“A vacation frequently means that the family goes away for a rest, accompanied by a mother who sees that the others get it."Marcelene Cox
Where have I been for 2 weeks? On vacation!Eight days on Martha's Vineyard with 1 husband, 2 sons & 1 daughter-in-law in Bob & Carol's 3 bedroom, 2 bath cottage nestled in the woods of the charming village of Vineyard Haven. 5 bikes, 15 pairs of shoes lining the front entrance, 7 water bottles, 2 laptops, 1 Vita-Mix, 6 bottles of wine and a cooler filled with specialty beers. Mostly sunny 73o degree days with plenty of time to bike, explore, hike, shop, cook, read, eat, play games and hang out. My idea of heaven. No, heaven would be staying on Martha's Vineyard for the entire summer.
I'm so glad I packed that!
- Everything in my Don't Leave Home Without It!-The Must-Haves in My Travel Bag! I used every last one of the items on my tried & true list. I listened to my IPOD Nano in the car & on morning walks; I shared my Dr. McDougall Breakfast Cups with my son & daughter-in-law when we ran out of milk; everyone used the flax seed--and it was great in Oldest Son's whole wheat banana pecan pancakes; I noshed on Larabars during bike rides & for quick re-fueling; and my Polar F6 heart rate monitor made me so happy when I saw I had burned 1300 calories biking to Chappaquiddick.
- The Vita-Mix. We've been juicing for 3 months now & what's another box to throw into the car? It was a great way to pack in those fresh fruits & veggies in the form of "Green Smoothies" early in the day, before we started with the ice cream, guacamole & chips, and other assorted X-rated foods. Oh--& it makes hands-down the best whole fruit frozen Margarita you've ever tasted.
- Board games. You know how at the last minute you don't want to pack one more thing into the car? "Nah, we don't need that!", you say. But the truth is, you've just had it with the packing. Youngest Son insisted we pack some games & at the last minute he threw in Cranium: The Game For Your Whole Brain and Apples To Apples. Perfect choices! These are games for people who just want to laugh a lot and have fun--no one's going to feel stupid the way you can with Trivial Pursuit or Scrabble--or get mad or frustrated like you can with Monopoly. Next time: I'm bringing more games. Anyone have some good suggestions?
- Food that I may not find on the island. I loaded up at Trader Joe's with bags of mixed dry-roasted nuts, Cranberry-Cashew Trail Mix, and healthy whole grain crackers.
Wished I hadn't eaten that!
- Big mistake--not packing lunch for the road trip. I always pack healthy delicious sandwiches for the road, but opted out this time. I had to work the day before & just rationalized that we'd find something good on the road. Yeah right? On the New York Thruway? What was I thinking? By the time we couldn't wait another minute to eat we had the misfortune of stopping at the only Thruway Rest Stop with a Burger King. Never again! My husband & I opted for the crispy chicken sandwich with fries. We must have been delirious. 800 calories & 47 grams of fat! I had them hold the mayo on mine. And the worst part--or maybe this is the best part--it tasted awful. Believe me, I haven't eaten in a fast food joint in years.
- Ben & Bill's Ice Cream in Oak Bluffs. Our friends told us this was the best--and it was. But I sure wish we had ordered one medium cup & split it 5 ways. We all ordered either the kiddie cup, which had 2 tremendous scoops of ice cream, or the small, which had 3 tremendous scoops of ice cream. Too much of a good thing--and instead of wanting to come back, we stayed as far away from ice cream shops as we could after that. 2 days later I picked up a quart of Starbuck's Mocha Chip at the grocery store. When I fall off the wagon I fall hard.
- Fish & chips at David Ryan's Restaurant in Edgartown, MVI. No offense to David Ryan's, but I think I'm over fish & chips. Won't try the fried stuff again. What was I thinking?
I could have done without this!
- TV. I'm not a huge fan & when you have a small cottage with one main room, that darn TV just dominates the sound barrier. Sure, we didn't have to turn it on--but you know how some people are!
- Wireless access. It sounded like a plus--but in truth we would have been better off without it. Laptops are addictive (yeah I plead guilty), and it's more fun to bike ride into town to get the newspaper, than it is to read it online.
The rewards of staying healthy & exercising
- Long bike hikes on the island. Twice we went out for all day bike hikes of 30 miles. I may have been in the rear of our family of five but I was moving along--and "in the game", no huffing & puffing or begging to stop. I owe it all to regular indoor spinning classes 3 times a week. No sore bottom or aching legs for me.
- Riding into town on my bike. I felt like I had been transported back to 1960 when I was 10 years old & riding my bike to the bakery to pick up a rye bread for my mom--or exploring new streets with my sister & neighborhood friends. We went on "bike hikes" back then--and that's exactly how I felt as I was tooling around the towns of Martha's Vineyard---Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown & Chappaquiddick.
The joys of vacationing with all-grown-up-kids
- Mom gets to rest & vacation as much as the kids, maybe more! Everybody is all grown-up & takes care of themselves, thank you. I don't have to be in charge of cooking, shopping or cleaning anymore. Oldest son made us all a fabulous pancake breakfast, grilled us bluefish & tuna. Youngest son rolled sushi. Daughter-in-law made the guacamole, salads & assisted in cooking preps. Youngest son served as sous-chef to grilled halibut & frittata dinners. Husband did not live up to his great promises of, "I plan to cook a lot on this vacation." Oh well, his skills lie in expert packing, driving, kitchen clean-up and assorted repairs. We all pitched in with straightening up & cleaning & everyone did their own laundry.
- With everyone living out-of-town it's wonderful to just hang out together for an entire week.
- Boys will be boys. See the picture of the "Stone Statue"? That's how the 3 "boys" amused themselves for hours. Who needs to swim when you can pile up stone statues on the beach & spend hours taking turns at throwing stones to knock them down? They called the game "The White Widow". I never did have to spend much on toys for my kids. I include my husband in this group.
- I'm so glad I have a daughter-in-law! When the "boys" took their bikes off down a treacherous dirt road on Chappaquiddick I had my smart D-l-L to accompany me on the smooth, picturesque, safe road back to the ferry. When the "boys" went into Oak Bluffs to down a few beers at the Off-Shore Ale Company, D-I-L & I headed out to see Sex & The City. Finally, someone with whom I can explore out-of-the-way shops & who speaks "girl talk". Thanks D-I-L!
- Lots of laughs.
- Lots of fun.
- Lots of interesting talk.
Glad I saw this
- Surfwise. Got a chance to see this at the Vineyard Haven Film Fest. Funky, wacky, interesting documentary about out-spoken Dr. Dorian Paskowitz, the rebel surfing doctor who lived in a 24 foot trailer with his 9 kids, and fed them on health food, discipline & surfing. It's interesting, to say the least!