Were on a roll!

Many of our followers have asked what is happening with the WMWM and Sassy Gal, where have you been? Well, we are here to let you know that we are back! We have been updating our info and applications so that we can serve all of the women of our region.As we move forward, we will and are changing several formats to agendas and formatsthat you the readership have requested.

This is a very exciting time, and we ask for your understanding and patience. We will have a new site with new articles and new information to you shortly.

Thank you for staying with us!! You are our inspiration!

Introductions are in order…

Good Afternoon Sassy Gals!

I’m Coleen and I’m the newest contributor to the Sassy Gal blog! I’ve been the executive webmaster for the Western Mass Women Magazine for almost 2 years now and I wanted to share a little about myself before I get to writing my first post. I’m originally from New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University, and I’m a newlywed. I enjoy many hobbies, love the work I do, and am constantly learning. I plan to write about current events, technology, recipes, and much more of what you’ve come to expect from the Sassy Gal blog. Please feel free to comment, ask questions (from advice to more research into a post’s topic), and give me feedback on posts you like! Now, enough about me…

There are many different events happening in the world right now, from terrorist attacks to our own political landscape, the Pokemon Go phenomenon sweeping the world, breakthroughs in medical research and more. I wanted to start on a lighter note but will not stray from discussing some of these events in the future. Today’s post is for Summer.

We all live busy lives and sometimes we need a nice vacation to recharge our batteries. Some people can easily take a week or two off, perhaps head to a European country or a remote island resort. What about those times when we can only get away for the weekend? Or want to stay relatively local? Good thing this is New England because there is no shortage of great vacation spots, within a 3-hour drive, that don’t break the bank. Whether you like the mountains or the beach, here are a couple of suggestions that could help make next weekend your next vacation.

campsiteGo Rustic
Camping is making a comeback as parents are trying to find better ways to get their children to spend more time outdoors. Whether you can “rough it” in a tent or prefer to rent a cabin, some great campgrounds can be found in or near perfect vacation areas. KOAs usually have high ratings and a calendar of events, including fireworks to movie nights. Plus, who doesn’t love making real s’mores by a campfire?

treehouseUnique Accommodations
If you’re looking to get some peace and quiet, staying in a unique place can make it a lot easier to enjoy some you-time. Thanks to AirBnB, it’s incredibly easy to rent a treehouse or a yurt tucked away in the woods of Vermont where you can enjoy some solitude. If you’d prefer setting up base near the sea, there are more and more houseboat rentals popping up that can even accommodate rentals for 6+ guests.

My husband and I are leaving for vacation this week to spend some time with my family down in Wildwood, New Jersey. I’ll be riding a jetski for the first time, going on classic boardwalk rides, and getting some sand between my toes. It’s a trip I’ve taken with my family at least once year since I was a baby. I’m also grateful to have this vacation to look forward to. On that note, I hope everyone has a great week ahead and that I’ve inspired some of you to take some time to unwind next weekend.

-Coleen

P.S. I’d love to hear back from some of you about your favorite New England vacation spots! The 3 most suggested locations will be shared in my next post, so keep an eye out!

How to Bake Mini Pumpkin Rolls

Sassy Gals,

Are you as excited for pumpkin season as I am? We’re beginning to see the return of the pumpkin lattes at Dunkin Donuts and the pumpkin cheesecake at Olive Garden, of pumpkin doughnuts, ice cream and yogurt! As a lover of almost all things pumpkin, these signs mark the start of one of my favorite seasons, and I want to help you ladies kick it off right with an irresistible recipe for pumpkin roll.

Those who know me personally know that pumpkin roll is my specialty. Baking them requires a lot of care, and I’ve been perfecting my skills through use of the family recipe for years. But I’ve always wondered if I could alter the practice in such a way to produce mini pumpkin rolls that could be served individually as opposed to cutting slices off of one large roll.

