Friday, July 19, 2013

The last of Lambert's Cove

Totem at the house of fun where the Vineyard Sound boys live

Franky and I spent our last two hours at Lamberts Bay, taking it easy today, just an hour and a half. The wind was whipping in a cross directional style so we had to turn our backs to the sun. It was getting a little too Lawrence of Arabia, sand in the teeth.
We achieved our goals--tanning, blonding and sun damage.

We had Peter over for his last breakfast here, a lobster omelette and then we saw the Vineyard Sound perform for the last time. We achieved our goal of seeing all three of his public appearances and seeing him every day.

Unmet goals--came up here hoping to finish 13 New Yorkers and only got through 6.

We are watching our last movie-Bernie, last  night was Adaptation and Franky watched The Graduate as a matinee.  Check, on the movie front.

We had sunshine every day and heat. While others were waling about the heat, we could not have asked for a better beach week.

Slept in every day, ran or biked almost every day except one.

Vineyard Sound in Edgartown
We thank the members of the Vineyard Sound, especially my son Peter, for giving us a reason to explore this vast, glorious island.
Peter at Oak Bluffs


Eau de skunk in MV

Smelled but never seen

One fact I have learned during my time here on Martha's Vineyard--at no time will you go on a car ride of any length without getting a blast of skunk. Sometimes you can experience up to three per ride.

"We're having a heat wave, a tropical heat wave." This morning's national news warned of a heat alert all the way to Cape Cod--Falmouth was expected to climb to 81 degrees today and West Tisbury to 85 degrees. But with the heat index it will feel like 105! Good thing we are from Arizona.

Sunset at Menemsha

Tuesday night Peter advised us to go see the sunset at Menemsha, it's the hot spot for watching, and you can buy lobster rolls to enjoy on the beach while you wait. The last time we were with a group waiting for sunset in the perfect spot was in Mykonos and I burst into applause when the sun went down, as they do in Key West. Not part of the culture in Greece. So I didn't know what to expect here on the island. Apparently someone having a birthday is crowdsourced  so that we can all sing Happy Birthday and then break into applause.

Lambert's Cove sunset

Last night we went to our own little Lambert's Cove beach and found a pretty good sunset there, and very small crowds.

Yesterday Peter took us to a beach that only natives would know about called Great Rock Bight Preserve, which involves taking a long hike into the woods and then arriving at your designated 1,300 feet of public beach.  Owned by the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank, at the beach you find an old man wearing a Land Bank t-shirt who simply indicates with his hand that you are to stay to his right. Better than this darned sign, but still...There is indeed a great rock out in the middle of the sound, which the boys climbed, jumped off, repeat several times.

A corrected/close-up of the privacy sign on Lambert's Cove

We are grateful that Peter has done the reconnaissance on this island. He even turned us on to the "best place in the world" to eat, according to Vineyard  Sound website, the Scottish Bakehouse which serves breakfast all day and lunch and nice desserts. Darr and I got fully loaded BLT's for lunch.

Yesterday and again today I woke up with a swollen left eye, to the point that the boys at dinner were quoting the movie Rocky, saying "just cut me, Mick." Today it was much worse so I sought out the local doc in the box and was told there that my eye swelling was caused by the inflammation of the sunburn on my forehead pooling in the eye on the side I sleep on. I learned some interesting things from the doctor--the sun is very bad for you and can cause cancer and wrinkles (horror) and that I should be wearing a broad brimmed hat, using an SPF 45 AND be sitting under an umbrella.  She claims I will still tan this way.

We had special visitors for lunch today--Susan O'Grady and Jerry Fisher have had the great idea of buying a plane and building a house in Falmouth, Mass. It took them only 5 minutes to fly over here.  We went to Edgartown hoping to catch part of the walk around (too late) and then ate lunch at the Newes from America on Peter's recommendation.  Excellent choice, dark English pub kind of place with lots of air conditioning and cold drinks.
Jerry inspects the plane pre-takeoff

At night we watch movies selected by Franky. Here is what we have seen so far:  No Country for Old Men, Milk, The 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige and The Usual Suspects.




