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Cape-PogeI have developed a routine. Not so shocking for those of you who know me. Each afternoon or early evening, I’ll pack up my daughter into the backpack and we will walk to the harbor. We will feed the swan, should he appear and watch the boats.

“Boats! Boats, boats, boats!” she chirps in my ear as we approach the water. Anyone with a toddler knows the lure of different vehicles.

I used to think “Chappy Ferry…most boring job on the Island! 500 feet, one minute to cross, BAH!

With my little girl looking on so eagerly, I have started to watch more closely and I have to say that it is trickier than I thought.

Storms in the spring of 2007 ripped a hole in the beach that connects Chappaquiddick to the Vineyard. Rumor has it that ‘Chappaquiddick’ means ‘sometimes an island’. Storms in March 2008 ripped a second breach as well and the constant current through the harbor has caused further erosion.

The Breach has changed the ways the tide flows, caused rip tides, and eddies (which are apparently great, tricky swirly bits.) (You probably couldn’t tell until now, but I am not a boater…)

My new opinion just from watching them with a toddler: Phew! Wouldn’t want to be Captain Wells! They load fast, cars and people, take off and have to turn 90 degrees and slide across the current. If they don’t the current pushes them off course a few hundred feet.

It was busy enough coming and going off Chappaquiddick on Friday that they started running TWO boats. That was fun to watch. Two boats, crossing each other in the current. A Watery Dance of Death. (Except that these people know what they are doing and no one was at risk in any way.)

There are no shops or restaurants on Chappy so what do we send the Colonial Inn guests over there to do? The Trustees of Reservations have a great series of guided and self-guided tours. Kayak or canoe trips, four-wheel drive over sand trips to the last lonely little lighthouse at Cape Poge are available with reservations.

The Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, the Mytoi Japanese Gardens and the Wasque Reservationare all worth the trip over.

Yes, there is a bridge. No, it’s not the same one. There’s nothing to “see” there. Just enjoy the trip and nature’s beauty!

Image courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations

 

The Best Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard for Solo Travelers
What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard

kids-rainConsidering the total amount of rainfall on the Vineyard this June, I’m hoping that the subject of this blog will soon be moot. However, my car mechanic tells me he remembers a Vineyard summer one year that never happened.  So, just in case…

Imagine you are finally here, under the roof you paid for three months ago and looked forward to with such gleeful anticipation, but it is the third day of rain, and if you hear ”Mom, what can we do?” one more time, you are going to go jump off Big Bridge at the state beach and continue swimming out to sea. Or maybe you happen to have a little one who, for some reason, just doesn’t like sand between her toes. Do not despair. There is life beyond the beach for our younger visitors and peace of mind for their parents.

I’ll start right here in Edgartown. Have a real farm experience, complete with crops and livestock at the Farm Institute in Katama. Visit as a family or sign the kids up for one of the Children’s Programs, for ages 2 – 17.

Every week, the Edgartown Library on North Water Street has Toddler Time for ages 1 – 4, and Story Hour for 3 – 5 year olds.  They also offer special events, such as learning the phases of the moon using Oreo cookies or the Bear’s Picnic, that you can bring your favorite stuffed pal to.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has Kid’s Arts and Crafts each week and also have special events, like Archaeology for Kids.

If the rain lets up a little in the evening, grab everyone and go on the MV Trustees of Reservations (Not-So-Creepy) Creatures of the Night Family Hike.

And that’s just Edgartown. Featherstone Gallery in Oak Bluffs has Children’s Artsweekdays from 2 to 5 PM. There is also Children’s Art daily at the Stone Gallery in West Tisbury. The Vineyard Playhouse’s Summer Stars Theater and Art Camp in Vineyard Haven is a favorite of 9 -14 year olds, and The Yard in Chilmark offers Creative Theater, Music and Movement. And don’t forget the MV Adventure Camp or tennis lessons at theVineyard Tennis Center. I could go on and on.

So don’t let a little drizzle put a damper on your family vacation. By the time the sun comes out again, you and the kids will be totally exhausted from all these activities and ready for a lazy day on the beach again.

 

The Best Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard for Solo Travelers
What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard

Fed up with the rain? Me too! I am hard-pressed to remember a spring so chilly and dank. Looking in my closet for yet another sweater to wear, I wonder if the sundresses and sandals will see the light of day this year. But then I gaze out my windows, and if I can force myself to focus beyond the moss growing on the deck railing, I can’t help but notice that the yard has rarely looked so lush and healthy. And so it is all over Martha’s Vineyard. So instead of moping around indoors, letting mildew accumulate behind your ears, pull on your wellingtons, grab an umbrella, spit back in Mother Nature’s face, and treat yourself to a Vineyard getaway to admire just what she has brought us.

Although I’d be flattered to have you drive by my modest plot of land and comment on how lovely the peonies and roses are, many more satisfying vistas are available to you. First, put yourself in nature’s beauty at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury. Feeling gloomy while surrounded by 20 acres of magical plants, trees, and shrubs is nearly impossible. They are open daily from 9:30 AM to 4 PM, and offer tours at 2 PM.

For a peaceful afternoon, hop aboard the On Time Ferry in Edgartown and head to Chappaquiddick, where you will find Mytoi, a delightful Japanese-style garden nestled within an open pine forest. I guarantee you’ll feel your blood pressure drop while strolling around this gem of tranquility. It is open daily, sunrise to sunset.

And since you are already enjoying Chappy’s gifts, linger a little longer and visit the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge or Wasque, both havens of indigenous seashore growths of the northeast. Just driving place to place, you will notice the extra lushness and height of the seagrass and bountiful white and magenta blooms weighing down the rosa rugosa.

By this time, you’ll be pretty damp and ready for a mug of hot cocoa or, better yet, a hot toddy. Park the car back in Edgartown, and on your stroll to the nearest pub, notice the profusion of cottage roses beginning to pop and the abundant, heavy buds on the hydrangeas that will follow close behind. Yes, it is going to be a gorgeous summer (eventually), and you will not only have cheered yourself up, but also have gotten a very special preview of what’s right around some dryer corner.

Image courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations

 

The Best Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard for Solo Travelers
What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard