Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summer Va-cay, Part Deux

After the concert in Lowell, we did another late-night drive down to Seekonk, Massachusetts on the South Coast, which is basically a suburb of Providence, RI. This was intended to get us closer to Cape Cod, our destination for Saturday. We got up at the crack and took planes, trains, and automobiles to one of our very favorite places in the world, Martha's Vineyard. When we got off the ferry at Vineyard Haven, we took another bus down to West Tisbury to attend the annual Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair. One of my customers at the Farmers' Market told me about this old-fashioned, family-oriented event on the Island, and she did not lead me astray. The weather was just glorious, and the fair really had a homey, yesteryear feel. When we first got there, we toured all of the exhibits--gardening, cooking, sewing, crafts, etc. They were AMAZING! Just look at some of the cooking entries....

I just thought the displays were so pretty, especially the display cases for the baked goods. And can you believe the number of entries? These people take their cooking and gardening seriously! (My kind of folks!) Each contest was broken into junior and adult categories, and there were tons of entries in both divisions. My favorite had to be the butter and eggs competition. Who does that anymore?? After checking out all of the exhibits, we had to stop for a bite of lunch, and there were all kinds of cuisines available. We started with some Jamaican food, including beef patties and spicy jerk chicken. Then we waited in the looooong line at the BBQ smokehouse booth for some pork ribs (and I have the sunburn on my shoulders to show for it!). The ribs were not quite as tender as I had hoped, but the sauce was lip-smacking good. In fact, when we went over to check out the animal exhibits after lunch, a donkey smelled the residue on my hands and bit me! Tee hee.

Speaking of the livestock exhibits, just LOOK at this beautiful, restored barn. Too often at fairs, animal exhibits are dark and airless and crowded and dingy, but not at the MV Agricultural Fair! Everything was so open and airy and clean! It was a pleasure to spend time in there, visiting the critters. Our last stop at the fair was the pig races (they race around a teeny ring for Oreos at the finish cute!). But I had a hard time focusing on the pigs because I became convinced that I was standing right next to some Kennedys! I tried to take a few surreptitious pictures. Here's the best one, and it's kind of crappy and backlit (but I didn't want to be hauled away by security). Once I got home and did some Googling, I am sure I was hanging with Eunice Kennedy Shriver (JFK and RFK's sister and Maria's mom, in the pink hat on the right), her husband, Sargent Shriver (older man, blue hat), her son, Mark Shriver, a representative in Maryland (behind, far left, blue t-shirt)....and another Kennedy or Shriver yet to be identified (the one with the little boy on his shoulders). Please, readers, feel free to scrutinize the picture and give me your input. I'm also convinced the man in the red shirt with the backwards cap is someone famous, too, but I can't quite place him. Actor? Musician? He's somebody!

And I'm not done with my celebrity sightings, yet! After the fair, we made our way to the cozy fishing village of Menemsha. Unlike Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs, Menemsha is off the beaten path and less touristy. As our bus driver put it, "The only thing to do in Menemsha is to get some seafood for dinner and watch the sunset on the beach." And that was just what we intended to do! We staked out our place on the beach, and then I walked up to the fish market to obtain lobster rolls and the best homemade clam chowder for our dinner, when WHOM should I encounter with film crew in tow? Wait, I took another stalker picture to prove my brush with fame. That's right! It was Giada De Laurentiis, no doubt filming one of her weekend getaway shows. And what was she filming, you ask? Why, getting dinner at Larsen's Fish Market and watching the sunset on the beach, of course! It really is THE thing to do. I couldn't understand why police and fire trucks were standing by, but by about 7pm, I got it. The beach was just THRONGED with sunset-watchers, and the officials were there to direct traffic and keep the crowds under control. It's a whole big scene ranging from a large party enjoying beer and a full multi-course cookout to a singleton with a nice glass of wine, a fuzzy pal, and a good book. It's got my vote for the nicest thing you can do on a trip to the Vineyard.

After the sunset, we headed back to Vineyard Haven. We had a little time before we caught the ferry back to Woods Hole, so we did a little shopping, mainly for an MV t-shirt for my faithful neighbor/dogsitter, some fudge at Murdick's (originally of Mackinac Island, MI fame) for Cyd to take home, and some ice cream at Mad Martha's, an Island fixture, for both of us. What a fabulous day on our favorite Island!

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