The second half of our trip started with a day of rain so we did a few inside things; caught up with our laundry, visited the Cape Cod potato chip factory and visited the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. The latter is a small museum which focuses on the Kennedy’s time in Cape Cod. Most of the exhibits focus on JFK, but there are also lots of mementos from the rest of the family including pieces from the Kennedy’s Compound in Hyannis Port. It was very interesting to see the more casual side of the Kennedys.
Speaking of Hyannis and Hyannis Port: we were confused as to where these towns started and stopped and how they related to Barnstable (another town we had visited) so we asked a docent at the Kennedy Museum to explain. Turns out that Barnstable is the town and Hyannis is one of seven villages within the town. Hyannis Port isn’t even a village; it’s more like a suburb of Hyannis which includes one of the town’s (Barnstable’s) ports. Oh, by the way, there is also a village named Barnstable and a place called Barnstable Port. Not confusing at all!
Next up on our agenda was Martha’s Vineyard. We drove an hour across the Cape to Woods Hole and boarded the fast ferry to the Vineyard, landing after 45 minutes in Vineyard Haven. This little town used to be called “Homes Hole” but locals got tired of explaining why their town was named as such so they renamed it to something more socially acceptable. (In case you’re wondering Wiki says: “Known by the original Wampanoag inhabitants as Nobnocket, this area was first referred to by the colonial settlers as Homes Hole; “Homes” from a Wampanoag term for “old man,” and “Hole” meaning a “sheltered inlet.”
The ferry ride is interesting in and of itself. The passengers cover the gamut; with day tourists like us, commuters who make this ride twice a day, and people who are going for an extended stay with lots of luggage and big dogs. In fact, there were lots of big dogs and all were well behaved and quite friendly. For our ride the ferry wasn’t crowded and there was plenty of space for all, even for the dogs. However, we found out that beginning Memorial Day all the ferries are packed and sometimes you have to make reservations several days ahead to ensure you get a seat. Lucky for us it was off season and we could ride anytime we wanted.
|Sea Captain’s Homes on Water Street, Edgartown|
On Martha’s Vineyard we caught a bus to visit Edgartown; one of the five towns on the island. Edgartown used to be one of the primary whaling ports of the new world with ships from around the world docking here. Water Street was where many of the sea captains built their mansions with their Widow’s Walks looking out to sea. Most of these houses have been restored to their former glory and walking along them almost takes you back in time.
|Victorian Mansion on Oak Bluff Commons|
It was time to move on so we caught bus #13 and got off at the next town: Oak Bluffs. Stepping off the bus is like stepping into a movie set. The sea is on one side of the road and on the other side is the town commons, a sea of green grass centered with a picture-perfect gazebo. Circling the commons is Ocean Avenue which is lined with stately Victorian Mansions, many of which were built by Portuguese mariners in the 19th century. Beautiful!
A few blocks behind the Victorians is Wesleyan Grove, formerly a tent campground for Methodist camp meetings. Many families returned to the campground year after year and over time the tents were replaced with small ornately decorated homes. These homes are painted in bright colors and have elaborate trim and scrollwork bordering which led to them being labeled as “gingerbread cottages.” Many of these homes have been passed from generation to generation and are as beautiful as the day they were built. Walking through this village of over 300 homes is like walking through a fairy land!
|The Pink House. 1 of over 300 Gingerbread houses|
Unlike our Martha’s Vineyards bus riding, we decided that this would be strictly a walking visit. We started with a mile and a half wander along the cobblestone streets to a restaurant high up on the bluff. After yet another great seafood meal we wandered back
and marveled at all the sea captains’ mansions. In the 1800s Nantucket was the largest whaling seaport in the world, so there are hundreds of these beautiful homes here.Did you know that the entire island of Nantucket is a National Historic Site and there are over 800 pre-Civil War homes here; the largest concentration in the country. Many of these homes were abandoned after the end of the whaling industry in the 19th century but now they are almost priceless, commanding some of the highest prices per square foot in the United States.
Jamestown, New York
Jamestown is a cute little town with lots of memorials to Lucy including several Lucy murals and two
|No pics allowed inside. 🙁|
museums focusing on Lucy and Desi Arnez. Next morning Mona decided she wanted to visit both museums. I reluctantly agreed. Don’t get me wrong, I love Lucy, but frankly I didn’t think the museums would be that interesting. I was wrong. One museum was primarily dedicated to Lucille Ball with lots of memorabilia from her early life and video-taped stories from people who knew her when.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!
From the first exhibit to the last we were entranced. There was music everywhere and seemingly each exhibit taught us more and more about the music we loved and the musicians who played it.
|Lady Gaga Costume|
This. Place. Rocks!
The lower level of the museum traces the history of rock from its early beginnings in Blues, Soul and Gospel and then all the way to Lady Gaga. Another floor that we visited had videos of inductions year by year. Two upper floors had iconic rock stars’ (including Tina Turner, Cher, Madonna and Paul McCartney) photographs taken by Herb Ritts. Many of these were familiar as they had been on albums that we’ve purchased over the years.
We spent over 4 hours at the Hall of Fame and it wasn’t nearly enough. We are already planning to return!On our way out of Cleveland we saw a line of police officers in full riot gear advancing down the street. We feared that the people of Cleveland were in for a night of violence, but luckily calm prevailed and the protests continued peacefully. Hoping and praying that continues
On our drive to the Cape we stayed for free at Choice Hotels using points earned on our Florida trips. On our return Choice had another promotion so we paid for our rooms to earn additional points.