We were lucky over Labor Day to get one beautiful day out and about. Matt was sick on Saturday, and the weather outside was miserably dull and rainy. But, Monday turned out to be lovely and we went down to Martha's Vineyard ("The Vineyah-rd") to ride bikes [link to photo album]. It turns out to be quite a large island; I'd guess maybe 4 Mackinaw Island's put together (just a guess). We definitely couldn't cover it all in one afternoon. But, we did bike to the three bigger towns on the island, including Vineyard Haven where we picked up the bikes, then Oak Bluffs, and then Edgartown.
Oak Bluffs has lots of Victorian architecture. The guidebook I had described it as "precious", which I didn't quite understand until we got there. Matt and I thought it was New England's answer to Candy Land. Brightly painted houses (many painted pink) dripping with frilly detailing. They are actually called gingerbread cottages.
There is a large complex called the "Campmeeting Association", which was developed as a summer retreat during the Methodist revival in the 1800's. There were tons of these little Victorian cottages arranged around a common area that had an open air chapel. It was actually really lovely, if a little "precious". We thought it was very much an Anglo-themed utopia, with the Victorian architecture and the Methodist influence. At the same time, Oak Bluffs has a long history as a vacation destination for some African-Americans. I'm not a huge history buff, but this was really one of the most interesting historical places I've been to in New England.
Edgartown was much stuffier, with it's colonial architecture and larger houses. We zipped around on our bikes then took the bus halfway back to Vineyard Haven, before peddling back to catch the ferry. And hey Mom, I took a picture of the Black Dog Tavern for you, although we didn't go in. We'll save that for a day when we get to go there with you! We also didn't make it to the Aquinnah Cliffs, an area still managed by the Wampanoag Tribe (who of course taught those ignorant pilgrims to grow corn and all that important stuff). There is also a sheep farm out that way, where they make yarn. I so wanted to go there, but we didn't make it. : ( Hopefully we'll make our way back there at some point!
In other news, teaching has started, and it's really time consuming. The first day went fairly well. I still need to work on finding my "college instructor" voice, but it'll come. But it's kind of fun to be back on a campus, although trippy that I can now park in faculty/staff parking without getting a ticket. I feel like a poser. haha. But, I just need to put one foot in front of the other. That's all I can do!