Fantastic State Park in the middle of Brewster

by Donna Cain, innkeeper and owner

We are so lucky to have a wonderful State Park just up the street from the Captain Freeman Inn. Nickerson State Park is a 1,900-acre state park with sandy soil and scrub pines surrounding many kettle ponds.

Harrison was very excited when we entered the park as he knew a nice long walk was fast approaching.

Harrison's excitement

Harrison’s excitement

We love to go to the far end of the park and walk around Higgins pond.

Map of Nickerson State park

Map of Nickerson State park

The walk around the lake is always pristine, quiet and magical.

Byron and Harrison walking the trail

Byron and Harrison walking the trail

Views of the kettle pond with a wonderful walk trail around the lake.

Higgins lake at Nickerson

Higgins lake at Nickerson

It’s always fun when walking after a snow storm to see that you are the first to walk the trail…

tracks in the snow

tracks in the snow

Harrison went for a nice swim….

our lovable Harrison

our lovable Harrison

The sun was casting beautiful reflections on the lake.

Sunshine in Nickerson

Sunshine in Nickerson

As we were ending our hike my eye caught sight of a new little pine seedling…..new growth with spring in site….

Pine seedling in Nickerson

Pine seedling in Nickerson

i just heard on the radio that the first day of spring is 6 weeks away…..that’s great…. but winter in Brewster, Cape Cod is really special!

Byron and Harrison’s Polar Plunge on New Year’s Day

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and wife

Byron's polar plunge

Byron’s polar plunge

Polar Plunges have become popular these days and while I am always game for doing something fun and crazy jumping into frigid Cape Cod waters never came to my mind as something I wanted to do.

Byron and I just figured out how to sync our phone calenders, and he had written in a walk on Nauset Beach with Harrison for New Year’s day. I hadn’t given it much thought as we love to walk on the beach at Nauset for all seasons, especially in the winter when the beach is deserted.

Byron and Harrison walking to the beach

Byron and Harrison walking to the beach

So here is how it happened…Byron informed me that he really wanted to start the year out with a bang! So he asked for towels and his bathing suit which was stored in the attic. I just kept smiling thinking that he would not follow through with this plan as the beach winds would be very cold.

Harrison getting excited

Harrison getting excited

Harrison is always ready for a walk on the beach, and he almost always does the polar plunge. The cold water does not seem to bother him.

Byron getting ready

Byron getting ready

As we neared the beach we were both laughing and happy.

Byron running

Byron running

I was amazed how fast everything happened.

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Before I knew it Byron was under the waves.

Time to get dressed

Byron taking the “big” plunge!

IMG_0285I was also amazed how quickly the clothes went back on:)

IMG_0288Thank you my love for making New Year’s Day 2014 so special and memorable!

Cape Cod Fall color at the Captain Freeman

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

I have been amazed at the wonderful fall colors and warm temperatures we all have enjoyed this fall on Cape Cod.

Fall colors

Fall colors

Our neighbors to the right of the Captain Freeman planted these small trees. I never really liked them  as they make it difficult to see oncoming traffic when pulling out onto Breakwater Road. I’ve now learned the trick to peek down by the trunks as you are approaching the street and you can see if a car is coming. They really were pretty this fall so now I smile when driving by.

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We are still using our wonderful fresh parsley from the side garden. I always plant seed in the spring but this year it almost grew wild which was such a treat.

Fresh mint for our fruits

Fresh mint for our fruits

I have never had to replant mint. It just seems to grow wild in several different areas of our gardens. One of my biggest pleasures in life is going out to the garden early in the morning and choosing my garnish for breakfast. Mint is almost always included as it adds a nice flavor to out fruit and teas. The mint usually does not like cold so we cut it off sometime in September. This year since the weather has been so mild, and we have not yet had a frost, we are still fortunate enough to have plenty of mint.

Blooming roses that smell so beautiful

Blooming roses that smell so beautiful

Who can believe we have such beautiful roses blooming in November??

Fall colors by the pool

Fall colors by the pool

This lovely tree flanks our pool and offers summer shade and now beautiful color.

Raspberry patch

Raspberry patch

We built a wonderful raspberry patch last spring which are babies from Nanna’s original patch back in the Berkshires. We had a great summer crop at Brewster by the Sea and are looking forward to a new crop next summer from this patch. Note Nathan’s owl which will look over things this winter.

Storage shed

Storage shed

We had a functional storage shed to the back of the property. Since we have been busy with building renovations we never had time to give this area much attention. This fall Antonio cleared away all of the old growth, built a wonderful new compost with three different sections, painted and repaired the shed. While things look a little stark now just wait until spring. We have grand thoughts of adding a beautiful fountain with seating and plush landscape plus we want to build a fenced in vegetable garden so that we can expand our farm to table menu in the summer.

Antonio with Harrison

Antonio with Harrison

And last but not least is a picture of our lovable Harrison and Antonio. Now is the time of year when we move our winter projects indoors and Antonio is repairing the grout in our Orleans room….with Harrison’s help of course.

