Martha’s Vineyard


Excerpts from my diary of our New England Coast, Sunday, August 19, 2013

IMG_3508Apparently President Obama has been vacationing at Martha’s Vineyard over the last two weeks at a 7.6 million dollar home.  We passed the driveway today…couldn’t see the house, just the dirt road.  Our tour guide told us he wasn’t allowed to do his normal route because of all the security around.  We had heard about the presidents visit when we were on Cape Cod and decided to wait until he was gone to visit the island.

IMG_3458The thing the kids liked the best was going on the oldest carousel in the world from Coney Island called “The Flying Horse”.  It didn’t look like much and the horses stayed glued on the ground, but the big attraction was catching the  “Brass Ring”.  Positioned on the inside and outside of the carousel was a lever that spewed out IMG_3436metal rings.  So as you are going around and around, you needed to reach over and grabbed one of the rings.  Then you catch any of the rings, you place them on the rod on your horse’s head.  If you managed to be in the right place at the right time and you get the Brass Ring (colour is different), your prize is a free ride on the carousel.  My kids loved it.  It cost $2.50, but the line up wasn’t too bad and they seemed to be on it a long time.  Neither of them got the brass ring, but that was a memorable experience.  I’ve never seen a carousel like that before.

Our Tour Bus

Our Tour Bus

We took a tour bus in the morning and went around the whole island, minus Edgartown because the roads were too small for our big bus.  The set up was kind of weird.  Three bus companies.  One was down in the wharf area; the other two, you had to call them.  We didn’t have a cell phone and there were no pay phones on the island.  Fortunately there was a lady there who was called the company that was ranked the highest on trip advisor, so we asked her to get us some tickets too.  They wanted $50 bucks per person and they weren’t going to come and get us unless we had 15 people.  We were six.  The lady told them she thought it was too expensive and she didn’t want her two tickets anymore.  I wasn’t about to waste my vacation time looking for 11 more people to book a tour with them, and we didn’t have a phone to call them back to arrange for them to come get us, so what the heck?  We went with the tour company that was there. I actually thought our tour guide was quite good.  There really wasn’t a lot to see, yet he had us laughing.  Around the corner is a boulder.  And here is our tiny post office.  We don’t have a lot of crime at Martha’s Vineyards.  This is our police station with all the flowers around it.  There are only 4 policemen here.  A few years ago, one of them was out of commission for a while because he put 4 bullets in a turkey. It was big news around here…a quarter of the police force wasn’t working.  Drove on the bridge where they filmed the movie Jaws.IMG_3459

Bridge where they filmed "JAWS"

Bridge where they filmed “JAWS”

We went by some dirt driveways of people who lived there, but you couldn’t see anything but an open wooden fence.  Jackie O., Kennedy’s wife, had lived on around 374 acres of land there…couldn’t see the place.  The tour guide said when people buy property at Martha’s Vineyards, there are many regulations.  You can only build on a small section of your land, the rest has to be left to grow wild..no cutting down trees.  The parcels of land are gigantic too and when you sell it, you can’t sub-divide and sell pieces of it.  Thirty-three percent of the island is natural.

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The kids were tired from getting up early this morning and fell asleep on the tour…until we got to a place called the Gayhead Lighthouse.  It was named that because of the colourful rocks around the place.  We had 30 minutes to roam around and we actually got to go up  in the lighthouse for $5.  That was really neat….’crept it was rather hot when the light went whizzing by our heads. After the tour we ate and walked around.  We saw the cutest gingerbread houses.  I think that’s why everyone likes Martha’s Vineyards so much.  The houses are really unique.

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