On Thursday morning, Mitchell and I were off to our final big adventure as a duo, before our family becomes a trio again… Martha’s Vineyard. Grandma Martin extended the invitation to visit a few weeks before we left for the Kansas trip. It fit perfectly in our crazy schedule, and as much as it would have been nice to spend a few free days finally catching up on my housework and getting ahead on my homework, I am a firm believer in spending as much time with family as possible when the opportunity arises. I strive to make this a priority in our lives, because family is one of God’s most precious gifts. Besides – who in their right mind would pass up an offer to come to such a beautiful place? The chores will wait!
This is a place I have come to love over the past several years, for many reasons, but mostly because it is where Steve and I spent a lot of time falling in love. The year before we were married, we spent as much time here together as we possibly could. College breaks (for me), Marine Corps breaks (for him), and overlapping college and military breaks. It took little-to-no convincing for him to get me on a ferry out here to visit. Sadly, we have not been able to spend nearly as much time out here since we’ve been married as we would like, but it still holds a very special place in my heart. I have daydreamed about our family vacations here since we started dating – ferry rides, little red-heads running around on the beach, picnics, family pool parties, cookouts, getting ice cream in town, that kind of stuff 🙂 We’re missing Steve this trip, and Mitchell is still too young to know what’s going on, but this is definitely a good start on my little daydream I had a few years ago!
Our one-year wedding anniversary on the Vineyard
In addition to the sentimental value, the island is absolutely beautiful. There are no street lights near Grandma and Grandpa’s house, which makes for a very starry night sky, it is quiet and secluded, and architecture throughout the whole island has the weathered Cape Cod feel – it just makes the air feel so fresh! And it’s where Grandma and Grandpa Martin live (well, sometimes). Much to our luck, Grandma Martin takes as much convincing to come out here for the weekend as I do. You just can’t go wrong with a trip out here. The only sad part about our trip is that we missed Steve’s cousin, Sian, by one week! I would have loved to see her, and Mitchell would have loved to meet her, but we are looking forward to our next visit in the [hopefully] very near future! So, here is a recap of our week at the Vineyard.
This was our travel day. We were up early and at the airport. Apparently Jacksonville had some difficulty checking our luggage to final destination (it was going to be left in Providence), so I ended up having to carry it on. I was planning on only checking the car seat anyway, but it became quite the load with an infant, purse, large tote, and car seat. I am still impressed that I (a) managed to fit everything for myself and Mitchell for a week in that bag, and (b), carried it all. Next time we’re taking a roller bag! But we made it there with everything, and I’ll count it as my weight training for the day.
Everything for both of us for a week. And my husband doesn’t think I can pack light… take that!
Mitchell was great on all three (Yes! THREE!) of his flights. He either slept, ate, or entertained his neighbors with his adorable little smiles and sounds 🙂 The Baby Bjorn was an absolute life saver, though. Definitely would have had to rethink my game plan without it. Our third flight was from Providence to Martha’s Vineyard, on Cape Air, which apparently only flies really small planes. And by really small, I mean, nine passengers and one has to sit next to the pilot. There is no cockpit. I have been in larger vans. It was really cool to see out the front of the plane like a windshield, and I really
wanted to take a picture, but I took the no cell phones, no electronics rule very seriously because if breaking that rule was ever going to crash a plane, this was it.
We settled into Grandma and Grandpa Martin’s house. I had just planned on letting Mitchell sleep on a blanket on the floor, but Grandma Martin planned ahead and had a pack-and-play and rocking chair waiting for him. It was set up right next to the windows, and the weather was so nice we left them open all week. The fresh air, the sound of the water outside, and the leaves rustling in the wind made for baby heaven! And my favorite flowers were also waiting for me in our room – sunflowers!
We spent the day catching up with Grandma and Grandpa Martin, video chatting Daddy, and eating dinner at Sharky’s (Mexican food so good it’s on par with Jose Pepper’s).
Our first full day. Like I always do when I visit places I haven’t been in awhile, I feel the need to check off all the “usual spots.” So, we began today walking around Edgartown (window shopping) with Grandma and Grandpa. The weather was more cool-fall than sunshine-Labor-Day, but we dressed for the occasion and had a really nice afternoon.
Rise and shine Mitchell!
We ate lunch at Black Dog.
We went for a dip in Grandma’s pool.
And took a bath in Grandma’s sink.
Grandma Martin and I decided to spend another day in Edgartown today. We went sight-seeing, shopping, and had a lunch date. Grandpa bailed on us for a bike ride, but we met back up with him at the house later in the afternoon.
It was really windy at the top of the lighthouse!
Grandma and Mommy thought I looked really cute in my new Black Dog fleece. Grandpa said I looked like a tourist.
The day we arrived, Grandma Martin revealed the secret she had been keeping for weeks… her sister was coming to visit during our trip! Apparently Steve was privileged to this information, but Mitchell and I were left in the dark. He never keeps secrets. At Christmas he always wants me to open his present early because he can’t wait to show me. But somehow he kept it from me this time, and it was such a great surprise! Mitchell got to meet his great aunt! I had only met her once before, last year in New Hampshire, and it was great to see her again. Rare visits are the unfortunate part of having family spread all over the country, but we tried our best to make up for lost time! We stayed in and Grandma Martin cooked one of my favorite meals for dinner – Corn & Bacon.
Mom and Aunt Judy video chatting Steve in Afghanistan
This was our last and final day on Martha’s Vineyard. All-in-all, we were pretty lazy… we sat around the house working on puzzles and swimming. And we concluded our vacation with a nice dinner out at a family favorite – Chesca’s. And of course, I didn’t skip an opportunity for some mommy-time in the hot tub after Mitchell was asleep.
Our final swim under Annie’s watchful eye
This was our travel day back to the real world – North Carolina. Three flights later, we finally picked up Zoe from Doggy Day Care and headed home. Boy, was she happy to see us. Mitchell got enough kisses for the whole year. (We’re still working on teaching Zoe the difference between giving Mitchell a bath vs. kisses… but he doesn’t seem to mind in the least and she absolutely adores him!)
Reunited with her humans!
We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation and look forward to our next opportunity to visit Grandma and Grandpa Martin at Martha’s Vineyard!