MV in Oct
As this weekend was happening, I was thinking of all the things I could write about it. Let's see if I can remember any of them now. Maybe if I break it into sections...
Mark and I had planned to go away this weekend. We had planned it for months. We got a great deal on Travelocity for something like $400 a person to Myrtle Beach, and since we haven't gone to the beach too much this summer, and I had never even been to Myrtle Beach, AND it's October, we decided to book it. A couple of months after that, I got emails/phone calls/smoke signals from Travelocity regarding my trip. So fine, I called back...only to find out that our airline has stopped going to Myrtle Beach altogether. We could either take a refund, or take a trip to Charleston...with a hotel in Myrtle Beach...I took the refund. Here's where I went wrong: instead of turning around and booking another trip to Myrtle Beach (for which the price had even dropped at this point), I didn't. I had all sorts of second thoughts, including "Why do I even want to go to Myrtle Beach?" "Can I go some place cheaper?" "Should I even be taking so much unpaid time off at my new job?" etc. etc. Around the same time that this all went down, we were planning on taking just a weekend and going out to MV w/ my Dad and fam, but then a HURRICANE decided it wanted to go to MV that weekend too. So we decided to scrap that plan, even though we had pre-purchased fast ferry tickets for us plus bikes (like $200), and they were non-refundable. I did learn that I could use said ferry tickets later in the season on a standby basis, though...Thus a new plan was formulated. We would use the ferry tickets for the already planned vaca weekend that didn't have a vaca to go with it...this weekend! Plus it would be cheaper, plus I could take less days off (1 less day...?). It seemed like a perfect plan. With the help of family, we had even scored a place to stay for fairly reasonable. So glad I plan ahead for everything!
Here's the problem: I plan too far ahead for everything. Turns out this time of year in MV, you don't have to plan ahead for ANYTHING. Ferries are not booked, hotels are desperate for your business, the world is your oyster...you get it. Also, fast ferry schedules are much more disappointing. Like, night-before-we-leave-we-find-out-we-can't-get-a-ferry-back-home kind of disappointing. As I am made painfully aware of the chill of the season and the unpredictability of the amount of moisture in the air, we decide to scrap the fast ferry tickets anyways. I find myself wishing I had reconsidered reconsidering Myrtle Beach. Too late now. Time now only for making the best of things. Guess we're off to Wood's Hole.
All packed, and up at the crack of dawn (8:30 ha!) to catch the ferry at noon, we very quickly realize that we're not going to be catching the noon ferry. We go to Panera. This is the beginning of our terribly unrestrained eating frenzy (Disclaimer: not true...Big E the night before...and actually, I only had a bagel.) We decided to aim for the 2:30 instead. The drive up went smoothly, and we found the parking lot easily (for once). We even had a super friendly bus driver, who helped us get on the freight ferry expediently AND gave me a hug (she makes dog sweaters and her son and wife met online). I also learned how to hold luggage and ride a bike fairly safely. We got to the cottage and decided to head out to eat. We were hungry by this time. I was still hankerin' for mac and cheese (Big E fail...don't want to discuss it except to say what I've learned: If I see a sign that says "Philly Cheesesteaks!" I will no longer dismiss it so easily.) I was really after homemade mac and cheese, and I figured since it (apparently) was in the Mass building at the Big E and we were now IN Mass, my dream could somehow be realized. The Thai restaurant looked good, but, alas, no mac and cheese. Eureka! Mac and cheese special at Linda Jean's. I couldn't believe my luck! And I had been there for breakfast before, so I knew it was a good place. MISTAKE. Breakfast and dinner are 2 different animals, my friends. The mac and cheese vaguely reminded me of something they used to serve at Friendly's back in the day. Not homemade and not baked. More like velveeta cheese sauce. I should have known when the cheese fries Mark ordered came out...ok, fine. Mark, how's your chicken parm? Oh, bad. Hm. Stick to breakfast, Linda Jean. We then watched Away We Go, my fav, and You've Got Mail, also cute. Oh AND Back Door Donuts! We learned about this last time after days of smelling deliciousness outside our hotel every night. Fresh apple fritter before...Bed!
We awoke to the sound of...the rain? No. My dad calling. He LOVES to call in the morning. Loves it. But the rain did sound nice, only since we already knew it would be raining, so we were prepared for a lazy, relaxing day, which I kind of needed by the way. I ate another apple fritter (calm down, we share 1) for breakfast. We read some Sabbath school lessons about Abraham and Sarah, and the rain calmed down. We went out for a quick bike ride, but we didn't want to go to far because we never knew when the rain would start up again. We also needed to pick up some water because we were unsure of the potability of the faucet water. Turns out we had nothing to worry about after all, as the water ban had just been lifted the other day...well, we already paid for the Poland Spring, so might as well drink it...The rest of the day was a blur of reading Desire of Ages, napping, Scrabble and finishing my gross mac and cheese. Come nightfall, I woke up from my final nap and decided it was time to eat. I'd been thinking about that Thai restaurant, The Bangkok Cafe, ever since I unfortunately passed it up the day before. It was delicious! I had veggie and tofu soup and veggie and tofu noodles. It was exactly what I wanted it to taste like! Man I love veggies and tofu. The only bad thing was the fact that we had to sit in such close proximity to the other couples, couples who don't have "inside voices." Couple number 1 smelled bad...a mixture of cologne/aftershave and strong personal smell. Here's a sampling of their conversation: Lady: "something something someone...What a See You Next Tuesday!" Man: "You ain't kiddin'" Thank God they left fairly soon after we got there. Then another couple came. Louder, but more appropriate conversation. The man made some pun I forgot. The lady didn't respond. The man repeated his pun, adding that he thought it was cute. The lady started another conversation. After dinner, we walked around a bit and got ice cream. Too much ice cream. Always get a kiddie cone, even if it means you can only have one flavour. We went home and watched a bunch of Office episodes. Bed.
