And we’re off

Well, I’m off. That’s part of the point of this trip – it’s the first real travel vacation since we went to Spain in 2019. But it’s just me and one reason I went here (Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod) is it’s a place that C and I never went to. I’ve never been at all, and I don’t remember him ever talking about it either. I’m reluctant to go back to, say, Cape May, any time soon, because that was very much a Charles-and-Eric place. Maybe this can be my new Eric place.

More on that in a bit. I’d be a Bad Blogger if I didn’t at least do some more catchup.

Fall has started in earnest. We’ve had two QUO rehearsals. Nice to be playing horn again, although the 2nd rehearsal kicked my butt and clearly I need to ramp up my home practice routine. We’re test-driving four possible new conductors (don’t get me started on how we lost the last one, I’m still really irritated about it. It was not fair to him and shouldn’t have happened). They each have two pieces, and it’s a good mix of standard rep and new/rare/modern stuff. We are in fact doing Siegfried’s “Rhinefahrt” (heh heh. heh heh), but Kyle’s playing first, so no horn calls for me. That’s fine, I’m playing 2nd and get my own moments. Vaughan William’s “Norfolk Rhapsody” in E minor is new to me and is typical VW, which means I love it. I do have a dream, possibly realizable now? of going back to school for musicology and studying VW in a major way. I suppose I could do the 2nd part regardless, huh. (* jots that down *)

I sang in a concert of The Sorcerer on Friday. I haven’t been singing at all, so really had no business doing so, but I know how casual a G&S Society concert can be, it required no rehearsal and involved a bunch of friends. I was singing Marmaduke, a role I’ve done a couple of times before in a ‘sing through the score’ setting*, so I knew I knew it. The toughest part is the very funny duet he does with Lady Sangazure, which gets wordy and pattery, but I’ve performed that even more than the rest of it, so I just had to review it and get the patter back in my lips.

*I mentioned on FB that I’ve been doing Society concerts for years, both full shows and recital/scene type programs, but a quick mental review told me that the Sorcerer was the last full-length show I hadn’t done there. So now I’ve done the set. I’ve never done Trial by Jury or The Zoo or Cox and Box (one-acts) there, so will have to pick those off.

Anyway, it was a chance to see old friends (many of whom had not seen me since The Thing) and make good music with good people. I sang OK, hammed it up during the duet and also during the quintet where I’m with the ‘wrong lady’ (my buddy Sarah Bleasdale, and we totally went for it with the schmacting), and managed to pull it off. Again, those things are very loosy-goosy, small audience, so low pressure.

Saturday morning was about prepping the apartment (empty the trash, run the dishwasher, close the storm windows) and packing. I was trying to keep it down to one suitcase – I have no idea how you wizards do a long trip with just a carryon – and mostly managed it, although ended up throwing a jacket and a sweater into a totebag to carry on the plan with me. Headed to the airport at noon, no fear. LaGuardia has been having a lot of work done over the last few years – every time I go there are new traffic patterns and new buildings.

No problem getting to the gate or getting on the plane. I was flying up front (splurge, baby) so even though the flight itself was only about a half hour, us entitled people still got a beverage (I had a mimosa) and I got some quality knitting and reading done. And then we landed at the teeny little airport in Martha’s Vineyard!

Yeah, so here’s the plan: I’m in Oak Bluffs for 3 nights, then I ferry to Cape Cod and pick up a car. I stay in Dennis Port for three nights, then go to Provincetown and get rid of the car. Three nights in Ptown, then I ferry to Boston and fly home. I’ve never been to Cape Cod or any of the islands, so it’s all new – and the expectation is that it will be lovely and gorgeous and nurturing and healing.

So you get off the plane directly onto the tarmac and then they guide you through a gate which leads directly to the parking lot! (where, I guess, regulars just then get in their car and drive to their mansion or whatever) I went into the terminal and got my suitcase, then out to the taxi area … where there were no taxis. Waited for a bit. A girl there was also waiting, but she said she’d just summoned an Uber, and there was a 20 minute wait. A guy pulled in with a taxi van, but didn’t seem to be making any effort to see if we needed rides. I walked over and said if he was there for anyone in particular – nope, he’d drive me just fine. Turned out it was a big day for weddings and that’s where all the taxis were, and I was lucky that he had a moment to check out the airport. (Also the plane was early, although not that early.) And he drove me to Oak Bluffs.

