Cranberries and Alverno Girls

IMG_3344Monday was cold and rainy again. After weeks of traveling, we were tired of pre-made scrambled eggs, so we took ourselves to the Keltic Kitchen for breakfast (there appears to be a big Irish presence on the Cape).  They had real Irish bacon and made perfect fried eggs. After breakfast, we set out on our adventure.  First, we wanted to see the Edward Gorey Museum and buy scary gifts. Alas, it is only open on weekends, even the gift shop. So only an exterior photo of his home on Cape Cod.  Then we went searching for some beach plum jam to bring home. While we were driving to the store in Harwick that was supposed to have it, we looked through the trees and saw that there was a cranberry bog being harvested.  When our jam venture proved to be fruitless, we drove back to the bog (missing it twice) and took some pictures.  It was fun to see this in action—looked a little like the ocean spray commercial, without the farmers standing in the middle.  We became curious, so we booked a tour at a local organic bog for the next day.

IMG_3359In the afternoon, we took a trip to the Wampanoag Tribal Museum in Washpee. This was one of the few times that Mavis failed us.  She sent us to the tribal headquarters, rather than the museum, just a few miles out of the way.  The museum was small, but very well done.  The docent at the museum was one of the clan mothers and told the history of her people as if she was speaking of events that happened last week.  We were fascinated and very pleased that we had made the effort to go to the museum.

After a day out in the cold and rain, we were tired and cold so we  ordered a pizza for dinner (only the second time this trip).

Next morning, we took off for our cranberry bog tour.  Our tour guide was Andrea Cakounes, who along with her husband, Leo, owns and runs the largest organic cranberry bog on Cape Cod.  She takes groups around on an old bus that made the trip very handicapped accessible.  Her tour consists of telling a year in the life of a bog month by month. We learned the difference between wet and dry harvesting, saw someone actually hand sorting the cranberries (final sort, after the machine sort) and tasted both a raw (very sour) cranberry, and some that had been dried and processed (sweet). One of the things that we learned was that the fresh cranberries that we can find in the store are dry harvested while those that are used to make cranberry sauce, juice and dried cranberries are wet harvested. The commercial for Ocean Spray that shows the farmers in the bog is an actual cranberry bog, but there is really only one or two days per year that the bog looks like that.  We learned about sanding the bog, the extra steps that go into making a farm organic, and all about the animals on the farm.

After our bog tour, we decided to drive along 6A, considered the most beautiful drive on the Cape.  It really was beautiful.  Stopped for a late lunch at a diner and back to the hotel for naps.  Laundry in the evening. We were checking out tomorrow and then spending the day with an  old friend from Alverno Heights Academy, Mary Kay Wynn Fitzgerald.

Wednesday, we met up with Mary Kay.  She brought us to the Old Yarmouth Inn, the oldest inn on Cape Cod.  We had a wonderful lunch of squash soup and sandwiches. I had Crab Cake and Kathy and Mary Kay had beef dips.  Yummy wine to drink and carrot cake for desert.  It was so wonderful seeing Mary Kay. She had seen my Facebook post about eating at Wahlburgers and let us know that she only lived 10 minutes away in  Scituate, Ma.  We were able to arrange to meet in Cape Cod and spent a few hours catching up on the past 45+ years.  Wow, we Alverno Women really have had interesting and vital lives!  After lunch, Mary Kay showed us some of her favorite places on the Cape.  After we said our good byes, Kathy and I took off on our next adventure.  Next major stop, New York City!

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Brid  Day 59-61

 

Driving the Cape

Sunday morning we awoke to a beautiful day, so we went to Mass at St. Francis Xavier in Hyannis, which is the church the Kennedy family has attended for years.  Beautiful old church, but the parish appears to be very conservative.

After Mass, we decided to drive the entire length of the Cape to Provincetown and back. The days was sunny, but windy and we thought it would be a short drive, but it ended up being the rest of the day.   We wanted to drive along the water, but discovered that there are so many rivers, lakes and inlets, that there is not really a road along the ocean.  IMG_3319There are a few places where the main road takes you along the coast, but there are also times that feel like you are in a forest.  Our main stop of the day was at the Cape Cod National Seashore.  This is a National Park that is protecting the shoreline of Cape Cod while continuing to make it accessible to the public.  We stopped at the Salt Pond Visitors Center and saw a film about the way Cape Cod developed during the ice ages and beyond.  There is a very good museum that is dedicated to whaling and the indigenous peoples of the area.  There appeared to be a number of good hikes and/or walks with accessible trails, but it was late afternoon and quite windy, so we didn’t take any of them.  As we were leaving, we found out that the annual Oyster Festival was taking place further up the road.  We made it past the area without getting caught in the traffic, but were not so lucky on the way back to our motel.

