As I make my way to the dock, scurrying to catch the boat, I realize that I have not yet purchased my boarding pass, so I hurdle to the station, grab my ticket—barely making it to the boat that is about to take me to the island where “American Royalty” have long played at, and family secrets are buried.
I hurl my trusted Louis Vuitton Weekender under my feet to serve as a footstool, and plop myself on the bench with a sigh of relief that would make my mother cringe, because we all know that ladies don’t plop, they slide into their seats. I throw my head back, look up to the clear blue sky and watch as the birds fly strangely too close to the passenger-filled vessel. It brought me to think of one of my favorite classic Hitchcock movies, The Birds.
The human cargo this vessel carries all seem at ease, with the knowledge of what awaits them on the other side. I, on the other hand, am suffering from anxiety, since this is my first time visiting this historical landscape, and the news that President Obama is scheduled to be there in a matter of days, security is even tighter. But I finally relax for this 45-minute ride to what promises to be paradise. I am promised serenity, luxurious beaches, great food, and most importantly a great bed, the most essential factor to me on any trip that I take.
A ferry is really what this vessel is; it has several levels that are prepared to accommodate a modest wedding crowd of about 200 people, I can safely say. Setup with a bar, an indoor and outdoor seating, the ride was most relaxing for me, and gave me a moment to unwind before dashing to get ready to attend the Walter Cronkite Awards Ceremony I was graciously allowed to crash, which by the way was hosted at Mr. Cronkite’s legendary home by its new owners on the island, including his boat. Winner.
I am greeted at the dock, with a sign reading my name and as we walk to the car, I am in awe of the scenery and the beauty of the island. I am walked to the local bar that is known for their drinks, and immediately everything is fine. The crowd is very diverse, young, old, professionals, artists, African-American, Asian—multicultural is an understatement here. I feel at home. We get into the car and as we drive through the town and make our way to what will be my home for the next couple of days, I am greeted at the front desk with a smile and excitement, and then quickly escorted me to my room—not before relieving me of my luggage and engaging me in some small talk of a brief history of the island.
I quickly freshen up and get ready to hit the town. The view is breathtaking, the suite is utterly divine, the grounds are beyond magnificent for my expectations. More importantly, the service is superb. Nothing beats great customer service. The bellman places my bag in the living room area, I quickly check out the bathroom, the bedroom, and the balcony where I plan to have my morning tea like a proper lady. Yes, this all white room is exactly what the doctor ordered. The bookshelf is filled with wonderful books, and little artifacts that tell a story of the property and its visitors.
As I hustle to get out and my hostess is gracious, welcoming and cheery, the excitement begins. Again, the ocean view of the island, and the people either driving, bike riding, or walking are a gentle reminder of the tranquility of my stay, so I have to slow down and enjoy the scenery and take in God’s creation with slow breaths. We reach our destination and I jump out of the car, we hop in a van that takes us to the private estate and there it is…paradise, perfectly manicured lawns. Wine and appetizers to abundance, and the smiles of the people are truly relaxing. I promise myself I will take it all in and I am going to enjoy every second of these moments.
When you think of locating a place that will host your wedding some things you will need to keep in mind. Besides the price, you really should think about how the place, the scenery will make you feel. Will it add to your stress? Will you feel pressured? Will your guests enjoy the atmosphere you want to create for your special day? Those should be your priority. That is something no amount of money can buy: peace and tranquility. People have to create that for themselves and those around them. And you want to invite people that will honor that and add to that atmosphere.
You want to be in a space that will respect you and your vision, and appreciate the desired goals for you and your guests. Once that is established, you want to get a lay of the land, and find out the activities that the location has that will keep your traveling guests busy as you complete the final touches of your wedding. You want to make sure that the facility has the capability to either do everything for you or will allow you to bring in your professionals that will handle the details of your wedding.
Winnetu Oceanside Resort—South Beach in Edgartown. Where do I begin. At the front desk, they are competent, that is a major plus. Then the tour of the grounds proved to be educational; the family owned business is very particular about their clients. They want them to be happy. No exceptions.
Winnetu–The Vineyard’s main hotel has 1-4 bedroom suites, private cottages, surrounding 2-5 bedroom vacation home rentals, and Lure Grill, the Resort’s ocean-view restaurant. The on-property restaurant, Lure, is fully staffed and designed to host private events, parties, and wedding receptions. It is even equipped to provide child-care for its guests. The grounds with the fresh-manicured grass are prepared to host a well-designed layout—tents, chairs, gazebo—near the pond.
If you just have had enough of the relaxation and you need something to do, well do not fret, the property is equipped with a tennis club; heated swimming pools; a fitness facility; fitness and yoga classes; shuttle transportation to/from Main Street, Edgartown; and concierge services.
Although my trip was too short of a visit to try everything that the facility had to offer, I know I am definitely going to make it my point to go back and try everything they have to offer, and I am going to check out their Nantucket property. If it is anything like the Vineyard, I think I will be in great hands.
So wherever you are coming from, there is a way to the island, a flight straight there, or catch the ferry. I don’t care how you get there…just get there.