Let’s Rent a Van and Go to Martha’s Vineyard
It used to be that my birthday would just kinda come and go. Sure, people would say happy birthday to me, and it was cool. But I’ve now had 19 birthdays that I’ve spent with Todd, and he goes out of his way to make sure I feel special, celebrated and appreciated. There really is no greater compliment than having someone who wants to spend time with you and celebrate the day you were born.
Here’s the story from my birthday trip last year. We rounded up a few friends, rented a van, rolled the dice to determine the direction and we drove until we ran out of gas. This year I had tickets to see Lion King at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Just a low key Saturday night.
But then some time last week Todd came home and said “Our friends want to know if we’re renting a van this year, and I think we should.” So we did.
Why have a low key birthday when we can go somewhere on a ferry.
This year’s cast of characters was Me, Todd, Brian, Nikki and Shawn. Allie and Tyler from last year couldn’t get a sitter. Sean from last year had a class he was taking for work. We boarded the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard from Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The ferry ride is approximately 40 minutes. We stood in the roaring wind on the bow of the ferry as we watched the island get closer, the ferry docked in Vineyard Haven, and we drove off. It was almost 10 AM and we were ready for adventure.
The activity for the weekend centered around geocaching. If you haven’t heard of geocaching, you can read about it here. But the basic idea is that people hide caches in the woods, and post the coordinates to them on the internet. Then you can take a GPS and plug the coordinates in and try to find the treasure. The idea is you sign the log in the cache. If there’s something in there, like some sort of trinket, you can take something if you leave something. We learned that there were 33 caches on the island.
Geocaching is a great way to discover a new area you didn’t know was there. We have done it all over Rhode Island, and we’ve even done it while on vacation. There was a time we were in Atlantic City where we found one. We left a brochure for a casino with a $5 bill in it for the finder to try their luck, for example.
We drove off the ferry and immediately found two of them near the dock. One was under a gazebo that I found, the other was in a rock wall that I think Shawn found. My goal was to have all 5 of us each be the one who found at least one.
I found it!
Brian found one!
Shawn found one too!
By the end of the weekend we found 18. I found 5 of them. On the first day I think we found 12. We drove, marveled at the scenery and how everything is still closed in the towns like Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, Vineyard Haven. The Vineyard is a ghost town compared to the last time we were there when we had sailed there a few summers ago.
We headed to the westmost point on the island, Gay Head, to watch the epic sunset. It was cold, maybe in the 20s, and the wind whipped across the sound to assault us. We huddled behind a statue to stay out of the wind until the sun touched the horizon. We were frozen to the bone.
Here are Brian, Me and Todd sheltered against the wind at Gay Head.
This is a panorama of Gay Head.
Then we checked into the Mansion House for our hotel stay, and headed to the pool and hot tub. I steeped in the tub to warm myself through. We played in the pool, we laughed. Then we headed over to the Asian restaurant adjacent to the hotel for the strongest sake scorpion bowl I think I have ever had. We wobbled back to our room for cake that Todd went out and got from the Black Dog Tavern.
After a legendary breakfast at the Black Dog, we piled back into the van for more geocaches. We only found a few by the time we drove past an alpaca farm. Nikki and I jumped up and down in our seats when we learned that they are open for visitors. We barreled into the barn, through the gift shop and out to where baby alpacas were rumored to be. The rumors were correct, and we saw some juvenile alpacas hanging around. I reached out to scratch the back of one of them, he reared his head up and bared his teeth at me. We learned that alpacas spit when they are dissatisfied with a situation, and one spat toward me. Luckily there wasn’t much saliva flying, and I was able to avoid the unpleasantness. We marveled over the velvety softness of the knitted alpaca scarves, hats and gloves in the gift shop, and a few of us even bought a scarf.
This was just before Brian got spit on.
After the alpacas we hit a few more caches, but our energy was definitely waning. We decided to head to lunch and catch an earlier ferry.
Nikki on the ferry, we're almost back to Woods Hole.
On the ferry we opened the cooler in the back and toasted to a wonderful weekend full of laughter and adventure. I am thankful to have this group of friends who are up for anything and just accept the adventure as it unfolds without drama. They make getting a year older worth it—thank you guys!
added on 03.08.17