After leaving the National Seashore, we continued our drive to Provincetown.  By the time we got there, we were starving. We had planned to stop for lunch, but fear of getting caught in the Oyster Festival Traffic kept us on the road.  As soon as we arrived in P-Town as the locals call it, we opened our trusty google, “Where to eat near me” and discovered a lovely restaurant called Fanizzi’s. 1014181607We sat right on the waters edge as the sun set over the bay and enjoyed fancy martinisIMG_3328 as well as mouth watering appetizers (an artichoke for Kathy and roasted Brussel sprouts for me) and then a leisurely dinner of savory pork loin stuffed with Italian sausage for Kathy and ….guess what I had….yes, it was more scallops, but this time they were baked in a soy ginger sauce and were delectable. (And yes, we forgot to take photos before we started to eat, again.)

We decided not to continue to the pier as it was getting late, but turned around and drove back to our home away from home. On our drive up, we took 28 on the south side of the Cape, and on our way back, we took 6A for part of the trip, and actually did get to drive along the coast, until we caught up with the traffic, then we hopped on 6 and drove through the center of the Cape, to get back before we turned into pumpkins.

Brid
Day 58

Ask Not…, ARGGH!

We arrived in South Yarmouth on Cape Cod but were still so full from our late lunch at Wahlburgers that we skipped dinner. We have been feeling the effects of the hurricane in Florida and there has been a lot of rain and cloudy days.  Saturday morning continued that trend and we debated about what to do in the rain.  We finally decided to go to Hyannis and see the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum. Before we left for the Museum, Kathy called to see if they had a wheelchair that she could reserve as her knee was really acting up in the rain.  The phone system was a little confusing, but she finally got hold of a person named John who was delightful and was able to have the chair waiting for her when we arrived. Turns out that Kathy got hold of John L. Allen, the president of the museum foundation.  He met us when we arrived and gave us a quick orientation.  Everyone we met was charming!  The museum itself mission statement is that it “preserves and promotes the legacy of President Kennedy, his family, and their deep connection to Cape Cod.” The exhibits we saw were “Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe”, “JFK at 100: Life & Legacy” and “Robert F. Kennedy: Ripple of Hope”. We were so reminded of times of hope, courage and public service.  So much of the Kennedy legacy is so needed today. We were reminded of many events that we have lived through.  (Photography of exhibits was not allowed at either destinatio.)

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As we were leaving the museum, we asked the lovely lady at the front desk for recommendations for lunch. She suggested we go to Alberto’s Ristorante, so we tried it.  We had a wonderful dining experience.  Started with delicious appetizers, I had eggplant rotini and Kathy had chicken escarole soup. For our main course, Kathy had Scrod Francaise (in lemon sauce, asparagus, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mushrooms) with linguini.  I had chicken cacciatore with linguini.  For dessert we both had apple crisps.  All of the dishes were excellent! We are finding that on the east coast, apple dishes use a much tarter apple than on the west coast and we are enjoying them considerably.

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After we finished lunch, we decided to go to the Whydah Pirate Museum.  This museum tells the story of the Whydah, a pirate ship under the command of Black Sam Bellamy, that crashed off the coast of Wellfleet in 1717.  It was discovered by underwater explorer, Barry Clifford, in 1984 and remains the only pirate ship that has been positively identified.  The museum is a repository for many of the discoveries from the wreck and they are used to tell the story of the ship. Research and excavation continue today on the Whydah.  The museum is very well done and fun for both children and adults.  One of the interesting things we discovered about pirate ships is that they were very egalitarian, with ethnically diverse crews.

Bridget
Day 57

Exploring Our Past

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Bridget kindly letting me shoot the Atlantic Ocean behind her in four day stop at the Atlantis Beachfront Ocean Inn.

We spent four glorious days in Gloucester, taking day trips throughout the area.  I needed a few days at the ocean, my happy place, and Kathy was willing to spend some time there too. We found a great motel right on the coast and every room had a view and patio that looked out on the Atlantic. (The motel was called The Atlantis).

