Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Better than fiction

A few years ago, I read Judy Blume's (author of the teenage girl class Are You There God? Its Me, Margaret) adult novel, Summer Sisters. It was a pretty decent book about two girls and their friendship spanning about 20 years.

A huge chunk of the book takes place on Martha's Vineyard, in Oak Bluffs to be exact. To us Midwesterners, Martha's Vineyard is sort of like a fictional place. When we go on vacation in Michigan, we go "up north." We definitely don't head out east.

So imagine my delight when one of my new good friends and her husband invited Noe and I (along with eight other people) to her parents' house on Martha's Vineyard - in Oak Bluffs, no less.

Seriously, I was so excited I re-read Summer Sisters in one sitting to prepare.

We drove to Falmouth, Mass. and boarded the 10:30 Island Queen last Friday. After about 30 minutes, we were docking and I was getting my first views of the Vineyard.

Pulling into the docks at Oak Bluffs.

From the moment we stepped off the ferry, I was in love. There were beautiful beaches, old houses, and amazing boats (I am talking about serious yachts here). John took the bags up to the house while we went to get a table at the Lookout Tavern and start the trip off with some cold beer and delicious sushi.

If I had thought I was in love with the ferry docks, it only got better as we walked through downtown and past the Methodist Campground's gingerbread houses. Then we walked up hill arrived at the Launer's house. It was old, it had funky floral wallpaper, and it had one of the most fantastic porches I have ever seen. In short, amazing.

We spent most of Friday afternoon lounging on the porch with some beer and wine, playing wiffleball in the lot kitty-corner to the house, and then meandered down to the beach to swim and watch the ferry bring the other half of our friends.

In the water in our retro bathing suits,
which I love so much I may devote an entire blog to them.

The Island Queen arriving with our friends.

Friday night was spent enjoying good wine on the porch and doing some midnight swimming down at the beach. (Yes, we have all seen Jaws but we went anyway.)

Saturday was spent walking down to Mocha Mott's for some excellent coffee and checking out some of the stores downtown. (I am pleased to inform you that Amanda and I found new authentic vintage dresses at Aequinox - pictures to follow soon.) However, the highlight of the day for the girls was the arrival via DHL of Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book in the Twilight series, which we were all so desperate to read the day it came out that we had four copies shipped to the Vineyard. As you might guess, the rest of the day was spent on the porch/beach reading.

I wish I could do this every day.

We followed up our day of reading with more beach time, some pizzas, and a dance party in the living room. Sunday went pretty much as Friday and Saturday had: trip downtown, walk around the Methodist Camp, read on the porch, go to the beach. As the trip wound down, I can safely say that we were all sorry to leave.

Gingerbread houses in the Methodist Campground

The girls downtown at Sharky's Cantina,
drinking mojitos and waiting for our delicious - but filling - burritos.

Martha's Vineyard was even better than Judy Blume made it sound. Of course, we stayed in one small area of the island - I can't wait to go back and explore more. If I had to pick the best thing about New england that we've discovered so far, I would have to say Martha's Vineyard.

One last group shot in front of the house before leaving.


Kerri said...

can I come live with you.... MI is dying slowly(even though I do love it here)... also where in the world did you get those swimsuits they are FAB!

Becky said...

I got to spend just a few hours on the Vineyard last summer and I wish that I'd had more time there! I really would have liked to get a bike and just do my own little tour of the island. I really want to go back some day and see everything properly. Your ringing endorsement makes me want to go even more!