60th birthday trip day 3: Morning on Nantucket, evening on Martha’s Vineyard

~Sunday, October 8, 2017~ I was up at 7:00, a half-hour before my alarm was set for. After a few minutes, I knew I wasn’t going to fall back asleep, so I decided to get up and get my workout out of the way, which is very uncharacteristic of me.

I’m already not a morning person, and the only thought that got me there was, “Think of how good it will feel to have that over with so early in the day.” Plus, since today was a travel day, I wouldn’t have to worry about doing it once I got to Martha’s Vineyard.


A LADY IN THE EXERCISE ROOM

No, I’m not talking about me. There was another lady (inside joke) in there, whom I feel like I spent a disturbing amount of time wondering if I’d be physically attracted to if I were straight.

She was contorting her body into all kinds of inane positions, possibly yoga positions, as I’m not familiar with them, so wouldn’t recognize them if I saw them. She stood on her hands in one corner for a minute or so. On two separate occasions, she laid on the floor, face up, and threw her legs up over her head and touched the ground with them.

On another occasion, she bent over with her head all the way to the ground with her face looking between her legs. I wished she’d’ve done it facing the other way, as all I could see was her face, about two feet below her front-and-center ass, looking right where I was on the elliptical machine. Perhaps it was that yoga position double-down doggie style. Do straight porn movies start off with the bom-chicka-wah-wah music that gay porn movies start off with?

Oh, and did I mention her pink thong? All kinds of materials and fabrics going on there between the small of her back and the top of the crack of her ass.


MOM’S BREAKFAST REDUX

Today there was no fog, and I sat outside on the deck for breakfast. I actually ate less than I did yesterday, perhaps because it was still so close to the work I’d just done to burn off calories.

Today, they had French toast, which is one of my all-time favorite breakfast items, instead of the pancakes.

Out on the deck, after only a second sip of my cranberry juice, a bee landed on the rim of the glass, promptly slid down the inside into the juice, and eventually drowned. Bee be-gone. Ah, the circle of life.


WRITING AND WAITING

Checkout time was 11 a.m., so after breakfast, I packed up and went ahead and checked out at about 10:15. I sat in the lobby in my same wicked wicker whale seat to work on yesterday’s blog entry, and who should walk into the lobby at one point but Jim and Dawn.

“Nerd!” she yelled.

“Maybe next time you won’t judge so quickly. I could turn out to be a very fun guy. You never know,” I retorted.

“No kidding, uh?” she laughed.

They were getting ready to head out, and we reiterated what a good time we’d had with each other and said our goodbyes.


A SO-LESS-FUN VAN RIDE INTO TOWN

I caught the free 11 a.m. shuttle into town. Another guest was going into town just to shop, and she struck up a conversation. Not a fun person at all. Bless her heart.

She was a critical care nurse and was currently in her 41st year working, 61 years old, and waiting until she’s 65 to retire so she can have medical coverage though Medicare. Such a statement of our times, when you don’t get retirement medical benefits after 40 years of service even when your employer is a hospital. Bob can relate.


LUNCH

Even though my ferry didn’t leave until 2:30, I was able to check my two bags right away, and then I walked around the wharf area, which is quite quaint, and I looked for a place to eat something.

While walking, a store caught my eye in that the name, Vineyard Vines, made me think that maybe they’d have a nice t-shirt to buy. Boy, was I wrong.

As soon as I walked into the place, I knew it put the up (price) in upscale. Furthermore, I was totally turned off by what apparently was their shtick—to indelibly wrinkle the shirt sleeves of their merchandise.

One set of shirts with wrinkled sleeves

Another set of shirts with wrinkled sleeves

Okay, folks. These men’s shirts were NINETY-EIGHT DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS each. Bye, Felicia.

Back to my lunch: I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, I didn’t have that much time, and I didn’t want to eat too much, all of which led me to The Hub, where I spied an Italian Panini on the menu that sounded delicious. And it was—with pepperoni, salami, melted provolone cheese, and roasted red and jalapeno peppers in it.

Italian panini


THE FERRY RIDE

After lunch, I headed back to the wharf, where the 2:15 ferry to Hyannis was loading. One of the workers said to a colleague, “There are so many dogs on this boat!” I watched a bunch of them, including at least 4 bulldogs with their endearing underbites, sauntering their way up the gangplank.

Here’s the boat and another dog that came up at the last minute:

They 2:15 ferry to Hyannis

A last-minute canine

That Hyannis ferry pulled out at 2:16, and five minutes later our ferry to Martha’s Vineyard pulled in. Today was the last day for this ferry between Nantucket and Martha’s vineyard this season. And I could see why. There were only about 25 of us waiting to board, while the one to Hyannis had 100-200 people on it.

Thank god this trip was only one-hour-and-fifteen minutes. I should have known it might be iffy when the captain said after telling us where the life jackets were stored, “It’s probably gonna get pretty choppy out there today.”

I started off on my laptop, but quickly realized that reading and writing with the rocking that was going on was not going to be a good combination.

At about halfway through, we were rocking back and forth so severely that huge waves of water were coming up over the side of the boat and soaking the window I was sitting next to, like when a car passes you in pouring down rain and throws enough rain on your windshield at once that you can’t see momentarily.