What better time is there to try out a new pumpkin recipe than to celebrate the start of pumpkin season? Here are the ingredients you will need to get you started:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  1. Once you have all of your ingredients, mix them together in a large bowl. It does not matter what order you add them, which I appreciate. Also preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray two cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray, then line them with wax paper and pour your mixture on top. You want the batter to be appear thin.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Let the pumpkin roll breading, if you will, cool for at least 10 minutes until it is no longer warm to the touch.
  5. Spread confectioner’s sugar over the top, then cover the cookie sheet with a kitchen towel. You are going to want to flip the cookie sheet over, so the pumpkin roll breading falls out onto the towel. You may want an extra pair of hands for this. I have found it helps eliminate extra messes…
  6. After you’ve lifted the cookie sheet off, remove the wax paper. It is usually easiest to tear it off in strips as opposed to removing the whole sheet at once.
  7. Next you need to mix the cream. You will need:
  • 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • One 8-oz bar of cream cheese (Don’t buy cheap; get Philadelphia. I once opted for Big Y and ended up with cream soup… The cream cheese needs to be strong and thick enough to hold the cream mixture in place once it is on the roll. For this reason, normal cream cheese is a better option than fat free.)
  1. Once the ingredients are mixed – which will be exponentially easier with a Kitchen Aid – spread a thin layer of cream across the pumpkin roll breading.
  2. Using a pizza cutter, cut the breading into slices about two inches wide. You are going to want to cut parallel with the ends, not the sides.
  3. Gently roll each slice up, and there you have it! Mini pumpkin rolls!

I hope you all enjoy your mini pumpkin rolls, which are undoubtedly a great twist on a classic fall treat. They may look tiny, but each roll is actually a great serving size.

Mini-Pumpkin-Rolls

Unfortunately, this will be my last post to the Sassy Gal blog. As summer comes to an end, so does my internship with Western Mass Women Magazine and it is time for me to return to UMass for my senior year. Stay tuned for more Sassy Gal blog posts from the next intern and thank you all for reading these past couple of months. I’ve had a great time writing for you. If you want to continue to read my stuff, I intend to continue writing for the magazine, so make sure to pick up a copy!

~Shelby A.

Is Feminism a Movement Toward Equality?

Several weeks ago, I watched a video that was being shared on Facebook. Some of you may have seen this video before, seeing how it was posted back in April, but for those of you who haven’t, here it is:

I don’t want to discuss this video extensively because I’d like to give everyone a chance to form their own opinions about Lauren Southern’s assertion. But it seems to me that she is at the root of a good idea, but has a hard time articulating exactly what she means and does leave holes in her theories.

Feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men.” What feminists tend to do is focus on areas where women are at a disadvantage in hopes of improving their situation and eventually becoming equal to men in those areas. So when we talk about feminism, we tend to hear about rape, the pay gap and a list of problems that are thought of as being women’s issues.

Of course, as Southern asserts, feminists do not mention any of the areas where women have the advantage. Why would we want to complain about the ways our lives are good? The idea is more so to remedy the problems than to appreciate the benefits.

It seems that Southern would rather focus on the problems faced by both genders, which is why she doesn’t agree with using the term feminist to define herself. It’s a great premise to want to focus on everyone’s problems, but over the years, we have compartmentalized all the issues, if you will. We fight against women’s issues, African American issues, Hispanic issues, gay and transgender issues. For whatever reason, it’s easier for our brains to grasp things if we categorize them.

But by doing so, Southern argues we ignore a list of other issues that don’t fit into one of these categories and it would be more beneficial for all of us to ignore categories altogether. We all have problems. We could all use help in one way or another.

But I am left wondering, is it possible to tackle our problems without division? Women fight for women’s issues because it is what pertains most closely to us and we hope to improve the quality of our lives. It does not have to be because we hate men or don’t think men have problems. We simply need specific causes to follow and we need specific goals in mind in order to fix specific issues. I’m not sure it’s possible to say, “I want to help everyone” without then at least turning to focus on the individual issues that each group faces. Each group faces different problems, and I’m not sure we will be able to solve them through generalization.

~Shelby A.

Creemee vs. Soft Serve

Sassy Gals,

Being from Massachusetts, most of you are probably used to referring to your summer time ice cream treats as soft serves. However, because I was born and raised in northern Vermont, I’m an adamant believer in the use of the word creemee. This controversy has always been perplexing to me. How did Vermonters come up with this word? Why has it not been adopted in other parts of the country? Where is it acceptable to use the term creemee and where is it appropriate to say soft serve? Today, I want to get to the bottom of these tough, nagging questions.

