Guest blogger, Suzy Brooks
We recently had a wonderful gathering at the Captain Freeman for our Provence Cooking School. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely dinner afterwards (where we get to eat all of the delicious food made in the class) with a lovely couple that joined in on the festivities. Their family has a wonderful tradition of creating mystery trips for their kids. This trip was a surprise for Suzy and when we heard she loves to blog about their “Mystery trips” we anxiously awaited her post. Thanks Suzy for sharing on our blog.
The post below along with the great pictures was written by Suzy Brooks.
“A Mystery Ride? For ME?” After years of planning Mystery Rides for my children, husband, family and friends, the day had finally come… Mr. Brooks had just announced to me that he was planning a Mystery Ride to celebrate my birthday. I truly couldn’t believe my ears, and instantly my excited anticipation began to grow.
What is a Mystery Ride, you ask? That’s a good question!! Mystery Rides have been part of our family fun since ten years ago when we tried to spring a surprise Disney Trip on our kids. We were in Boston when they confusedly demanded to know what we were up to. We took pity on them and excitedly announced we were going to Disney World! Their reaction was less than happy, and in fact, one child (who shall not be named) dissolved into a puddle of tears, demanding to go home. It was on this Pillar of Joy our Mystery Rides were founded. Since then, we have been whisking each other off on surprise trips to Hither and Yon, with mixed results along the way.
The trip that launched a thousand Mystery Rides: Florida!
Through the years, our Mystery Rides have run the gamut: from simple (Kite flying in Newport) to complex (an April vacation spent at Six Flags) and from unsuccessful (a hike on a hot day) to awesome (a historical trip to Boston). All rides have the same common denominator – the Ride Recipient has no clue what the plan is. Questions and guesses are encouraged and welcome, and are fired off at every turn of the steering wheel. However, the answer is always the same. No matter what we are asked, we always answer with:
“That’s a good question!”.
Here’s a peek at a few (oh, okay – a BUNCH) of our past trips:
A heated, historical hike. This one was a flop!
Hanging out with V.B. from Fox 25 News. He included the kids in his broadcast.
High atop the Custom House in Boston
Matfield Maple Farm, where we learned all about Maple Syrup!
Basketball Hall of Fame & Six Flags on this Ride!
A day in Newport, RI
Waterfire in Providence, RI
The Urban Art Bar in Boston
Ghost Tour with our favorite Freedom Trail Tour Guide, Jeremiah Poope
Another fabulous day in Boston. Quack, Quack!!
International Auto Show
5 Wits at Patriot Place
A Mystery Ride for 40 grown-ups!!
A van full of Mystery Riders
I bet by now you are wondering where Mr. Brooks brought me on my Mystery Ride, right?? That’s a good question! Unfortunately, due to all the storms we had this winter, my Mystery Ride was cancelled. Twice. It was nearly two months later before we were able to get rolling! But, the day finally arrived, and we were off! We headed down Cape, and after many incorrect guesses on my part, around noon we arrived at the Captain Freeman Inn in Brewster.
The Captain Freeman Inn, Brewster
The smile on my face began to broaden as we checked in and our host asked if we were here for the Cape Cod Culinary Cooking School. Cooking school?? Yaay! Mr. Brooks finally filled me in. We were here for a French cooking class, along with some other guests at the Inn. We would be working in their commercial kitchen to prepare a meal with Chef Carol, and later on, we would be enjoy our creation for dinner. I couldn’t wait to get started!
Putting the finishing touches on the fresh fruit tart.
All finished!! Would you like some?? YUM!
Salad Nicoise with fresh tuna. Delicious!
I have to say it was well worth the wait. Innkeepers Donna and Byron have a beautiful inn, and provided such a memorable experience for all of their guests. Arriving there was a wonderful surprise, and truly worthy of the Mystery Ride title!
I think Mystery Rides have become so ingrained in our family tradition because of the side effects… For those of us planning a Mystery Ride, we have the opportunity to plan with the receiver in mind. It is fun to surprise others and it makes for playful interaction. As a recipient of a Mystery Ride, we learn patience, trust, flexibility and geography!! Joy is in the anticipation, and with Mystery Rides, our anticipation is even higher than when we plan typical family outings. I hope to keep planning Mystery Rides for years to come, and having one planned just for me was SO fun!!