With about 20 minutes to go, I had my eye on the barf bags about 20 feet away from me, and I tried my darnedest not to think about that day during my 50th birthday trip to Australia, on the ferry from Brisbane to Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef, which turned from an advertised “nice cruise on a catamaran to Heron Island” to a “5-vomit-bag ride from hell.”

Seriously, if this gig would have been (literally) two more minutes, I don’t think it would have ended as well as it did. With that said, once we started pulling into the port at Martha’s Vineyard, it was calm again with a quintessential New England scene with harbor-side houses and boats in the marina, complete with seagull cameos.


TRANSPORTATION TO MY HOTEL

I had a hard time getting a ride to my hotel, some of which was my propensity to find the cheapest way there that I could. I checked the local buses, and even walked to one corner where I saw two go by, but once I got there, no other ones came. From what I could tell of a quick scan of their rates, it would have been a $5.60 fare to Edgartown, where I was going.

I called two of the three taxi companies that came up on my phone, and neither one of them sounded overly excited about picking me up, and 18-20 minutes was the shortest wait time I could expect.

I tried Uber, which offered me only a UberLUX option (“Stylish, high-end cars for special occasions”) for $37.95. This was for an 11-mile ride to Edgartown, the next town over, mind you.

I walked back to the wharf, and shortly after getting there, a taxi drove up. It was an 8- to 10-seating van, but since I was the only one standing there and I had flagged him down, he stopped.

By the accent when he asked me where I was going, and one other thing he uttered while en route (to check in with the taxi dispatcher to communicate his fare and destination) I could tell he was British. He was kind of hot, but he had a pack of cigarettes on his console. At least the van didn’t smell like an ashtray, though.

I was thinking, “Well if Uber was $37.95, this is probably going to be $50,” and then in the ironies of all ironies, at least to me, we got behind the very bus I wanted to catch and followed it all the way to Edgartown.

I perseverated the whole way thinking how a $5 ride was that close to me the entire way, but I was paying 10 times that amount. Needless to say, I was completely taken aback when the taxi driver said when he let me out, “That’ll be $20.”


THE HARBORSIDE INN

The Harborside Inn is a multi-building conglomeration, and my room was the Captain Abel room. Once I arrived in it, the air-conditioning wouldn’t come on, and when I called the front desk about it, the phone kept shorting in and out.

When I could finally talk to her and explained about the air-conditioning, she said she would send someone up to look at it.

I said, “I would really like to just move to another room if you have one. This is a special trip for me, and this place is $350 a night. I want everything to be nice.”

“Of course, Mr. Martin,” she said. “Please come back to the front desk and we’ll take care of it.”

She upgraded me to a room with a harbor view and a private balcony in the Ripley House, whose history is this:

Capt. Tristram P. Ripley House was the show place of its day when built about 1850, the year the captain married Eliza M. Mayhew, “the beauty of her day.” He was master of such famous whalers as Champion, Charles W. Morgan, Young Phoenix and Mercury. Eliza went with him on several voyages. When he retired, the captain went into the wood and coal business with his neighbor, Capt. Alexander Fisher. In the 1900s, the house was converted to an inn, being run under several names, one being the Studley House, Capt. George H. Studley, innkeeper.

Harbor view room with a balcony

Room interior


MORE WRITING

Ecstatic with the internet connection here, two or three hours just flew by while I wrote for my blog and enjoyed a few cocktails.

I don’t know if I’m just out of practice, or if it was always this time-intensive writing blog entries, but at one point I did stop and wonder, “How in the world did I have a blog entry for every day of my life for 10 years between January 12, 2004 and January 12, 2014.”

As a complete aside: I just re-read that January 12, 2014 entry about the writing, the challenges, and the joys of that 10-year period, about which I surmised: “It was a wild—and at times difficult—ride, but like all things involving discipline, challenges, and time, I feel a real sense of accomplishment having done it.”

I went to brush my teeth and the toothpaste tube reminded me of Bob and I posted this on Facebook:

I am committed to squeezing the toothpaste from the bottom, never in the middle. But, I squeezed it in the
middle just now to remind me of somebody who does it that way, because he’s not here and I miss him. ❤️

Toothpaste tube squeezed in the middle


DINNER

At about 7:30, I headed out to check out some place to have dinner. I knew I wanted seafood and a quick Google search presented 3 places very close by, two of which had a $$$$ designator and one of which had a $$$ designator. Guess which one I chose.

At the Atlantic Fish & Chop House, I asked about the lobster and chose the 1-lb one over the 2-lb one. I didn’t want any sides, and it came with fresh bread, which I had to wait for a little longer than I would preferred, but it was because it was in the oven, still cooking.

There were three kinds of bread, which came with butter and an Kalamata olive and olive oil spread that was delicious.

The bread

The lobster

After dinner, I strolled around the area and came across an ice cream shop, and I was both surprised and pleased that it was open as late as it was and that my two-scoop cone of maple walnut was almost half the price of the one I’d had last night in Nantucket.

Maple walnut ice cream cone

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