Friday, October 26, 2012

Day 16 - Boats and Bubbles

Got an invitation to a Halloween party at the Atlantic yesterday - the Atlantic being a fab seafood restaurant on Martha's Vineyard where we went for my birthday lunch. We had such an amazing time (it was in fact one of the peak experiences of my life!) that not only did I gush to the manager, I signed up for their email updates.

We'd arrived on the 10:30 ferry from the mainland and the famed Cape Cod. It was a sunny day, but brisk - especially for a 45 minute crossing of Nantucket Sound. But I still didn't want to duck into the warmth of the cafe. I wanted to experience every minute of the passage on deck. So we pulled our hoods up and took a spot at the bow - a la Kate and Leo in Titanic (though without the PG-13 PDAs) and watched the marinas and mansions of Martha's Vineyard come into view. I couldn't stop smiling.

We drove off the ferry into the picturesque village of Vineyard Haven. Then we toured the island briefly, driving along the ocean into Oak Bluffs (a slightly more casual'beach-blanket place compared to Edgartown where we were staying).

It was too early to check into the Hob Nob Inn so we wandered the quaint streets of Edgartown and found the Atlantic, a resto recommended to us by the staff at the Hob Nob. A sprawling two-story building with whitewashed balconies, it's located right on the harbor. Like everything else in Edgartown, it was posh and casual at the same time, decorated in a maritime theme.

We were there right at noon so the place was still quiet (though all the rooms would be packed before we left!). We took a seat in the front covered porch area.

During high season people must dine al fresco. But on what was the last official weekend of the season, clear plastic sheeting had been hung to keep out the drafts. Not fluttering Saran Wrap either, but (like everything else on the island) high quality shit. It had the effect of ever-so-slightly warping my view of the harbor - making this pic I took look almost impressionistic.

(How corny is that shot?)

When the waitress came over (she was so charming and articulate she seemed to have a degree in everything from Theater Arts to American History), I made her day - and mine - by ordering a glass of Veuve. What the hell? It was my birthday! The hubs had a screwdriver and we clinked glasses grinning ear to ear. I felt I'd been waiting all my life to get to Martha's Vineyard and there I was. A girl shouldn't be that on her 49th, but it's the truth.

By the way, I don't know how to put this but ... the people on Martha's Vineyard are not the most outgoing or effusive folks I've ever met. Maybe it's the fact most of the summer people are Old Money from Boston. Maybe it's the harsh life of farming and fishing on the cold Atlantic that's hardened islanders for four centuries. Maybe it's just the fact they resent tourists disrupting their vibe - much as they need them financially - there are only 4,000 people in Edgartown, but the island's population mushrooms to 100,000 in the summer.  (This mild antagonism between locals and summer people isn't unusual in resort towns. My second novel, By Invitation Only, co-written with social fixture Jodi Della Femina was about the Hamptons - and the same strained relationship existed there, too.) Not that I had a problem with the reserved islanders. I personally don't give a shit if people who serve me become my BFFs. I sort of like the stand-offishness of people on the island. They aren't rude! They're just not nearly as bubbly as champagne. ;)

The server seemed to intuit that we were game for just about anything, so after appetizers - clam chowder and tuna tartar, delish! - she thought we would like the Seafood Tower. The resto was full by the time it came and all eyes turned in our direction. It was an incredible presentation. Enormous! Tons of lobster, crab, oysters, muscles, shrimp, all on two tiers of ice with lots of dipping sauces (that's the hubs not enjoying his cameo). I didn't think we'd get through it - but we did.  As astute observers might notice, the bubbly is gone. I'd moved onto white wine for the main course. Girard Sauv Blanc from Sonoma. Lovin' Sonoma wines lately.  Anyway, it was a really memorable feast and having that glass of champagne was truly one of the happiest moments of my life. Sigh ... I'm a simple girl.

Here are some more random shots of historic Edgartown, colonized in 1642 ...

12 days of the cleanse to go!! :) 

By Invitation Only

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