Washing away the cob webs

As innkeepers on Cape Cod, we are blessed to meet the most wonderful people. Our guest blogger, Catherine, has been visiting us every spring for many years, and we always look forward to our visits with her. She is a remarkable lady who really appreciated the natural beauty of Cape Cod. The picture below was taken by our resident photographer at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast, Byron and represents all that Catherine pens about in her blog. Thank you Catherine for sharing parts of your visit with our readers.

Cape Cod sunset

Cape Cod sunset

Guest blogger, Catherine Lombardozzi

June 7, 2013 by cmtl

“Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it.”
~ Dee Hock

Experts say that taking time off allows your mind to process all that you’ve been cramming into it, and to noodle through some of those nagging questions you haven’t had time to ponder. So when I go on vacation, I try to leave plenty of space for good old-fashioned vegging out – and a rainy day is a perfect excuse to do just that. Of course, sunshine is a good excuse for it as well, which the last several days have proved! But for some reason today felt like a true veg day.

I think everyone on the entire east coast got something of a drenching over the last few days as a front comes through bringing up remnants of tropical storm Andrea. I managed to squeak in a long walk on the beach this morning – a little cool and breezy, and occasionally drizzly, but peaceful nonetheless. I headed down the road a bit to walk on Paine’s Creek Beach. The storms over the last few years have changed the contours of the beach a bit – the parking lot is completely gone and the homes along the beach seem a lot more exposed than before.

Paine’s Creek Beach.
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After the long walk, I stopped to browse at the Brewster Bookstore and eat some lunch at the Marshside restaurant. Afterwards, I took a drive for a bit to indulge my real estate envy.

The rain came in earnest by mid-day so I spent the afternoon reading on the porch. It was chilly, but I made it cozy with my light jacket and a throw blanket fashioned from a beach towel. Today, I finished Zig Zag: The surprising path to greater creativity and made additional progress on Networked: The new social operating system – both interesting reads that gave me lots to ponder.

All you need for reading – a comfy spot and a restful view.

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“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”
~ Robert Orben

I’ll be leaving the Cape tomorrow all rested and refreshed. Between the stunning beach walks, the stimulating reading, and rain to clear away any lingering cobwebs – I would call this a successful vacation so far. I have another treat in store visiting the Connecticut Lombardozzi’s overnight on Saturday, extending my vacation for one more day.

I’m hopeful the rain will break early enough to allow for one more long beach walk. That would be icing on the cake!

“Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does.”
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod receives Certificate of Excellence award from Trip Adviser

Certificate of Excellence 2013
We are thrilled and delighted to learn that the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod is the winner of the  2013 Certificate of Excellence award.
Captain Freeman Inn

Captain Freeman Inn

This prestigious award, which places you in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.
We purchased our Cape Cod bed and breakfast 2 1/2 years ago and have been busy restoring and updating this beautiful sea captain’s home. This summer is especially rewarding for us in that all of the common areas and guests rooms have been redecorated and/or  remodeled creating an upscale yet relaxed atmosphere where “fine lodging is in the details”
Come and see what all of our guests are raving about on Trip Adviser.

Former Guest of the Captain Freeman, Suzy Brooks makes headlines

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

Suzy Brooks, third grade teacher.

“Class Act” was the title of the headline of our local newspaper this morning. When I glanced over the headlines I knew the face looked familiar but I did make the connection that Suzy Brooks and her husband had stayed with us for our French cooking school at the Captain Freeman Inn.

Suzy was one of five teachers nationwide to receive the national award recognizing her social media savvy in the classroom. The third grade teacher at Mullen Hall School in Falmouth has more then 12,000 followers on Pinterest, where she shares teaching strategies, links, tools and suggestions. Add to that 600 friends on her professional Facebook page and more than 3,000 twitter followers, and it’s no wonder her fellow educators call her a social media rock star.

Congratulations Suzy!

New breakfast chef at the Captain Freeman Inn

Breakfast chef at the Captain Freeman

Breakfast chef at the Captain Freeman

We are thrilled and delighted to have Nick Caplice as our new breakfast chef at the Captain Freeman Inn. Nick brings a wealth of experience having tenured under 3 Best Chefs of America, including Anthony Silvestri of the Ocean House Restaurant, Toby Hill of Pain D”Avignon Bistro and Bakery and currently Lyric Restaurant and Nick’s present employer by evening, Ruth Manchester of the Bramble Inn. He attributes all of his professional inspiration to these three wonderful Chefs.

The timing could not be more perfect in having an experienced chef in our commercial kitchen at the inn. This past winter we reinvented our breakfast menu to include wonderful new additions such as a rustic pear tart as a yummy morning appetizer to enjoy with your coffee or tea-

Rustic pear tart

Rustic pear tart

and a Huevos Rancheros savory breakfast

Huevos Rancheros with Eggs

Huevos Rancheros with Eggs

and a delicious farm to table Red Pepper Fritatta with sausage, just to name a few!

