I stood on the deck of the ferry, closed my eyes and inhaled. I could smell the salt water, and I heard the seagulls calling as they flew overhead. I opened my eyes and stared over the gray New England water at the island. I could see sandy beaches, and if i squinted, I could almost see tiny people on them. I was on the Provincetown Ferry, and was just under one mile from Martha’s Vineyard.
My mother drove our car off the ferry and headed towards the house we had rented for the week. We all stared as we drove past the ocean. Just as we turned away, a seal surfaced, a tiny dot in the middle of the harbor. We turned down a sandy road and pulled into our home for the next seven days. After settling in, we took our bikes out and pedaled into town. As we turned onto one of the many bike paths that crisscross the Vineyard, we spied a detour. Turning onto the small dirt path, we found ourselves biking alongside a sprwaling green golf course. Winded after our not so short short cut, we stopped outside an ice cream shop that we would later discover boasted the best ice cream on the Vineyard, and rightfully so. Although we would sample other Vineyard ice cream shops on our trip, Mad Martha’s beat them all. Later, we headed into one of the Vineyard’s most famous stores, The Black Dog. Among the hats, sweaters, and t-shirts all covered in the famous black lab that is their logo, we found a choclate lab stuffed animal that could have been the twin of our lab puppy, Ellee. With mini Ellee in the car, we headed back home to get some sleep.
The next afternoon, we drove straight to the beach. After deciding that the waves at the Vineyard’s famous South Beach were too large for us, we headed to one of the many calmer ones on the island. We hiked down the beach until we reached the small bridge that many tourists jump off of. After jumping off fourteen times in honor of my birthday, we headed home and enjoyed a family barbeque.
That evening, we visited another famous Vineyard attraction. The Gingerbread Houses are old, quaint homes in Oak Bluffs. They were the first homes on the Island, and replaced the original tents that the first inhabitants lived in. Victorian in style and brightly colored, we found that they adorned countless magnets and postcards as we toured the shops that line many streets in Oak Bluffs.
The next day we headed off for more sightseeing. We drove down to a few lighthouses, choosing Gay Head Light and Edgartown Light from the many on the Island. After, we played a game of mini golf. As we were all somewhat lacking in skill, each of us failed to complete the game without hitting our ball into the water. Although most of us chose to give up, my sister and I were determined to finish. While other tourists laughed, my sister fell in the water trying to retrieve her ball.
The remainder of our days were filled with beaches and picnic lunches. Some unexpected history came our way when we thought to inquire of the locals how Martha;s Vineyard had accquired its name. It seems that the island was discovered by a captain who had a small daughter named Martha. It was covered in grapes, and he named it Martha’s Vineyard. Today, it is a popular tourist spot, filled with sunshine, sand, and New Englanders escaping their lives for a week or two of summer fun. My family and I will never forget our time on Martha’s Vineyard, and we will never let my sister forget her game of mini golf.
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