Martha’s Vineyard in 30 Memorable Moments

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Last month we spent 3 glorious days on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Surrounded by sandy beaches on all sides, we had fun, we frolicked and we explored every nook and cranny of the island. We cooked comforting meals in a huge hostel kitchen, ate lobster rolls and lobster bisque, drank too much blueberry beer at the pub and went on ‘wild’ carousel rides in the pursuit of elusive brass rings. I visited most of the bookshops on the island, wanted to browse through the public libraries, but was able to visit only one. Here are some of the more ‘bookish’ moments of the trip, accompanied by many ‘non-bookish’ moments…

The night before the trip we discovered that it was necessary to book a ferry crossing if traveling with a car in advance. Hence, the only crossing times from Woods Hole in Cape Cod to Vineyard Haven available were at 7 am in the morning! Luckily the previous night we were staying at my Aunt’s house, only an hour’s drive away. IMG_1140 Although the ferry crossing was painfully early, we did manage to see the sun rising in the eastern sky on a beautiful, balmy day in June.

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The first call of duty upon arrival was breakfast at the Black Dog Bakery in Vineyard Haven. I opted for their delicious breakfast sandwich along with a cup of coffee…

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We strolled along quiet Main Street of Vineyard Haven before the shops had opened and the locals and tourists had started milling the streets. We took delight in noticing little inconsequential details in the houses and shops and taking numerous pictures. A few early-bird locals looked on with a mixture of amusement and scorn. We waited outside the doors of ‘The Bunch of Grapes Bookstore’ like guards outside Buckingham Palace, waiting for it to open. We whooshed in when the clock struck nine and perused all the books. The air was still hot and humid from the lack of air-conditioning…it had only been switched on a few minutes before… The store was packed with books about the sea, summer, the Vineyard, it’s history and it’s stories…

IMG_1197 When we left, we noticed the tall, quaint clock with ‘Bunch of Grapes’ inscribed on it’s graceful face.

IMG_1168 Here is the signpost of the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven. So beautiful… now that is memorable branding! IMG_1303

IMG_1219 The highlight of the morning and in fact the trip was the Flying Horses Carousels in Oaks Bluff. There is something very liberating about riding make-believe horses even if you are an adult. The green fuzzy man depicted in the photo was very energetically plucking metal rings out of the holders as the horses periodically whizzed past the ring dispensing station. The person who picks a brass ring as opposed to the silver ones gets a free ride!

Top tip: the carousel rides are double the fun after a pint of blueberry beer at the Offshore Ale Company in Oaks Bluff 😉

In the afternoon we came back to the hostel (HI Martha’s Vineyard) and made cheese and cucumber sandwiches and ate them with hard-boiled eggs. We took a short nap in our hostel room… In the evening, we packed a few snacks, a blanket and a few beach chairs and took them to Menemshah Beach to watch a memorable sunset. Menemshah Village is famous for being the location of the fishing village depicted in the movie Jaws. The beach was humming with families, enjoying their evening with friends…

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Next morning, Little M wanted to ride the ‘horses again’. We visited the gingerbread cottages in Oaks Bluff. They were all so uniquely themed…

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We visited the Museum Cottage which was a peek into what the cottages look like on the inside. They are surprisingly small and claustrophobic.

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In the afternoon we visited Edgartown and of course ‘Edgartown Books’. It has a nice set of stairs leading upstairs and a small but good selection of books…

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We walked to Edgartown Lighthouse. Little M and her Uncle went all the way to the top of the lighthouse and waved down to us from the top.

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The lighthouse keeper (pictured on the left) very kindly lent Little M’s Uncle some special props which made for great photos! … Memories are made of these…

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The spiral staircase of the lighthouse as photographed looking upwards.

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The following morning we visited the very picturesque ruddy Aquinnah Cliffs. The lighthouse has recently been lifted and moved (by a friendly giant) further inward to avoid the perils of coastal erosion. I really love how all New England’s lighthouses look so unique.

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In the afternoon the car rode on what must be the smallest ferry in the world- the little Chappy Ferry. It took us to the island of Chappaquiddick. We visited the Japanese Mytoi Gardens. We also combed the beach of East Beach for variegated rocks and pebbles. We spent nearly one hour scouring the beach and amassed what may be several kilos of stones which are now to this day (a month after the trip!) lying unceremoniously in a plastic bag in the boot of our car (go figure!).

The trip is coming to an end and so must the blogpost. I will leave you with some random moments…

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A tube of Jane Austen toothpaste seen at Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury where President Obama visited on his trip to the Vineyard.

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A strange creature reading a book in the ‘Field Gallery and Sculpture Garden’, West Tisbury.

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A final hurrah on the ‘horsies’…

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…and lastly a small memento to remember an unforgettable trip.

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