1998 MV - SWEET LIFE visit to Martha's Vineyard
One of the gingerbread houses in the Camp Ground area is shown at the right. These brightly-colored houses were located only a few blocks from our vacation house. Our house on Naumkeag Avenue is located about two blocks south of Ocean Avenue that surrounds Ocean Park. Our walks toward Oak Bluffs take us past the mansion of Peter Norton, the founder of such computer software programs as Symantec Norton Anti-Virus and Symantec Norton Utilities. Here stands the Ocean Park bandstand which is centered around Ocean Park. At its perimeter is the architecture of Queen Anne and Gothic Revival houses. A couple of more blocks west find us in the business center of town. Circuit Avenue was named for the "circuit" many of the Camp Grounds's preachers rode. Several blocks west of our house is the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground, formerly known as Wesleyan Grove. The annual summer camp in the mid-1850s of Methodist church groups found the groves and pastures well suited to all-day gospel sessions. Family tents turned into wooden cottages designed to look like tents. The cottages multiplied, trying to out-do each other in brightly painted fantasies of gingerbread.
Our first day on the island already finds Dan "cooking up a storm" with Karen assisting in the culinary endevours. What's for dinner?
The rocky stretch of shore bordering the 216-acre tract of Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary describes the beauty of the area. Cedar Tree Neck, near the town of West Tisbury, is a matchless piece of unspoiled Vineyard woods, with a freshwater pond and brooks, bounded by North Shore Beach. An extensive series of marked trails meander within the area for those that appreciate the opportunity to watch birds, follow woodland paths, and walk along a quiet shore.
Beach roses beautifully front a gray-shingled house located at East Chop, a northern seaside community within Oak Bluffs.
During exploration of Up-island Bill finds a Clydesdale-looking horse. (As a coincidence, in 1999 while seeing Tamera off to the ferry at Vineyard Haven, two large semi-trucks and trailors containing some of the Clydesdale horses were seen being loaded onto the ferry. Does anybody know if the Budweiser horses are stabled somewhere on Martha's Vineyard?
The 60-acre Polly Hill Arboretum contains the results of Polly Hill's forty years of study to define "the best plants and trees to grow on the Vineyard". More than 2,000 individual species including azaleas, camellias, clematia, crabapples, dogwoods, hollies, magnolias, pines, rhododendrons, and stewartia, are now displayed around large meadows. Most of these have been grown from seed as part of Polly's experiments to determine if growth is initiated with seed. More than 100 of these species were introduced by Polly, including a family of 22 new North Tisbury azaleas.
Tamera and Laura pose during a walking tour of Polly Hill Arboretum. As a matter-of-fact, the arboretum had just opened to the public a week before our visit.
An evening is spent at The Sweet Life Cafe (our logo for this trip) on Upper Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs. The outdoor gardens with heated lamps create a very sincere atmosphere for our late dinner. Would anyone like to tell the story of The Inn at Blueberry Hill that happened earlier in the evening? Karen and Dan appear in the left picture, while Laura and Tom appear in the right picture. Also attending dinner were Bill and Beth.
We spent the evening on the Menemsha Beach drinking champaign while watching the setting sun as we sat on blankets. Driving through Chilmark we find a town of rolling hills and unmatched coastline. Not so long ago this area was uninhabited except for an occasional farm or fishing village. Now it provides the setting for many a summer home. The stone fences of the sheep farms still ribbon the hills with the Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop.
Tamera, Lisa, Laura, Dan, Bill, Karen, and Tom lie on the beach during a quiet moment as the sun goes down over Menemsha Bight with Vineyard Sound further off to the west. Somehow Bill finally shows up in a picture! Laura is the photographer, with a delayed exposure.
Tom ... and ... Lisa
On the way to the fourth of July festivities at the Edgartown Harbor, we pass a grand-looking house decked out with "the red, white, and blue". We watched the fireworks display from the second-floor patio at the Navigator Restaurant and Boathouse Bar, 2 Main Street, Edgartown. The Navigator features hearty New England fare, fresh seafood and lobster, and an unsurpassed view of Edgartown Harbor. The Boathouse Bar contains artifacts from old whaling ships that create a nautical setting in which to enjoy a cocktail ... a light meal ... good company. In fair weather, the patio is open for dining and boat-watching.
William Arthur Atkins
e-mail: williamatkins3307 [at] comcast.net
home URL: http://www.WilliamArthurAtkins.com