting up. The guests arrived and everything was all set to go and then something happened. The caterer shot herself in the eye with a champagne cork. Yes really, in the eye, how cliché. As people began to rush to her aid, the distant rumbling of thunder filled our ears and the rush was on.
In order to get the vows completed before the rain, everyone bolted to the limited seats, while others found a good spot to stand. In the mad dash to found places, the bride’s Grandmother tumbled out of her chair and dislocated her finger. An ambulance was called, but the ceremony would go on. Steve and Sarah gave their vows and became man and wife, the rain never came, grandma was taken to a hospital only to arrive late at the reception and party until two in the morning, the caterer got some ice on her eye, and…
The crazy vacation ship seemed to be righting itself.
The trip home on Saturday started as an uneventful, easy drive–until Eileen’s car broke down in Hyannis. Speaking of Hyannis, Cape Cod Beer is located there. The brewery makes two offerings year round, Cape Cod Red (5.5% ABV), an Amber style red and Cape Cod India Pale Ale (6.5% ABV). They also offer two seasonal brews, Cape Cod Summer (5.5% ABV), a wheat beer available from late April until late September and Cape Cod Porter (6.0% ABV), available from October until late April. The brewery also makes some specialty batches: Berry Merry Holiday Ale, Old Man Winter and Soundkeeper Stout. The brews are available on tap at bars and restaurants all over the Cape.
The car was towed to a mechanic that we assumed was open, only to find that all mechanic shops close at noon on Saturdays in Massachusetts. They wouldn’t even be open again until the following Monday. After hours of phone calls to AAA, it was decided that we would rent a car and head to Eileen’s cottage near Saratoga for the night and finally drive home the next day.
All in all, this trip showed me that friends and family can get through a lot together. Steve and Sarah wanted to get married on a beach and even though there was a lot of craziness along the way, they accomplished their goal. Even with all the wacky things going on around them, their love shined through. With the caterer holding a bag of ice to her eye, and Sarah’s mom helping grandma to stand during the ceremony, everyone in attendance still saw the love that these two young people have for each other. It didn’t matter what else was going on around them, they were together.
Chris Osburn is a 26 year old freelance writer. He’s currently a beer columnist for The Father Life and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. On top of that, he writes about professional lacrosse for insidelacrosse.com. He’s also written for Genesee Valley Parenting Magazine and ESPN.com. “Osburn on Tap” appears monthly in THE FATHER LIFE. For questions, comments, or if you have a story idea for Chris, visit his website http://www.chrisosburnwrites.com.