We woke up to a beautiful day! We ate breakfast from the bakery. We had a plan, too. We were going to ride bikes down toward Edgartown, and look into a geocache that Mark had researched the previous day (while I was napping, prolly). It was right near Farm Pond, which was on the bike trail on the way. Such a great sense of accomplishment, finding those things. We continued on toward Edgartown, with the intention of catching the Chappy Ferry. I love riding bikes with a plan. It makes me feel like I'm really getting myself somewhere...much more satisfying than a car. The cute little ferry was interesting as well. It took about 2 minutes to get across to Chappaquidick on a ferry that holds 3 cars, and as many people w/bikes as wanted to go that day (4). We had no idea what was on the small island, what it looked like, or what to do there, so we just started riding. We found this dirt road off to the left, and for whatever reason we took it, even though we had already passed a couple of other roads without a second glance. Turns out this road led right to the ocean, and by right, I mean, after about 2 miles. After a while though, you figure, you're in it this far, might as well see it through. I'm glad we did. It was so secluded and cool to see how the land wraps around a certain way. We got bit by mosquitoes. Mostly Mark though. Once we got back to the main road, we decided to ride further, seeing what else there was to see. Turns out nothing. There's nothing there that we saw. We took another dirt road back. Let me tell you, biking on dirt roads, especially when that dirt is, like, sand, is REALLY hard. I got a good workout, for sure. It felt good though because it was so nice out. At this point, I was happy we decided to go to MV in Oct. I'm always so happy riding my bike places in nice weather. I think with a good attitude, things can often work out well. (In order to avoid being a total cliche, as well as keep it realistic, I will qualify that with the word "sometimes.") I also bought some awesome, and super sale-price t-shirts for myself. Not because I'm selfish, but because I didn't pack enough of the right kind of clothes. I was anticipating colder weather, and I had limited space due to the fact that we brought our own sheets. (Yes, we got the house for a good deal, but I was NOT doing laundry while I was there for 4 days...turns out I was cleaning out the fridge and throwing away their trash for them though). We headed to Sharky's Cantina for a local-chain-type Mexi-feast, and to catch the Pats game. I wish people were quieter and the game was more of a blow-out (but a win's a win, I'm told), but the food was ridiculous. We got nachos, which you can never go wrong with at any sort of halfway decent restaurant, and they were delicious. Homemade salsa, sour cream, black beans...yum! Mark had a cheeseburger chimichanga, and I had a salad. I should have just stuck with the nachos. I was already so full, and the nachos were way better anyways. The salad was mostly lettuce...hm. We were almost too full to get home, remember we had to bike back...We were so tired, so we crashed on the couch and watched more Office. I thought we should go out to dessert. It was hard to find a place that had anything I wanted. Most seasonal restaurants were closed, and it was a Sunday night. The Oak Bluffs location of Sharky's Cantina was playing The Simpsons, so I thought it was a sign. Even though we had already given Sharky's a lot of our money that day, Mark reminded me that they had also given us a lot too. Fine. I kind of remembered some sort of cookie in a skillet dessert that sounded good. They turned off The Simpsons though. Grr. The dessert was SO GOOD though! Exactly what I wanted. Mark had a strawberry margarita that wasn't so great. Can't win 'em all, I guess. More Office, then bed.
This morning we woke up to another gorgeous day, though a bit colder/windier. We had another plan (after another bakery run) to check out a second geocache at the East Chop Lighthouse, which we found! Yessss!! This one had gifts, too. I traded a MV ferry schedule for some OFF towelettes. We asked some older folks to take our picture. Why did we do that? I don't know. Man: "I don't know if you should ask me. My wife would be better with the camera. Well, I took a picture, but let's get her over here." Wife: "I don't know if I can get the whole lighthouse and you in it? How do you zoom in?" What? Don't zoom in. Just press the picture-taking-button. Ugh. We went back to single-person pictures after that. Next we rode to Vineyard Haven, got off our bikes, and walked around. We asked the ladies at the chamber of commerce where to eat, and they directed us to the Waterside Market. The turkey chili was good (I've made better), and the salad was another mostly-lettuce one. Better dressing though. Mark got a club sandwich, which he describes as "8 out of 10...it loses points 'cause it was, like, 10 dollars, but your pasta (with butter that I made when we got home) was 10 out of 10." I win! We rode back to Oak Bluffs, and got ice cream at Mad Martha's. I always forget that their ice cream is too soft for my liking, and I always get the wrong flavours. We spent some time on the benches in that park near the beach, watching dogs and owners play, and FREEZING in the wind. We took the 3:45 ferry home, and got back around 8 pm. Like I said, we had pasta. It was awesome.
I hope I remembered everything, and I know I didn't. My advice to myself (and others): If you're going to MV in Oct, ALWAYS play by ear. Don't end up losing out on $200 worth of ferry tickets, turning your nose up at perfectly good, cheap off-season, hotels, and wishing you were somewhere warmer. Thank God for good weather. Overall, we had a great trip, and it probably was a bit cheaper than Myrtle Beach. I always have a good time out there, be it spending hours on the beach lifeguard chairs (which are no longer there, by the way) or spending hours biking everywhere. I'm really itching to experience places I've never been before, though, and so is Mark. He's "done with New England for a while." HA! You live here, Buddy!