Martha’s Vineyard conjures up ideas of Presidential retreats and rich millionaires. How unlikely it was for me an artist to even consider a visit there. But with two back to back exhibits, I needed a hiatus and decided like everyone else to go to Martha’s Vineyard. The lush green quiet island replenished my artistic soul and was easy on my eyes and wallet.
You can take Peter Pan Bus lines to Woods Hole for a nominal fee from Boston. My Boston cousin drove us to Woods Hole and I paid $8.50 for the 45 minutes cruise to Vineyard Haven.
After we disembarked, we caught a bus for $2.50 directly to the Cleaveland House B&B in West Tisbury. Life could not have been easier or cheaper. The Inn was the perfect retreat for an artist—reasonably priced and conveniently located on the island. The Inn Keeper, a mystery writer, and her husband checked us in after a short wait. Our room had twin beds with a sofa and was decorated with a touch of nostalgia. I visited mid-week and enjoyed the quiet comfort of the Inn.
After a good night’s sleep and complimentary continental breakfast, I ventured out. I had come to rest and to draw four lighthouses in one day. Upon learning that there was public transportation near all lighthouses, I gladly cancelled my $100 a day car rental. I didn’t want to worry about parking and getting lost. I paid $8.00 for a one-day bus pass. It took me all day to see the lighthouses because I missed one bus. Along the way, I saw almost all of the island, sat at the beach (after missing the bus) and treated myself to an ice cream cone. The waffle cone was huge and under $6.00. The buses run on a timely schedule and the drivers make sure you catch the next bus by communicating and asking the next driver to wait if needed. When it was time for dinner, my sister and my cousin who lives on the island went out for pizza. I went to Aquinnah to draw my last lighthouse and skipped the dinner. Fortunately, my cousin had mercy on a “starving artist” and sent back pizza by my sister.
The highlight of my trip was my visit to the Gay Head lighthouse. I was delighted to learn that the lighthouse was being moved to keep it from falling off a cliff. Since 1844, Gay Head had occupied this site. After a century of erosion, it was now close to the edge of the cliff. It took three days to move the lighthouse. The completed move was celebrated with cheers and the christening of the lighthouse with champagne.
The next day I check out and paid only $250 for two nights at the Cleaveland House. I caught the bus to the airport for $2.50 and paid only $71 for my New York flight.
At the airport my cousin checked me in and embarrassed me by introducing me as a celebrity on the flight. Hey–the only thing I’m famous for is saving a buck here and there!