Monday, May 4, 2015

Farewell to the Vineyard

On Sunday, after a late leisurely breakfast at what had become our favorite place in Edgartown, Among the Flowers, we lined up for the ferry back to Nantucket. Sharon asked why I had not brought my camera on deck. I had no good answer, but was also too lazy to get it below deck, so my final shots were done with the iPhone.

Tons of lighthouses

Not surprisingly, this is a busy waterway and it was a beautiful day

Early this week we are outside Boston visiting an old college friend and touring through the city and the area just a bit and then off to vitit our friends Barbara and Richard Binder in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Last Day on the Island

Saturday was our last day on the island and we decided to take some more advice from Jim Baer so we took a leisurely drive out to Aquinnah and Menemsha, rambled around the island in general (East Chop, West Chop), and then went back to Oak Bluffs to see the Flying Horses carrousel which bills itself as the oldest operating merry-go-round in North America. During the course of the day we both agreed that this is a remarkable place and despite the distance we might well return.
Gay Head at Aquinnah

The cliffs, including the light, which is in the process of being moved to save it from erosion, a constant issue here.

The light, one of six on the island

I've not yet gotten a pen during this trip, but I have looked at several knives, including one that I let get away in Williamsburg. This is a scrimshaw (on bone) Rough Rider. The knife is so-so, but I got it for the carving.
This Buck is a better knife and I really liked the carving done by a member of the Wampanoag tribe

Menemsha is a working, fishing harbor

Just liked this image, don't know the people

I know this person

Flying Horses carrousel

A couple of images of Edgartown which we now think of as our town

Friday, May 1, 2015

On the Island

So we have established that we are totally enjoying four restful days on the island.

We are here slightly ahead of the season, which means that a lot of places are not yet open, but we are, for the most part, spared the crowds.

What is amazing about Martha’s Vineyard is that even though it seems to be a major tourist destination, it has not assumed the gimcrack character of so many such places, and we are also interested to note that each of the towns has its own character. Tisbury is a bit of the port town, busy and bustling. Edgartown, where we are staying, fits us well, not flashy but old and comfortable. We spent the morning in Oak Bluff and were captivated by the extravagant and exuberant homes and especially by the plentiful open, common space. A lovely, gracious place. Fun to photograph.

Love The Strand!

A row of shops

What seems to be the main common area

A row of houses facing one of the several commons

My favorite of the houses we saw
The afternoon was spent on Chappaquiddick. Although it is just yards away from Edgartown and our hotel window, it has its own, seemingly isolated, character. You cross the narrow strait on the Chappy Ferry and you are in another world. On the advice of Jim Baer, we drove all the way out to Wasque Beach, a magnificent beach and ecological preserve. A short hike brought us to an osprey nest which was fun to see.

More monochrome


Rocinante, as I have come to think of the BMW. Ran into another owner, who hailed us to comment on the  1M he had seen on the island.

On Jim’s advice dinner was at the Red Cat Kitchen back in Oak Bluff. If you are ever here, this and Among the Flowers in Edgartown are must-stops for dinner and breakfast, respectively.

Martha’s Vineyard

Living on the West Coast we had, of course, heard of Martha’s Vineyard. It was a place where the rich and famous cavorted.

Certainly we never understood the beauty and charm of the place. In fact, once again serendipity took hold as Sharon booked us into another Historic Hotel, the Kelley House in Edgartown. The truth is, she had no idea where we were going or what we would do. I had not intended us to be on the island and had no idea of the cost of the ferry. I planned for us to range Cape Cod and take a site trip to Providence. God takes care of fools. Instead, what we have are four days of rest and relaxation in an ideal setting.

Edgartown, where we are staying, claims to be the oldest settlement on the island, dating back to 1642. Lots of the buildings go back not quite that far, but to the classical whaling days of the mid 19th century. Sharon was patient during our morning stroll as I took piccies of everything. After noon, we drove to Martha’s Haven in Tisbury where I took more photos.

In this portion of the trip we seem to be doing a lot of resort tourism (Warwick, Saratoga, here), something of a change from our heritage tourism of a few weeks ago. And this is fine.

A street scene in Edgartown

Shooting in the morning with an overcast seemed to suggest black and white, which I don't really use often or to great effect, but what the hay.

Harbormaster Rosa reviews it all

I liked this one pretty well

Note the tracks leading into the water


We both loved this little stone church

Just one of a bunch of antique cars on the island on Thursday

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Onward to The Vineyard

Wednesday saw us traveling from Saratoga to Martha’s Vineyard. Didn’t take many images, but once we were on the ferry, I could not resist a few snaps. This place is amazing! More Thursday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


 I append the exclamation point because our stay in this lovely city  was a bit of pure serendipity aided by a healthy dose of ignorance.

When Sharon asked me where we might stay in the Hudson River Valley, I tossed off the name Saratoga for no good reason and not realizing that it is actually above the valley and some hundred miles distant from Hyde Park. However, my mistake gave us the chance to drive up and down the various iterations of Highway 9 (9, 9W, 9L, 9P, etc. What is that about anyways? There are other numbers available for roads, aren’t there?) and to get to know this gorgeous area.

But this logistical error also gave us some time to explore the city of Saratoga Springs. We might not have done so were it not for our determination to slow things down after a hectic chase across the Chesapeake and the fact that Sharon, our Logistics Manager, found the Inn at Saratoga. The hotel, designated as one of the Historic Hotels of America, was an absolute delight. As soon as we checked in we decided to spend an extra day which gave us the chance to see the city and not just the Hudson River Valley. Anyone staying anywhere nearby should seriously consider this hotel. It was a delight.

So, we began our day devoted to exploring the city by heading up to the Saratoga Springs State Park which encompasses the grounds of the old spa. From the main buildings, we strolled about a mile out to the geyser and a few of the springs and sampled the waters which flow freely. Interestingly enough, two springs, only yards away from one another, can taste completely different. I liked them, particularly the carbonic-gassed Polaris Spring, Sharon less so. The tale of how they were saved from exhaustion in the late 19th century is another story in itself.

Main approach to the spa

These buildings were constructed in the late 1920s with the support of Governor Roosevelt

This gentleman, after he finished fishing, was kind enough to share some local lore and to give us a cup with which to sample the waters

Sharon at the Hayes Spring

Me at Karista, good, but not as good as Polaris

From there we went into the old downtown area and just happened into Comfort Foods, which gave us a fine lunch accompanied with a great Spotify playlist of classical rock. Both of us were delighted with the intact and well maintained late 19th century streetscape.

We finished up with the essential tour of the Saratoga battlefield. Here, more than any other battle save Yorktown (see below), the American War for Independence was won when the continental armies of Arnold and Gates beat that of Burgoyne. This convinced the French that the Americans were a good enough bet to be worth supporting as payback for their defeat in the Franch and Indian Wars and the loss of Canada.

The main battlefield

Neilsen's farm gave the Continentals their headquarters

Rosa mans the guns

The Saratoga monument marks the spot where Burgoyne surrendered his army to Gates