After our first restful night at the beach, we took in a WW workshop in Danvers, then went to breakfast at a little diner called the Peabody Diner.  We were looking for a cemetery called St. Mary’s in Salem.  We asked in the diner if they knew where it was, The young waitress had never heard of it, but went back to ask the owner.  One of the patrons pointed out that it was just cattycorner from the diner.  Unfortunately, the office was closed, but we spent an hour or so looking for graves of the McGinnis and Furey ancestors.  Kathy has information that some of them are buried in this cemetery, but we were not able to find any of them.  However, there is a stone and area in the cemetery that remembers those who died.

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This stone sits alone in an area of St. Mary’s Cemetary in Peabody, Massachusetts. It reads: FIELD OF RESERVATION IN MEMORY OF ALL WHO LIE AT REST HERE REQUIESCANT IN PACE I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies John 11:25

While we were in the Peabody/Salem area, we tracked down the probable church where our great-grandparents got married, and houses in Peabody and Salem where our Nana lived.

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33 Jacobs Street, Peabody, Massachusetts, today. It is still a two-family home.

This is 33 Jacobs Street, Peabody, Massachusetts where where our immigrant ancestors lived with their family.  They were John J. McGinnis, from Ireland, Teresa J. Ready, from Prince Edward Island, Canada, and their family.  By 14 June 1900, their family included our great-grandparents, Catherine Louisa McGinnis and Patrick Leo Furey and their daughter, my Nana, Grace Marie Furey.

After we were done with our ancestry trip, we continued into Salem to the Salem Witch Museum which told the story of the Salem witch trials, with a second exhibit on witchcraft today. Then it was back to the hotel and a nice walk along the beach

The next morning, we headed to Lynn and Swampscott, where our mother grew up.  Oh my these were lovely cities.  I never realized that they are both on the coast. Completely explained why the beach was Mom’s happy place.  We drove around the areas to get a feel for Mom’s childhood taking photos of  some of the house the family had lived in.  The first apartment house is 68 Chestnut Street, Lynn, Massachusetts, where our grandparents, Louis Roland Rondeau and Grace Marie Furey, lived with their first two children, Mary Lois and Laura Carol in the early thirties.  The middle home is 41 Orchard Circle, Swampscott, Massachusetts, where the whole family lived until they moved to New Hampshire for a year — by then the family also included Cynthia Ann, Richard Bruce, and Francis David.  The last home is 10 Bloomfield Street, Lynn, Massachusetts where Mae Rondeau (granddaddy’s sister) lived with her husband, John Laughlin, their children and Mae’s brother, Omer and Louis, before 1920.  Her mother, Laura Exilda Belleville, later moved in and they lived their lives out there.  When he was successful, Omer bought the home so his mother would always have a place to live.

We stopped for lunch in a restaurant in Lynn that was right on the ocean. Treated ourselves to a sangria (Kathy) and a prosecco (Bridget), shared an appetizer of empanadas and had lovely shrimp dishes for lunch (what, no scallops??). Back to the hotel and another walk along the ocean.

Woke up our third morning to lots of rain. We decided to drive up to Rockport and see more of the area, then drove back down to Danvers, where we made a Target run for lots of little things and a suitcase to take into New York in a couple of weeks. Explored the area some more and the back to the room to watch the ocean in the storm.

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Friday morning, we started down toward Cape Cod. On the way, we stopped at Minuteman National Historical Park and followed part of the trail of the start of the Revolutionary War. As a history buff, I was fascinated by seeing these areas.  We also went to the Wayside house, home of the Alcotts, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Sidley, author of The Five Little Peppers, and Walden Pond (photo at top of post).

 

After we left Concord, we drove to Hingham, MA to go to the original Wahlburgers. We both enjoy the TV show and have wanted to try their food.  Yummy lunch where we ate too much because we wanted to try everything!  The burgers are great. Then it was on to our next stop in Cape Cod.

Bridget
Days 52-56

More Cousins!

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After we left Jeanne and Delmarie’s on Friday, we drove through the Maine countryside. There is an active Shaker village near them, so we stopped to see it. The Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village still has two living Shakers, and membership to the community is still open, but the rolls of the Shaker religion were closed in 1957 and no new people can actually join.

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Two of the building at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village in Maine.

The Shakers have entered into an a trust with the State of Maine and some conservation groups guaranteeing that the land will be protected from development forever.  After we left the village, we tried to see the Atlantic coastline only to discover that there is really no road near the coast because most of it is privately owned and there are houses and trees that prevent seeing much of it.  We ended up staying overnight  in Wells, ME, which is right on the coast so we did finally get to see some of the ocean.

