Got to Love Normal

July 30, 2010

The blog effort has been sub par — still suffering from the computer-a-phobia.

I think I am going to move from chronological to a “highlights” review. The highlights are all about normal, and pretty much revolve around food. Food has been the theme for good living this week. For instance, the house smells like bacon cooking (it is 10:08 am and my way of trying to get the boys to get out of bed). I just cooked a coconut cream pie for Tristan — it is his birthday request, which is on Sunday. This is a test pie for today, if acceptable, I have the ingredients ready for the real meal deal.

The food diary: Oak Bluffs Pizza. That happened Monday night.

Pizza in Oak Bluffs and John's finger..

Next daily food occurrence: Tomato, basil, mozzarella salad. They called for it, I made it. It disappeared. It was like magic. They could take that show on the road. The three handsome eating machines.

Here today, gone today.

And not to be missed, the annual mecca to Menemsha. This year we tried the local fish store –it got a plug in the paper as a great place for lobster rolls, chowder etc. We tried it. the best part was the “seating” out back. 2″x6″ boards on cinderblocks against the wall of the building, next to the dock. Really cool — sitting next to the fishing boats where the fish came in. See below:

Waiting for the lobster rolls...

And the big draw…the sunset.

Goodnight sun.

 

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No Regrets

July 11, 2009
Our postcard home...wish you were here!

Our postcard home...wish you were here!

And so our vacation comes to a close, a week of no regrets. I asked everyone over breakfast this morning to give me their top three highlights for the week and this is what I got. As I listened to Chris, Luke, and Tristan, I realized I was lucky to get more than a grunt…its just where they are right now.  And where they are has been a treasure to me and to John, their humor, the way they interact as friends, the way they are finding their places in the world. It has been a week I will always remember, perhaps as the best vacation ever. But then, John reminded me that always say that after a week on the Vineyard.

So here goes with the top threefrom each of us:

Luke

  1. Catching the big fish
  2. The bike ride to Vineyard Haven the first time
  3. Watching Donny Darko

Tristan

  1. Watching Donny Darko
  2. Swimming across the pond with John
  3. Blocking the girls in the parade

Chris

  1. Sleeping
  2. Getting a bigger piece of pie than Tristan
  3. Never riding shaft seat in the truck

John

  1. Watching the boys walking down the beach together
  2. Luke’s face after he caught the fish
  3. Fishing off the jetty in Menemsha in the morning

Tracey

  1. Reading on the beach
  2. Slowing down and being with my family
  3. Watching Tristan, Luke and Chris together

It is hard to capture the week in words. We have been blessed. A couple of parting photos and that will bring this blog to a close…until next year!

Ellen Blake's pies -- our main reason for picking this vacation spot.

Ellen Blake's pies -- our main reason for picking this vacation spot.

Fish dinner courtesy of Lubas Reed!

Fish dinner courtesy of Lubas Reed!

I think this is the fish...

And this is the fish...YUMMY.

Fish Tales

July 10, 2009

For me, a week on Martha’s Vineyard is all about the beach and good books. This is not the case for others on the trip who like to intersperse a whole lot of fishing into time spent on the beach. Since Martha’s Vineyard is an island, this is easy to accommodate.

July 9th started much like any other this week. John and I waited for the boys to emerge from the hole. I am embarrassed to show this, but this is reality blogging:

Pathway of "clean clothes" leading to sleeping spot.

Pathway of "clean clothes" leading to sleeping spot.

Once again it was a sunny beach day and we headed out for a swim. Despite all of our efforts at hustling the crew, we arrived around 1:00 — it takes time to get organized, slathered with sunscreen, fed with bacon egg and cheeses sandwiches, and all of the general tom foolery that is part of being 14.  While at the beach, Luke, who may someday be a great archaeologist or marine biologist, found Adam’s rib, or a whale’s rib, he wasn’t sure.

Watch the Discovery Channel for details on "The Rib."

Watch the Discovery Channel for details on "The Rib."

A few hours later a plan was hatched for the rest of the day. Major trip learning: break all activities into short time spans. 14 year old boys are good for 2 hours max at any one thing ( except for watching tv and getting on the computer, timeless). The plan was to go to the Vineyard Haven Street Fair until 8 and then return for the night fishing trip to Lobsterville. With a name like Lobsterville, there has to be fish, right? Right.

