Wednesday, February 15, 2017

P-town Part 3: Whale of a Party

Posing at the close of the BoatSlip's Low Tea
Theme parties are of course some of the main attractions during your time in Provincetown – especially if you’re in town for 4th of July Week, Bear Week (second week in July) or Carnival (the 3rd week of August). If you enjoy some fun with heels or a wig – these are definitely mandatory. One group I know came to their first BoatSlip happy hour as Disney Divas!

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Saturday night, for example is the big underwear (or jock!) party at Purgatory (at the Gifford House Inn) – where naturally, I met an older gentleman who quickly bought me a drink (and later some yummy lobster dinner!). But each night has a different theme party of some sort – and if you want to belt to show-tunes, do so any and every day of the week at Crown and Anchor. And you can always go to classic A-House – the oldest bar in the city – either to the bar, where the upstairs bar sometimes gets naughty or over to the larger dance hall. After that early 1am curfew, everyone finds themselves outside Spiritus for Pizza (or ice cream if you prefer) or of course observing or participating under the Dick Dock.

Don't I look like I'm having fun!?
Generally, the crowd of course is not typically a young one – but workers or those kept boys brought out with a group or their “special friends” keep some twinks around. It’s an experience built especially for those near 30 and above – but of course there are also straight families and vacationers of all sorts. Everyone should definitely go at least once – and if you go once, I’m certain you’ll come again.

The only minuses are the water temperature (which makes late August or Labor Day an ideal time), the pebbly gay beach (a cute look upon your attempt to confidently walk (naked) out of the water). But you’re not going to find a more beautiful, relaxed gay beach. If you want to change it up – the further beach is sandier (and more lesbian than gay) – and from there you can often see whales. Also, it’s tough to save money at all during your trip (hey, it’s vacation, after all) – but of course, you can always cart out some liquor to help. I actually met guys camping who were from Canada – they simply hauled everything in (easier when you take the beautiful (if long) drive in up the Cape).
Sunrise from the Jetty

My daily routine typically consisted of 1) getting moving around 11am 2) a specialty cream donut at the Happy Camper (yumm), 3) walk or bike over to Relish, where I purchased a huge Italian sandwich. This would last me all afternoon (the best option to stay fresh all day). Then 4) hike or bike to the gay beach, to see what trouble I could get myself into. One day I decided I would walk all the way across the jetty (which can be treacherous at low tide) out to Long Point and back to the gay beach. It took me 3 hours or more… so I would not recommend that unless you truly want a walk (and I don’t recommend doing this in sandals, opps!). Then of course, 5) BoatSlip happy Hour (you can get a week-pass for $40). 6) Out to dinner, 7) some shows, the bars, and the parties…

Shows & Stars advertised outside the Art House
Sunset at Herring Cove Beach
For food – any seafood will do - the lobster, of course, is to die for! It’s also relatively easy to find an older friend that might even pay – but be sure you’re clear about what that means for afterwards! Maybe he’ll just want you to say “maybe.” Or he might take you to the VIP section (first few rows) of the Art House for Well Stung – or any number of stars in town that will keep you entertained during your stay. During my time Cher visited with Hillary for an incredible fundraiser at the Pilgrim’s monument – which actually was visibly protested… if only we knew then what we know now!

This first trip to Ptown was more solo for me – I couldn’t be gone too long – my arrival was seeing friends on their way out post-Carnival and my last day didn’t align with others. My last evening there – mid-week for everyone else – I couldn’t convince anyone from BoatSlip’s low tea to go to my final sunset. When I arrived, a husky – straight, but definitely not narrow guy – invited me for fire-cooked cobbler. His young kids, wife and friends welcomed me to their beach sunset spread. Turns out he got his Ph.D. researching the effects of party drugs and HIV! We chatted in the twilight – our worlds so far apart, yet solidly connected on a warm August evening.

Setting course on the Dolphin VII!
My final day, I saw whales for really the first time – in the most amazing way. Watching whales breach and seeing them flip those tails up close is definitely worth the 3-4 hours. It makes the most sense to go out in the morning when the seas are calmer – then have the rest of your day to get back to your tan. I was fortunate to see nearly 15 different whales very up close.

And just one more reason why Ptown has so much to offer – don’t forget - the miles of bike trails through beautiful forest. You’ll use this to reach the far beach - Race Point - where often you can also see whales directly from the shores (if you don’t have time for that whale watch). You will need to rent a bike – count on that – which is relatively inexpensive and discounted for the week or multiple days.

Pilgrim's Monument in the background - with three of the biggest mammals on earth!

Taking that ferry back – is just as beautiful – as you blow back into reality from a week of revelry and relaxation. Conveniently, you can take a water taxi right from the ferry port directly to Logan Airport! Don’t forget to read Michael Cunningham’s book before you go (and no I’m not getting royalties!). That will complete your full tour of this history and current picture of life at “Land’s End.”

And be in touch if you’re interested in setting out in August!

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