I called Arlene and asked her if she'd like to take a walk. She said yes but that she had to run a quick errand. OK. She runs her errand then comes to my door. We start to walk down the street stopping briefly at her house next door. Arlene's house is what we call a "three decker" or sometimes, a "tree deckah". Arlene lives on the third floor, her brother and his family live on the second floor and a tenant lives on the first floor. The young mom from the first floor had an infant in a stroller and what might have been a 3 year girl. Arlene stopped to say hi and chat a bit. As she said hi to the little girl the little girl pointed to me and asked Arlene, "Is that your daughter?"
Her mother just smiled and shook her head. Arlene couldn't contain her laughter. Being mistaken for somebody who is over 30 years younger than me is not a bad thing, except for the gender thing, and a 3 year old mixing up words is not unusual. It is the first time I have been mistaken for someone's daughter. We had a pretty good laugh over this, having to stop a couple of times to get rid of the excess laughter.
As we walked Arlene referenced neighborhood lore and things about various houses and the people. She has lived in this neighborhood most of her life. It is a nice neighborhood sandwiched between two busy streets. One of those streets runs right along the river. It's one of the 4 oldest streets in this city. By the late 1600's to the mid to late 1800's sailing ships were built along here. It was easy for a ship to be sailed down river to the harbor, and from there go to Europe, Africa or the Caribbean. I'm ashamed to say I know little of the history of the city that I have lived in all my life. By American standards it's a pretty old place, established in 1630. The fourth oldest English settlement.
Each street in this neighborhood seems to have a name referring back to significant people in the cities history. They could have been ship builders, governors etc. Here's a picture of a house a couple of streets over from here. The Peter Tufts House. Thought to be one of the oldest if not the oldest still standing brick house in the U.S. Built in 1677. Though it is about an 8 or 10 minute walk from here this is not my picture.
It is Peter Tufts descendent that donated the land where Tufts University now sits.
The rest of Monday was uneventful except from that thrill you do get when you do laundry. Tuesday there was work. That went ok. Today I am off once again. No big plans. There's always plenty to do I just don't have any big plans. Last night Arlene and I started discussing our plans for vacation. At this writing it is 11 days away and we are looking forward to walking into this lobby.
I took this the first time we walked into the lobby in 2010. It's actually 3 pictures stitched together. It's a bit fuzzy around the plant on the coffee table. Panoramic stitching can produce some nice perspectives as long as you or things don't move such as a flag in the parts of two pictures that are the same. A flag in the wind can be a problem, shots involving water or people moving can produce a blurry image as well. Technical I am not.
I've used this photo, a 3 picture composite that came out well, before. It's one of my favorites, an unexpected site as Arlene and I took a walk by the ocean as the sun was setting. We had come from supper in the downtown area by a bay. When you walk along the sidewalk by the ocean with the ocean on your left you come across a pond on your right. We turned to look to the west and saw this over the pond.
I was pretty steady with the camera and nothing really moved. It's a favorite moment of ours and the picture represents it nicely to us. Here is sunset from the other side of the island. How can you tire of scenes like this?
The beauty of traveling there before and after the tourist season is you are not amongst 75,000 of your closest friends, who come here during the summer season.
Locally where we stay, the downtown has plenty of places open but it's never really mobbed. So we can pretend we live here in a fairly stress free atmosphere for a week, thanks to your credit card. This is a bit of the Oak Bluffs downtown. It's about a 10 minute walk from the hotel. It's also a bit early in the day here.
Another 10 minutes or so walk in another direction takes you to the harbor.
Or you could head off in another direction and end up where the munchkins live.
Sometimes I think that I sound snobby about all this "zipping down to the Vineyard". I don't mean to, it's just that in the last few years our lives have changed a bit. We both entered our finale years of full time employment. For me a radical change to my life after almost 45 years of full time employment. Arlene raised two daughters and worked full time nearly as many years as I did. The idea of going there just popped into my head one day. Perhaps it was the Presidents first vacation there.
Why would the President go there for a vacation? Well rich people have estates there, and there are only a few ways to get there, and, what if you went in the off season? I checked out the hotel prices and locations and found a nice compromise, at the Pequot. A block from the ocean and a short walk to the "downtown".
Why not give it a shot? It can't cost that much for 4 days? After the first trip we were hooked. That was in 2010. Here we are 2015 and we're less than two weeks from leaving once again. I guess it's fun to be in this small ocean side town, that at times smack a bit like Mayberry, and pretend that we live in this peaceful little place. If all goes right between driving and the ferry we can leave at 6 a.m. and get there by 9
Here's the staff that has remained fairly constant over the last 5 years. They were posing for several of the guests including us.
I'm outta here.