Nights in Vermont were only getting colder, forcing us south. We decided to point Velma towards the sun, but we got distracted by siren call of the cape to the East. Cape Cod, to be exact.
We decided to change things up and, on our way to Brewster, MA, we did our first overnight at a Cracker Barrel. Up until this time in our vagabonding, we'd spent maybe a weeks-worth of nights in Wal Mart parking lots. We are grateful that businesses like Wal*Mart welcome motorhomes in transit to overnight in their lots. In part to show our gratitude, but mostly to entertain ourselves, we often find ourselves wandering the aisles once we've parked and double checked with the manager. This time, with no aisles to wander, we ended up having both dinner and breakfast at the Londonderry, NH Cracker Barrel before getting back on our merry way. I have to say - I'd much rather spend our dollars on hash brown casserole and pancakes than rolls of toilet paper or laundry detergent.
Sweetwater Forest was our home for the three nights we managed to squeeze in on the property, leaving right before they closed for the season. Because we were there at the tail end of the season, we had a very quiet and nearly empty campground to explore. A combination of a pesky fall cold for Jeremy and some gloomy and rain-filled forecasts kept us close to Velma for most of our visit. This is not a bad thing, however. Sweetwater's 250 sites are located on over 80 beautifully wooded acres, including several miles of Griffiths Pond shoreline. We spent a fair amount of time on two of our days there hiking around the property. Nearly every site - tent or RV - has a fair amount of privacy from the sites around them thanks to the dense woods in which they're nestled.
Though not a part of the camp's property, there is an Appaloosa Halter Horse farm situated right on the long, wooded drive from the road to the camp's front office. The sweet horses poking their heads over the fence line add great charm to Sweetwater.
We found a beautifully wooded site to park in for our visit. I imagine that even in the middle of summer, at peak season, this spot would still afford its residents a fair amount of privacy from their neighbors.
I literally stumbled upon a gnome tucked away along the main entrance drive one of the days I took a walk around the property. Once I discovered that it wasn't just one lone gnome, but a family of them, all tucked away behind trees, up in branches, I ran back to get Jeremy and the dogs to go on a gnome hunt.
Jeremy got himself down to the Cape Cod National Seashore during his day to explore, which was the first Atlantic Ocean toe-dippage for either of us since the start of our vagabonding. In spite of the overcast day and choppy seas, it was still a beautiful spot to take a quiet, solo break and just breathe.
I, in true Alexandra fashion, spent my day at two coffee shops, getting a first-hand taste of the Brewster area bakery and coffee scene. Hot Chocolate Sparrow, in Orleans, is not your average coffee shop. On top of an extensive coffee and espresso drink menu, the Sparrow has a pastry case full of the pies and cakes and treats of your dreams, as well as a selection of house made chocolates so you can bring some goodies with you on the road. Oh, and order the Dirty Chocolate Chai. Trust me. I've never had anything like it and wish I currently didn't live so many hundreds of miles away.
After a few hours at Hot Chocolate Sparrow, once I started feeling guilty for taking a seat from the constant line of folks rotating through the shop, I headed back toward Brewster and to Snowy Owl Coffee Roasters. This sweet little spot totally won me over with their honest hipster vibe, beautifully crafted coffee drinks and delicious pastries. You couldn't make a wrong decision, I don't believe, at either of these joints when you're in the area.
On our last night, we went out for a sweet date at a little spot we wouldn't have even thought to visit if not for our Nashville friend Patrick who gave the Jailhouse Tavern a shoutout on our Facebook page.
The restaurant has two different dining areas, one more traditional and the other with a fun, genuine tavern vibe to it. There were a number of locals at the bar and a trio performing live music in the corner. The food was great, atmosphere fun (the building used to legitimately be the town lock-up, and there are prison bars inside to prove it!) and we'd definitely go back next time we find ourselves in or around Orleans.
From our few nights here on the Cape, we add another *first* to our list of vagabonding accomplishments - overnighting at a casino!