Danny and I submitted some of our honeymoon photographs and a story I wrote to the editor of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine. It was published in their Island Weddings & Celebrations 2010 issue. Here’s the story that was published.
“The hardest part of planning our wedding was deciding on where to go on our honeymoon. We knew we wanted to be on the coast, since our first two dates were spent taking one another to the beaches of our childhood summers. Danny took me to Nantasket Beach in Hull to comb for washed-up balls. (He is an artist and holds the Guinness World Record for the largest ball mosaic – 11,430 discarded balls.) I, more of the naturalist, took him combing along the shore near Rye, New Hampshire, for driftwood. Together we collaged a heart of driftwood and photographed it.
We live in Brookline and have never particularly liked leaving New England in the summer, but I wanted to feel as if I had left the area. I also did not want to go anywhere I had already been, and I had never been to the Vineyard. Danny thought it was a great idea; he had visited the Island about half a dozen times and it had always been one of his favorite spots.
The day after the wedding, which was in Hull, we took our truck on the ferry and spent the following week exploring the Vineyard. Instead of staying at a B&B where we did not think our accumulated driftwood collection would be welcomed on the front porch, we rented a cabin at the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground in Tisbury. I woke the first morning to coffee and breakfast from Beetlebung Coffee House in Vineyard Haven, his-and-her T-shirts from The Black Dog for our tourist portrait, and the banisters of our cabin’s front porch strung with the ribbons and wrappings from our wedding presents. I had awakened to romance – and the Vineyard kept providing it.
Romance – and sweet, quiet comfort. We felt a world away from home with no commercial chains, just mom-and-pop shops and an air of community that is quickly disappearing on the mainland. The wooden boat makers at Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway in Vineyard Haven were generous enough to allow Danny to pick through their scrap pile for wood for his art projects.
We were not just greeted in shops, but spoken to and then introduced to other locals and artists. The artisan community was thriving; we visited the Flea and Fine Arts Market at Featherstone Center for the Arts in Oak Bluffs and the Vineyard Artisans Festival in West Tisbury. Of coarse New England has great seafood, but how many places will sell you a shark off the wall like Stanley Larson of Menemsha Fish Market did? A blue wooden shark, seasoned by six years of Vineyard weather, is the perfect keepsake.
We woke early each morning to explore the Island, finding plenty to do without venturing back to camp until well after dark. Our eyes feasted on the changing landscape. We enjoyed the unpretentious air of the Vineyard and picked up a hitchhiker who graciously thanked us with vegetables from his garden. We body surfed in the warm waters, and I discovered an abundance of starfish in the tidepools of Aquinnah. We collected and combed up-Island shores and made another heart on the beach-but this time of white stones rather than driftwood. Hopefully, when we return next summer, with our honeymoon newborn, our heart will still be there – and when our child grows up, he or she will recall wonderful childhood summers on the Vineyard.”