Rhody, Here We Come. But First, Martha’s Vineyard
We arrived without controversy in Providence, Rhode Island in time to check into a nearby hotel and have dinner. We selected the waterfront Chelo’s in Warwick and had what we’re sure will only be our first of many lobster rolls.
We were up at dawn the next morning to drive over to Quonset, park our rental car and take the 90-minute high-speed, Rhode Island Fast Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.
We checked into our small, luxury B&B – appropriately named the Hob Knob Inn. I say appropriate because at least eight of the cast members from Saturday Night Live were also at the Inn, having come in for Seth Meyer’s wedding the night prior. Foggy conditions closed the airport, so they were still around. We saw Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader and Kenan Thompson. Never did see Amy Poehler or Andy Samberg.
The first thing we did was head out for a walk around charming Edgartown. The weather forecast called for a 90% chance of rain, and it had been pouring when we woke up in Warwick, but we were lucky and the rain stayed away. We walked along streets with beautiful, restored homes of sea captains from the 1800s, loved the colorful flowers and took a break to sit and observe the historic Edgartown Lighthouse and picturesque harbor views. Down by the wharf we managed to nab a prime seat along the rail, upstairs at the Seafood Shanty, for a good salad and haddock lunch. Then back to the Inn to meet our driver for a private island tour.
It takes about three hours to get around and see the key sites. I particularly enjoyed the colorful, gingerbread-inspired Carpenter Gothic Campground homes, and expansive, inviting park near Oak Bluffs and seeing spots made famous by the movie Jaws (I know, so touristy). There were several notable locations along the water and in town used in the movie; and on the beach at Menemsha you can clearly see the skeletal remains of the vessel that inspired the famous line “I think we need a bigger boat”. At the Menemsha Fish Market, we saw some HUGE lobsters and enjoyed sampling the bisques and sharing a delicious warm lobster cake.
We went up-island (more western with higher longitudes and elevations), and down-island; saw the artistic communities of Tisbury and Chilmark (where Obama recently stayed), farms and beaches. The Gay Head Lighthouse and Cliffs have recently (as in a landslide this past week), seen even greater erosion, but it is still a beautiful, windswept vista. The area has re-taken its Native American name – Aquinnah. We skipped Chappaquiddick – seeing it across the water was enough; it did not seem worth the effort to take the two-minute ferry. By the way, this ferry may be the only ferry that has never had a late departure since it has no schedule.
Of course, we had to see the red gates of Caroline Kennedy’s Red Gate Farm, homes of famous people like Emily Post and Patricia Neal, shops belonging to Carly Simon and her family, the infamous Edgartown Inn where Ted Kennedy hid after Chappaquiddick and John Belushi’s grave. This island is really big with the Saturday Night Live crowd, even after death.