As I write this post (the first post of what I hope to be many, in my renaissance of travel writing) I am sitting on a beautiful large wooden deck looking out at Vineyard Sound on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. The dark blue water is almost still in this pre-sunset hour, save for a few speed boats dotting the horizon. It's also a great time for bird watching and listening if you are into that sort of thing- many species are joining me in our huge backyard, flying from tree to tree and singing their loud but pleasant evening songs.
Spending time in a part of the country or world that I've never laid eyes on has always been quite a fascinating treat for me. I love taking in the new and foreign landscape, getting a feel for the people that visit, observing the fashions and sampling the local cuisine. Most of my travels this summer have been international, having spent 5 weeks traveling Paris, Lille, the south of France and both coastline's of Italy. This trip, planned quite awhile ago as it centers around a wedding, was meant to be the last of the summer before we embark on our fall travels through Europe in about a month.
I had heard before that once exiting the ferry after arriving on "The Vineyard", there is an immediate feeling of relaxation and peace. I, however, had this preconceived notion of a place that was somewhat commercialized, uppity, preppy, and wasn't sure how I would enjoy it. I could not have expected the delicious rugged and rolling beauty of the island, the beautiful sounds of the bird cries and the wind rustling through the trees at night through the windows. Driving around the island from the more developed Vineyard Haven to our house on the other side of the island in Aquinnah, we passed beautiful green meadows, lakes filled with lily pads, wood shingled houses with white shutters, farm stands with fresh produce and eggs and stables with thoroughbred horses. It was as it with each passing minute I felt more and more relaxed, and continued to stay that way all week.
Some highlights from the trip, in addition to relaxing in our amazing Aquinnah vacation home, included exploring the quaint towns of Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs, indulging in delicious and extremely fresh catches from the Menemsha Beach docks in Chilmark, attending a gorgeous wedding atop the Aquinnah Cliffs, and running into a very famous funny man (in the form of Bill Murray) during our last night out. What a wonderful haven we found among the sand, cliffs, pines and sea!
Some places worth mentioning:
The Orange Peel Bakery // 22 State Road, Aquinnah
Besides being the place of the Bill Murray sighting, this lovely little spot has a giant outdoor wood burning oven and delicious breads and pastries. Every Wednesday night they host a Pizza Night where you can bring a topping to share and for $15 get all you can eat pizza with dough, sauce and cheese provided. There is also live music and people bring beer and wine to make for a great atmosphere! Obviously the celebrity crowd agrees!
Dockside Jewelers // 12 Circuit Ave Ext, Oak Bluffs
Where I bought my very favorite new fire opal earrings. Great selection, right on the water!
The Chilmark General Store // 7 State Road, Chilmark
Cute little general store in the VERY small village of Chilmark - great for picking up the essentials, but mainly for the AWESOME pizza. Stop by for lunch and you will not be disappointed.
Larsen's Fish Market // 56 Basin Road, Chilmark
Freshest fish in Menemsha. Be prepared for a long line and a hectic scene - it's worth it though because the fish is amazing. If you order something to eat on the spot, you can enjoy right out on the dock. BYOB.
West Tisbury Farmers Market // 1067 State Rd, West Tisbury
Every Saturday from 9-12. The place to be on Saturday morning, full of wildflowers, local dairy, produce, soaps, wool, and everything else you could imagine. Live music too! Then afterwards, head across the street to...
The Field Gallery & Sculpture Garden // 1050 State Rd, West Tisbury
Beautiful local art for sale with a funky sculpture garden outside. Great setting for an impromptu goofy photo shoot :)
For photos from the visit, please check out my gallery on Instagram (http://instagram.com/alliemariedesigns)