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Colonial Inn

Harbor1As Lane touched on in our last post, Martha’s Vineyard is a very different place in winter than the beloved Island that most of you see only in it’s glorious summer colors.  This morning, I walked up to the top of the Edgartown Residence Club wing of the building, as I do most days, and took a few minutes to look out on the Edgartown Harbor.  I make a point of seeing the water at some point every day.  Even if it is from the window.  It’s my version of the wonderful movie line that goes, “It’s only an Island if you look at it from the water” (and I’m sure there are many Amity lovers who know that movie).

You see, the harbor is the pulse by which I measure the seasons.  The ebb and flow of the tide is mirrored in the traffic patterns each season.  As you can see from my photo, the sun is shining down on an almost empty harbor today.  There are one or two lonely boats, bobbing on their moorings but otherwise, a deserted stretch of chilly water greets me.  This isn’t the case every day in winter though.  It’s Sunday today, so I’m missing the early morning rush of scallopers heading out to harvest their daily bushels and bring them back for shucking.  If you have never tasted an Edgartown Bay Scallop fresh from the shell, then I swear you are missing one of the most amazing taste sensations in the world!  Sweet and velvety, they are a treat to behold and worth a special visit during Bay scallop season which usually starts in mid November.  I am lucky enough to have a few scalloper friends who make sure I am well stocked and a chef husband who lovingly prepares them in the simplest ways to let their flavors shine.

Every spring I watch as slowly but surely, the harbor once again fills up, until there are rows of neatly moored boats of all shapes and sizes enjoying all that life in this bustling summer town has to offer.  I know summer is here when I see the Edgartown Yacht Club moor its pontoons for the kids sailing programs, then watch as all those little sails bob precariously in and out of the other boats while the children learn skills that I dream of having time to learn one summer!  Huge and luxurious yachts become a talking point, “Did you see the one with the heli-pad?”, “There’s one with guards at the end of the dock – who owns that one?”. Charter fishing boats take hopeful groups on high seas adventures, and the harbor launch works overtime shuttling people and their purchases back and forth to their chosen vessel.

Then the exodus begins.  The pontoons are dismantled and stored away ’til next year, the families with kids and dogs in life preservers are fewer and there’s a bit of a lull in harbor activity for a couple of weeks. Then mid September hits and brings with it the biggest event of the Edgartown Harbor calendar – The Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby The dates for this year’s event were just announced, so grab your favorite fisherman/woman and make some plans!  You can even take advantage of the Book Early and Save promotion at the Colonial Inn.

So, the harbor life continues, the fishing boats are pulled out of the water for the winter, the harbor empties and then, here we are again with a deserted harbor and bay scallops.  I love to watch this cycle every year, mostly because I know that the next step brings another part of life on the Vineyard to look forward to.  If you want to keep an eye on this cycle, check out our webcam, overlooking Edgartown harbor to see what’s going on while you’re gone.

 

Why You Should Still Visit Martha’s Vineyard in the Winter
Spend a Day at a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Property
Plan the Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Bachelorette Party
Where to See the Top Scenic Views on Martha’s Vineyard
Discover the Best Methods of Transportation on Martha’s Vineyard
Create the Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Edgartown
Spend a Day Exploring Chappaquiddick Island
Treat Yourself at the Best Ice Cream Spots in Martha’s Vineyard

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It is the Holiday Season again, and with Thanksgiving behind us, the next big event on Martha’s Vineyard is “Christmas in Edgartown”.

Let me say up front that I am…less than enthusiastic, shall we say…of the Christmas season. I have an incredible dislike of commercial jingles, (did they start in mid-October this year? Curses…), smarmy holiday TV specials infuriate me and flamboyant decorating drives me nuts. I like a holiday of quiet reflection in keeping with my faith; I enjoy quality time with family without all the madness of shopping and messages of greed that assault us. I never achieve this, so I become a GrinchTM.

I know where this comes from. My mother is a very religious woman and every year, she vows to organize herself with her holiday crafts and gift ideas well beforetime and every year plans more than she can possibly accomplish. She wants so much to have a quiet holiday that every misstep in the schedule causes frustration and anxiety. Therefore, she cancels it.

