Martha’s Vineyard is magical for a summer holiday.
By Ann Graham
Is there anywhere on earth, apart from my native heath, as enchanting as New England in the Fall? I doubt it. from the beautiful shores of Lake Oneida to the salty charm of Cape Cod or the well-heeled environs of the Hamptons, I have been completely captivated for countless years. As soon as we landed at JFK airport, we were enveloped in warmth and colour unseen at home at this season of the year. In 20 short minutes we were whisked from Manhattan to Long Island and the start of our fall adventure. After an all too brief stay with Dumbarton-born relatives, we jetted of on a one hour flight north to Syracuse to attend a wedding on the glorious lakeside at Geneva, the main purpose of our trip this year. Geneva, the venue for the nuptials retains an olde worlde charm, typifying small-town America. An exclusive visit to the renovated 1928 Landmark Movie theatre (formerly a Lowe’s movie theatre) in downtown Syracuse was the cherry on this particular cake. Syracuse was hosting an Irish festival during our visit and I had the privilege of seeing the final performance of an amazing band, the Elders, who will be much missed on the American-Irish music scene. There is a lot of marvellous Art Deco architecture still to be seen in the city, including buildings by the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright. Another short plane-hop took us to Ol’ Cape Cod, via the too bustling Boston, home of the American Revolution…in which we lost the whole dang continent! Arriving in Hyannis (named for Iyannough, a chief the Cummaquid tribe) ,this was our base for a visit to the island of Martha’s Vineyard and a wander through the former Methodist Camp Meeting ground, the primitive tents of the original campers having long been replaced by picturesque Victorian ‘Gingerbread’ Cottages. A pleasant two hour sail took us back to the mainland and the not-to-be-missed JFK Museum on Main Street and a day of sun-soaking (and gritty pieces!) on Kalmus Beach Our next port of call was the Chatham Fish Docks, to watch the day’s catch being unloaded, including, to my surprise, an 80lb tuna- Jeez, how will they fit THAT in the tin?? We spent an interesting day exploring the cozy, unspoiled villages along the North Shore, admiring (from a distance!) the many rocky outcrops and salt marshes, stopping to pop into intriguing antique (and junk) shops. A leisurely drive back to Long Island, via Connecticut taking the ferry from New London to Orient Point with a quick side-trip to Montauk to view the lighthouse in all it’s dazzling glory concluded a magical holiday.