Where did the word creemee come from?

It turns out that in the past, ice cream in Vermont was made with a higher fat content than traditional soft serve ice cream. The difference in ingredients made Vermont’s ice cream, well, creamier, and thus the word creemee was adopted. Makes perfect sense, right?

What is creemee domain vs. soft serve domain?

After reading a bunch of comments on Reddit, it would seem that the term creemee has a hard time getting to even the bottom half of Vermont.

Where I am from, St. Albans, we ONLY have creemee stands. However, often there are so many flavors of creemees – as many as 100 or more – people order them by their number on the list and can avoid saying creemee altogether. Dear outsiders: it is OK to say, “Can I get number 25 in a cone?” It is NOT OK to say, “Can I get a vanilla soft serve?” We may know what you mean, but we’re not keen on accepting your terminology.

At my favorite creemee stand in St. Albans, Toby's Treats.

At my favorite creemee stand in St. Albans, Toby’s Treats.

If you are traveling to any of the northern counties (Franklin, Grand Isle, Essex, Caledonia, Chittenden, Orleans, Lamoille, Washington, Orange or Addison), creemee is the word to use. However, it would seem that the lower four counties (Windsor, Rutland, Bennington and Windham) are largely soft serve domain. One commenter on Reddit suggested that “Massachusetts is leaking.” Although one commenter attested to using the term creemee in Brattleboro, it would seem that White River Junction is the rough crossover point, the Mason Dixon line of the debate.

Why hasn’t creemee been adopted elsewhere?

Now that I live in Massachusetts, I have been on the watch for creemee stands. Although I have seen one in Whately, JM Pasiecnik Creamee and Farm Stand, it is still spelled differently from the ones you would encounter up north. Here, we tend to call our ice cream stands frosties and although they sell soft serve, people from Massachusetts don’t seem to take as much pride in the word as Vermonters take in creemee. It’s more as if we just need a word and soft serve does the job just fine.

The term creemee probably has not caught on elsewhere simply because other states don’t have the historical connection to the word. Soft serve hasn’t let us down.

But to me, it is, always was and always will be a creemee. Hometown ice cream pride!

~Shelby A.

Dispelling 5 Misconceptions About Tattoos

Sassy Gals,

Although I’ve been a tattooed member of the Millennial generation for four years now, I’ve recently been bothered by a series of misconceptions about me as a result of having tattoos. It’s no secret that people with tattoos have a bad wrap and it was something I was aware I would have to deal with. But as an increasing number of people have tattoos – especially young people – I have to wonder when those misconceptions will change.

According to a great article on FiveThirtyEight, 38 percent of people ages 18 to 29 have at least one tattoo. Of them, 26 percent said they had two or more. Considering the majority of Sassy Gal readership is women in their teens to their mid-thirties, I would expect that the same general statistics apply and many of you probably have tattoos. In that case, you know the injustices I’m talking about and would probably love to join me in ranting about them. Even if you don’t have a tattoo, I would love the chance to try and explain the appeal.

Here are five of the main misconceptions people have about tattoos and why they are inaccurate.

1. Tattoos are indications of poor character.

The person who has been bothering me – an 87-year-old man – repeatedly says upon seeing my tattoo – which is a horse on my shoulder – that he mistook me for an attractive, professional young woman. Now, I did not change to become less professional in the moment of time it took you to notice my tattoo, nor did I make a conscience decision to abandon my morals and replace them with a tattoo. Tattoos are NOT concentrated bundles of morals being expelled from the body.

It is also narrowly thought that if you have a tattoo, you must be a biker, a bartender, a drug dealer, a criminal or an unemployed thug. However, people who have tattoos do not fit into these narrow job descriptions. They can be college students, web designers, carpenters, business owners, etc. who have endless potential. Never mind the fact that the people who have tattoos are often some of the kindest, friendliest, most hardworking people you will meet whether or not they fit the stereotype of being a biker or bartender.

