We ate at the Charlotte Inn in Edgartown. Probably the fanciest restaurant I’ve ever been to. I mean, who really knows what all those utensils are for anyway? I essentially ordered steak and potatoes, with a fancier name, and it was delicious. We toasted to our fifth wedding anniversary, since Steve will miss that celebration this year.
Martha’s Vineyard is a little island that holds a special place in our hearts. It’s where we did a lot of falling in love in our younger years, and we do our best to make it back every year. This was Mitchell’s third trip, and Julia’s very first. Since the boys had a little extra vacation time, they drove up and spent about eight days there. Julia and I flew up for the weekend to spend the 4th of July as a family.
This girl has gone from a never-flown-before baby to an expert flier in the matter of a week. In a span of two weeks, she will have been on ten different airplanes. But more on the reason for that later. Since our local airport and Martha’s Vineyard airports are both pretty tiny, we took three separate planes for a long day of travel both to and fro. But it’s always worth it. Julia went from happy smiley baby in the airport to sleepy cuddly baby on the plane, so she was good to say the least.
The final flight from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard is on a tiny little propeller plane through Cape Air. It only holds about twelve people. We sat so close to the pilot we could touch his shoulder, where we could see all the controls and watch the flying of the plane. Mitchell would have loved it, but he would get in on his own plane riding later in the week.
This handsome husband planned out a pretty spectacular evening. Both he and his mom met me at the airport – in two separate cars. Julia went home with Grandma Martin, and I quickly slipped into the dress and wedges he brought me in the car so we could go on a “fancy” date. He had me swooning in those dress blues, like always 😉
The dining room is a little space off of the main building, with tons of skylights, little lamps and candles, and old English decoration.
After a wonderful dinner, we put the hot tub to good use under a starry sky. With a big piece of chocolate cake for me. Not very many things higher on the list of things I love except a hot tub/chocolate combo. 😀
The next morning was the 4th of July and we all woke up rested and happy. Especially this little firecracker.
I was reunited with Mitchell and he was thrilled to see me. He ran up and gave me a big ol’ soaking wet hug. It’s fun now that I can really tell that he missed me and fills this momma’s heart up with love.
Mitchell spent a lot of time doing this during his vacation.
With his sidekick, Annie the Vineyard Dog.
After a morning swim, we packed up everyone and headed into town. Steve marched in the annual 4th of July parade, which is a huge event on the Vineyard. There is only one celebration for the whole island, and it’s in Edgartown. We arrived early, and were lucky to find parking nearby for the event. Steve met up with a bunch of older veterans, but before we parted ways, we snapped a few quick family pictures.
But let’s be honest, this is how family pictures usually look.
We left Steve to prep for the annual military march, Grandma Martin went to find Grandpa Martin and Annie, and the kids and I wandered around downtown scouting out a good spot to watch our favorite Marine in the parade.
Downtown was crowded, so navigating the streets with our big old boat of a stroller was interesting. I saw a few moms who opted to bring the double wide, and I was thankful I left ours at home. We had a little over an hour before the parade started, and we took in the classic American fell of the downtown. All the green grass and white picket fences and Cape Cod architecture and white painted businesses and American flags everywhere. I love it.
Eventually it became naptime and the kids got tired waiting. Julia gave in pretty easily, but Mitchell persevered through the heavy eyelids, opting to wave his flag and show off his sign 🙂
We always pull out this little gem when we get desperate.
Eventually, we heard the sirens, signaling the parade was nearing our spot!
We really lucked out, because out of all the places for the parade to stop and spend a few minutes honoring the military guys, it was right in front of us! Mitchell loved seeing his “Da!” and looked at him with awestruck eyes after spotting him in the formation of men in uniform. He clapped and waved, and all of the women around us though it was the cutest darn thing. So did I, but of course I’m biased.
My favorite part of the parade had to be this crowd of people. See that lady on the right with the shirt tied around her waist? She got this whole group chanting, “Thank you! Thank you!” over and over again to the formation of veterans. It was a loud and clear appreciation that did not go unnoticed by this military family. If I had a way to find and thank this woman I would. Sometimes it seems like the understanding and respect for the sacrifices of these military men is diminished, but acts like this remind me that a lot of people really are grateful for great servicemen and women like my husband.
The veterans were at the front of the parade and there was still plenty to see, but we ducked the flying candy and found a less hectic spot to watch the rest of the parade and wait for Daddy to find us before dinner.
We had yet another delicious dinner at one of our Vineyard favorites, Alchemy.
They seated us upstairs with this view of the 4th of July crowd.
We are so grateful for Grandma and Grandpa Martin and their invitation to this place we’ve grown to love. They planned a weekend full of family and fun, and we made some memories we’ll have forever.
After the Fourth of July festivities, we came back to the house. The parade and dinner were enough for our littles, and we opted to do fireworks at the house instead.
It got dark quickly, and it was time for a little bit of this 🙂
The next morning we squeezed in another quick family swim.
We pulled Mitchell out of the pool and snapped one last family picture before we wrapped up our weekend.
Steve took me out to lunch at a Vineyard staple and one of my favorites. No better chicken salad found anywhere, I promise.
After a whirlwind 4th of July weekend, Julia and I were back on a plane headed home. The boys followed us a few days later, once there was room on the ferry for the car. The 4th of July weekend is a huge event on the Vineyard and those ferry reservations book up early and fast.
Many of our friends already know this, but we got some sad news during our trip back home. My grandfather, Aubrey Brim, passed away at the age of 92, after a long and happy life. I’m writing this from Kansas, where we are enjoying time with family and celebrating his life, and there is sure to be updates from this last-minute Kansas trip too. I’m grateful for both sides of our family today, and for all these people we get to love.