7 Reasons Cape Cod Is Better Than Everywhere Else On Earth

7 Reasons Cape Cod Is Better Than Everywhere Else On Earth

I'm just here to state the facts.

I've had the great fortune of spending the past twenty summers of my life (that's right: all of them) on Cape Cod. It's where some of my best and favorite memories were made, and over my lifetime it's become my home away from home. There's something about the Cape, especially in the summertime, that is so comfortable and inviting to visitors and residents alike.

While there are endless reasons why Cape Cod is, to me, the best place in the world, I've picked seven that I think will sway any reader into agreeing with me.

1. The beaches

Most (if not all) towns in Cape Cod are right on the water, either the Atlantic Ocean or the much calmer Nantucket Sound. They're usually broken up by rock barriers, or jetties, allowing for some private beaches or smaller public patches. The beach I personally go to rests at the end of my street and is really only frequented by people in our small surrounding neighborhood.

While there will always be annoying families and children, the thing that makes up for it is the beauty of the beaches themselves.

2. The shops

In the summer on the Cape, everything looks like it's out of a movie. There are washed out wood signs in front of boutiques, food stands, and bookshops, many of them family-run and frequented by year-around as well as summer returnee shoppers.

3. The restaurants

I'll be honest: I'm salivating a little right now thinking about all of my favorite restaurants on the Cape. Most days it is bright and sunny, and you can sit outside as the sun begins to set and a chill sweeps in. There is nothing more pleasing to the soul than this, especially after a day out at the beach.

And that's just the experience of eating out! The food, especially the seafood, is often as enjoyable as the experience itself (and if it's not, you know that restaurant will be replaced by next summer).

4. The ice cream

I formally challenge anyone who thinks there is better ice cream somewhere other than the Cape to a fistfight. There is nothing better than Buffy's or Sundae School or Hot Chocolate Sparrow ice cream and I will stand by that for the rest of my life.

5. The summer festivities

We always have the great fortune of staying on the Cape for the Fourth of July, on which the whole neighborhood moves down to the beach and two local families take turns setting off incredible displays of fireworks. Everyone comes together to settle in, to barbeque on the beach, to snuggle with their kids as they watch in awe of the beautiful show

The Cape Cod Baseball League is in season all summer and while it is so cliche New England summer, there are very few things more comfortable and satisfying than sitting outside on a warm night as the sun sets to watch a baseball game.

6. Did I mention the ice cream?

When I was younger, my parents would let us decide each day: do we want ice cream from the truck on the beach or go out after dinner? It's not just the quality of the ice cream that is so good (which, see above, is still highly relevant), but the whole dynamic of eating amazing ice cream after a glorious day in the sun on the beach just distinctively and wonderfully epitomizes summer and happiness.

7. The community

In my German class this year, I had to compare my home or main residence with places that I also considered home (friends, we'll chat later about my experience in Elementary German....). While I love my home and am grateful to have grown up there, there is nothing like the community that emerges both between people who live on Cape Cod year-round and summer visitors like my family.

Each year, we encounter regulars who we've seen consistently for the now twenty years my family has been traveling north to the Cape, like the family who runs our favorite cafe or the one who's lived in the house next door for endless years. But we also have had the good fortune of making passing acquaintances, like the family who rented a house down the road and also had Boston Terriers, or the party house who made us appreciate our own friends and the simplicity of our summers so much more.

There is something undeniably magical about Cape Cod that makes it extremely hard (if not impossible) to ever be sad while you're there.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Sharp

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12 Struggles Only Portuguese Girls Can Relate To

It's like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" but Portuguese edition.

As mentioned before in my "8 Ways You Know You're Portuguese" article, I'm 100% European Portuguese. Which means that if you're reading this, you're probably somehow related to me (see #5). You know these 12 things to be true if you grew up in a Portuguese household:

1. You're pressured to marry a Pork Chop.

A Pork Chop is a Portuguese person. The older generation feels that this term is derogatory, but Portuguese Americans self identify as 'Pork Chops.' Some families will probably disown you if you don't marry a Portuguese guy, but I lucked out and my family is pretty open minded. Let me put it this way, if you're not married by the time you're 28, your grandma and your mother are going to take you to the Portuguese club to find a nice Pork Chop to settle down with. You may not be forced into a Portuguese marriage, but it's highly preferred that you marry within the culture.

2. You're always too fat, even if you're skinny.

Portuguese people are a feminist's worst nightmare. They will body shame the hell out of you and feel no remorse. You could lose 20 pounds and look/feel amazing and a Portuguese person will still say "well, you could stand to lose a few more pounds."

3. You must remember your Portuguese classes that you took when you were five years old.

It is a crime against humanity to a Portuguese person if you don't at least understand the language. If you can speak it, read it, and understand it, you've automatically earned yourself the "golden child" title. Every time I move to a different state, my Grandma's only warning is "don't forget your Portuguese," because someone's got to carry on the culture.

