10 hours on Martha's Vineyard

As a family we grew up spending many weekends on the Vineyard, so many trips to Felix Neck, Bunch of Grapes bookstore, Chilmark Chocolates, and other vintage gems. The Vineyard in the 90s feels different than the Vineyard now. And while I think that is true, it is also just a bit of a lie. All the same laid back, easy going, casual people are still there... they are just slightly hidden by the hoards of bachelorette parties.

Jake and I rather casually planned a last minute-ish trip down the Vineyard when we both had some time off. He's going away to college in like a month so I'm dying a bit inside and trying to trick him into spending as much time as possible with me. And just like I learned during our Seattle trip, he is a perfect travel partner. He listens to what you might be interested in doing and makes sure that you get to see it. We have the same taste in snacks (Cape Cod BBQ Chips) and stores to browse (anything outdoor-ish). He also doesn't say "up to you" when you ask for his opinion on which sweatpants to get. For the record, I went with "Chappy" sweatpants.

Here's how the longest, best day ever unfolded. We started with our favorite bagel breakfast at home before hitting the road. Despite trying to sweet talk my way into the "good" Steamship Authority parking lot, we had to drive to another one. I normally win with grandfather-types but this was a fail ... but that was legitimately the last piece of poor luck we had for the rest of the day. We made the ferry we wanted and got excellent parking spots for the rest of the day. A true Summer Vineyard victory.

All in it was a super long day... but also incredibly worth it. I can't guarantee that you'll see fireworks twice like we did - but maybe you'll get lucky and see them once. It certainly made waiting for the 9:30 return boat worth it... and getting into our car at 10:30 for the drive home.

Lunch & Chappy
I applaud people that can mentally handle a public bus system - but I am not one of them. So, we were absolutely renting a car. I reserved a tiny little Nissan Versa ... and with my Hertz status figured we would get an upgrade to something slightly better. But - the incredibly nice guy named Ron ... gave us a nearly brand new Jeep Wrangler instead. It absolutely made the day so much more fun.

The obvious choice after getting off one ferry ... is to get on another one. After we left arrived on the island, we quickly picked up our rental car in Vineyard Haven and grabbed lunch in Edgartown. We rather randomly ended up at R+B Eatery and it was pretty perfect. I had a BLT (obvi) and Jake had a burger. The guy we shared a table with thought we were locals - which was pretty flattering. Also, the pasta salad... totally worth it.

For years, it always felt like Chappy was a lot of work - but it turns out it really isn't. We just rolled up to the ferry and then proceeded to drive around Chappy for a couple hours. We hit up the Trustees spots in Wasque Point and Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge. Initially, we were excited about spotting an osprey... and then literally saw like an osprey party at Cape Pogue.

Casual Afternoon
We had initially been thinking of going to Felix Neck - but very much forgot about that. I think seeing all the ospreys on Chappy really distracted us. So instead, we wandered Morning Glory Farms before heading into Edgartown. Those sunflowers? So amazing.

Edgartown will always been one of my favorite places. It's just so picturesque. Standing on the top of the pier offers such an incredible view of the harbor. You are an idiot if you don't make the tiny effort to check this out. Stores we wandered? Black Dog and Backwater.

Our parking good luck continued when we got a parking spot right near Edgartown Light. I've always loved this lighthouse but especially since I saw it for sunrise in 2015. But this was better than that. We walked to the lighthouse taking turns eating BBQ Cape Cod potato chips and chatting. Heaven. Second highlight? When Jake knocked on the lighthouse door and asked if anyone was home. I'm not sure why that is so funny but it was. Perhaps we just really needed pizza at this point.
Pizza and Sunset
I'd like to give us nearly a 10 for solid planning. We worked our way clockwise around the island during the day and called ahead hours in advance for our pizza from Wolf's Den Pizza. From the very beginning, we had planned to have a pizza dinner on the beach. Initially I was thinking about Gay Head but honestly we were too hungry - so we went to Menemsha Beach instead. I'm sure that we did this when we were kids too but I'll be sure to do this again. So easy to just pick up a pizza and head for a picture perfect sunset.

Another reason why Jake is a great travel partner? He patiently waits for me to take the picture I'm hoping for. These dumb kids were jumping all over the fish sculpture at Menemsha Beach and we just waited for them to stop throwing sand at each other. Since the early part of sunset was so cloudy, we figured it wasn't worth the wait... and we had a ferry to catch. But we were so wrong. The sky totally lit up. Thankfully, this happened as we were pulling into Vineyard Haven so we scooted over to West Chop to watch the end of the show.
[top] Cape Pogue dune grass
[1] ferry for the ride from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven. We sat on the deck and bought used golf balls off Amazon.
[2, 4] Fog as Wasque Point. It didn't seem like there was fog anywhere else on the island but when we drove up to the beach it was enveloped in a heavy fog. Made everything a little bit more interesting.
[3] Osprey nest. I often see osprey nesting poles around but never with a nest as big as this one. It must be like two feet in depth? No osprey in sight but this was huge.
[5] Cape Pogue beach. Had to wait for all the families to get on the beach to take this shot... but it was worth it.
[6] Adorable "On-Time" ferry return ticket. Kind of wish we realized there was a map on the back before we were in line.
[7] Morning Glory Farm display
[8] Watching the Chappy ferry from the top of the Town Pier. One of my favorite views in Edgartown.
[9] Edgartown Light. There were bees everywhere on the wild flowers.
[10, 11] This is my favorite type of architecture. Old, with flags, and flowers. I'm going to need to learn how they get their hydrangeas so bountiful.
[12] It might look like we were alone but we absolutely were not. So many families all hanging out of the beach having picnics. Since we were so ill-prepared, we sat on the jetty.
[13] Menemsha Swordfish sculpture. Not sure this could be any more picturesque at sunset.
[14] Stumbled upon this killer West Chop view rather by accident. I'm pretty sure that it's actually some how a private little view point, but thankfully nobody said anything as we leapt out of the car for a quick picture.

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