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Day two on the Vineyard

Just another day in paradise at the Farmhouse

Yesterday I did my morning run with intention--the intention of checking out the nearby yoga studio, and then a nice surprise, dropping in at the West Tisbury Free Library to learn that I can borrow DVDs.

Forgive me for my rant on the rich yesterday, I had forgotten the many lovely hours spent on my cousin's private beach in New London, CT. Jane's comment reminded me. Because I am on vacation, I was too lazy to do the research on what states let you own the beach and which don't. Plus my antique silver collection includes fish knives and pickle forks, so who am I to talk?

Vineyard Sounds' walk-around in Oak Bluffs

We headed to Oak Bluffs to watch the Vineyard Sound do a noon-time walk-around, where they burst into song on street corners to promote that night's show. Oak Bluffs is the home of gingerbread house architecture and as we drove deep into the development, Franky felt as if he were in Candyland and was getting a little creeped out.

Peter then led us to Skinny's Fat Sandwiches where we got take-outs and ate them at the lovely Oak Bluffs' park.

After lunch at Oak Bluffs

By the time we dropped Peter off, it was time for Franky and me to get back to the serious work of  tanning and blonding, so we got a couple of hours in at Lambert's Cove, now suitably stickered to be allowed entrance.

Raison d'etre--We are here to see Vineyard Sound and last night we got to see them perform at the Oak Bluffs United Methodist church. They are quite hilarious, they run down the church aisle screaming and onto stage barefoot, and then they do an hour-long show that is a mixture of beautifully sung a Capella songs such as Midnight Train and She Must be Somebody's Baby (introduced wryly as "a song about a missing infant") combined with college boy ironic humor. They self introduce, they hype their schwag, they do elaborate choreographed numbers including one using one of the smaller members as a plank representing a limbo stick.  A summer job that is nonpareil.

Vineyard Sound performing in Oak Bluffs


Monday, July 15, 2013

Public versus private

Good morning from the Farmhouse

So yesterday I ran two miles, I did not run strong, I just got it out of the way. Then, because the weather was perfect, low eighties and bright sunshine, we decided it had to be a beach day. We had an application for a permit for Lambert's Cove Beach so we proceeded with confidence. No, no said the lifeguard, that is just the application, you still have to pay for a parking permit at the Tisbury School which is open between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Graciously, he let the clueless renters in as "walk-ons" for the day but Darr and the car were shut out.

Franky and I have the same philosophy about beaching. As my father's friend put it--you can either work, or you can work on tan. We decided to work on tan all afternoon, during the peak hours of noon to 4 p.m. I read, he texts, we occasionally get in the ocean to cool off. Franky and I can do this for hours, happily. And I felt that because of the weather imperative, we had to use this good day on the beach. When my older son got off work and joined us, he said we have hit the week when the weather is supposed to be this way every day. How lucky! But it also means I may be compelled to "do other things" than work on tan.

Darr and the car went off in quest of live lobsters for dinner and he provided shuttle service to the beach and the house for snacks.

On the beach we noticed a sign that said "Do not go beyond this point, this is a private beach. Respect your neighbors."  Indeed, to our left were the people who owned their part of the beach and ocean. This is prohibited in Maine or Malibu, but in Martha's Vineyard, I guess if you pay enough, you can own a little piece of the beach and the ocean that goes with it.I kept glancing over at the private beach to see if F. Scott Fitzgerald was right about the very rich being "different from you and me." Not really, they owned more toys and boats. The people on an enormous yacht parked out at sea directly in our sight line, now they might be different from you and me.  Don't know.
The sign on the chair warns us to proceed no farther.

