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(C)happy

I spent this past weekend on Martha’s Vineyard. Apart from several trips to Newport for hotel work a decade ago, I haven't spent any time in New England. I tend to migrate west for family get-togethers and downtime. And being the contrarian-enthusiast that I am, I was fearful of a preppy endemic. I.e., an island saturated with bobbed hair, lockjaws and Lily Pulitzer ad nauseam. Oh ye of little faith (and so much paranoia!) … I didn't know what I was missing. Pristine architecture, majestic beaches and charming shops abound. Add world-class seafood to the mix and you have the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.

* FRIDAY *

Since our destination – Chappaquiddick – was east of Martha’s Vineyard,we decided to take a driving tour of the island’s west side upon arrival.

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First stop - The views of Gay Head.

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To know me is to understand that I am a HUGE Jaws fan. It’s one of my favorite movies of all time (see the October Luxe & Lucid post “Mad About Macabre”). Several key scenes were shot in Menemsha (above) as well as on other parts of the island.

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atlantic

Aprés dinner and before hopping on the Chappy ferry, we stopped for a nightcap at Atlantic.

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The Mike Benjamin Band was headlining – they’ve played for Mary Steenburgen and President Clinton – and absolutely rocked the house. We danced until we were soaked through and closed down the bar. Haven’t done that in a few years and loved every minute of it.

* SATURDAY *

I woke up at 6AM ready to tackle the day’s itinerary and enjoy the small window of sunshine forecasted for the weekend.

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cape pogue - flickr

To make the most of it, we started the day with a little exploration and a walk on the beach.

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Followed by shopping for groceries at the famous (and newly renovated) Morning Glory farmer’s market. I brought their blackberry/strawberry jam home to DC. Yum!

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But the real highlight of the day (well, for me) was a visit to Island Alpaca.

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I fell in love with these animals when Sandra Jordan made a visit to Huntley & Co. this spring. Sandra’s eponymous company manufactures and imports incredibly beautifulfrom Peru. She has a true passion for her fabrics and the Alpaca breed itself. How could she not? Just look at those faces!

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Two babies and several “colorways” from Island Alpaca’s herd.

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This little fella’ had a passion for grooming. So cute!

After all that excitement, we continued onto Vineyard Haven to do a little sightseeing and shopping. Below are a few of our stops.

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main street vh

RILEY'S READS

A charming children’s book store owned by the very knowledgeable Zoë Pechter. Check out her blog for new releases and recommendations.

BRAMHALL & DUNN

Great linens and tabletop items with [you guessed it] a slightly preppy theme. I did, in fact, find several sheet sets and coverlets from Pamela Kline and Le Jacquard Français that were quite lovely.

RAINY DAY

A vast assortment of gifts, paper goods and tableware that range from sweet to sophisticated to amusing.

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An eclectic mix of modern and vintage accessories. I left with a darling pair of sunglasses. You can also find classic Golden books, antique typeface letters and colorful dinnerware. And the staff couldn’t be friendlier.

A. E. KIRKPATRICK

A slightly kooky jewelry store tucked away off of Main Street. I found a chic, bendable gold-plated snake bracelet/necklace for a song. I'm using it as a sculpture on my coffee table.

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snake combo

A great accessory that will change up my tablescape in a snap.

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Our long and active day required a nap and a nice dinner in Edgartown. We dined at Restaurant Détente, an unassuming spot in Nevin Square. Casual décor, excellent wine list, award-winning fare.

* SUNDAY *

It’s hard to believe we had already packed all the activities above into 30 hours. We didn’t slow our pace much on Sunday.

Morning is a great time to view Chappaquiddick’s wildlife in its natural habitat. Besides the incredible sea creatures (horseshoe crabs are insane!), the bird-watching on the island is pretty incredible. We saw each of the species below during our excursions.

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birds of chappy

clockwise from top left: Osprey, Oyster Catcher, Snowy Egret and Cormorant.

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Later we headed to East beach across infamous Dike Bridge.

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I’ve never been the beachy-type, but I found all sorts of design inspiration in the sand – a collection of shells and other organic materials that will make great samples for custom furniture finishes. I know … Could I be any more entrenched in my profession?!

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On our way back to the house we stopped for a stroll through Mytoi Gardens. A Japanese-style garden and cultural treasure protected by the The Trustees of Reservations. Still beautiful in the rain, I would like to go back when the gardens are lit by sunshine.

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Despite the inclement weather, we went for a sail on Cape Poge. The increasing winds turned a casual cruise into an exhilarating 2 hours.

Can you say “exhausted”?! Only 3 things left to do. Eat, cocktail, and relax.

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And that’s how you do a fabulous weekend.

SOME LUXE & LUCID RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR VISIT TO MARTHA’S VINEYARD

- The Vineyard’s official site is www.mvol.com and has a lot of useful info.

- Design Sponge’s December post featuring MV is Grace Bonney’s extensive, personal guide.

- I also like the New York Times Travel Guide because it includes reader recommendations.

- The island has an excellent radio station. Tune into mvyradio and you’ll be set for the weekend.

- If you’re an architecture and/or design buff, bring your camera and do a walking tour of Edgartown.

- Pack layers for travel before July. The weather can turn on a dime and become quite chilly when the winds pick up.

- With that said, a first time visit before the crush of July 4 is a great idea. You can enjoy the island sans mob.

- Most important? Make sure you travel with the right partner in crime!

Tricia xo

P.S. Final cool moment of the weekend? Bill Murray on our flight from MVA on Monday.