Caching and ka-ching! in Mashpee

Mashpee Commons towerThere comes a time when you just have to shop. Sure, thereare those, largely of the middle-aged male persuasion, who will only ventureout to a brick-and-mortar store if it involves hardware or electronics; but someof us need to occasionally hand over the credit card directly, feel the heft ofa shopping bag and be part of the social milieu of the marketplace. This urgebecomes particularly evident when one has a teenage daughter. I’m just sayin’.

Cape Cod has vibrant Main Streets with unique shops, cafésand galleries, and I’m a fervent supporter of buying locally. Yet for some odd reason – perhaps it’sa guilty pleasure like Hostess Sno Balls – once or twice a year I’m drawn, likea moth to a flame, to that Stepford-like model of Perfect Shopping calledMashpee Commons.

Nobody has violated a zoning ordinance at Mashpee Commons.The buildings are all tasteful and bright, and the sidewalks are eminentlywalkable. This is a bonus compared to so many malls that line America’s suburbs,where you have to drive from one big-box store to the next. The restaurants areindependent, too: not just another TGI Friday’s or Longhorn.

Black DogMashpee Commons typically involves spending money. Good forthe economy; not always good for the consumer. There are end-of-season salesworth watching for, however: I snagged my favorite cozy chenille hoodie for $10at Soft As A Grape.

After you’ve shopped till you’ve dropped – or if you’rewaiting for a shopper – there are several geocaches to visit nearby.“Business-casual friendly” isn’t an official cache attribute, but these threecan be found without dressing for the deep woods. “Cape Cod Towns – Mashpee,”part of the 15-stage, town-by-town puzzle series, is right on site. Anotherquick park-and-grab is “A Perfect Specimen.” Think about the title and you’llknow what kind of complex it’s near. And then there’s “Blanche’s BookmarkCache,” placed in an abutting natural spot in honor of the new Mashpee PublicLibrary.

Perfect SpecimenSo the setting isn’t always bucolic. Geocaching is as broadand varied as daily life.

Happy trails.

Images, from top:

Mashpee Commons clocktower

Black Dog

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