Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Would we go back?

We're pretty set in our ways kind of people.  When it comes to traveling, going somewhere new can be exciting but if it's a bust then we'll feel like we wasted our time and money.  After 14 trips to Hawaii, we started wanting to see other parts of the country and while Martha's Vineyard and The Hamptons weren't a place that really excited us, we knew that many people did love vacationing there so we thought why not us?    So here's our personal likes and dislikes of each place.

Martha's Vineyard-


The unique treasures 

From the Gingerbread Cottages, Flying Horses and Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs to just sit and do nothing in a beautiful setting.


From West Chop to East Chop to the Edgartown Lighthouse over to Gay Head Lighthouse this island delivered for our lighthouse lovin' souls.

The people

Whilst I have no photos of the folks who inhabit Martha's Vineyard on the regular, I can tell you that before tourist season starts the people are SO nice.  Now I say before the tourist season starts because some locals were surprised at us calling their town folk nice but then laughed and said: "well, the season hasn't started yet so you caught us on our good side!"  I'm talking if we were coming out onto a main road from a side street and looking either way for a chance to get out, traffic would stop in both directions to let us out!  I don't know what they do where you're from but in our neck of the woods, that's unheard of.


We stayed in Edgartown which isn't where you come in on the ferry but it was only about a 15-20 minute drive once we were off the ferry and out of its traffic jam.  Almost anything we wanted to see was no further than a 25-minute drive at most so that suited us just fine and made for fitting in a lot of sights on sunny days.


The distinct advantage to going in the off season is the lack of people.  For crowd hating couples like us, that speaks our language!  We could walk the Gingerbread cottages at our leisure with no one but the painters fixing things up there.  We enjoyed Ocean Park on any bench we pleased rather than hoping one was available.  99% of every beach we went to was empty and while I'm sure the cooler temps had something to do with that, that is my element...crashing waves and fuzzy sweaters.


What actually IS open?

Because we went during off season, this meant about 50% of businesses that are seasonal were closed.  So no Mad Martha's ice cream for us or a few other restaurants that received rave reviews.  Many stores that looked cute were getting painted to get ready for the season and weren't open by our departure which bummed us out.  We were told by locals that once the kids are back in school, come on back because seasonal places are still open usually until the first week in October.


We've encountered this pretty much in every New England state we've been to from Maine to Vermont...tailgating.  I'm not talking about your typical highway tailgating, I mean you're riding along minding your own business and it's as though a Subaru drops out of the sky and they get right up on your butt regardless of your speed but then they won't pass!  We've found that 9 times out of 10
as long as you stand your ground, they back off and deal with it.  But it's like come on, pass us already if where you have to be is so important.  This is the fastest way to throw the Mr into a tizzy and he gets tense typically but after a while, we just laughed about it.  So I guess just know going in that you're going to have people try to scoot you along but I have no desire to get a ticket on vacation.


It's an island, so parking is at a premium regardless but if we were having a hard time finding spaces when the crowds hadn't yet arrived, I have no clue how this place survives during peak season!  We heard you can easily spend an hour looking for a parking space just circling and circling.  Who the heck wants to do that!?  I can imagine tempers can easily flare as you encounter this every day trying to find a spot at the beach or eat at your favorite restaurant.

Wall to wall people

Now we thankfully didn't experience this but were told legends about it when we got there.  How a typically 15-minute commute can easily take an hour from this time of year until Labor Day.  Just know if you go during the summer months, it's going to be traffic jams on and off the road like any beach town.

Would we go back?

Absolutely!  When you're sad to leave a place, it's a good indicator it's gotten into your heart.  We saw everything (that was open) and even got to revisit a few places so I feel like a week was adequate time there but I wouldn't mind 10 days next time.  We both think this will be a great place to celebrate our fall birthdays either next year or the year after.  I think next time we'd explore the Cape Cod area too since I think it's the last place the Mr can still tell the jellyfish story that he hasn't taken me yet.

The Hamptons-

What we loved:

Walking our beach

Due to the time of year, it was completely empty so we could walk and enjoy it on our own.  Nothing like it!

Window shopping

Wandering around boutiques and antique shops was fun especially dreaming about how you'd fill your own beach house if you had money.  (Fresh Prince socks would not be on that list.)