2. If you have a tattoo, you’ll never be able to reach your career goals.

The unfortunate truth is that there are plenty of judgmental people who will not hire someone who has tattoos in order to keep up the professional appearance of their business. However, I’ve recently come in contact with plenty of successful people who have ink. Sometimes the key is strategically getting the tattoos in places where they can be covered up until you can be comfortable revealing them. Sometimes it means branching out on your own. And sometimes it’s just about projecting confidence and knowing that your tattoos do not make you any less qualified for a job than someone without them. Frankly, if someone can’t accept what you choose to do with YOUR own body, why would you want to work for them anyway?

3. Tattoos are unhealthy and lead to infection.

Another argument against tattoos is that you are knowingly injecting toxins into your body that will cause an early death. After doing some research through WebMD and Mayo Clinic, I haven’t found any evidence of this being true – at least not through the use of modern tattooing methods.

It is indeed true that the actual tattooing process can be risky, health-wise. Some people are compelled to vomit. Others succumb to low blood sugar and pass out, so it’s important to eat well and keep sugary snacks on hand. A very small number of people have an allergic reaction to the metal inside the ink, which causes inflammation and scarring.

One of the most common concerns is that you might receive an infection from the needles the tattooist uses. If the needle has been contaminated with infected blood, you risk contracting tetanus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. However, you would risk the same if you needed a blood transfusion. It is all about trusting your tattooist and making sure that they are following the proper procedures.

After the tattoo has successfully healed, continued negative effects are very uncommon. The FDA approves the ink used for tattooing and has yet to deem it unsafe. Given the proper circumstances and accordance with federal and state regulations, there is no reason why tattoos should be considered unsafe.

4. It is unwise and foolish to get a tattoo, because it will look terrible when you are older and you will regret getting it.

The idea of permanently changing your body is scary to some people. Getting a tattoo is indeed a big commitment that should not be taken lightly. You have to seriously consider, ‘What am I willing to live with for the rest of my life?'” However, if you have seriously thought through your decision rather than impulsively deciding on a tattoo during a drunken night out, you probably will never regret it. I tend to go by the rule of thumb, ‘If it has been more than a year and I still want the same tattoo, I won’t get tired of it,’ though for some people that might seem like a long time to stew over an idea. There are also excellent tattoo artists out there who are fully capable of doing awesome cover-ups, should you change your mind later.

It is my firm belief that if you get a tattoo that truly means something to you and tells a little bit of the story of who you are, you will never grow tired of it even when you grow older. Sure, wrinkles might change your art’s appearance a bit, but what matters is what it means to you.

5. Tattoos are only for young people and thus, indicate that the Millennial generation is full of delinquents. 

It is true that the Millennial generation holds the most tattoos, but there are plenty of older people with tattoos as well. In fact, according to FiveThirtyEight, 1 in 3 people ages 30 to 45 have at least one tattoo. We are surrounded by ink everywhere – except for maybe in nursing/retirement homes, as only 6 percent of people 65 and older have a tattoo.

Furthermore, as I have stated previously, having a tattoo does not indicate delinquency. There are plenty of problems that the Millennial generation does have – they don’t have as great of a drive to work, they are often disrespectful, they feel entitled to things – but these problems were in no way caused by tattoos. To simplify the problem of Millennial delinquency to the fact that so many of us have tattoos is ignorant and by no means identifies or begins to fix the true issues at hand.

~Shelby A.

Choosing the Best Mosquito Spray

For the July/August issue of Western Mass Women Magazine, I researched sunscreens and wrote an article detailing how to choose one that is right for you. However, up until now, we’ve neglected to discuss sunscreen’s equally essential counterpart: mosquito spray.

There are easily a million and a half things you can try to keep pesky insects at bay: citronella candles, Tiki torches, bug zappers, wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts. Once you step outside the security of your home on a summer evening or venture off on a long walk in the woods, mosquito spray becomes a sticky, smelly, necessary evil. If you’re going to have to put up with mosquito spray’s unpleasantness, you should get the safest and most effective product your hard-earned money can buy.

