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Published: March 7th 2011
New England in late winter…..the snow has finally melted, the temperatures threaten to break 50 degrees, the winds continue to blow on the coast and you just have to get out of the house for a while because if you don’t…..you get the fever. Cabin fever. And there’s only one cure for it…..pack up the car and head on out.
We are writing about our weekend adventure but need to apologize for the photos because Mother Nature did not cooperate with us because it is after all early March. But it’s not raining so off we went…..to see a few places before we leave this unique part of America. Of course Miss Lillie had to go as well. She’s probably the best-traveled dog in these parts.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
On March 5, 1982 John Belushi died of a drug overdose so 29 years later on March 5, 2011, we made the short trek to Martha’s Vineyard to pay homage to the great late crazy John Belushi at the Abel Hill graveyard. We understand that his real grave is in the back of the graveyard but due to a high volume of visitors and damage they have created a
shrine prominently displayed in the front of the graveyard. We were content with taking a look at the shrine. We admired his work but were not groupies so the need to see the actual grave sight – this was enough for us. On the gravestone it says, I may be gone, but Rock and Roll lives on. Nonetheless it was a quick look at his resting place. A comic genius….. gone too soon.
“Christ, seven years of college, down the drain.” - John Belushi
“I owe it all to little chocolate donuts.” - John Belushi
We took the ferry from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to Martha’s Vineyard. The Vineyard is an island off Cape Cod. We’re always surprised how much they charge to ride a ferry. The ride is $16 per person round trip but we wanted to take our car so the cost was $117 total roundtrip for two people and one automobile. Does that seem excessive? We must be funding some union retirement benefits.
Martha’s Vineyard is a decent size island to explore. We first headed to the famous Gay Head Lighthouse and cliffs in Aquinnah. The cliffs were formed years ago by
Gray Head Cliffs
Located in Aquinnah
glaciers and are quite impressive to look at. We didn’t stay long as the winds were howling, but stayed long enough to appreciate the view.
The island is quite rural with lots of beautiful tree lined winding roads. The good thing about visiting the Vineyard during the winter is you can see all the houses. This area has mostly deciduous trees and few evergreens. When the leaves are on the trees you would never catch a glimpse of the homes. We were expecting to see a many McMansions but we really did not. Don’t get us wrong, there were some beautiful big homes, many set on one, two or five acres but nothing sinfully obnoxious like you would see in other parts of the country. Most are boxy New England or Cape Cod looking homes (go figure). So many of them look alike with the gray shake shingles and white trim. The McMansions that are there are isolated and unseen by the casual lookey loos (like us).
The oldest hostel in the U.S. is supposed to be on Martha's Vineyard. We didn't find it. We were going to price the rooms.
One of the
Portugese French Toast
The Corner Cafe, Newport, R.I.
larger villages is Edgartown, where we found a gourmet pub called David Ryan’s where we enjoyed some beers and sandwiches. We intended to take the ferry to Chappaquiddick in an attempt to find the bridge where Ted Kennedy wrecked his car years ago resulting in the death of a young lady. It was cool and gray and the pub was warm and inviting. Having a second beer won out. Guess we really didn’t care about the Kennedy incident.
On our way back to the ferry terminal we drove the streets of Edgartown to look at the cute houses and took some photos of a couple more lighthouses. We found Martha’s vineyard to be quaint and well worth a visit. At least in the off season.
Newport, Rhode Island
This weekend turned out to be about food and friends. The next morning we headed to Newport, Rhode Island to explore the town and enjoy breakfast. On the internet we located a restaurant that peaked our interest called The Corner Café. What a great place to have breakfast! All the locals frequent this establishment and are greeted by name as they enter. It’s a small place with only about 15
The Corner Cafe
Newport, Rhode Island
tables. The breakfast bar seats another five or six people. After watching food go past our table and surveying the menu we made our choices. When the owner came over to take our order we learned their signature dish was their Portugese stuffed French toast and it had been featured on The Today Show. We had to give it a try. MJ said it was the best she ever had. Light and fluffy…… it is in a class of its own. If you are in the area we recommend you stop in. Newport is a great town and has an energetic vibe about it. We’d love to go back in the summer and hang out along the harbor.
We had a lovely drive through the Rhode Island and Connecticut side roads on our way to Mystic, Connecticut. We stopped to enjoy the beaches near Misquamicut. Even on an overcast day the shore has beauty and comfort to offer. This area has several oceanfront McMansions Opulently beautiful.
Finally we made it to Mystic and hooked up with our friends George and Donna. We had a very nice lunch at Captain Daniel Packers Pub. We met George
and Donna last year when we were diving in Turks and Caicos. They have just returned from a trip to Curacao so we got caught up on their latest diving adventures. It is always good to talk with fellow divers.
Even though we did not eat at the famous Mystic Pizza we took the obligatory photo of the restaurant from the outside. This restaurant was featured in the movie Mystic Pizza with Julia Roberts but the film was not actually shot there so we really didn’t feel the need to dine there.
This town has a very unique draw bridge that open with counterweights. It is currently being painted so we were unable to provide any photos worth looking at but this is a very cool bridge. It opens again on April 15th so if you are in the area you should take a look at it.
Do we have any Firesign Theatre fans out there? Do you remember the radio announcer saying, “and there’s hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Connecticut.” The quote is from the Firesign Theatre, the legendary psychedelic comedy group. This was a line on an early album called, “Don’t
George and Donna
In Mystic, Conneticut
Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.” That same album provided, The Department of Redundancy Department, and other famous lines. We believe this was based on an actual highway incident involving a meat delivery truck. This album was set in an alternate world in which the U.S. is under a dictatorship (remember that Nixon was President and the Vietnam War was going on) and the citizens were starving. Most of the first part of the album is full of surrealistic food references.
After that, it was back to the Cape before the rains set in. Not bad for a March weekend, eh?
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