Martha's Vineyard

Newport Martha's Vineyard Cape Cod

Home Up

Martha's Vineyard was our stop after Newport. To get there in late October you have to take a ferry from Wood's Hole, Massachusetts. That turned out to be a real challenge because the parking was closed in Woods Hole; we had been advised not to take cars to Martha's Vineyard.  They were giving directions on the radio for alternate parking but I can't follow verbal directions (what's a rotary?). Betty can't drive, follow directions, or read a map (just kidding), so it took several loops around the town before arriving at the parking area.  

Looking at this picture, it's hard to believe that Martha's Vineyard could be a disappointment but it really was. It all started on our arrival. The taxis at the ferry dock refused to take us to the hotel because it was in "walking distance" and they wanted to wait for the big fares.

Well, walking distance is one thing when you know where you're going and don't have luggage. It's quite another when carrying two fifty pound bags without wheels (easier to store when living on a boat).

The language barrier

I called the hotel in Vineyard Haven, the town on Martha's Vineyard where we were staying, for directions. In addition to my verbal-directions handicap, the girl on the phone had an English-language handicap. The conversation went something like this:


"Gwo tu bwig stweet. Gwo wup hea. Gwo weft. NO, NO, gwo wite. Yu see fwir tasion. Gwo wite. NO, NO gwo weft."  Ok, I got the "gwo wup hea" part.
We were half dead after "gwoing wup hea" with those bags and not too thrilled to find a dead end street with no "fwir tasion" and no hotel.

I called the hotel again and gave our coordinates. Another conversation like this:


"I no no dat stweet. Wat yu see?"
I explained.
"Aah, yah. Tun weft. Gwo to haf stwah and yu daah." 
"Excuse me. Would you repeat that"?
"Tun weft. Gwo to haf stwah and yu daah." 
I couldn't begin to make out the stwah word but was sure she was saying half.
"I'm sorry, are you saying "half"? Like h-a-l-f?" I ask.
"Yah, yah, dat wite, haf."


By this time I was almost in tears. I could see us sleeping on the sidewalk because we couldn't find the hotel. After several more frustrating efforts at communicating, I decided we were looking for a health spa, which we found a couple of blocks down the road. Again, no hotel and no fwir tasion in sight.

At that point I dropped my bags on the sidewalk and placed my body on top of them, no longer caring if we ever found the ____ hotel. I was certain that if it materialized at that moment, I would "wing sum wuns widdle nek". Cool and calm, Betty took over and finally got us to the hotel.

Hotels in Martha's Vineyard (or what we saw of them) are not what we consider hotels. They are more like old, small country inns or motels. My first thought when seeing our room was "Oh no, I had to prepay for four nights".  We had chosen that particular hotel because it was the only one listed, in our price range, with two beds. Two of their 33 rooms had two beds and we paid extra to get the larger of the two. This was the smallest room we'd ever seen. The twin beds were sitting in the middle of opposite walls with just enough space between them for a small table. A wall-mounted radiator prevented putting the head of the bed against the wall and there was no headboard. It was an impossible arrangement for sitting in bed at night.  After being assured that this WAS the larger room, we rearranged the furniture to make it more livable.  

Moorings at Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard

More Disappointment

The next big disappointment came when we discovered that Vineyard Haven is dry (as in nothing to drink) and almost void of restaurants. Who ever heard of a tourist town that didn't serve alcohol or have tons of restaurants! We took a city bus the seven miles to Edgartown because the taxi drivers didn't want to take just two people. Edgartown is a beautiful, quaint little town with great little shops. Although many of the restaurants were closed for the season, we found several that offered good food AND drinks.

A guided tour around the island the next day convinced us that there was not much to see or do in Martha's Vineyard. We can't imagine what all the excitement is supposed to be about. The nicest part of our stay was discovering that the hotel had only billed two nights to my credit card and we were able to leave early. 

After hearing that Nantucket was pretty much the same a M.V., we scratched it off our list and headed to Hyannis on Cape Cod.

bulletArchive Home Page: Cruising Archive
bulletNext Port: Cape Cod