Who’s Martha and Where is the Vineyard? Our Trip Part I - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
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Who’s Martha and Where is the Vineyard? Our Trip Part I

We had a wonderful trip to Martha’s Vineyard, but who is Martha and where is the vineyard?

Wishing you a Happy Memorial Day and hope you are having family over or just taking the day to remember theVeterans.

The Ferry from Wood’s Hole ( Boston) to Martha’s Vineyard.

A Bit of History- Who is Martha? Where is the vineyard?

Actually, there is so much history on Martha’s Vineyard, but I will answer these questions to get started.

No, it isn’t named after Martha Stewart or Martha Washington, so let’s get that out of the way.

The Native American Wampanoags were the first people, on the island, meaning, “People of the first light”. There are  Wampanoag people still living  in Aquinna, a smaller fishing village on the Vineyard.

“There is no definitive source for the name ‘Martha’s Vineyard’, but it is thought to be named for the mother-in-law or daughter, both named Martha, of the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold, who led the first recorded European expedition to Cape Cod in 1602.[a”

Martha’s Vineyard is located south of Cape Cod, in Massachusetts.


There are distinct towns of Martha’s Vineyard and each have their own charm and history. We stayed in Edgartown, a charming and elegant town with shops and beautiful cottages that looked picture perfect. We explored the areas by foot to see more of the town and took a transit bus to neighboring towns.


From Mvy.com

“​Many year-round residents of Aquinnah are descendants of the Wampanoag tribal members who showed the colonial settlers how to kill whales, plant corn, and find clay for the early brickyards. Much later, these Aquinnah Wampanoag were in great demand as boatsteerers in the whaling fleets. “

On the one rainy day, we visited The Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and it was excellent. My hubby tends to read the minutiae of every plaque, I skim and pick out parts I am interested in. There was so much to see and you learn more about the whaling business, scrimshaw the whalers would do to pass the time, fishing, and the lighthouses on the island. I highly recommend!

For more history about each town at Martha’s Vineyard, read HERE. I am sure you know about the Chappaquiddick bridge and Ted Kennedy.

The Trip There and Where we Stayed

I was a bit nervous with all of the sitting, as to get there, it is like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles”. This time however, it was buses, the ferry and another bus to get there. It certainly was worth it. I had my medication and toted my Pudendal cushion wherever we went. Many people would look inquisitively. One lady asked outright and told me her friend and I were debating if I was a flautist! (It folds in half and looks like some briefcase- or case) I told her it was for my health and it was left at that.

We stayed in a lovely place called the Lightkeepers Inn. The lightkeeper, back in the the 19 century was to keep the lighthouses light burning, and to keep it clean as well. It was great as there were only 6 units, and we had a full kitchen and suite. It was top notch service.

Since we were at the Vineyard in off-season, we didn’t wait in line anywhere. It was great, as they say it starts to get busy and lines are crazy in the summer. We got seated in restaurants straightaway, which was wonderful.

Selfie time!

The view from our room, in Boston, where we stayed the first night.

Where is the Vineyard?

In the 1600’s when Gosnold discovered the area, his crew and he observed many vines covering the Island, and therefore, named it Martha’s Vineyard. So, wine lovers, do not despair, there is still plenty of great vino to enjoy on the Island!

I have to say I was a bit apprehensive about how I would do on this trip, with my Pudendal Neuralgia, but I was proud of myself for going. Sometimes, even with illness, it is ok to try and push yourself a bit, so you get to experience things you want to in life. I am recouperating, but it was well worth it, and I have things managed a bit more than when I first was dealing with this last summer.

The One Day It Rained

We decided to go to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and it was wonderful. I do love learning the history of places, and there was much to see there. The winds were 30 mph, so we decided to go to the museum and then for dinner ( inside!) .

Just a tiny bit windy at 33 mph and rain. We made it a good day by visiting the Vineyard’s museum.

This was cool! This is the actual storyboard from the movie Jaws. The movie was filmed at various locations in Martha’s Vineyard. In the Summer, people jump off the “Jaws Bridge.” My brother and sis in law did jump off it in August, and I laughed when my mom told me prior to our trip, not to jump off “The Jaws Bridge.” Ah, no, the temps were probably hypothermia temperatures!

Did you know Stephen Spielberg was 27 years old when he directed Jaws? Hmm. What was I doing at 27?

These Scrimshaw challises were quite ornate, and indicative of time spend on board a ship, for a whaler, or fisherman. Often, to pass the time, they would draw on ivory tusks.

This Fresnell lens is from the Gayhead Lighthouse at the cliff in Aquinna. It is still the operating lighthouse today.

Morning Cafe

This was the warmest ( in attitude)  coffeeshop that we went there nearly every morning. The people were so nice, many of them students from Boston University, or just coming to work for the summer. It really was an International experience, as we met people from Jamaica, Rome, Brazil, Whales, to name a few. It is called Behind the Bookstore, aptly named.

Food (and will continue on tomorrow – Part II )

Below is the first restaurant we in which we ate. I don’t eat oysters, I am a texture kinda gal, and can’t get past that. So, hubby was in lala land, when he was able to taste different oysters here. One of his favorites was brought in from the Netherlands and had flavors of cucumber and watermelon.