4. Am I white? Mixed? Hispanic? Unclear.

I grew up thinking I was some kind of Latina just because the Portuguese language is so similar to Spanish. You probably feel comfortable in Hispanic communities because of your Portuguese background. I eventually realized that I'm white, but I still get told that I look racially ambiguous. Whenever someone asks what nationality I am, I give them three guesses. It's rare that people ever guess Portuguese, but upon finding out that I am, I suddenly become "exotic."

5. You have 55 first cousins.

This is not an exaggeration. My dad actually has 50 first cousins. I have 13, but I have way more cousins in Portugal that I've either never met, or I've met them, but wouldn't be able to pick them out of a line up. If you go to Portugal and visit all of your relatives, the faces and names start to blur together and it's safe to call every man "Joao" and every woman "Maria" or "Ana Maria" and they'll be delighted that you remembered their names.

6. You have to make sure you don't marry your own cousin.

Portugal is such a small country that if you meet a fellow Pork Chop in America, chances are, you're somehow related or your families are friends. I suggest drawing an extensive family tree before shacking up with a Pork Chop.

7. Somebody is always praying for you.

Portuguese people are devoutly Catholic, so it doesn't matter if you're temporarily down on your luck or a self made millionaire, you have a tia (an aunt) that you probably only see when someone in the family passes away, who prays on the rosary every night for you.

8. You must have a name that can be pronounced in Portuguese.

There are two criteria for naming a Portuguese baby: is it the name of a saint, and can it be pronounced in Portuguese? If your uncle twice removed that you see every six years when you go to Portugal can't say your baby's name, you need to pick a new one. Names like "Riley" and "Jackson" won't get Grandma's approval.

9. You're considered adventurous if you move out of your parents house before you're married.

It's rare that Portuguese women don't live with their mothers until they find a spouse, and even once they do get married, it's not uncommon for their mother to move in with her daughter and her (hopefully Portuguese) husband.

10. You've been given something with Our Lady of Fatima on it.

Fatima is Portugal's claim to fame. It's the city in Portugal where three kids claimed they saw the Virgin Mary in 1917 and it's now a popular, religious tourist destination. Your grandma has probably given you something with the Blessed Mary on it to put in your car or in your bedroom so that you stay '#blessed' all the time.

11. You're not allowed to be a vegetarian.

Portuguese people are fishermen and their specialty is codfish, so it's nearly impossible to maintain a vegetarian diet in a Portuguese household. You can be pescatarian though!

12. You have to warn people before you introduce them to your family.

Have you ever seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding?" That's what it's like to bring a non-Portuguese boyfriend to a Portuguese family gathering. Good luck.

Cover Image Credit: CDMPHY / Flickr

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'Culling' The Bullsh*t; Taking A Deeper Look At The Antibiotics In The Livestock Industry

You want the truth? Here it is.


As many people have seen around the internet, one of the hot topics is having cattle or other livestock antibiotic free. This has lead to a movement that is not only incorrect with their basic information, but they are hurting family farms across the nation. This stems from the idea that antibiotics contaminate meat products and will affect the consumer. In this article the main points that "justify" the antibiotic culture will be broken down and simplified. I hope by the end of reading this you will be more knowledgeable about this subject, and will make the best decision for you and your family.

1. "If you don't specifically buy antibiotic free meat, you will buy meat with antibiotics in it."

The FDA has control check on the processing line when livestock is processed. This means that the likelihood of any "antibiotic filled" animal to make it through is slim to none. If by chance a ranch or feedlot gets flagged by FDA, they will be fined with a bill in the thousands. This type of flag will make it difficult for that ranch to ever sell livestock in the normal market again. This is only one of the incentives for ranch owners to stay in the clear.

2. "Antibiotics are used to promote growth"

This statement is false. Antibiotics are used to treat an illness. Yes an animal might gain weight after treatment. But that is because when we are sick we tend to not eat as much. Once you start to feel better, it stirs up your hunger. Antibiotics are and have never been used to promote growth.

3. What happens to the animal on an antibiotic free farm when it gets sick.

Let's do a comparison example. If your child got sick what do you normally do? Take them to the doctor and if he prescribes a medication for them you would provide the correct amount to treat the illness. This is the same way with the livestock industry. Most antibiotics and medication in general are a prescription based. Therefore, a vet will need to sign off on the treatment of the animals. While most ranches will treat the illness and move on, antibiotic free farms need to move that animal off site to another ranch. Some of the time they have a secondary place where those treated animals go to live out their life. Not treating a sick animal is inhumane.

These are only a few of the antibiotic free lies that surround the livestock world. And I am not saying for someone to completely change their beliefs over one article, what I am saying is do your research. From both sides of the argument. Then base your final decision from what you have learned. The agriculture industry has many that oppose that will use fear-tactics to push their agenda. And although we are not a perfect industry, we are a very important part of society. And we hold high standards for ourselves because of that.

Thank you for reading,

if you have a suggestion of what I should talk about next leave a comment.

-Chrystal B.

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