Red Pepper Fritatta

Red Pepper Fritatta

Nick’s background is primarily as a cook, and he is thrilled and delighted to try his hand at the inn’s baking needs. Every afternoon he whips up a wonderful treat for our afternoon repast. Today’s treat included some delicious Pecan Tassies.

Pecan Tassies

Pecan Tassies

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Nick was born on the Cape in Marston Mills and enjoys spending time with his darling one year old daughter, Lily. Her picture can be found in the front of his recipe book, and he smiled in telling us that she is his motivation in life!  Ahhhh, what a great Dad!

His friendly smile, talent in the kitchen and his quiet demeanor are a wonderful addition to our Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea family.

Mystery Ride to Cape Cod at the Captain Freeman Inn

Guest blogger, Suzy Brooks

We recently had a wonderful gathering at the Captain Freeman for our Provence Cooking School. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner afterwards (where we get to eat all of the delicious food made in the class) with a lovely couple that joined in on the festivities. Their family has a wonderful tradition of creating mystery trips for their kids. This trip was a surprise for Suzy and when we heard she loves to blog about their “Mystery trips” we anxiously awaited her post. Thanks Suzy for sharing on our blog.

The post below along with the great pictures was written by Suzy Brooks.

Mystery Ride

Posted April 20, 2013 By Suzy Brooks

“A Mystery Ride? For ME?” After years of planning Mystery Rides for my children, husband, family and friends, the day had finally come… Mr. Brooks had just announced to me that he was planning a Mystery Ride to celebrate my birthday.  I truly couldn’t believe my ears, and instantly my excited anticipation began to grow.

What is a Mystery Ride, you ask?  That’s a good question!! Mystery Rides have been part of our family fun since ten years ago when we tried to spring a surprise Disney Trip on our kids. We were in Boston when they confusedly demanded to know what we were up to. We took pity on them and excitedly announced we were going to Disney World!  Their reaction was less than happy, and in fact, one child (who shall not be named) dissolved into a puddle of tears, demanding to go home.  It was on this Pillar of Joy our Mystery Rides were founded.  Since then, we have been whisking each other off on surprise trips to Hither and Yon, with mixed results along the way.

The trip that launched a thousand Mystery Rides: Florida!

Through the years, our Mystery Rides have run the gamut:  from simple (Kite flying in Newport) to complex (an April vacation spent at Six Flags) and from unsuccessful (a hike on a hot day) to awesome (a historical trip to Boston).  All rides have the same common denominator – the Ride Recipient has no clue what the plan is.  Questions and guesses are encouraged and welcome, and are fired off at every turn of the steering wheel.  However, the answer is always the same.  No matter what we are asked, we always answer with:

“That’s a good question!”.

Here’s a peek at a few (oh, okay – a BUNCH) of our past trips:

A heated, historical hike. This one was a flop!

Hanging out with V.B. from Fox 25 News. He included the kids in his broadcast.

High atop the Custom House in Boston

Matfield Maple Farm, where we learned all about Maple Syrup!

Basketball Hall of Fame & Six Flags on this Ride!

A day in Newport, RI

Waterfire in Providence, RI

The Urban Art Bar in Boston

Ghost Tour with our favorite Freedom Trail Tour Guide, Jeremiah Poope

Another fabulous day in Boston. Quack, Quack!!

International Auto Show

5 Wits at Patriot Place

A Mystery Ride for 40 grown-ups!!

A van full of Mystery Riders :)

I bet by now you are wondering where Mr. Brooks brought me on my Mystery Ride, right??  That’s a good question! Unfortunately, due to all the storms we had this winter, my Mystery Ride was cancelled.  Twice.  It was nearly two months later before we were able to get rolling!  But, the day finally arrived, and we were off!  We headed down Cape, and after many incorrect guesses on my part, around noon we arrived at the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster.

The Captain Freeman Inn, Brewster

The smile on my face began to broaden as we checked in and our host asked if we were here for the Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School. Cooking school?? Yaay!  Mr. Brooks finally filled me in.  We were here for a French cooking class, along with some other guests at the Inn.  We would be working in their commercial kitchen to prepare a meal with Chef Carol, and later on, we would be enjoy our creation for dinner.  I couldn’t wait to get started!

Putting the finishing touches on the fresh fruit tart.

All finished!! Would you like some?? YUM!

Salad Nicoise with fresh tuna. Delicious!

I have to say it was well worth the wait.  Innkeepers Donna and Byron have a beautiful inn, and provided such a memorable experience for all of their guests.  Arriving there was a wonderful surprise, and truly worthy of the Mystery Ride title!

I think Mystery Rides have become so ingrained in our family tradition because of the side effects…  For those of us planning a Mystery Ride, we have the opportunity to plan with the receiver in mind.  It is fun to surprise others and it makes for playful interaction.  As a recipient of a Mystery Ride, we learn patience, trust, flexibility and geography!!  Joy is in the anticipation, and with Mystery Rides, our anticipation is even higher than when we plan typical family outings.  I hope to keep planning Mystery Rides for years to come, and having one planned just for me was SO fun!!