Out thoughts are now moving to the holidays and family. Our daughter April just purchased a new home in Boston with her husband Matt. They are hosting Thanksgiving this year. All of the kids are coming for Christmas and we are really looking forward to spending time with them at Brewster by the Sea.

Happy fall!

Cookie Madness at the Captain Freeman

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chunks

Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries and Chocolate Chunks

We always have fun while working at our two wonderful inns in Brewster, the Captain Freeman Inn and Brewster by the Sea. This morning was no different as our great breakfast chef, Nick, was humming as he was preparing our wonderful Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes. Nick is a hummer and I love to tease him. The other day he was singing “Kiss me once and kiss me twice and kiss me once again”. We laughed together as he told me that Cliff, the owner of the Bramble Inn where Nick is also the chef, was humming that song all evening. He said it was addictive, and he could not get the song out of his mind. We  both started singing the song, but we both could only remember the first few lines of the classic song by Louis Armstrong.  I’ve included all of the words Nick and Cliff so that you can sing the entire song…….

Kiss me once…and kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time
Haven’t felt like this, my dear
Since I can’t remember when
It’s been a long, long time

You’ll never know how many dreams
I’ve dreamed about you
Or just how empty they all seemed without you
So kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time

(instrumental break)

Oh, kiss me once…and kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long…such, a long time
I haven’t felt like this my dear
Since I don’t remember when
It’s been a long….been a mighty long time

You’ll never know how many dreams
I’ve dreamed about you
Or how empty they all seem without you
So kiss me once…and kiss me twice
And kiss me once again
It’s been a long…long time

It’s been a mighty, mighty long time

This morning Nick made my favorite oatmeal cookie for our afternoon tea which includes old fashion oatmeal, fresh cranberries, roasted pecans and large chunks of dark chocolate. The cookie is addictive and guests at both of our Brewster Cape Cod Inns went crazy over these wonderful cookies. We gave several cookies warm out of the oven to our staff and guests that were near bye. So then  I started singing “Cookie madness at the Freeman”. It had a nice little ring to it, and I decided to make that the title of today’s blog.

We make thousands of cookies at our two Cape Cod Bed and Breakfasts and are always trying new recipes. This oatmeal cookie has become my favorite and is special in that we use fresh cranberries (cut in half) and really good dark chocolate that we buy in large blocks and cut into chunks for the cookies.

Needless to say our guests love our cookies that we serve at the Captain Freeman and Brewster by the Sea. They are always homemade and very special!

Cape Cod Art

by Donna Cain, Innkeeper and owner

We are busy innkeepers on Cape Cod managing two lovely Bed and Breakfasts in Brewster, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn. One of the best parts of being an innkeeper is having the opportunity to visit with guests. We love to sit down when they first arrive to help with any dining or activity planning. The next morning at breakfast we always ask, how did you sleep and how was your day? We learn so much from our guests and learning about the wonderful art that is on Cape Cod is no exception. Many of our guests love to include stops at their favorite art galleries during their stay.  Art is such a wonderful part of what makes Cape Cod special. We attract many talented artists that in many cases have their home and gallery together in many of our quaint sea towns.

Mark Kundmann

Marc Kundmann

My absolute favorite artist on Cape Cod is Marc Kundmann. His work can be seen at the Addison Art Gallery in Orleans. He described his recent work as “an exploration of painting with encaustic wax, one of the oldest forms of painting. The technique allows me to build and remove textured layers of color, transparency, and pigments. Keeping true to that first piece of advice, I try to focus on the joy of creating, and also painting with honesty. My hope is that the resulting layers create not only intriguing and beautiful surfaces, but also give emotional life to the subjects, whether figures, structures, or boats, and hint at the mystery inside” I love the picture he did shown above that is titled “Welcoming Committee”

Managing editor of Cape Cod Life, Susan Dewey, described it perfectly, ” Art is all about making connections, the artist to the subject, the viewer to the artist’s work”. Such a simple statement but the meaning so paramount.

I just looked through the recent Cape Cod Life annual publication of Cape Cod Art. I always look forward to seeing which local artist they have chosen to preview. While I am no expert in art, I loved Art History in college and love walking through galleries. My eye immediately can zone into what I like and what I don’t…….I guess after all that’s what art should be about…..it’s all in the eye of the beholder or in artists case the eye of the buyer:)

Some of my favorites included:

Eric Abrecht- his work is represented by Eisenhauer Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. His present work includes landscapes which surprisingly are not about the place. The painting’s are powerful and used as a departure point. “For me, the landscape is just being used as a vehicle for the paint application to play around with colors and movement”, Abrecht says. “It’s a good home base to start from-there’s a lot of different directions I can take”. He presents the idea of a landscape and encourages his viewers to be transported. These are hazy, unspecific places of the imagination.

Kimberlee Alemian- her work may be seen at the Elizabeth Rowley Gallery in Orleans. I love Kimberlee’s work! Alemian’s vivid emotionally immediate paintings are a work of evolution. According to Alemian it’s about ” painting, scraping, sanding, and going back into it sort of like palimpsest she says of her method.In addition to the charcoal and pastels are drawn into her paintings and leave traces of the history of the painting” her floral paintings create a unique lighting pattern.

