September 25, 2014

Martha's Vineyard

The real value in spending time to discover new places lies in learning my place in the world amongst many. Listening to townspeople's stories and reading on the history and culture of every village, town, and city allows me to frame the world around me in a more open and revealing perspective.  As we all perceive the world from a first-person point-of-view, we can only pursue through our own gainful mind. 

On me: Jack by BB Dakota dress via Lulu*s, Tricks of the Trade dress via Lulu*s, Dogeared earrings, Kelsi Dagger shoes.
On Kyle: Azul by Moussy cardigan, Kennington shirt, Paige jeans.

Immersing in Martha's Vineyard was as much a bubble-breaker as moving from small town North Carolina to the sunny land of cultural diversity in SoCal. Coming from a decade of LA's flashy affluence, the quiet beauty and refined charm of East Coast island life pleasantly captured my heart. Even as a historical summer playground for American royalty like the Kennedys and the Obamas, Martha's remains nonchalantly laidback and embraces itself as a humble blip in the Atlantic Ocean, albeit a very, very beautiful one. Its authenticity lies in local farms and mom-and-pop shops that never have to worry about big business coming in (there actually is a place in the world with no Starbucks).

Kyle and I traveled from Newport to Martha's Vineyard by ferry and landed in Oak Bluffs, a community dotted in the famous, one-of-a-kind Victorian gingerbread cottages. Oak Bluffs is considered a favorite amongst the younger crowd, accommodating the oldest carousel in America, a large oceanside park for picnics and events, and being only one of two towns on the island allowed to serve alcohol (thankfully I'm in the second town). I wore my new Jack by BB Dakota dress from Lulu*s that called me with its beautiful vintage-inspired floral print, perfect for the historical setting of Martha's. I can always trust Lulu*s to find the cutest daytime dresses with unique details for any occasion, including prancing in front of lived-in gingerbead houses.

We made our way to Edgartown, one of the most elegant communities in New England and our main residence for the overnighter. After a quick liquid lunch at Newes from America and a homemade ice cream cone from Mad Martha's, we drove through a neighborhood of polished, whitewashed captain's houses with blue porch ceilings to the tip of Edgartown, and checked in at the Harbor View Hotel. Coming upon this handsome landmark as it rose above the hill put a gleam in our eyes as we looked to the right and saw it directly face the historic Edgartown Lighthouse, with an easy path straight to its base. The large property holds gracious hotel rooms with ocean views in the main building and just a well-manicured courtyard away, beautiful sea captain's cottages are built with luxurious one to two bedroom suites of understated elegance, in which we were so lucky to stay. The calming and comfortable Vineyard-style decor made an impressive suite feel like living in my dream home for the night.

Kyle and I are adventurers. And thus after we settled in, we took our Kia Soul to the middle of the map filled with windy roads and vast blocks of light green and just drove. We passed along the Morning Glory farm in which we stopped to gaze at the gorgeous colors of organic fresh veggies and to grab some fresh squeezed green juices, the only little thing we were missing from home. Then we veered right into some little dirt path road in which our Kia Soul comfortably and safely took us through, even though she got a little dirty along the way. It was great to be able to drive such a reliable and compact car yet with so much interior room for comfort and convenience. We knew our Soul-mate wouldn't let us down driving through the eerily beautiful woods close to sunset. We got to a patch of woods and just stopped on the road to venture outside. Not a car, ranch, or animal in sight. With a wandering pursuit and a pounding heart, we explored some of the untouched nature that so graciously sat and welcomed us. But believe me, I made Kyle jet us out of there well before the sun set below the trees.

We cruised back to dine and drink at the elegant Henry's Bar tucked away in the Harbor View Hotel. Sweet bubbly and delicious American tapas satisfied our hunger and of course a Martha's Vineyard trip wouldn't be complete without dining beside a celebrity. After dinner, we walked it off into the moonlight and dazed at the glittering stars that we are not so fortunate to see back home.

Leaving Martha's Vineyard was a thought we despised come morning. We just couldn't bear to leave, so we changed our ferry time to Cape Cod a little later in the afternoon just to say our last goodbyes to the beauty of the island. Kyle and I brunched at Lucky Hanks for incredibly simple and delicious farm-to-table fare and we explored more of Harbor View Hotel's classic property before taking off. The navy blue maxi dress from Lulu*s was a wonderful thing to wear for the graceful winds to pick up the skirt as we walked to Edgartown Lighthouse. I naturally love this dress for it's comfort and effortless versatility in its long convertible straps that you can creatively wear as one-shoulder, halter, strapless, you name it! A simple twist of the straps can turn this dress from casual daytime wear to an alluring formal look. It's easily the best bang for your buck and the best garb for the sophisticated island. 

On our way out of Edgartown, we stopped by Behind the Bookstore cafe for a little rejuvenation and were so pleasantly surprised to find a little piece of Los Angeles in Martha's Vineyard. The owners recently moved straight from LA and were serving Intelligentsia coffee in a little oasis behind the Edgartown bookstore. I don't know if this is much of a sign, but finding a little piece of home in what I'd like to call my future home has got me even more thinking of making something happen next summer.

For an elegant and comfortable stay in Martha's Vineyard, visit the Harbor View Hotel.