17 August 2019
We had our final stroll around Oak Bluffs yesterday and then motor sailed to Edgartown. It was just an hour trip, so no big deal.
The only thing I remember about our previous trip to Etown was being on the bow with Gigi, waving frantically to Walter Cronkite and eating ice-cream at Mad Martha's ice-cream shop! Also, I remember the long bike ride to see the infamous Chappaquiddick bridge. I would love to hear Gigi's version of this trip! Gigi, are you reading this?
Yesterday was quiet here. Had to walk to a hardware store to get a part for Frank to make yet another repair. That was rather funny. First, Frank kept calling hardware stores asking for a "rivet gun". He was greeted with shocked silence. I believe these clerks thought he was a member of he NRA and almost hung up on him! Finally, he found someone who knew what a rivet gun was. When we were checking out, this young girl told Frank that she always wanted to know how those guns worked. She was absolutely fascinated as Frank told her, in detail how a rivet gun rivets!! I believe Frank would still be there talking to her if I hadn't intervened!! On the walk home we found a place to have a beer amidst the million of fudge and ice-cream shops. For the first time this trip, we have fog! Frank's working on a broken hatch and I have FINALLY caught up with this log!
16 August 2019
Final post on OB. In the latter part of the 1800s, a clever, wealthy individual who missed out on the cottage development, purchased a 70 acre waterfront sheep farm and developed it into a stunning park/green space. The land is lush and rolling. In the center is a lovely gazebo! On one side of the park, is the beach and views of Vineyard Sound. On the other side of the park are stunning, larger versions of the church cottages. These houses are a little bit more modernized and more people stay in these houses year round. I think I could do it!!!
15 August 2019
I can't say enough about Oak Bluffs. One thing that we noticed immediately upon coming ashore was...the number of African Americans here! It was absolutely striking, as quite honestly, New England is typically pretty...white. A couple of reasons for this. 1. During the whaling heydays of the 1860s, the boats would pick up crew in Cape Verde and the Azores. Nantucket has always been a very wealthy island and the sailors couldn't afford homes there, but would likely settle close by, in Oak Bluffs. Secondly, during and after the Civil War ("War of Northern Aggression", as they say in Charleston!), Oak Bluffs welcomed freed and/or escaped blacks. Anyway, it was wonderful to see the blending of races and cultures.
14 August 2019
As I said yesterday, last night was Grand Illumination. And last night was the 150th anniversary of the event! Picture all of these lovely cottages lit up with beautiful paper lanterns and thousands of people strolling these small streets. It was just magical! We were very fortunate to have been invited to one of the cottages. Our next door neighbors in MT. PLEASANT have a summer home here! Karen Turner's parents bought one of these houses in the 1960s and she and her family have been coming here every summer since then. It was wonderful seeing them here and standing on their porch for a while - watching people, watching us!
13 August 2019
We had another great sail to the small community of Oak Bluffs. Once again, this is a place we visited 34 years ago. My lifelong friend, Gigi, was with us and we rode bikes from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs. We liked it then, but again, I don't remember it being as fabulous as we found it this time around.
A little unique history about Oak Bluffs...back in the mid 1800s some Methodist ministers from Edgartown found it as a revival spot for their church members. It was a campground initially, set around a huge (150' tall)"tabernacle", that seats 4,000. It was built out of steel, because that was cheaper than wood! It was guaranteed for 7 years! We gathered there Wednesday night for a patriotic sign along and annual "Grand Illumination Festival"!
Over the years, these campsites grew to become tiny, brightly painted, gingerbread houses. They all have the same 12' frontage, but some have been able to add on a bit. Even so, they're all very small. What they lack in size, they make up in charm. They're covered in intricate patterns of woodwork. The porches are filled with rockers and/or swings that are painted to match the home. The roads are shaded and filled with kids riding trikes and selling lemonade. It truly is like stepping back in time.
12 August 2019
August 12, 2019
Well, true to Thigpen form, today we rented bikes and explored the western point of the island. It was an incredible ride along a fabulous bike path. I believe it was about 6-7 miles to the end of the island and the tiny village of Madaket. We had a great lunch at the only restaurant there, Millie's and then went to the beach. We were both stunned! As we crossed over the dunes, it looked like we were looking at the Gulf of Mexico! We really couldn't believe how much it looked like Pensacola Beach. The sand wasn't as white, but the water was that same beautiful turquoise blue, just a wee bit colder!! The picture doesn't do it justice.