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Archive for June, 2012

I’ve taken you to Plymouth, but this time, it’s to a little restaurant where the food is homemade and excellent, and the people are charming.

If you are familiar with Twelve Tribes traditions, this is the group who prepares and serves the food.  If you are not aware of this gathering of people, information is available on line.

Some people refer to them as a cult.  I do not.  I may be wrong, but my knowledge of them has been positive and I genuinely like how they live – caring for one another.

While they have other eating establishments throughout the world, the one I know and love is on North Street in Plymouth’s historic center.  If you like cheesecake, I guarantee, you will never find another as good as this one.  Their soups, sandwiches, pancakes, muffins, and pies are all fantastic.  And they make the best coffee, refills are free.

Inside, you will find a historic building – one could imagine this is how it was in the eighteen-hundreds.  There are two fireplaces, an old-fashioned wooden counter where you order your food, and cozy little tables where you are invited to munch while visiting with friends.  And the clothing, the women dress modestly, in homesewn skirts and loose-fitting pants to the floor.  The men have beards, long-ish hair, and their clothing is also humble.  It’s fascinating.

I’m heading there Sunday to meet a writing friend, but since I am often called by name as I enter, I suppose it must be evident that I’m there a lot.  I highly recommend Blue Blinds – it’s a very sweet, serene place to visit.

 

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Yesterday, Tuesday, June 12, we went to sunny, beautiful, Martha’s Vineyard.

Aside from what I wrote previously about traveling the center of the island in a rented car, I would like to add that I noticed the size of the trees.  Where I live, there are gigantic oaks, maples and pines.  On the island, I did not see any gigantic trees.  They looked old, their trunks worn with weather, their limbs twisted with winding storms, but they also looked similiar in size, and about half the height of the trees here on the south shore.  While in a bookstore, my husband looked at a book which had some interesting natural history information on the island – those trees, as I had thought, were stunted to a degree by the elements they must endure endlessly.

I hope to reinforce your urge to visit the island.  It’s a different world out there – and do rent a vehicle or take your own.  The interior is filled with a purity in its open land and lush greenery.  Farms with alpaca and horses, fences which  glide and grace the fields, and grape vines growing intermingled with knarely trees and tall grasses.  Go.

 

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Since I am currently writing a novel based at the center  ( not the outstanding coastline), of the island of Martha’s Vineyard, I am interested in writing a bit about the place.  The novel carries a sense of mystery, as does the location.

Twenty miles long and nine miles wide, Martha’s Vineyard has many scenic offerings, not to mention a coastline stretching for more than forty miles.  Pulling into Oak Bluffs on the smooth, gigantic ferry out of Woods Hole, the nautical wonder surrounds and saturates.  It is enchanting.  And the departure town, Woods Hole, is not a town to miss, since you may choose to leave from there rather than Hyannis – also a great Cape Cod town.  Not to change direction, I would like to point out that Woods Hole is home to the Oceanographic Institute – it is beautiful there and there are some very good restaurants and cafes.

Back to Martha’s Vineyard.  The ferry trip takes an hour or so and is completely relaxing.  Gliding along on that glorious sea, with a cup of tea or coffee in  hand, is a treat.  I would not suggest a book – you’d be missing too much visually and magically – it’s a time to chat with someone you care for, or to dream.

The island is home to six towns : Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, and Chilmark.  Numerous celebrities have homes on the island, but it is also a place for the rest of us – it does not appear to be a wealthy man’s land – it appears calm and welcoming to everyone.

The last time we visited there, we rented a car because I felt drawn to the inner land.  I’d seen the coastal areas from tour buses and on foot, but now I wanted to see what the heart of this island was holding.  I found the center of the island to be the space I favored, which is why I have set my current novel there.  While there are homes, they are more sedate than found at the coast – the land is filled with twisted trees limbs and high-grass fields – I can’t wait to go back there with another rented vehicle.  Soon.

If you haven’t gone, go.  If you’ve journeyed there as I have, but not for a while, go again.  We are fortunate in southern Massachusetts  to live close to our islands – it makes it possible to enjoy more often.  If you are coming to this area, try to fit it in to your schedule.  You will not regret the time and effort in going to Martha’s Vineyard.  I promise.

 

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