I was happy with fish. You name it, I’ll probably eat it, as I love seafood!

Yes, that is lobster ice cream. And as much as I love the lobster roll, this would be a hard pass! 

This was  THE BEST ( as voted by the Islanders) lobster roll. This is more like it! There must have been a pound on there!

This was only the first evening there, ( the lobster roll was later) and we were in for many more culinary treats! I joked (kind of) with my husband and said he would be quite disappointed when we got home! (I won’t be cooking like that!)

This is just part I of our trip, with much more to talk about. Join me tomorrow for Part II of our Martha”s Vineyard trip. One thing I can say, is that I was thrilled, since after last summer, with PN occurring in August, and all the PT I went through, to be able to go and do it! It takes about a week to recuperate in my case, but well worth it. I posted many pictures from our trip on Stories, and will do so on trips in the future. If you don’t follow me on Instagram, I would love if you did!

See you tomorrow,

Jess xx

  • Maureen
    Posted at 14:38h, 07 June Reply

    I am so glad you guys had a wonderful trip! I learned so much about Martha’s Vineyard from your post too. I don’t know why I assumed it had something to do with Martha Stewart but glad to correct that assumption now! The place you stayed at looks so cozy and I am always up for a trip that is off-season. So much more fun and relaxed I bet. My dad loves oysters he would love to eat at 19 Raw Oyster Bar. I am so-so with it but like you I like fish and would eat that in a heartbeat!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  • Joanne
    Posted at 14:25h, 07 June Reply

    I would love to get back to the Vineyard one day; we only made it there once for a day trip years ago and President Obama (who was sitting president at the time) happened to be visiting that same day so the island was a madhouse with part of it being closed off to anyone due to the added security. I’m kind of surprised we never thought of going back off season as the cape (and it’s islands) is an easy drive for us.

    • Jess Jannenga
      Posted at 10:06h, 09 June Reply

      Oh, I could only imagine how busy it would have been with President Obama. It was great in the off season, only thing it was a bit chilly, but no problem dealing with !

  • Alexandra
    Posted at 17:06h, 06 June Reply

    What a beautiful trip!

  • Leslie Susan Clingan
    Posted at 21:55h, 04 June Reply

    Look at all that lobster in that roll. Mmmm mmmm. Yes, please. But I am with you…hard pass on the ice cream. I like fried oysters but not the slippery ones on the half shell.

    Hope you have recovered completely from your busy vineyard vacation. Glad you didn’t have to wait in line at restaurants. I don’t ‘wait’ well. Sounds like you picked the perfect day for the museum visit. Those scrimshaw pieces are so intricately decorated.

    Thank you for sharing the history behind the name. I was betting on Martha Washington. Now I know!!

  • Pingback:THT- Martha's Vineyard Trip Part II - Elegantly Dressed and Stylish - Fashion Over 50
    Posted at 19:24h, 04 June Reply

    […] I shared Part I of our trip to Martha’s Vineyard, today is part […]

  • Kellyann Rohr
    Posted at 13:34h, 04 June Reply

    This trip looks amazing Jess – the food and the atmosphere are right up my alley. Great time to go too since it’s off season. I think that is key- who wants to wait in lines? Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list!

  • Emma Peach
    Posted at 19:04h, 03 June Reply

    I’m so glad you had a great trip! It looks like a really interesting place to visit.

    Emma xxx

  • Michelle
    Posted at 13:10h, 03 June Reply

    What a cool trip! It does look like a beautiful place with an interesting history. I am glad you were able to go and enjoy it. I also understand the texture thing. I am the same way.


  • Laura Bambrick
    Posted at 22:23h, 01 June Reply

    This looks like such a fun trip to take! I would love to visit one day!

  • Michele
    Posted at 16:09h, 31 May Reply

    hi Jess,

    What a beautiful trip! t looks beautiful and so do you! Also looks like you ate well (minus the lobster ice cream!! lol) Going to read part 2 now! Thanks for sharing!


  • Esmé Slabbert
    Posted at 12:54h, 31 May Reply

    What an interesting trip! As for lobster Ice cream, I will give that a pass as well but otherwise, I am there and will enjoy each and every morsel of lobster available.e
    I visited you via #WOWONWEDNESDAY and if interested you can visit my entries for this week: BBQ Seafood Pasta Pot and Fried Buttermilk Chicken Burgers
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    To share your own lovely posts, you will find the linkup information (1) In the Top bar under Blogging: Weekly Senior Salon Pit Stop OR 2nd image In the sidebar
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  • Mara Murgo
    Posted at 21:31h, 30 May Reply

    I have never been there. It looks lovely.

  • Rena
    Posted at 15:55h, 30 May Reply

    Oh what a lovely time you had. I had wanted to include a visit to MV during a trip to Massachusetts last August but we decided that the height of summer was probably not the best (or most economical) time to go. We did do a long drive out to Provincetown though. If we ever get back to that area, MV will definitely be on our itinerary.


  • mireille
    Posted at 08:40h, 30 May Reply

    This was really interesting! I’ve always heard about Martha’s vineyard but had never really read about it.

  • jodie
    Posted at 14:32h, 29 May Reply

    Now there is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. And especially when it’s not so busy. I’ll have to add it to our list. So glad you did well on the trip.

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