We made arrangements to meet our Cousin, Jennifer, her husband Mits and son the next afternoon. They live in Lebanon, New Hampshire, on the Vermont border. As we drove through New Hampshire from east to west, we saw some of the most beautiful colors.  It seems that the color in the trees was peaking over the weekend (which was a 3 day weekend due to Columbus Day) and there were thousands of people on the road. At one point on 93, traffic slowed to 10 miles per hour for about half an hour. Felt like we were back  in L.A.  Met Jennifer and her family at their house then we all went to a great lunch at a local BBQ restaurant, and after went to the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vermont.

This museum tells the history of manufacturing from the beginning of interchangeable parts for guns, which eventually lead to the development of interchangeable parts for consumer goods. Quite fascinating and very historical.  After we said goodbye to the Kobayashi’s, we started calling hotels in the area, only to find out that it was peak peeping season and there were no rooms anywhere.

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We slowly followed this car down the road in New Hampshire. It was cute.

We were afraid to drive on to Vermont, which had been our original plan, as the room situation was so bad, and the motels were few and far between.  We started driving east on 93, planning to check on motels/hotels in every city and town we went through. After about an hour, and as we were getting very frustrated and worried that we might have to spend the night in the car, Kathy’s phone rang.  It was our cousin Laura who lives in Kingston, New Hampshire.  We had planned to meet up on Monday as she was off from school, but when she heard about our quandary, she invited us to spend a couple of days at her house. Our Angel!!!!

It was wonderful spending time with Laura and her husband Wayne.  They have a lovely house that is only about a mile and a half from where our great grandmother had a farm. We visited on Saturday night while watching the Red Sox and Yankees play. Had a lovely breakfast the next morning, and took off to explore the area while Laura and Wayne had other plans.

Wayne sent us to highway 1A which actually runs along the Atlantic Coast.  We had a great day driving along the coast. The Atlantic was a little stormy, so it was gray and beautiful. We stopped at almost every pull out and finally quit taking pictures because we were sure we wouldn’t remember which was which.  Got back to Laura and Wayne’s around 5 and we went to a lovely restaurant near them and had more wonderful scallops!

The next morning we slept in late. Wayne had to go to work, so Laura took us out to a local breakfast place where they made their own corned beef hash.  Food was great. She then brought us to the house that our great grandmother had owned. She actually had a farm there. The house is still there, but it has been divided into condos. It’s right on a river, but my mom and aunts all called it a pond, as the river is rather calm in that area and it looks like a pond in front of the house.  We said our good byes to Laura around noon and took off for Gloucester, MA to actually spend a few days at the ocean.

 

A Week With Friends

The Kennebec Watershed
The Kennebec Watershed is on the border of Quebec and Maine. Maine is in the foreground and Quebec out near the clouds.

We spent a wonderful week with our dear friends, Jeanne Currier and Delmarie Carver. Kathy worked with Jeanne for many years at Mt Gleason, and got to know Delmarie through Jeanne.  And I got to know them through Kathy. A few years ago, they bought a summer home in Norway, Maine, where Jeanne was raised.  They are now spending  half the year in Maine and half the year in the L.A. area.  Now that I’m retired, we were finally able to see them in Norway.  Maine is an absolutely beautiful! We were there while the leaves were changing, so every day the scenery changed.  On our way to their home, we drove past a retaining wall of bird houses.  These were all made of reclaimed material.  They were fascinating.  We looked up this wall to find out the story behind them.  No one knows who put the first one up and they just keep appearing.  Great folk art.

Jeanne and Delmarie welcomed us with lobster rolls for our first night and we had a week filled with talking, laughter, storytelling, shellfish and BBQ. We saw where Jeanne was raised, St. Joseph’s, the college she attended, and spent some time with some of her friends and family.  Went out for great BBQ at Smokin Dave’s Backyard BBQ and Grill.  As good as any BBQ that we have had.  While we were there, other California friends, Cheri and Lea arrived adding to the laughter and fun.

We did go on a moose hunt, which was unsuccessful for moose, but we saw gorgeous scenery and went to Height of Land on the top of Spruce Mountain in Rangeley, ME. This spot provides one of the most stunning overlooks in New England, with magnificent views of Mooselookmeguntic and Richardson Lakes and the White Mountains.

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While we were in Maine, we took a day to go to Portland and see our cousin, Amybeth. We met for lunch at a yummy Thai restaurant and got caught up with each other’s lives. After we left Amybeth, we went to see the oldest lighthouse in Maine, the Portland Headlight in Cape Elizabeth. It was a stormy day and the Atlantic Ocean was wild. So beautiful and different from the Pacific.

