|"Hyannis Harbor Welcome Sign"|
The delicious scent of the ocean blows in the backdoor of Spanky's and drifts out the front door in the form of fried clams, shrimp, oysters, fresh fish and chips and any other seaside delectable you care to list. We just happened to be the lucky residents of the Hyannis Holiday Motel just across the street. It was a first time visit to Cape Cod for this author who was born somewhere in the 50's. Although Cape Cod was a mere mornings drive from our home the opportunity simply never materialized. That fact could be considered a sad one but I am taking the, I don't think I would have appreciated it as much if I had been here as a younger man, stance. It was a greatly needed and highly anticipated off-season vacation for my wife and I. She had been here as a child and the memory lingered in a fuzzy-fond way. What transpired on this Columbus Holiday weekend would be a ho-hum everyday no-kidding experience for anyone already familiar with the finely lit sign on the shingled forehead of Spanky's but it would be much more special for me. Mrs. G and I were tired from a long day on the road. The husband and wife volley of, "What do you want to eat?", "Where do you want to go?", "Do you want to order a pizza?", "Do you want to walk up to Main St.?" placed us on the precipice of a dangerous marital cliff. In my years of husband training I learned not to push my agenda too hard. It's a suicide mission if you are an untrained rookie. "I will just go across the street and see if they do take out. If they do I will order you a salad with grilled chicken and I will get the seafood treat of my choice. I will return with an answer or an order." What I failed to see from our balcony perch across the street was the front door opened to a take-out counter and the side and back of the restaurant were all dedicated to table service. What a lottery hit I experienced when I opened the front door and there was a wall sized blackboard lined with all the take-out options available. Sides and salads were a daily double bonus. I ordered fish and chips for me and a garden salad with grilled chicken for my patient and road weary wife. A pleasant and polite teen took my order. She pre-apologized for my having to wait. She said they were very busy. I explained that being in a hurry had been scratched from my to-do list and that waiting at the counter was not a problem. I was so relieved that my trip back to the room would be a victory stroll that I asked if I could have a Cape Cod Red while waiting. Another winning hand followed as she directed an over 21 waiter to bring a savory pint of brew to my spot at the counter. As I sipped the ice cold froth off the CCR my eyes rose to the small flat screen to the left of the kitchen door. There was a South Carolina vs. Georgia football game on. One of the women waiting tables kept pausing as she passed the screen. I couldn't keep my mouth shut, "Do you have money on the game?" I asked. She never blinked. She said,"No, my brother is the strength and conditioning coach for So. Carolina. He's ten years younger than I am and he already has his 'Dream Job'." It was heart warming to see how proud and happy she was for him. Her excitement had everyone within range scanning the screen for a glimpse of her dear brother. It created a simple window of entertainment for me. It was much better than sitting at an overpriced restaurant and listening to Hoity and Toity spew 'Look at Me' table talk back and forth. Unfortunately my order didn't take that long to assemble. I tossed back the remaining CCR stuffed a tip in the cup on the counter and headed back to our eagle's nest view of the harbor. This vacation was going to look, taste, and feel great. I called the front desk and booked an extra day.