Summer vacations now mean >1 beach/day

Spend a long weekend on the Vineyard recently, and now that Roxanne is walkin’ and talkin’ (a lot), it was a very different experience from a year ago.

See, Amy and I aren’t really beach people, no matter how much my childhood (spend on the bay) and dreams (“Son of a Son of a Sailor”) may beg to differ; tanning is just out, and we have pools for swimming. But now that Roxanne can express her wishes, we visited more than one beach per day of our long weekend. It’s a whole new metaphor for what we do on vacation.

Friday spent far too long waiting for our ferry reservations (yes, you heard it here first: Shane was very early for something once in his life) and wandering around Woods Hole. We walked out on a small pier and looked at the beach, although I won’t count that as a beach.

After the ferry and lunch in the kitchenette, we headed out just a half mile to Beach Rd, where you can do two, count them, two beaches at once! After exhausing the local rock supply on the bay side by throwing them into the water, we headed across the road to walk out the stone jetty on the ocean side. More rocks were thrown there, of course. I’ll leave it to the reader to determine if this counts as two beaches or just one.

After a simple pasta and meatball dinner – having a kitchenette on vacation is a key planning point – we follow tradition and get back in the car for the last-minute drive to see the sunset. Everything is promising: we’re actually quite early, and the sun is nice and full still. But… As we drive across the island to that special spot on South beach, it starts getting darker. And darker. By the time we pass Edgartown to the Katama flats, the fog has settled in so thickly that you can’t even see the windsock at the airport. We went to the beach anyway, of course. It felt like there was nothing else in the world but sea, dunes, and fog. I don’t think we even knew exactly when the sun went down, but throwing rocks in the surf was sure fun.

At this dim and foggy point I fear for boring my readers, so I’ll just skip the rest of the rocks across the wavetops. Saturday included lobster rolls and clam chowder at Menemphsa, throwing more rocks on the beach (just one today), and buying seafood for dinners. Three rides later at the Flying Horses (the third one was free as we caught the brass ring! The attendant asks me if Roxanne wants to “Stay on for her free ride, or come back later?” – what a silly question), we get some cotton candy and head home for fresh bay scallop dinner.

Sunday was Chappy day, and taking the On Time III ferry across for it’s 30 second ride.  Mytoi is a definite spot to visit if you’re out there; a beautiful Japanese style garden amidst the scrub trees.  We spent quite a while on a windy and cloudy Wasqe point chasing the surf; luckily even sans sunscreen we survived, and even managed not to loose Roxanne in the very deep hole we had dug.  Then, since Amy wanted to do dinner out at the Black Dog Tavern (better than expected, but remember it’s Vineyard Haven so you need to BYOB), which required the requisite walking on the beach outside to find more rocks to throw.

Normally, two beaches would have been enough for the day, but we decided at the last minute to take the requisite mad dash, along dirt roads, to try to get to that special spot on South Beach in time for the sunset.  Dashing didn’t help – even running to the top of the dune (not on the grass, of course) and picking up Roxanne as far as we could reach would not bring the sun back into sight.  But the sky, and the sand, and the waves – they were a sight all their own, and one solely to ourselves without another soul in view.  So that makes three.

Monday’s ferry left only time for a few rocks on the ferry beach after we finished our Black Dog Bakery snacks, so sadly we couldn’t muster more than >2 beaches per day.  Maybe next time.

The Vineyard was great

Although a bit rainy at the end, and chilly throughout, we all had a wonderful weekend away.  We ended up doing plenty of driving, partly because of the cold, and partly because we went to Menemsha twice – the chowder was soooo good we had to go back the next day to  get seconds.  Too bad Roxanne isn’t having shellfish yet: next summer definitely.

Oh, and it’s Larsen’s fish market, although their mail-order website is nearly impossible to find.  This is the Larsen’s market in Chilimark, not the one in the middle of the island.  It’s the kind of place where you can see thru the front door you came in, right out the back door to the fishing boats at the dock.  Yum.

Roxanne got to run around a lot, tried a couple of beaches, and wandered thru the Campmeeting grounds with the colorful houses.  She thought the ferries were pretty cool too – both the Steamship Authority one, and the “On Time III” we took over to Chappy.

Hey – if you do have time to be On Time, the Mytoi Japanese garden is well worth the trip.  They seem to even have an air pump (may be wrong, but it sure looked like air hoses) for fillups after beach excursions.