Ride on,

French Mediteranean Cooking on Cape Cod

Cooking school

Cooking school

This past weekend we sampled Avignon in the heart of Provence, true French country cuisine, at the Captain Freeman Inn. Our cooking schools have been a wonderful success this winter where we combine a relaxed two night stay on Cape Cod with delicious food and lively conversations. The cooking school is led by our talented chef, Carol Edmondson. Carol is full of helpful cooking hints that can be used at home as well as many hands on techniques as the class prepares our evening meal.

Fresh ingredients

The menu always includes the freshest ingredients available at the time and why she does not publish the menu ahead of time. She likes to see what is fresh and in season when she shops for the weekend class.

This weekend’s menu included a wild mushroom saute,

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

A mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms

a main course of delicious Game Hens with a Honey Lavender Glaze

Game hens

Game hens

and my favorite, Salad Nicoise with haricot verts, baby potatoes, black olives and sliced fresh tuna.

Salad Nicoise

Our wine tasting begins at 5:30 and the antipasta made in the class always pairs perfectly with the meal. We enjoyed a savory Tapenade which is a blend of briny,earthy flavors using black olives, garlic, anchovy paste and herbs and oil with french bread. cookingSchool-Provence-20130323-0121 We also enjoyed  a lovely assortment of French cheeses with the favorite wrapped in fig leaves.

And the happy ending included a delicious Rustic Pear Tart with a French Sauterne wine and coffee.

Pear Tart

Pear Tart

The last class of the season to be held at our Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast is “April in Paris”. The April 6th class brings us classic French preparations featuring the finest local ingredients available in the spring. Fiddle heads, asparagus and baby greens adorn spring salads. Berries are a must in tarts. Cheese is everywhere in great variety. Young chickens and ducks are available to roast on a bed of root vegetables and to confit, a slow braise in a bath of chicked or duck fat produces a succulent result. Bread is a central ingredient for a perfect Parisian meal. We will pair locally raised poultry with great Parisian flavors. Can’t wait to see what the menu includes. Bon Appetit to all of our guests staying at our two lovely inns on Cape Cod, Brewster by the Sea and Captain Freeman Inn.

Whales are home on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

This time of the year is known as our quiet time when we enjoy quiet walks on the beach and relaxed times reading in front of our many fireplaces at the Captain Freeman Inn. The beaches may be quiet but the center of Cape Cod bay is bustling- with North Atlantic right whales.

Whale Watching on Cape Cod

Whale Watching on Cape Cod

The Cape Codder newspaper recently quoted “Airplane and boat-based research teams from Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies have consistently observed groups of the endangered whales feeding in the bay in recent weeks. So far they have identified about 60 individuals, a number that is spot on for this time of the year. Two whales have eluded detection, however. They are the right whale mother and calf pair last spied off Plymouth in mid January. Her given name is “Wart” and is believed to have given birth to her calf somewhere in the vicinity of Cape Cod, an event that could be unprecedented and has given rise to concern for the calf’s well being, since the freezing winter water temperatures were not ideal for the newborn. Other concerns are plaguing PCCS’s (Provincetown’s Center for Coastal Studies) whale researchers. The center is currently facing budget cuts that could drastically affect its right whale work as well as its disentanglement team. Founded almost three decades ago, the center’s right whale research program is multi-pronged, swinging into full gear during the winter and early spring months.The habitat studies team routinely samples the waters in Cape Cod Bay to measure the supply of zooplankton, a vital food source for the whales, and access the various factors affecting it, such as water temperature, salinity and light. The bay is a primary feeding ground for the right whale.The aerial team divides the bay into east-west transects and systematically flies over them, scouring the surface for whales, documenting and photographing the ones that they see, and reporting entanglements. Wen an entangled whale, sea turtle or other marine animal is located, PCCS’s disentanglement team speeds to the scene and attempts to free the victim using proven techniques. Entanglements in fishing gear is one of the greatest threats facing the North Atlantic right whale, a critical endangered species whose population hovers somewhere around 470.”
Guests staying at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea, love to go whale watching during the spring and summer months. We love to recommend the Dolphin Fleet out of Provincetown. Its also amazing how whales can be seen with the naked eye from many of our bay beaches and off of the tip of Provincetown. We had guests stay with us last year that grabbed some of the inn’s beach chairs, a couple of lobster rolls from Sir Crickets in Orleans and headed of to P’Town with their binoculars. They had a wonderful afternoon in the sun and saw several whales playing in the bay.

Looking forward to warmer days when we can play in the same waters that are home to the whales.

Whale watching on Cape Cod

Whale watching on Cape Cod

This picture was taken last summer by a guest staying with us. Amazing that the seagulls actually land on the whale.

Information was quoted from the Cape Codder Newspaper by Kaimi Rose Lum, March 22- 28, 2013