Thankfully, Today Health and Wellness’s Consumer Reports have decided upon a list of the top five insect repellents for 2015.

  1. Sawyers Fisherman’s Formula
  2. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus
  3. Repel Scented Family
  4. Off! Deep Woods VIII
  5. Natrapel 8 Hour

According to Today, all of these products repelled mosquitoes and deer ticks for at least seven hours. The difference between these products lies in their active ingredients. Sawyers Fisherman’s Formula and Natrapel 8 Hour rely on picaridin; Repel Lemon Eucalyptus relies on, well, the oil of lemon eucalyptus; and Repel Scented Family and Off! Deep Woods VIII rely on DEET.

The Center for Disease Control recommends using products that contain DEET as they provide the best protection against mosquito bites. The CDC tells us that DEET is not harmful, so long as it is being used correctly, though it cautions that some people have experienced rashes after using excessive amounts of products with high levels of DEET. It should not be used on children under the age of two months. For a helpful fact sheet about DEET, click here.

Picaridin and lemon eucalyptus oil, thought by the CDC to be less effective, are also safe and tend to be less poignantly scented. However, lemon eucalyptus oil products should not be used on children under the age of three-years-old, according to Today. Of course, lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural, plant-based oil and might interest those of you ladies hoping to live more naturally. The consumer reports suggested that other repellents with natural ingredients like citronella, rosemary and lemongrass simply were no match for the bugs.

Personally, I have been using Number 4, Off! Deep Woods VIII, primarily because it repels against ticks and I tend to travel to a lot of densely wooded areas. I can vouch for the repellent’s effectiveness, though, of course, the smell is not the most pleasant.deep-woods-off

I have also taken note of another variety of Off! – which I had just always assumed was the leader in mosquito repellent – that is much sweeter smelling. Off! Active, which comes in an orange aerosol can, is designed to repel mosquitoes, ticks and a variety of flies and other insects for up to five hours. It is sweat resistant and backed by 15 percent DEET (not as much as Off! Deep Woods VIII). I wish I could say the two were equally effective, but clearly they are not. One protects for seven hours, the other protects for five; one has 25 percent DEET, the other has 15. The main attraction to Off! Active is simply that it smells fruity and refreshing, and is non-greasy when you spray it on.

Hopefully, one day, we won’t have to sacrifice smelling nice in order to not be eaten alive by buzzing, pestering insects. Until that day, stay sassy.

~Shelby A.

Baking During Blueberry Season

For you blueberry lovers out there, it is that time of year again: blueberry season. Or rather, at this point, we are nearing the end of the season, which typically spans through July and August and is sandwiched by the strawberry and raspberry seasons. So if stocking up on fresh, locally grown berries and freezing them for the year is something that interests you, it is time to head to the farms before it is too late.

For those of you who are not huge blueberry fans or can’t imagine why anyone would want to freeze pounds of them at a time, you would be surprised to know how versatile blueberries are as a staple baking ingredient.

Over the past week, I’ve gotten into the berry mood by making a pie and scones. (Although I’ve decided I do not belong in a kitchen, they somehow both withstood my inadequacies as a baker.)

Because every day is a wonderful day for pie!

Because every day is a wonderful day for pie!

Blueberry-Scones

But that is just the beginning. There is a seemingly endless list of things you can make with blueberries. I’m sure you could do a Google search, but I would recommend a new app I recently discovered called Yummly. Using Yummly, you can type in any food you want to make or any ingredient and instantly find a huge list of recipes, directions and of course, yummy pictures of food. Oftentimes, you’ll find recipes for foods you’ve never even heard of before. Here is a list of just ten foods that Yummly suggests when you search “blueberry.”

  1. Blueberry Pie
  2. Blueberry Scones
  3. Blueberry Muffins
  4. Blueberry Leather
  5. Blueberry Cheesecake
  6. Blueberry Crisp/Cobbler
  7. Yogurt Covered Blueberries
  8. Blueberry Smoothies/Milkshakes
  9. Blueberry Doughnuts
  10. Blueberry Jam/Jelly

The list goes on. There are also plenty of farms throughout Western Mass that allow you to pick your own blueberries or simply buy them locally at much cheaper prices than chain grocery stores. After spending the day basking in the sun, picking blueberries with your family and/or children, you get to bake up whatever sweet concoction you desire and – quite literally – enjoy the fruits of your labor!