From when I was maybe eight or nine years old until…well…two or three years ago, actually, my Mom cancels Christmas. All of Christmas, mind you. No half measures here. Dinners, cookies, trees lights, gifts…you name it, she’s done with it. This starts anywhere from the end of September and last until two days before Christmas. We always HAVE Christmas, but the three months of ranting cancellations have perpetually dampened my Holiday Cheer.

Genetically, I tend toward this pattern, but I have an almost two-year old girl-baby. She loves Christmas. The photo shows her at the Wharf Pub last year at the Breakfast with Santa event. She doesn’t look very enthused about it, but THIS year…well, from talking with her, she’s ready this time. (Video evidence of this years trip to the Christmas Loft store tends to make me doubt this claim…but we will see!)

(If your browser won’t display this video, click here to open a new window.)

Kate’s enthusiasm for Christmas this year and participating in last Christmas in Edgartown events last year are slowly chipping away at my Fortress of Grinchitude.

Edgartown is beautiful in so many ways, throughout the entire year, but during the ‘Christmas’ weekend December 11th – 13th, the town becomes truly magical.

The Edgartown Board of Trade organizes the weekends schedule the weekend, and posts aCalendar of Events. So many Inns and shops participate that there are very few places where there is no sparkly-wonderment to be found.

The excitement for that weekend is evident. Reservations requests for available Suites to rent for that weekend have been coming for months. The Edgartown Residence Club is participating in the Inns of Edgartown Tour on Friday and Saturday from 2-4PM.

From the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse to hayrides from Main Street to the end of Water Street, there are free events that are great fun for all ages. (Even I enjoyed seeing Santa cruise into town on a fire engine during the Saturday morning parade down Main Street.)

Several events, like the Felix Neck gingerbread cookie decorating or Donaroma’s wreath making workshop, have a fee charged for the cost of the materials.

Some events have entry fees that support the organization’s event. The Minniesinger’s concerts on Friday and Saturday are a longstanding tradition on the island, and the kids put a lot of hard work into each production. A Holiday Soiree at the Daniel Fisher House benefits the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust.

For those of you who are bold advocates of a particular charitable organization now is your chance to call the shots! All you have to do is win the 4th Annual Cookie Tasting event at Espresso Love. The event proceeds go to the winner’s choice.

The Dickens Village display at the Point Way Inn from 11AM to 5PM and the Faith Community Church’s Live Nativity on the steps of the Old Whaling Church on Saturday will immerse passersby in scenes of Christmas tradition.

There is too much going on that weekend to pass it by.

My GrinchyTM heart may not end up two sizes too small that weekend.

 

Why You Should Still Visit Martha’s Vineyard in the Winter
Spend a Day at a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Property
Plan the Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Bachelorette Party
Where to See the Top Scenic Views on Martha’s Vineyard
Discover the Best Methods of Transportation on Martha’s Vineyard
Create the Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Edgartown
Spend a Day Exploring Chappaquiddick Island
Treat Yourself at the Best Ice Cream Spots in Martha’s Vineyard

Moving by RBerteigYou might be looking at this blog thinking “There’s something different going on here”, and you’d be correct!  We have moved our blog, and our entire Colonial lnn website to a new host to help us better manage all the great Martha’s Vineyard news and goings on that we have to share with you.  We hope you like the new look!  If you find anything that doesn’t seem to be working as it should, please let us know.

Photo Credit: RBertieg

 

Why You Should Still Visit Martha’s Vineyard in the Winter
Spend a Day at a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Property
Plan the Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Bachelorette Party
Where to See the Top Scenic Views on Martha’s Vineyard
Discover the Best Methods of Transportation on Martha’s Vineyard
Create the Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Edgartown
Spend a Day Exploring Chappaquiddick Island
Treat Yourself at the Best Ice Cream Spots in Martha’s Vineyard
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Cool Pumkin

As I mentioned, Jim, our maintenance man, grew bored of winter island life. He decided to entertain himself by rooting around under the building for relics. Therefore, with fedora and bullwhip, he began his search for coins, arrowheads, old bottles etc.

We were not expecting him to find bones. Large bones. I’m no expert. I looked up the human skeletal system online and it looked to me like the thighbone. It had the L shaped knob that goes into the hip…
Jim found them sticking out of the side of the dig site and brought them to our attention. We called town hall first. In a town this small, everyone is going to know pretty soon so we might as well fess up.

