My daughter was a graduate student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod. It is a very interesting town, a summer residence for the very well to do and a year round residence for academics.
Many students lived in the more affordable town of Falmouth, that is filled to capacity and beyond all summer with tourists. Lovely shops and restaurants, but traffic was horrible all summer long. Woods Hole is very easy to walk around, so quite enjoyable.
My daughter was lucky enough to score a small apartment tacked onto a garage in Woods Hole. Often owners of seasonal homes will have a student live in the home year round as it makes their home owner insurance much lower. When you own a multi million dollar home, this can be quite a savings. It should be noted the home she lived in was worth close to a million (if not more) and was a simple ranch style home.
She was lucky as the family only used the home a few weeks each summer, and she was then go stay with friends.
One problem was that she was going to live without a car, and then found out that the bus that would take her to the nearest food store in Falmouth did not run in the winter. She sat waiting patiently for about an hour before she went online and found out it wasn’t running again until Spring. She bought an inexpensive car.
She also discovered that in the winter she had to remind the town to plow her road as, yes there was someone living there.
I enjoyed visiting, but only during the weekdays as there were fewer tourists and I didn’t have to wait for hours to cross the bridge onto the Cape. Also, I learned to be very careful as Woods Hole is where the ferry departs for Martha’s Vineyard. One simply does not drive up and onto the ferry. The ferry requires a reservation, and people with homes on the island reserve their spots for the entire summer early on. Cars running late for the ferry, and if they missed the ferry they could not just “catch the next one”, were a real menace.
I soon learned all the back roads to Falmouth and around Woods Hole. While people weren’t friendly, I am told if you are a local they are most welcoming.
Even so I loved the free small Aquarium. The aquarium lets you go “behind the scenes” to look down into the tanks. Not to be missed was my favorite dock where the fishing boats would dock.
My daughter is now Doctor Daughter, with her PhD. I miss being able to sleep on her futon, even if I often felt someone would turn me in for not owning a nice enough car.
Woods Hole does seem a wonderful place to live, if only part time as most do. Downtown is lovely with a mix of science and shops, and at the time my daughter lived there the meter maid brought her pug along with her when she gave out tickets. It should be noted people with very expensive cars seem to think they can park where ever they want, the meter reader did not agree. (I supposed they could afford to pay whatever a ticket cost to get a good parking spot!). Still, the uniformed woman with the small pug who acted like this was also his job, were part of the quirkiness that made me love Woods Hole.
- Woods Hole- Cape Cod, Massachusetts- July 2012 (nicholassmall.wordpress.com)
- Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (nicholassmall.wordpress.com)
- Moving Day in Woods Hole (thetompostpile.wordpress.com)