Vacationing During Coronavirus: Should You? Can You?

Adirondack Chairs in the garden at the Candleberry Inn, Brewster, MA

Yes, we are all living through a historic pandemic.  But after 3 months of staying-at-home/working-from-home, my husband and I were in need of a break. We were sick of our house.

So  I planned a “safe-cation”, a two-night socially distanced get-away. But where to go? Some place close- ideally, within Massachusetts. Our state’s Covid-19 cases have been declining for weeks (because New Englanders are nothing but sensible) so staying within the state would seem to limit our exposure- and at the same time minimize the risk to anyone we would encounter.

We obeyed all the rules. Throughout the weekend we wore our masks, we social distanced, and we washed our hands often.

I decided on Cape Cod, just 60 miles from our home in Newton. Although it was the first week of July, there was hardly any traffic as we crossed the Sagamore Bridge in record time.  Overall, the Cape was subdued- almost as if it was the shoulder season- but that suited us just fine.

I was extra cautious in planning this trip. In normal times I favor small inns and hotels for their personalized service.  In the era of Covid-19, choosing a small inn is an ideal situation for a get-away with limited human contact.

The Candleberry Inn offers a luxuriously stress-free B & B vibe

Before walking into Brewster’s Candleberry Inn we donned our face masks. Marco and Angelo, our innkeepers, greeted us and wore face masks too.  Contactless check-in was an envelope with our name and our room key. Our TV remote was wrapped in plastic. Everyone (guests and staff) wore masks at all times while in the common spaces- the only exception was when seated for breakfast. Housekeeping didn’t enter our room during our stay. Angelo said the inn was focusing on deep cleaning the rooms between guests. Throughout our stay, I felt that the inn did a great job of maintaining and enforcing social distancing.

Each of the Candleberry Inn’s 9 rooms are distinctively furnished in a country- chic aesthetic. We had the “Highlands Room,”  a pretty antiques- filled space that was well-appointed with a four poster bed (and a top quality mattress), plush linens  and a working fireplace.

Each morning we woke up to a gourmet 2-course breakfast prepared by Angelo. On the first morning  we had citrus with strawberries and challah French toast. On our final day we had pineapple sorbet and a rustic potato and egg scramble with peppers and onions. Breakfast was served outdoors on the covered porch overlooking the garden. Perfection!

Breakfast like my Italian Grandmother would make!

We walked a lot over the weekend.  Tiny Breakwater Beach was just down the road.  We hiked part of the Cape Cod Rail Trail. And we strolled from the inn to dinner both nights . Area restaurants were offering indoor dining at reduced capacity but because of Covid-19, we are all about dining alfresco.

Marco and Angelo suggested we dine at Spinnaker – and it was quite the find. Husband and wife team Rob and Andrea DiSimone (he runs the kitchen, she’s front-of -the- house) serve an Italian inflected menu: clam bruschetta, grilled octopus, house- made cavatelli with eggplant and a bright tomato sauce, roasted chicken with truffled potatoes and lemon.  We sat under a string of globe lights and a little shade from the courtyard’s trees- it was a magical setting (and I think we could all use a little magic these days).

Spinnaker Cape Cod. Table for Two?
  • Many thanks to Marco and Angelo at the Candleberry Inn for hosting my visit. The opinions are my own, based on my experience.

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