Or, how to park in Rhode Island to go to Martha’s Vineyard.
22.07.2007 - 22.07.2007 -17 °C
Sunday = Martha’s Vineyard day. We decided to get a really early start because we knew that there would be a bunch of travel time going to and from the ferry to the Island, taking the ferry, etc., so we were ready to go by the time the gift shop opened (7 a.m.) so we could get the car right away. The woman running the desk was surprisingly competent and expedient with the process of filling out the forms and we were on our way in about 15 minutes. We took a little “accidental detour” to Sandwich, but we were only off track for about 10 minutes or so, and then we were on the way again to Woods Hole to catch the ferry. And so began my new relationship with the Massachusetts rotary. Otherwise known as the circle of death in Chicago. Except that people here drive them way crazier than people at home, at least from what I’ve been able to tell. During what I believe to be the first or second rotary on the way to catch the ferry, I got in an incident with a vehicle in the inside lane of the rotary that decided they had the right to cross right in front of me to take a road that I was not turning onto. I was apparently called a b!tch and who knows what else, but no vehicle was damaged and we carried on our merry way. On the same road, we saw an incident with two drivers and a whole lot of the state bird. Good to know we’re all friends in Massachusetts.
We finally reached a parking lot for the ferry, and because we had heard on AM 1610 (the ferry station) that the Woods Hole lot was full, we decided to just park there because it was the first one that we had found. We pulled into the lot and had to take a ticket and eventually saw a guy at the back of the lot that was flagging us his way. Unfortunately, all he did was mumble that the lot was full and give us a piece of paper with a shoddy map that basically went back the way we came. Thanks for that up-to-date information, AM 1610. So, we had to drive approximately 10 miles back the way we came to go to the Cataumet ferry lot, which we finally did. We boarded the bus and were on our way to the ferry, which was quite a bit further south than the first lot we went to. I have a hard time believing that it’s the best solution to have all of these lots spaced so far apart, and so far away from the place where you actually board the ferry, but I guess to some extent you just have to live with it. We got to the ferry (an unscheduled trip which allowed us to not have to wait for the next ferry which would have been quite a bit later) with just moments to spare – we bought our tickets and the boat left about 5 minutes later. The ride was about 45 minutes and let us out in Vineyard Haven (Tisbury).
We walked to the Black Dog Bakery/Cafe, which was touted as being an excellent place to go by the Fodors and other things that I read and got a pastry and a drink for breakfast. After eating, we found about 27 additional Black Dog gift shops in the general vicinity of the Bakery/Cafe that we went to. I have a hard time believing that anyone could possibly need that much Black Dog stuff, though I suppose we did see a lot of people on the island that were walking around with it on. We perused the shops, cute little places with jewelry and clothing and gifts; Maura bought a Christmas ornament, and then we caught the bus to Edgartown. There were a handful of repeat stores (same as in Vineyard Haven). We got lunch at a little coffee house (I got my lobster roll! It was great and I think it would not be a problem to make at home, given I didn’t completely overcook the lobster), walked around some more, and then hopped the bus to Oak Bluffs. Oak Bluffs had a nice little park in front of the gingerbread houses. We looked for shells on the beach, and then rode the Flying Horses carousel and started seeing A LOT of repeat shops; we walked around a bit more and by that time it was a little before 6. We had reservations for dinner at a nice restaurant, but we had eaten lunch late and neither of us was hungry, so we just skipped it and caught the 6:15p.m. ferry back to Oak Bluffs. It was fine getting on the boat, but there were no directions on how to get off (not the same way we got on) and we got stuck behind these two people with two giant strollers (and a lobster baby) and had to wait for them to haul their strollers up and down flights of stairs (nicely planned exit strategy for the boat – hope they never have an emergency!) Then, once we had gotten off, we had to wait for a bus – there were a lot of busses in a row, but it took a while to load them and because of how long it took us to get off the ferry, we were quite a way back in the line. The bus driver got us back to the Cataumet lot (there was a guy on the bus that looked just like Tom Cruise), and then a whole new delay began – getting out of the lot. Parking was $10/day and they only had one cash register to ring out cars, so there was a huge line to pay and leave. I finally stopped being nice and letting people in front of me because we were waiting FOREVER and just wouldn’t let anyone else in front. We finally got on the road north to Braintree; when we got to the place where we needed to catch the freeway, we got mixed up and went the wrong way. We found a Friendly’s for dinner (mmmm, Fribble), got some gas, and got back on the way. Everything was fine until we got back to the Braintree area (though there was a ton of traffic all the way back from the cape and a lot of drastic speeding up and slowing down.) At the point where we were really close to the hotel, it all just went to hell. The map that the hotel had given us told us one thing, the road signs didn’t tell us that, and we just went in circles over and over again. We tried to use the highway, we tried to take the side streets, we tried to ask for directions, and we kept going the wrong way no matter what we did. It was ridiculously hysterical. There was one time when we were not even a mile down from our hotel, but we didn’t realize it until it was too late and we were back on our way to not getting back to the hotel. Finally, we found the right person to give us directions and mercifully got back to the hotel about FOUR HOURS after starting back. Luckily, we didn’t get in any accidents, and the whole thing was just plain funny.