And the grand finale, a lobster dinner just like in Maine:
First lobster in Martha's Vineyard

After dinner we watched Magical Mystery Tour, the Beatles self-produced film. All I can say is I'm glad they stuck to their day jobs.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

From Stay to Va-cation

From the ferry to Martha's Vineyard
First of all, let me put in a plug for the concept of a staycation the week before your vacation. This allows you to do the decompression on your own time, not paying resort or rent fees for the days it takes to feel as if you're not working. We went to movies at the AFI Silver Theater, including Lawrence of Arabia and The Searchers; we rode our bikes on the Crescent Trail, we had brunch at Louisiana Express, we had a dinner party on a week night. In other words, we did things we would not normally do, and slept in every day.

Fully rested and restored, we set out Friday to Martha's Vineyard, wisely deciding to break the 10 hour trip in two, we stayed with the cousins in New Jersey that night.  Saturday was all about driving and then waiting in the mysterious process of the Steamship Authority at Woods Hole. We were assigned to Lane 9, and there we stayed for about an hour and a half waiting for our ship to come in. We had hoped for an earlier standby send off, but what were we thinking at peak season? Every car looked like ours, SUV's with bikes strapped to the top or the back, bags full of groceries at mainland prices and teens in the back.
Bad hair day on the ferry

The great thing about the 45-minute ride to Martha's Vineyard, is that everyone on it, to a man, is in a good mood. A stark contrast to being in the check-out line at the Bethesda Giant. There are lots of smiles, laughs, posing for photos, early drinking.

And then you get there and you maintain your reason to smile. Because Martha's Vineyard is gorgeous.  We chose an inland house rather than seaside, partly because it saves us literally tens of thousands of dollars (the first rental I inquired about was $20,000 a week); and it was in the same town where my son's a Capella group lives-West Tisbury. So we got to see my son, whose house is only 11 minutes away, and make plans with him for the week. He was off to perform for a group of Democratic Senators and Members of Congress, followed by a private birthday party. Busy, busy are The Vineyard Sound.

Our house is called The Farmhouse and it's a charming, three bedroom way off the road in the woods. It appears that they distressed some of the furniture prematurely, before the renters could do it.

Okay, the day is young. What to do? Run? Bike? Yoga  (just down the street), go to the beach with the special permit that comes with the rental?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where have I been?

Nose Cast

The emergency room in May for breaking my nose on the tennis courts. Yes, I managed to do a full face plant running down a ball and then falling flat on the hard courts. This drama was rather quickly resolved when the Ear Nose and Throat specialist decided that she could just maneuver the bones back into place manually and that I did not require surgery. I did, however, require full anesthesia  I was prepped in hospital ward as if I were going to have open-heart surgery--the gown and bonnet and no-slip socks, and an IV. The "procedure" itself took about 10 minutes.  I will spare you the before and after pictures, but I did hang onto my nose cast souvenir a little too long for the family's taste.

The Vineyard Sound

In a perpetual state of jealousy about my son's summer job. Get this, my son is in an a Capella group called The Vineyard Sound which requires him to spend the entire summer on Martha's Vineyard in a big house with 9 guys, beaching by day and performing several times a week at night.  They have done weddings, parties and regular gigs in town churches...all FOR PAY. We have rented a house there next week from which I will be reporting.

Old-style proofreading marks; now everything is red-lined

"Mother's taking in a little sewing" I decided to look for some freelance proofreading jobs I could do from home in my spare time. I am actually a sort of proofreading geek. Nothing delights me more than a dog-eared manuscript that needs a fix-up. I did my niece's thesis on a pro bono basis just to keep from jones-ing for proofreading work while I was searching. I finally landed a job with a magazine and it delights me.  When I found pomegranate misspelled in a sub head in a proof, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

Reading Somehow I have managed to over commit myself by joining two book clubs, and the consequence is that I am way behind in my New Yorker reading. I have to read each issue in chronological order from front to back (no obsessiveness there) so I will be hauling 13 New Yorkers to Martha's Vineyard.

The college search  No news since spring. Oh well, there's always August.