You can find pick your own blueberry farms using FarmFresh.org.

~Shelby A.

Yankee Candle’s Newest Scent: Country Superstar

Sassy gals,

For those of you out there who are country music fans, you will be excited to hear about Yankee Candle’s newest scent. The candle – which has been named “Kill the Lights” – is vanilla bourbon-scented and was inspired by none other than Luke Bryan.

If you follow Luke Bryan in your spare time or using the many social networks we have at our fingertips, you might have noticed, “Hey, ‘Kill the Lights’ is the name of his next album too!” Featuring the single that we’ve been hearing for the past few months, Kick the Dust Up, Kill the Lights is set to be released tomorrow.

As if the candle and album didn’t create good enough news by themselves, Yankee Candle has sweetened the deal. From August 7 to August 16, those who buy Luke’s new album at a Yankee Candle store will receive a free vanilla bourbon votive candle.

I first gained access to all this juicy information via KIX 100.9, one of the local country stations. KIX’s own Amanda Jo will be on site at the Yankee Candle Village in South Deerfield to conduct a live radio broadcast from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow.

If you can’t make it to a Yankee Candle store anytime soon, Yankee Candle and KIX are also offering online giveaways. TONIGHT ONLY, you can enter to win an autographed copy of Luke’s CD along with a candle. A grand prize winner will get an autographed CD, candle, vanilla bourbon gift basket and an autographed guitar. (Interested entrants, click the Yankee Candle link above.) A second sweepstakes will run from August 7 to the 28, and will award 1,500 winners a vanilla bourbon candle.

I definitely know where I am going to be tomorrow! Who really needs a better excuse to go to Yankee Candle, which is loads of fun every day of the week all year round? Plus, once you stop in and pick up your new album and candle – or win them if you’re lucky – you’ll have the recipe for a relaxing evening at home no matter what you’re doing.

~Shelby A.

A Review of 10 Cape Cod Attractions

As you may know from last week, this past weekend I ventured on a day trip to Cape Cod. Of course one day is not anywhere near enough time to properly explore everything the beautiful cape has to offer, but I managed to pack a lot of fun activities in nonetheless. Now, here is a review of all the attractions I got to experience.

