The sun was shining . Of course it is – we’re going to drive!
No problem picking up a new hire car. I looked out our sixth floor window and said farewell to Boston. And to our city view. The Airbnb has been great.
We took the 93 South heading to Hyannis and Cape Cod. Who hasn’t heard of these places and then thought of rich Americans – the Kennedys on holidays!
The drive was fine. Not that much to look at as we travelled along. Then we moved onto a smaller roads and wound our way around Hyannis , the port and the cove and looked at the sun bleached houses. It would be pretty crazy here in summer.
Lovely homes and quiet deserted beaches.
We headed for Woods Hole. We decided to take the ferry and an island tour. Martha’s Vineyard!
I had emailed Sue Bennett from
It worked well. We parked and got a shuttle bus to the wharf. There’s no parking near the wharf, so leave time to park and ride.
The ferry trip was a relaxing 45 mins. And during that time it clouded over !
We were met at the wharf by Dave our guide. He’s a local, having lived on the island for 40+ years. He raised his family here and had one of the only ‘fast food’ places on the island. It’s right at the Chappaquiddick ferry. They don’t allow chain store food here on the island . So no McDonalds, Chico, Wendy’s, Subway.
He had a little take away place selling burgers fries etc and obviously did it well. He sold it 8 years ago when he got ‘an offer too good to refuse.’
Dave started our tour in an anti clockwise direction and gave us a great overview of island life. There is a before summer time and SUMMER. Then it’s full on. The population is around 17,000 normally to over 150,000 in summer. There are 6 towns on the island and 4 of them are dry! No alcohol is sold at bars, shops, restaurants! They can bring it over from the other towns and drink at home. but it’s not sold!
He says there is also no crime to speak of! No wonder!
We cruised around and once again I loved the houses.
Especially this one above. It’s actually the local jail! He said crime is low, so the criminals they get are for traffic violations and drunks (obviously bringing their own alcohol in). They stay there in the house but let themselves in and out. Sounds good to me. Cheap rent!
We stopped at the ferry to Chappaquiddick and heard more ‘tales’. Dave is a very good storyteller!
The film Jaws was filmed here and the film crew stayed 6 months and Dave had to drive a lot of them around. He said Director Steven Spielberg was very nice and easy to get along with and lived in this house at the wharf. See below!
The man who played the Police officer lived here.
Dave was full of knowledge. Gossip and otherwise.
Now the gossip on Ted Kennedy and Chappaquiddick was most interesting. We heard the ‘ local’ version of what really happened and Ted stayed near here!
The houses are lovely and worth millions. The sad thing is that many are used for about 3 weeks a year! That’s it! In between they pay people to do the upkeep on them. So we saw plenty of workers hammering, nailing and painting! New shingles shone brightly. They are a yellow colour when new, then fade to a soft beach grey.
Needless to say. I loved them.
We heard stories about Joe Kennedy Snr paying the rent on Gloria Swanson’s (actress) house. Why? Well those Kennedy boys loved their women. Apparently.
I’m just repeating what Dave told me.
We saw the house Emily Post, a journalist had. Including her garden where in summer the dahlias are huge!
And then we reached Oak Flats
This house, owned by the man who developed Norton anti-virus software, was completely rebuilt after a fire. His father built the original house and he, the rich son, has rebuilt it exactly.
The Obamas – who holiday on the island for a month each year, sit as guests on this verandah to watch the fireworks put on by the Norton’s on the 3rd weekend of August. Love it!
The stories of the wealthy were staggering. Palm Beach in Sydney and Noosa in Qld. need huge doses of steroids (and money) to reach this level!
Obama plays golf about 3 days a week and flies friends in to play with. Pick me I whispered!
Then we reached the cutest part of the island. The Gingerbread houses!
These houses are just great. I quote…
” The 318 whimsical Victorian cottages found in Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard are an exceptionally well-preserved collection of Methodist camp meeting houses. Laced with fanciful gingerbread details in an array of shapes and colors, they also happen to be the most adorable homes we have ever laid eyes on.”
The homes evolved from humble roots. In 1835, a half-acre of rural land bordering a sheep pasture was selected as a place to hold a small Methodist camp meeting. Originally in tents …..
But by the 1860s and 1870s, as the camp became a more permanent, year-round establishment, the tents were replaced with small cottages, most of which display the whimsical Carpenter Gothic style that was popular at the time.”
They are amazing! They are tiny, close together, colourful, and cost a fortune to rent! I think my friends would love to all rent these at the same time. By the sea , in summer. Perfect!
Then we passed an outdoor tent like structure used for concerts and church meetings. Apparently, James Taylor, a favourite musician who was ‘discovered ‘ here. returns and gives a charity concert every five years.
By now my head was swivelling from house to house.
This tour was so much fun!
But the rain had started and Dave was out of stories. He dropped us near the wharf with time to explore the little Main Street. Steve felt like a beer but remembered that it was a dry town. So we had a coffee.
I explored a few of the very cute shops. And it was so quiet. Lucky summer is so huge and the locals can make some money!
We headed back onto the ferry and continued our journey. It’s Newport, Rhode Island now for two nights.
We have a lovely little apartment right at the wharf.
Tomorrow the Mansions! And a car museum! And a cliff walk.
Keep you posted. Hope you like a Martha’s Vineyard as much as I did. Let me know?