Dream house hunting

For the homes that weren't covered in 20' high hedges and security cams every 20 ft (Spielberg), it was fun dropping our jaws at the ones we could see.  It reminded me of when we were dating and first married how we would go to the fancy parts around our city dreaming of what it would be like to have a house that big...or just bigger than 900 sq ft which would easily comprise a guest room in one of these joints!

Montauk area

There is just nothing like that lighthouse and the area is much quieter than the rest of Long Island.  I can see why Jimmy Buffet, Paul Simon, and other celebs have places in this area.  I do regret not exploring a few of the little parks on the way back but I think we just weren't feeling it that day and never made it back out there.  But this isn't actually The Hamptons so...

Old Westbury Mansion

This place just took my breath away and it was truly an amazing stop which I'll cover completely in another post but again, like Montauk...not actually IN The Hamptons.


Lack of Wow factor

I'm guessing you have to be rich and famous to truly appreciate how "fabulous" The Hamptons are but we just weren't seeing it.  Yes, there are some cute little streets with a few blocks of quaint looking stores with moderate to big price tags inside but our town has those too.  There is a wine trail on the northern route but we're not wine drinkers so that didn't appeal to us.  Yes, there are beaches but after a while, they all look alike and we walked a beach somewhere every day on this vacation but I didn't see anything in The Hamptons that was as striking as places we saw on MV.  We even went on Main Beach in East Hampton which is supposed to be THE beach, looked both ways and the Mr said "whatchu think?" and I shrugged and said, "it's a beach" and we left.


There is basically one main drag and because there are few relief roads, one fender bender or foam blowing off someone's $10 latte in the wind can bring traffic to a standstill.  It was in this traffic that we discovered a little Italian restaurant to pull off and eat to hopefully let it die down.  We asked if it was always that bad and he laughed and said that was nothing.  In the summer it's easily a parking lot for 60-90 minutes.  So again, since this is considered a summer hot spot for the wealthy and everyone else wanting to gawk at them, be prepared to be stuck behind a Maserati or Range Rovers and other cars with reps for being in the shop more than on the road.

Got bored easily

Once you see the couple things there are to see that were of interest to us that were in the actual Hamptons, you realize it's kind of a boring town.  I mean if Martha or Gwenyth are throwing a fabulous gathering that's one thing but the other thing is, you're probably not invited so...yeah.

Would we go back?

No.  The Hamptons is definitely not a week long destination in our eyes.  We think maybe a long weekend is appropriate and enough time to see everything including a drive up to Montauk.  Neither of us ever see any reason we'd ever go back there but it's checked off of the bucket list and if we were ever on Long Island again, it probably would be to go to some movie locations in Brooklyn and Queens and the farthest out we'd go maybe a stop at Old Westbury Gardens.  While I do love looking at big houses, you end up looking at more high hedges than anything else which basically makes it a rich people real estate d**k measuring contest.  It's kinda gross that way.  (Though I'm happy to report that Ina actually has the nicest home in her neighborhood and it's in a more "common folk" area of the Hamptons so she's just like the rest of us...but not really.)

Do you vacation in new to you places or stick with the same places?

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  2. We're right on the same page as to whether or not we'd go back to a place and I am thankful for that. It was a great trip to both places and no offense to anyone who might live on Long Island but I just don't feel it calling me the way Hawaii, and other places call back over time. If you do live on Long Island, you are very lucky and you probably do not need any more tourists anyway so I'm sure you're fine with one less vacationing couple in your traffic.

  3. For the last 20 years I felt obligated to take the same vacation to visit my parents. Now that both of them have passed, I will be taking more vacations to where I want to go and start to see some of this great land as an adult.

  4. I visit somewhere new every year. I have a very long bucket list and each year I set a goal to visit a new location on that list. Most of those locations are international destinations, as I have been fairly well travelled within Canada in my earlier years, when I could only afford to travel within the country.

  5. I'm so glad you got to do this and have some great experiences. You had an actual Ina sighting and that alone makes the Hamptons worth it for the day. Absolutely gorgeous pictures, too! I haven't been on a vacation since 2011, so I'm quite overdue. lol


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