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And on to the grapeless Vineyard

July 30, 2008

One of the things I love about visiting Amy and Shane is the breakfasts Shane cooks. After a crazy couple of days I woke up Sunday morning to the smell of bacon, eggs, and pancakes. The Whites definitely know how to make people want to come back and visit :-).

Adri, Mo, Katya, Charity, and I all headed to the Boston airport around 9am. I was a little nervous because we were each trying to do completely different things. Charity needed to get back to Atlanta. Katya was flying on a buddy pass to Frankfurt and we wanted to change it to go via Cincinnati. I needed to buy a ZED fare (discounted ticket based on distance) on Cape Air and try to get a flight to Martha’s Vineyard. I was worried Charity wouldn’t get a flight at all because they were full. I was worried Katya wouldn’t make it to Cinci or that she wouldn’t get first to Germany. I was worried the ZED fare wouldn’t work, never having used one, or that the flights to MV would be full.

I finally got both girls checked in and purchased my ticket, which has to be done at a Delta counter, and headed over to find Cape Air. This is when I discovered that I hate the Boston airport. It has 4 terminals – A, B, C, and E – and instead of being set up all in a nice row like Atlanta, they’re in a circle. There’s a shuttle that runs between them, but after waiting 10 minutes I decided to walk. I walked from A to E which was easy enough. Then to go from E to C you have to go through what seemed like the old airport graveyard. It was hallways covered in tiles from the 50s that had empty baggage carousels and lots of empty rooms. It seems that when they decide they no longer like a part of the airport, they just build a different terminal.

A very long walk later I found the Cape Air counter. They were very friendly and told me there was space on the flights. They also asked me how much I weighed and weighed my rollaboard and laptop bag. This should’ve been a sign that I wasn’t going to be on a big plane. I finally got to the gate and had to wait an hour cause I had just missed the 1pm flight (they leave on the hour, every hour). When they started calling for boarding they would call section 1 passengers 1-8, then section 2 pax 9-17. I then looked out the window and saw the little fleet of Cessnas. I figured out that depending on how many tickets were sold they were take 1-3 planes every hour. Each plane carried 9 passengers and 1 pilot. We finally went down to board the plane and the captain told us that a plane had just run off the runway in MV so the airport was closed!!! I figured it was par for the course for my weekend travels. Thankfully it was temporary and we began boarding shortly thereafter. They asked if I could take the seat up front. I sat in the seat behind what would’ve been the First Officer’s seat. Then the captain turned around and asked if I would mind sitting in the front since someone was going to have to! I kept trying not to laugh because it seemed like a joke almost. I couldn’t believe that I was riding on such a small plane, nevermind in the right seat. It gave me a new appreciation for when people get on our planes and are amazed at how small they are. Though in our defense our cabins are at least pressurized and we do fly actual jets at normal speeds and altitudes. It was really fun to ride in the front as we took off after a United 757. We had a great view of Boston as we took off and never got so high that we couldn’t see the beautiful houses along the coast. About 35 minutes later we were in Martha’s Vineyard.

Joy picked me up at the airport. It was really great to see her happy, smiling face. I really had no idea what to except when I arrived on the island. I didn’t know how big it was or what the terrain was like. We drove for about 10 minutes through a lot of trees until we finally got to Oak Bluffs, which is where Joy lives and works. The house she lives in is a beautiful house painted in shades of lavender and blue. I was amazed at how many perfect little gingerbread style houses were everywhere. We dropped my stuff off at the house and went to Pomodora’s, the Italian restaurant where she works. There I met a lot of the people she had told me about. Everyone seems to love her, but really, who doesn’t? One of the cooks made us a great salad with different types of meat, cheese, olives, peppers and dressing.

Later in the afternoon it started raining so we slogged over to Joy’s friend Kiera’s family’s house for a barbeque. Even in the rain everything was beautiful. It was the nice kind of warm summer rain that I love. Everywhere we went we stopped along the way to say hello to different friends. Kiera is Irish and her uncle lives on the island. She is here for the summer working and has become good friends with Joy. Her parents were in town for the week to visit so most of her friends had managed to get the night off work and spend the evening together. Joy’s Brazlian friends, Alex and Jean Luca, cooked steaks for everyone. Instead of serving them to each person on plates, they would slice them in strips as they came off the grill and we all sat around on the porch eating. It was a really nice evening.

The next day Joy and I went to the beach for a little while before I had to get the bus to the airport. I was surprised by how clear the water was. I have very little experience with New England beaches and have always had the impression of the cold, dark, possibly dirty Atlantic. As many of you already know, this is far from the truth. Unfortunately I slept late and only got to spend about 30 minutes there before it was time to go to the airport. The bus took longer than we had been told so I missed the flight that I was hoping to make. The next flight didn’t have any seats on it. By the time I flight came along with seats on it it was 5pm. I was looking at the flights from Boston to Atlanta and they looked terrible. I was really worried about getting back in time for my trip that started at 8:30 this morning. I didn’t want to get rid of it because it had a long overnight in Fort Walton Beach and I needed the hours. But when 5pm rolled around, there was only one more flight out of Boston, and two naps came up in open time I had to trade it. This gave me another day and a half to get home without any penalty.

I decided if I was going to be stuck somewhere I’d rather it be the Vineyard with Joy. I got on the bus and went back to the restaurant where she was working and surprised her. I ended up hanging out there until Kiera’s parent’s came in and we ate dinner together. Kiera’s cousin BJ is four and was so amusing. I had told him on Sunday night that I didn’t have a belly button, so he was going around pulling up people’s shirts to check for belly buttons. He pulled up Kiera’s dads and came back to tell me “Jared has a belly button and it’s kind of gross.” That’s pretty much how he was the entire time.

After we ate and all the kids got off work we went wandering around the town. Joy has a really interesting combination of friends and it’s fun to be around them. We ended up at a place called the Island House and danced until it closed. Joy won a bag, tshirt, hat, and flip flops for being such a good dancer :-). After that place closed we were standing on the sidewalk trying to decide what to do when three guys came along and started talking to our group. One was wearing a shirt that said something about Iraq veterans against the war. He started into his campaign, explaining to us their three goals and how they intended to implement them. Alex seemed pretty interested, but I’m a little wary of any sort of fanatic. I believe in causes and I respect people who are passionate about things, but I like to meet someone who can wait more than 5 minutes of meeting you before getting on their soapbox. In our attempt to get away from these guys we started walking toward the beach. That didn’t work and they came with us. Joy, Kiera, and I started wading into the water. Joy had told me about this algae they have there that lights up when you disturb them. When you walked into the water in certain spots it was like clouds of pixie dust surrounded your legs. Sometimes it looks like lightning bugs in the water. We were enjoying this amazing sight until one of the veterans decided he wanted to swim properly and took all this clothes off and ran into the water (stirring up loads of lovely algae, I’m sure). Thankfully he warned us so we didn’t have to see anything too traumatic. Not five minutes later though, the cops came along and informed us it was time to call it a night. It was kind of annoying because there weren’t any signs posted saying the beach was closed. We weren’t doing anything besides walking in the water (except for naked guy who the police quickly spotted). It was a beautiful night though and we had a great time. I’m glad I got stuck there another day.

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