Herb Edwards- his work can be seen at his gallery in Cataumet. While many painters devote themselves to a single medium, Edwards finds merit in both oil and acrylic. His diverse paintings in both mediums have a lightness of touch and simplicity on line reflecting the natural uncluttered beauty of New England and America’s far west. As quoted in the magazine that summarizes his work so perfectly” From Impressionistic pieces like “Sunny Afternoon”, to more austere, Hopper-like works with bare renderings of line and color such as “Inner Harbor”, Edwards paintings reflect the simple beauty and symmetry of natural surroundings that have always been his source of inspiration.”

The Cape is a wonderful place to live and visit. Having so much wonderful art here is just the icing on the cake.

Crepes for Breakfast at the Captain Freeman Inn

Sweet crepes with mascarpone and lemon curd

Sweet crepes with Mascarpone and Lemon Curd

I have always loved a good crepe and have fond memories of my mother making them for breakfast and serving them hot with our homemade raspberry jam……the tradition continues at the Captain Freeman Inn. We serve both a sweet and savory version during our two week menu rotation in the summer months.

This morning we served the sweet crepe that was filled with a very thin layer of Lemon Curd and Mascarpone cheese. On the side was plenty of our homemade raspberry jam that is made from the raspberries grown in our patch at our sister property, Brewster by the Sea Inn and Spa. Many guest like to have a protein with their breakfast meal so we offered our very special fresh Hickory smoked Bacon and eggs any way you like.

Buckwheat Crepes

Buckwheat Crepes

Our savory version is made with a little bit of buckwheat. We serve that with an over easy egg (or any way you like them) The savory crepe has gruyere cheese and black forest ham. The cheese is also melted on the top……ummmmmm, what a yummy combination!

Here’s to breakfast dining at the Captain Freeman Inn!

To Jenn with love

By Donna Cain (Innkeeper and Mom)

Jenn and Darin having fun after the ceremony

Jenn and Darin having fun after the ceremony

Our darling sweet daughter, Jennifer  was wed on Cape Cod a few weeks ago. Every detail of the wedding was perfect and master photographer, husband Byron, caught some great memories.

So you might ask why to “Jenn with love” as a title on an inn’s blog. I recently wrote a blog on Brewster by the Sea to our daughter April about gardening. I chose the title for both blogs remembering an old song called “To Sir With Love”. There is nothing to match the love of a parent to a child, and this past weekend was especially sweet for me in that I saw Jennifer happy. She married a lovely southern gentleman, Darin and I will forever remember the look on both of their  faces during the touching ceremony….it just spoke I love you with all my heart!

Blessings on the beach by Faith Lavender

Blessings on the beach by Faith Lavender

Since we have two inns in Brewster, Brewster by the Sea and the Captain Freeman Inn we were happy to host many of Darin’s friends and family. It was a lovely gathering of childhood and college friends along with family that traveled from the mid west to be with Jenn and Darin on their special day.

Darin's lovely family

Darin’s lovely family

College friends. Our son Nathan was adopted into the pack.

College friends. Our son Nathan was adopted into the pack.

Also special for Jenn was that her family from Florida  were able to come and join in on all of the fun.

Loved ones from Florida

Loved ones from Florida

When we were planning the wedding, both Jenn & Darin wanted their guests to experience all that Cape Cod is about, so it seemed a natural to have a clam bake back the inn. We also rented a trolley to take us down to the beach. Even our dog Harrison loved the ride.

Harrison on the trolley

Harrison on the trolley

The clam bake was catered by Mac’s Seafood out of Wellfleet. They did a great job and everyone enjoyed the “lobsta” , Cape Cod clam chowder and clams.

Jenn enjoying a fresh steamed lobster

Jenn enjoying a fresh steamed lobster

We had a lot of fun decorating the inn for the special event. Jennifer is very creative and preplanned some lovely table arrangements. We also timed the wedding to coincide with when the hydrangeas were in bloom at Brewster by the Sea. The morning of the wedding all of the girls gathered to pick hydrangeas and to arrange the lovely bouquets….so much fun

Flower arranging at Brewster by the Sea

Flower arranging at Brewster by the Sea

!

All of our immediate family stayed at Brewster by the Sea and I just love this photo of our three wonderful kids (plus Matt, April’s husband and our new son-in-law Darin)

Our precious family!

Our precious family!

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I was also so touched that many dear friends and family came from far and near to join us on this special day. Only sad part of the day was that our Nanna was not up to going to the festivities. She is OK now and Jenn and Darin went to visit here after the ceremony.

And so my sweet Jennifer, I wish you and Darin many many years of happiness and good health. Know that I love you with all of my heart. Mom

I love you kiss

I love you kiss

p.s. Thanks Byron for all of the great shots.

Photographer Byron

Photographer Byron

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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046 043

“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.

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.