Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Martha's Vineyard

We took the ferry across to Martha's vineyard today. It is a lovely place to visit, but I wonder sometimes, how it is that this particular spot has become such a tourist mecca, and that the real estate is so much more valuable than other places on the Cape. I now know what 'Cape Cod' style is, which is a perfect fit for the geography of the place. I always am curious when I see a 'Cape Cod' style in California or Salt Lake; here the style is prevalent, and suits the landscape. Yesterday I took a 22 mile bikeride from Woods Hole through Falmouth and beyond, passing cranberry fields, marshland with much bird-life (and bird-watchers), and more and more ocean and other bodies of water. The charm of Cape Cod is that it is not at all over developed, that at least around Falmouth and Woods Hole, the houses are modest and I like that there are no street lamps and that the vegetation appears to have taken over everywhere. It feels rural even if it is not. Woods Hole is full of scientific institutions, so it has its own character. Falmouth is a real town, with school and hospital and shopping. Tonight Daphne and I drove to 'Mashpee' to see the newest Harry Potter movie, where we encountered a huge outdoor mall with the usual stores. It was s surprise, since in Woods Hole there is not even a grocery store or a garage, and Falmouth has limited shopping too.

Martha's Vineyard is clearly oriented toward tourists, but of course has alot of expensive real estate. We will drive to Provincetown tomorrow to take a sailboat out for my birthday. I am not one to enjoy celebrating my birthday, but if I do something I absolutely love, I can be in the moment and not think of getting one year older. Sailing is appropriate for summer birthdays, and since I have lived on the Chesapeake or spent summers in Cape Cod, it has made sense to sail. Whenever I sail, I am always surprised that I do not sail more often, I enjoy it so thoroughly.

My house has been full of people for these past four days. I had expected only a few, and have been overwhelmed by all the activity and worried about having to feed such a crowd. Somehow it has all worked and everyone seems content. I am eager to have some peace and quiet, and sailing will be the perfect choice for that.

I have been too busy these past few days to reflect on the incredibly difficult task that Eric and I have accomplished. We have moved every bit of the household into storage. Most of the 'moving to Ecuador' work has been completed. It appears that we have much more to do regarding the visa, and that the extra few days we have given ourselves are absolutely necessary to get more photos, fingerprints, HIV and other testing, and fill out more and more paperwork. It may be that we will not get our visas until the very last minute. I am so eager to get moving, Maya too suggested that we leave immediately for Quito, but we do need more time.

I will be in Ecuador in three weeks. How many days and weeks and months has it been since we began planning and organizing (not much planning or organizing in fact) and dreaming! Life has happened all along: we have traveled and worked and the children have attended school, we have been on vacation and had family reunions, I have seen patients, Eric has continued with his research, Maya has been in concerts and ballet performances, we have had dinner parties and friends over. Lately our lives have been hijacked by the packing nightmare, but we have continued living too. So often I feel that my life these past months has been on hold and that I have not been living, just preparing for this move.


  1. Hello Dr Richter :-) I get the impression that Cape Cod is beautiful place to visit. What is the weather like there? I can't imagine cycling 22 miles here in Maryland right now 91 degrees and humid. Question: Is it worth the trip to the movie to see Harry Potter or should I wait for it to come out on DVD? Happy Birthday and I hope you are having a Happy Birthday today..

  2. The movie is not compelling ( I napped through parts of it), but going to a Harry Potter movie is such an EVENT, I urge you to go for the experience. DVD's are never quite the same as going to the movies!
    Thank you for the birthday wishes!
    Cape Cod is gorgeous and the weather perfect for biking (70's).