Enter RED-Tape stage: Ron, the site supervisor for the construction company, agreed with us. He walked the bones over to the town hall and they told him to call the State Police. The State Police told us that they’d be right over to investigate. The newspaper photographer and reporter were here first.
Oh…by the way, we also needed to call the local tribe representative of the Wampanoags, the local Native American group. This whole affair made me a little nervous. Forget the scary bits…The fact that this street has had numerous ghost stories told about it, the phone call and bones…etc.
If the remains were human, the de/construction would have to stop until an investigation took place to everyone’s satisfaction. (I have a muddy ‘Slip ‘n slide” for the front yard of a hotel that was supposed to re-open in April. The LAST thing I wanted were delays!)

I feared for nothing. The Police sent the remains to the hospital for testing. The Wampanoag rep came and looked around. She gave us tips on what to look out for while further work took place and praised us for our diligence. Most people in these circumstances, she said, would have tossed the bones in the dumpster and kept on building. Forget the historical possibilities. She was going to call the newspaper and let them know how great we were…

What a let down this will be for some of you. The bones were not human bones said the hospital. They don’t know what they ARE, but they weren’t human. The newspaper made no mention of our historical uprightness of morality.

The digging recommenced the next morning and now all is right with the Colonial Inn world.

However, that doesn’t explain the phone call, does it? We may never know…

 

Why You Should Still Visit Martha’s Vineyard in the Winter
Spend a Day at a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Property
Plan the Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Bachelorette Party
Where to See the Top Scenic Views on Martha’s Vineyard
Discover the Best Methods of Transportation on Martha’s Vineyard
Create the Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Edgartown
Spend a Day Exploring Chappaquiddick Island
Treat Yourself at the Best Ice Cream Spots in Martha’s Vineyard

A Mysterious Phone call!

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Colonial Inn Construction

Due to the magnitude of the project of constructing the Edgartown Residence Club over that winter, we decided that we needed a maintenance man on hand  to answer questions on where the water cut-off is, where the circuit breakers are, etc. He could also learn where the new installations would be for electricity and water. It would help with his maintaining of the building in the future; therefore, we asked Jim to spend the winter…

Jim is a Snowbird. He departs for warmer climes as soon as the hotel closes for the winter months. He reluctantly agreed to stay on and assigned himself tasks to keep himself busy. Intrepid Man of Maintenance that he is…he keeps busy well, but in a Curious George sort of way…forcing me to don a yellow hat to contain the wreckage.   The beginning of our enigmatic events occurred while the digging underneath the porch wing was going on.

Now, a hotel closed for the off-season is a creepy place, exactly in a Jack-Nicolson-The Shining kind of way; but when you’ve emptied a wing and there are new creaks and groans from excavation, and people you don’t know wandering about constructing or de-constructing things, it gets creepier?…more creepy?…Extra creepish?

You find doors UN-locked that should be locked. You hear movements from the floors above where you didn’t think there was anyone working.  But take my word for it, when you get a phone call on your office phone that your console tells you is from the abandoned wing…that tops the Casey Kasem Weekly Top Eerie.
It’s not just the fact that it’s post-season (we closed the hotel and there should be no calls from that wing). It’s the fact that we removed all the actual phones and brought them into the main building where they lie in state, still cocooned in plastic bags.

Theory: What if someone got into that wing AND brought their own phone with them just to creep us out? Plausible but for that fact that Jim…superhero of the maintenance world…removed all the phone jacks so there is nowhere to plug a phone in.

Whence came the call, I ask you? What are the odds that a practical joker would know which wires to splice a phone just to dial ‘0′?
It was all very puzzling.

Then we found the skeletal remains…

 

Why You Should Still Visit Martha’s Vineyard in the Winter
Spend a Day at a Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Property
Plan the Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Bachelorette Party
Where to See the Top Scenic Views on Martha’s Vineyard
Discover the Best Methods of Transportation on Martha’s Vineyard
Create the Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Edgartown
Spend a Day Exploring Chappaquiddick Island
Treat Yourself at the Best Ice Cream Spots in Martha’s Vineyard