We returned home from the beach, everyone showered and then the boys piled into the truck for a quick trip to Larry’s Bait Shop. I think Larry has seen more of John than I have over the past week. They returned home with eels. Ick.

I took the boys to the street fair and once we arrived, I never saw them again for, you guessed it, 2 hours, when it was time to go home for the fishing excursion. The fair was fun, lots of people, vendors, food, and music. I think there were also lots of teenage girls, which is why I was persona non grata.

They left, I read and went to sleep when all of a sudden I heard, “Mom, Mom, get the camera…Luke caught a fish.” And did he ever–a 36″ striped bass, a prized catch, and dinner for 5 tonight.

Luke caught The Big One!!!

Luke caught The Big One!!!

It just doesn’t get any better than this, and that is no fish tale!

The sun always shines in MV

July 9, 2009

Watching the weather reports in New England makes me feel like we are in a protected sun pocket. The weather has been spectacular. One night of rain followed by a mostly blue sky day yesterday.

Note the empty beach, despite perfect weather.

Note the empty beach, despite perfect weather.

Not sure if it is the economy or the rain everywhere else, but this is the first time we have seen the beach like this in 12 years. Nice for us!

Our days have held a nice rhythem –boys get up mid morning and eat. We decide what is happening for the day. A couple of days the boys went on bike adventures when the waves were not big enough to suit them. Yesterday had good waves and kept them occupied.

Waiting on the big one.

Waiting on the big one.

Proof I was there, me on the right!

Proof I was there, me on the right!

After the allure of surf wore off we hatched a plan for the rest of the day…eating in Menemsha, drop off Mom at home, go fishing until late in the night.

Waiting for dinner...

Waiting for dinner...

Quant fishing village, eating here is an annual event.

Quaint fishing village, eating here is an annual event.

After dinner and getting rid of all extra baggage (aka me) off they went to fish. I heard everyone arrive home at midnight, stories of the fishing expedition to follow.

The Reason We Are Here…

July 6, 2009

It is pretty much all about the beach at Martha’s Vineyard. So far the weather here has been perfect. See daily routine:

  • 6:30 ish Tracey makes coffee
  • John joins once coffee aroma hits the upstairs
  • Daily sweep for 1/2 empty gatorade and soda bottles
  • 7:00 – 8:00 general clean up and beach lunch preparation
  • John goes to Black Dog for pastry
  • Sometime between 9 and 10, three teenage boys emerge from the hole
  • Pack truck with chairs, towels and lunch.
  • Slather all with 60 SPF.
  • 11:00 depart for beach, Long Point — same beach, everyday.
The Daily Read

The Daily Read

Anticipation builds as we check the conditions. The ocean water is 6 degrees warmer than Friday, so we are all excited about that. 66 degrees, toasty. They forgot to note that the NW wind was sending ice blasts on the beach so while the water was balmy, the air was quite cool. But we are not discouraged, we are not glum, we are HAPPY to be on the beach, even if it snows.

Lunch time on the beach, guarding food from seagulls is the main priority here.

Lunch time on the beach, guarding food from seagulls is the main priority here.

The beach day leaves everyone tired and hungry. See evidence below:
Recovering from a bike ride and a rough day at the beach.

Recovering from a bike ride and a rough day at the beach.

And hungry…so out comes the lasagna.

Feeding the hungry.

Feeding the hungry.

The end.

4th of July

July 5, 2009
The day began with a lot of cooking before the boys got up–lasagna, fruit salad and beach sandwhiches–and egg and cheese sandwhiches when they did arise. Once fed and slathered with 60 spf ( the sky was BLUE BLUE BLUE) we headed to the beach. While the boys, including John, went swimming, I settled into my book. After about 15 minutes a seagull swooped near my head and pooped on me. YES–it landed on the inside of the right lens of my eading glasses. An older woman from NY looked over and said “that is so unusual, and gross.” I felt much better after her condolance. After a quick rinse in the water, I was good to go.