One evening Jeanne and Lea made a wonderful lobster boil for us. My first lobster all by itself.  Cheri was kind enough to teach us how to pull it apart and enjoy it! So much fun that we are all going to get together in a couple of months in California to repeat the experience.   Another night we had a dining experience at 76 Pleasant Street. This is a very nice restaurant just a few minutes from Jeanne and Delmarie’s house.  It is in an old Victorian and the couple that runs it have done a beautiful job with the place.  The food was fabulous.  I had carrot, apple and ginger soup for a starter followed by grilled lamb with cannelini beans and harissa. It was perfectly seasoned and I didn’t even need salt or pepper.  Kathy had crab cakes with a seaweed-carrot salad and a remoulade and her main course was scallops with risotto and peas.  We shared a piece of limoncello cake for desert.  Everyone’s dinner was great. We will definitely go back next time we are in Norway.  (This was the only time that scallops were on a menu that I didn’t have them. I ate wonderful scallops at least 3, maybe 4 times in the week that we were in Maine.

Brid Days 42 through 49

More Ancestral Doings

On Thursday, we drove into Baie St. Paul, through the Charlevoix Region of Quebec. Trees were turning and the Canadian Shield rolled with mountains of red, gold and orange. Still some green there, too.

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Sr. Marie-Joseph from group shot

We went to Baie St. Paul because my great-aunt was one of the 11 founding sisters of an order of nuns, the Little Franciscans of Mary (pfm), that worked with orphans and old people in the French-Canadian communities in New England. The local priest in Worcester (who had asked Marie-Louise Rondeau—who became Sister Marie-Joseph) saw a need among the immigrants in 1889 and asked her parents-Remi Rondeau and Marie-Louise Guertin (Rondeau) if they could see their way to let their young daughter join. Although 18-year-old was reluctant to join because she was still a student at the convent of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec, after prayer she decided to become the first novice. With three novices and two postulants, cared for some 40 children. After a few years, the priest’s decisions created instability and the bishop informed them they were not nuns. Father Farad in Baie St. Paul had seen a similar need in his community and offered to sponsor the Congregation in Canada and they kept their New England locations as missions. Sr. Marie-Joseph was one of the two nuns who went to Canada to discuss the possibility with the priest and bishop. Their mission changed in Canada to housing old people and insane people.

Sr. Marie-Joseph was elected the Superior when she was when she was 19. She was later sent to St. Joseph’s Convent and Boarding School in Wallagrass, Maine. It was away from her home in Worcester, but back to the teaching she loved. Wallagrass is in the northern tip of Main near New Brunswick. (And, as the crow flies, not too far from Baie St. Paul). She died in 1922.

After we left Bait St. Paul, we drove back on the route towards Quebec and, across from Montmorency Falls, took the bridge to the Ile d’Orleans. We circumnavigated the island and stopped at a couple of shops. It was one of the first parts of Quebec to be colonized by the French. Our ancestor, Thomas Rondeau (born about 1637), immigrated from La Rochelle, France in 1662 and his occupation was listed in the 1666 census as a cloutier—a person who made and sold nails. He died 10 November 1721 in St-Pierre-de-Ile-d’Orleans, Montmorency, Quebec and was buried the next day. On the 31 of October 1666, a marriage contract was signed between Thomas and Andreè Remondiere, a Fille-Du-Roi, who was about 14 years old. It is probable that that was also their marriage date. She also came from La Rochelle and died 21 November 1702, in St. Pierre and was buried the next day. They had at least 18 children,

Our direct ancestor was Francois Rondeau, born 7 April 1678 at St. Family, I’ll d’Orleans, died 28 1748, St. Antoine-de-Tilly, Lotbiniere, Quebec. He had three wives. Our ancestress, Marie Anne (and here I have problems with spelling so hopefully will get it right eventually) Decaux Sindeco (or something similar starting with an “F”) was his first wife and was born in St. Famile, Ile’d’Orleans in 1678 and died 12 August 1723 in Lotbiniere, Quebec. They were married 21 July 1705. St. Antoine-de-Tilly is on the south side of the St. Lawrence, south of Quebec City and Levis. They had at least 11 children, and our ancestor was Antoine.

The island is still an agricultural area (and lots of bed and breakfasts). We would love to come back and stay a few days or week on both the island and in Baie St Paul or Charlevoix.

From here we left for Maine and were the only people in line at Customs.  We found a motel to stay at in Jackman, Maine a town so small there were no food restaurants open at 8:00 pm, just the gas station.

Kathy Day

Adventures, travel and genealogy of a couple of retired ladies.