  1. Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre – Upon our arrival Saturday night, we ventured to Wellfleet, where the drive-in theatre was playing Minions and Ant-Man. What a great little blast to the past this theatre is! All of the old radios are still intact, leaving moviegoers with a nostalgic feel. With everything so fairly priced, this is one of the best deals you will find on the cape: only $9 per adult to see two movies and reasonably priced food at the concession stand.
  2. Hyannis Inn Motel – This isn’t so much an attraction, but hey, we can’t plan a trip to Cape Cod without thinking about hotels, right? For $243.51 (plus a five dollar key deposit in cash), we got an enormous room with two queen sized beds, a couch, a kitchen table, a full walk-in closet, a fridge, a microwave, a flat screen tv, and pool and Internet access. This would definitely be a great room for families as it was almost as big as my entire apartment. There is even a front door and a back door, which both let out onto a balcony as we were on the upper level. The only thing this hotel does not provide is a continental breakfast. However, I would recommend checking in early. The night life on the cape is in full swing, and when we arrived after the movies, all of the bars full of drunken 20-somethings were letting out. It was noisy and unnerving, and people were walking out into the middle of the one-way street during our commute. Yet, by morning, the atmosphere was entirely different: peaceful and calm.
  3. Rendezvous Cafe and Creperie – Just a five minute walk up the street from our hotel is the Rendezvous Cafe and Creperie, where we spent the morning eating crepes and drinking cappuccinos at a little table outside. The crepes were simply delicious – I had a blueberry and honey crepe and my boyfriend had a breakfast crepe with chicken, brie cheese and granny smith apples. We only spent about $20 for breakfast and were served promptly by very friendly, accommodating staff. They were even willing to wipe down their cooking utensils for my boyfriend, who is allergic to nuts.
  4. Haland Stables –  Located in West Falmouth is a little barn that offers trail rides. For the two of us, we paid $110 for an hour ride. The owner, who was also our trail guide, was friendly enough as she set us up with horses and rode with us. It was a great deal in comparison to the other businesses. However, if you are willing to pay more, there are other riding facilities in the area that will take you down to the beach. From my experience, Esperanza Riding Company is easy to book with, because you can do so online and through email, however they kept trying to change my appointment to something that would better fit their schedule, not my own. We also tried contacting Emerald Hollow Farm in Brewster; they do not answer their phones.
  5. Cape Cod Parasail and Jet Ski – This was easily the BEST part of our trip. Do not pass this up! We booked a jet ski for an hour for $138 total, figuring it would be a better deal than parasailing, where you get 8 to 12 minutes in the air for $79 per person as a couple. Neither of us had been on a jet ski before, but they are immensely easy to drive with only on and off buttons and a throttle. You are going to get soaked and get a lot of salt water splashed in your face, but the water in South Yarmouth is unbelievably warm, making the splashing experience really enjoyable. This is especially great for those with a need for speed! Arrive early though, because it isn’t a short walk to the water from the parking lot. Note: Not to be confused with Dennis Parasail and Jet Ski, which offers similar experiences for roughly the same prices. I would not recommend booking with them simply because their online booking feature doubles up your order. We attempted to call them to remedy the problem, but they do not answer their phones either. Cape Cod Parasail and Jet Ski is the way to go.
  6. Sam’s Deli – We stopped in Eastham on our way up the coast to grab lunch. A friend of mine recommended Sam’s Deli and after eating there, I would recommend it too. We were looking for a place that wouldn’t slow us down, so we could hop back in the truck and eat on our way. At Sam’s Deli, we only waited about 15 minutes for our food – and there were plenty of people in line – and you get huge portions. Take a look at my Basil Rathbone sandwich, which had roast turkey, melted swiss, roasted red peppers and pesto mayo on focaccia bread. Mmm mmm.Sam's-Deli
  7. Highland Museum and Lighthouse – Up in North Truro sits Massachusett’s oldest lighthouse, the Highland Lighthouse. Tourists can tour the lighthouse for only $4 per person and pick up plenty of souvenirs in the gift shop. If you are able to climb stairs, I’d definitely recommend stopping in because a lighthouse is simply a beautiful thing.
  8. Skaket Beach – Because I had seen some very pretty pictures of Skaket Beach in Orleans on Trip Advisor, we decided to spend our beach time there. It’s a rather unconventional beach indeed, as there is a vast distance that alternates between wavy beach sand and shallow water. If you were planning to actually swim in deep ocean water, I’d recommend looking elsewhere. However, it’s a great place for kids since the water is so shallow and warm. There are also a ton of fully intact shells all around, which can be difficult to find on other beaches.
  9. Chatham Candy Manor – If you stop in, anticipate spending a lot more money than you originally thought! You won’t be able to resist all the alluring candy options. Many of them are adorably beach themed. Thankfully, you have the option to fill a one pound box with anything you like for $22, streamlining the whole process. This is certainly not your typical candy shop; they’re even open until 10 p.m.!
  10. The Chatham Squire – Since it was across the street from the Candy Manor, we stopped into the Chatham Squire restaurant for dinner. Seeing as we arrived at about 9:30 p.m., the staff was understandably trying to provide the fastest service possible and perhaps didn’t let things cook quite as long as they should have. Although my meal, lobster ravioli, was delicious, my boyfriend, who ordered the chicken piccata, was ill the next morning. The food at the Squire was also quite pricey. I don’t think you could find a meal under $20. In fact, $25 seemed to be the average. It is clearly a fine dining establishment, offering so many varieties of wine and cocktails to choose from, but not much to drink outside of that. In fact, they don’t have a non-alcoholic drink menu; you kind of have to guess or ask your waitress.

I hope my experience will help all you sassy gals plan your own Cape Cod trips! Overall, it’s an amazing place to vacation and I know you will have such an incredible time.

~Shelby A.