The rest of the beach trip was uneventful and we left to go home around 2:30 because our friend, John’s oldest and best friend, Paul was on his way to visit for the night. We also had to get ready for the parade. We (boys and me) rode our bikes to Edgartown for the parade at 5:00 pm and fireworks at 9:30. 

I love a parade–the flags, bagpipes, penny whistles and school bands–it doesn’t get much better to me. See photo essay below:

I
American flags and service men start the parade.
American flags and service men start the parade.
Massachusettes Colonial Army...they stopped and sang a sea chanty.

Massachusettes Colonial Army...they stopped and sang a sea chanty.

Our country tis of thee sweet land of liberty...

Our country tis of thee sweet land of liberty...

Chris, Luke, and Tristan had more fun annoying some nearby girls than they did watching the parade. They purposefully blocked their views as the girls asked REPEATEDLY if they would step back. The more they asked and threw candy at them, the wider their block became. Both sides relentless, the standoff did not end until the last firetruck passed.

"Mom, watch the bikes, we'll be back."

"Mom, watch the bikes, we'll be back."

And so after the parade, we killed some time and then headed out to Edgartown Harbor to watch the fireworks.

Sight of the fireworks.

Sight of the fireworks.

Luke, ever the adventurer and most likely a future discoverer of sorts, found the perfect location for watching the fireworks. I was called from my bike watching post and we dragged the bikes to the farthest edge of the point and got perfect front row seats for the show. It was a great show, quite extravagent with what seemed like three or four grand finales.

And the rockets red glare...

And the rockets red glare...

And then the call went out for a ride home so John and Paul met us in Edgartown. They took two bikes and rode home, I drove home with the precious cargo–three teenage boys–two bikes and two fishing poles. It was a great 4th of July!

The Fun Begins

July 4, 2009

The Moran Family Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard began on July 2nd with a quick stop in Boston at the Renaissance Waterfront Hotel. We (John, Tracey, Chris and his two friend Luc and Tristan) packed into the truck with 4 bikes, 3 pillows, a mountain of food, 4 fishing poles and various fishing gear I can’t describe, and a small amount of clothes. I am really glad we are traveling with teenage boys–they travel light.

We arrived at the hotel around 1:30 and unpacked and secured items listed above. After some time in the gym and a little rest, we headed out to the North End for an Italian meal.

Tristan settling in for R & R before dinner.

Tristan settling in for R & R before dinner.

The trip to the North End was an adventure that began with trying to find the perfect Italian meal. At the third place, I spoke to a man outside his restaurant who looked like an older Tony Soprano. He said if we didn’t like it, he would pay. My first thought? This has to be good and I corralled the trooops to join me. In we went and ordered. As the antepasto arrived, Tristan looked up a review for the restaurant. “Oh no, this gets 1 1/2 stars — they say the antepasto is nothing more than ice berg lettuce with 2 slices of salami.” As he said that, ours arrived and guess what, it was nothing more than…well you know the drill.

Anyway, the meals arrived, my sausage was uncooked and the pasta overdone. We left enjoying the comraderie of the poor restaurant choice and Tristan’s entertainment from his iPhone.  I passed the owner on the way out, the man who lured us in at the start. I did not dare complain about the meal, I have watched way too many Godfather movies.

Things picked up after the meal when we stopped at Modern Bakery for Italian pastries. YUMMIE place–eclairs, fruit tarts, carrot cake.We got boxes of treats and headed back to the hotel.

Nothing like a canoli to turn a meal around.

Nothing like a canoli to turn a meal around.

And then the best of all, we decided to walk back to the hotel, estimated to be a 35 minute walk. The problem? We didn’t know how to get there. So as I went to ask to youngmen on bike rikshas, they offered us a ride –“pay what ever you feel is fair.” That sounded good so we loaded into the two rikshas and off we went, Modern Pastry boxes in tow.

Riksha ride in Boston. Huh?

Riksha ride in Boston. Huh?

We arrive at the hotel after a really fun ride and conversation with the driver. We all hop out and Chris is offering up our treats as a tip.

Goodbye Eclairs.

Goodbye Eclairs.

We turn in for the night and prepare for our early departure to Woods Hole to catch the 9:30 ferry so the vacation can really begin.

Goodbye Boston, MV here we come!

Goodbye Boston, MV here we come!