I’m staying in a boutique hotel a block off of the main pedestrian drag, in a ‘petite queen’ room (heh). The room itself doesn’t have much more room than to hold the bed, but there’s a closet of sorts, a big bathroom, and a private deck. (no view from the deck, but still). It’s fine. There’s a Keurig in the lobby, and a TV and wifi and all that. I somehow last night managed to fool the TV into not only showing Amazon Prime, but starting a free preview subscription to some channel or other so I could keep going with RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10. What will happen after the free trial runs out? Ah well, a problem for another day.

Unpacked a bit, then headed out to scope out the pedestrian mall (Circuit Avenue) which was quite crowded, although not awfully so. Found the tourist booth and got maps and stuff. Wandered around enough to find the ferry docks and a bike rental place. Went in search of a place to sit down and have coffee while I looked at the maps, was not successful until later (since then, I’ve found more coffee places). Eventually (with coffee) ended up back in the room, where I sat on the deck and really looked at the Oak Bluffs map to see what I hadn’t already seen just exploring. Out again, sought out the Tabernacle and all those adorable little houses (lots and lots of them, very cute), then up to the water and found the whole strip of dockside bars, very hopping. Lots of partying bros and chickies and older people. Boy, is this place straight. (that’s OK, I’ll be getting my homo on next weekend)

Found the other ferry docks – I may do a day trip to Nantucket, so that was helpful – and ended up in areas I’d explored before. There is a lovely Italian/pasta restaurant right by my hotel, but they had a line, so I kept going and ended up having dinner at The Sweet Life, a restaurant recommended in the guidebook. I’d already had plenty of chances to have fun bar-type food, but wasn’t in the mood for that, but Sweet Life looked very frou-frou and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for that. But how bad could it be? I had a great time, actually – sat at their outdoor bar (under a tent) and had two glasses of a “Gavi” white (nice and dry), the skate wing with various vegetables, and dessert. I’d been waffling about the entrees, none of them sang out to me, but what I had was excellent – included little roasted artichokes, halved, and the fish was lovely. Dessert, I chose a honey-nut tart with mascarpone and figs. Sort of baklava-ish, not in the pastry, but in the contents. Really nice – and that sort of thing can be cloying, but it was just the right size.

By then it was quite dark and I was surprised how many street lights etc there were not – I walked through the park with the bandstand (apparently, it’s not a gazebo) where it was almost pitch-black – and I’m not sure whether this is just my ensuing cataracts, or what, but it was so dark – and sat on a bench looking out at the ocean – which I basically couldn’t see. But nice and peaceful. Back to the room for TV and knitting.

A lot of the plan in my head has been to rent bikes and do bike trails, and I will, precious, I will. But my master plan was to work up my ‘bike stamina’ over the last couple of months and that just didn’t happen, although I got out a couple of times. This past Sunday, I had major plans to ride over the 59th street bridge into Manhattan, go up the East River, and cross back over the footbridge to Randall’s Island, where I could then cross back over the Triborough. That got scuttled when I set out, and got worried about my front tire being leaky (spoiler: it wasn’t) so stayed close to home. So it was a five mile ride instead of the 15-20 mile ride I’d been trying for. Then I woke up on Monday with a pulled back (from the ride? no idea) and have been dealing with that all week.

So, bottom line, my plan for today was to rent a bike, but I’m just not sure. My back is twingey again today, and I don’t want to pay a day’s fee for a bike that it turns out I can’t ride. And my knees have been extra crunchy lately. But on the other hand, it’s vacation and maybe it will be lovely. Certainly the weather has been. I need to check it out, but I think the ride to Edgartown is all bike trails and is only like 6 miles. If I don’t rent a bike, I’ll just take the bus to Edgartown and other towns and walk.

One thought on “And we’re off

  1. Native Bay Stater, spent more than half my life near Cape Cod, know it pretty well (hope you LOVE it!) but never went to the islands. In RI we had Block Island, and well, uh, it spoiled me. That said, can’t wait to hear about Provincetown, another magical place. For me it’s the art, architecture and history. Hope there’s some visuals in your travelogue!

    Liked by 1 person

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