As you can tell, I have already digressed from the RV theme to talk about my last non-RV trip to Martha’s Vineyard (welcome to my mind/personality).
As you can see from the photo, it was windy and cold the first day but the wet spot on my jeans is not rain, but coffee- daily occurrence for me!
First things first, my interest in Martha’s Vineyard came from several sources:
- My travel agent/best friend from home Jennifer Jones (336-852-0506)
- My work/life friend Pina (my Connecticut born New England resource)
- Two of my favorite bloggers Jess Ann Kirby and Julia
- From reading The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand. I didn’t link this to Amazon as my account is open and if I accidentally give everyone access to my 1-Click Amazon account, Bob would not be happy- but I did buy the kindle edition from there ($14.99)
Although I was intrigued with the Vineyard (as locals like to call it), I didn’t intend on going their over Labor Day Weekend. Bob and I planned to use our frequent flyer points to fly to Houston to see our new baby niece, Adley.
*Daily struggle not to kiss her sweet face!! Unfortunately, FaceTime has to be enough for now.
Hurricane Harvey had other plans…
To make a really long story shorter, United (free trips with this card, but it is $100 per year), would exchange our tickets but not refund them as the airport was officially open. Houston was still only accessible by boat, however.
In order for the trip to happen, I officially became a travel agent for two days booking flights, motels, cars, ferries, air B &B’s, and activities as my real travel agent was on a trip to Europe and inaccessible for my personal emergency. Jenny, I loved you before but I now value you even more than I did. Being a travel agent is not for me, but I managed to get it done.
Logistics for a 5 day, 6 night trip to Martha’s Vineyard from western South Dakota (part one):
- Night one– Drive to Gillette, Wyoming and spend the night at the Holiday Inn Express This hotel was literally amazing for a small Wyoming town. We even survived/slept through the teenage girl soccer teams next door. P.S.-flights from Rapid City were blocked.
- Day one– Fly from Gillette (GCC) to Denver (DEN), Denver to Washington DC (LAD), Washington DC to Warwick, Rhode Island (PVD).
- Gillette’s airport has free parking. Yay!!
- Make sure to eat at Root Down in Terminal C in Denver if you have a long enough layover. It is a normal restaurant with great food.
We rented a small car from Hertz at PVD, which we purchased with points. They did require us to pay for additional drivers so if only one person in your party drives, have them sign up for the car and relax in the passenger seat. Renting a car is often a headache, so I suggest pre-registering online and signing up with one company for their deals. Frequently they offer upgrades for customer loyalty.
After finally (this actually only took approximately 15 minutes but my bedtime was creeping up, even with the two-hour time change) getting our car, we drove the 80 miles from PVD to Woods Hole, Massachusetts to board the Steamship Authority Ferry. I found the website to be less than helpful, but the customer service via phone was. If this is your first trip with a car, just call them. We scheduled our ferry for 9:45 pm, but made it to Wood’s Hole at 8:44 1/2 and they let us on the 8:45 ferry- thank God. Unfortunately, the drive was in the dark, both ways, because it looked as though it might be a very scenic route.
So sorry for the lame ferry pictures, but I was exhausted both times. If it’s nice, you can sit on the deck outside and they do sell beer, wine, and snacks as well as offer TV on the upper deck. The ferry experience was an easy one once we figured out where to go from/which ferry to use. I chose The Steamship Authority based on a few factors: location, length of ride, and customer reviews.
We finally arrived in Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven (can’t remember as they ferry to both and are very close to one another) and drove to our very first Air B&B experience. The drive was approximately 30 minutes, in the dark, to a remote location-insert scary music here- but the Waze app worked like a charm. Thank you Pina for that tip!! It even worked on the ferry.
I am now exhausted from reliving that experience and writing this post so I will continue next week with Martha’s Vineyard- Part Two! Happy reading and see you next week.
*The Vineyard does have taxis which would make the ferry experience easier, but the island travel much more difficult and expensive.
*Since this is officially a RV blog- I don’t suggest driving a RV to Martha’s Vineyard. They do have spots to camp, but the Ferry process will be harder and there are A LOT of tourists. The roads are small island size and easy to navigate with a normal sized car, but may bog down traffic in the RV. Also, we didn’t see one RV on the roads or ferry which pretty much means, don’t do it.