mv & baby makes three
May 10, 2018
I’m not going to lie: I was a little nervous about how starting a family would affect our ability to travel.
I felt like every time I’d ever seen a couple with children at an airport/bus terminal/train station they were always juggling armfuls of carriers, baggage, and general crap while run-pushing a stroller to barely make their flight/bus/train. My husband and I used to quietly sit, early for our connection, leisurely sipping our beers with our feet up on our one little carry-on, and wonder aloud to each other if it had to be that way—and if so—for the love of all that is holy—WHY?
Well my son is only 3 months old, but I already now know the answer to that question: Yes. It does have to be that way. Because babies have 1000 pounds of crap they need, and even though you think such a tiny person can’t POSSIBLY need all of those things, they somehow do. Also, you will forget at least one of them (probably more), you and your spouse will have a giant argument about what must be brought, you will call him crazy for thinking he could pack everything for 2 adults & a baby into one backpack, he will be annoyed that you’re worried about installing the car seat without the base even though he read the instructions and practiced in the driveway at home, and everyone WILL, at some point, be screaming and/or crying. Or something like that.
So last weekend we were the crazy late people running to jump on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, balancing baggage, and silently willing our infant not to wake up to eat. But we made it, and had such a great time, right from the sunset boat ride in. Even getting on the ferry with the stroller was pretty exciting, because we got to walk through the big empty bottom of the boat where the cars go, which was kind of neat!
MV is a cool place to visit, because it’s just hard enough to get to that I could see how it might deter a lot of people from going—we took a 3-hour drive to the ferry only to find out we had to park 10 miles back, then hopped a shuttle back to the ferry, took the boat for a 45-minute ride, then a cab to the house in Oak Bluffs. What’s also interesting about MV is that it seems like a lot of the people who visit there visit regularly—or at least in the pre-season, when we went. A quick glance at the Vineyard Gazette reads like a who’s who of the Island, and everyone seems to know each other, which is pretty awesome for such a touristy spot.
We had never been on MV before, and it was just as I had pictured it—cedar shingled houses around every corner, serene shoreline views, and seafood restaurants galore. But there were also lots of fun surprises—we stayed at my cousin’s house in Oak Bluffs, right near the famed Gingerbread Houses, which I’d never heard of before. Those were well worth checking out, especially for a couple of old house nerds, and we had a great time strolling through and admiring all of the beautifully adorned Victorians.
From there we checked out the main drag in Oak Bluffs, Circuit Ave, before heading for lunch in Vineyard Haven at perhaps THE obligatory tourist spot, The Black Dog. It lived up to our expectations, and was such a nice little area to walk around after.
After all that walking, it was time for a quick nap before heading back out for the evening (I’d love to say for the baby, but let’s be honest, that’s not who needed the nap) and we checked out East Chop Lighthouse for sunset before heading back to Circuit Ave for dinner & post-dinner Back Door Donuts—if you take nothing else away from this post, take this: hot, freshly chocolate frosted donuts. That is all. There’s a reason there’s no picture of it, and it’s because I could not put it in my mouth fast enough.
We had built-in babysitters this trip since my parents met us on the island, so we attempted to go out for a couple of drinks afterwards at the Red Cat Kitchen, but only made it to 10:30pm before we walked back to the house…because even when you’ve got babysitters, let’s face it: you’re still waking up to a crying baby at 3am. But it was nice to get out for a little while before heading back to the (amazing) house we got to stay in! And sometimes hanging out at the house on a family vacation is the most relaxing part of all.
So, our travels looked a little different than they usually do: a couple more bags, a harder time finding a suitable place to eat, more walking instead of bike riding, and for me less photo-centric endeavors (not waking up at sunrise to go out and take pictures these days), but it was all the more enjoyable to share the experience as a family—even if Max mostly slept the whole time and missed all of the sights…someday! It took a little more effort and planning, but so does everything I’ve done since having a baby. If I let that stop me, I’d never do anything—so on that note, onward! Looking forward to the next adventure for three. Cheers & happy travels!