Martha's Vineyard

There have been discussions around the Colonial Inn since we started posting blog articles. Several of us have realized that…our hotel guests often see more of the Island than we, who live here, do!

Now, in our defense, hotel guests are here to visit. They have the freedom to meander and see the sights during their time of leisure. A large part of my job is to send them to lovely places. I have been to many places on the Island that are lovely, but I may not have been there recently.

Yesterday I took a very looong walk with my daughter. It started out as a quick trip to the library but as we exited, my toddler hung a hard left and strode with Purpose down Water Street. She was a trooper. She walked on her own until a half block from the end of the street and then said “Dada, up, please” which of course is my only task on this journey. (Sherpa…a father’s job anywhere on the planet!)

Here’s what I found: I have worked on North Water Street for five and a half years now and I hardly SEE it anymore. I scamper about the property during the summer trying to keep all the bells and whistles running, all the hula-hoops turning that a hotel requires. (Curse Bob Newhart, with his sweater vest and coffee mug. He makes running an Inn look so easy!)

Well, at full toddler speed, which alternates between full sprint and spiraling drift, I was able to look more closely at Water Street than I have in years. It truly is lovely. The old whaling captain’s houses, some of which are dated from as early as 1850, are in various states of disrepair and undergoing repair as we pass. The white picket fences are overwhelmed with greenery and blooms from all the rain. I was afraid to let Kate lean too heavily on some as there were several that may not have supported her, but we did stop to smell the roses.

There are tiny gates on many of the fences with thick green lawn behind. Some of those have paths that run back into trellises, dark little tunnels that look magical. We could not venture back there, although with a toddler I could have explained away the trespassing with ease.

My Little Adventurer rallied when we reached the path to the lighthouse. (There is nothing better than a crushed shell path to regain the energy in little legs…and the flowers are spectacular. We liberated a black-eyed Susan, which sadly was too well loved to finish the journey with us.) Boats and waves, gulls and shells, with Kate so fascinated with them all, I found myself viewing them with new wonder myself.

In an area that gets so busy with tourism and keeps me hopping during the summer months, I appreciate the time walking with my little one and looking at things in a fresh way.

By the time I carried her all the way back to the Colonial Inn, I needed a nap myself, but what a way to spend a rare sunny afternoon. She charted a course and swept me along. It was not the white edges of the map where there ‘be dragons’, but it was a good start for an 18 month old.

I want to teach her to love adventure, but it seems I’ll learn from her too. That’s a fair trade!


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