By Tucker Baackes
Greetings, humans! Man’s best friend here. I know — it’s been a while since we caught up. To be honest, I think my mom was kind of jealous of all the attention I got last time I guest posted. I see it all the time when we go on walks. But considering she’s currently sidelined by jetlag, I thought now would be a good time for me to step up to the plate — did someone say plate? feed me! — and fill you guys in on our Memorial Day trip to Martha’s Vineyard.
I’ve been vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard since I was a pup, but this was my new BHFF (best human friend forever) Ian’s first time on the island. Mom says that she calls Ian Bearded Bartender on this blog but I said that was stupid. After all, I have far more facial hair than he does.
Yup, Martha’s Vineyard is pretty darn great. I’ve been seeing a lot more of the place since mom’s mom bought me a new house there a few summers ago. These humans sure know how to spoil me! Anyway, Mimi (Kathryn says if I call her grandma she’ll drop me off at the pound, so I go with mimi instead) very generously tries to give mom and Aunt Livi each a chance to have the house to themselves and host friends once a year. Last summer, mom and I invited some of mom’s best friends from Albany. This summer, we invited some of mom’s best friends from Brooklyn, Liz and Matt.
Mom said to be on my very best behavior, because she was so excited to repay some of their hospitality in hosting her whenever she’s in Brooklyn. Even I’ve been to their apartment! I’m not actually sure what hospitality is, but I think it’s kind of like when I go to another dog’s house and their human gives me treats because I’m actually the cutest canine they’ve ever laid eyes on. I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.
Liz and Matt arrived on a Saturday evening, and after a thorough sniff session, the humans went out to my mom’s favorite restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard, Red Cat Kitchen. OBVIOUSLY I stayed back at the house in protest over them not going to the The Black Dog instead. I mean, of all the hued animal restaurants on the island, they pick that one. The nerve! Don’t get me started on when my mom listens to Cat Power.
Mom says she’s working on a post about the best restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard, and this one is definitely going to top the list. Whatever, as far as I’m concerned, all restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard get two paws down — we’ve yet to find a single one that is truly dog friendly. Rude! After dinner, I stayed up late to guard the house while the humans went on a Circuit Avenue bar crawl, starting with drinks at sophisticated 20byNine and ending with a live music dance session at The Ritz. Memorial Day weekend is kind of opening weekend on the island, and when mom came home and woke me up to snuggle, she told me it was one of the busiest nights out she’s ever seen in Oak Bluffs.
I’m glad they had fun and all, but personally I prefer when my crew eats at home. I mean, sure, they’re nice to be around and all, but mostly I’m interested in the possibility of catching scraps during both the cooking and eating portions of the dining experience. Not to brag, but I pretty much run the show when it comes to pre-rinsing plates around here — with my tongue, duh. Gotta give that dishwasher a break sometimes.
On Sunday morning, Mimi and her man friend Miller even showed up! They were on a day trip to the island to meet with their architect, and they just had to swing by to try one of Ian’s infamous brunches. I love when all my humans are in one place.
After I did dish duty, we all piled in the car to drive up-island. That’s what Vineyard-ers call the West side of the island as it’s ever-so-slightly above sea level. It’s the least developed area of Martha’s Vineyard, and I’m not entirely sure exactly what that means but I think the gist of it is there’s plenty of room for me to run off-leash but very few specialized dog boutiques and nary a Petsmart in sight. Yes, I think that’s it.
Our first stop was West Tisbury, to drop by the weekend Grange Hall Art Fair and the iconic Alley’s General Store. Mom was annoyed to discover “no dogs” signs at both doors, and so we waited outside while mom scratched my ears and muttered curse words — I couldn’t really hear what she was complaining about over the sound of my own happy panting, though.
I’m a cocker spaniel of fine tastes — I enjoyed my trot around the Field Gallery‘s outdoor sculpture garden, and waited patiently while the humans took a spin through Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks. That’s one place where I was quite happy not to go in — after all, I don’t have the most total control over when and where my nub wags.
Next, we drove all the way out to the Southwest tip of the island, the Aquinnah Cliffs. All I can say is I don’t know how those really famous dogs like Lassie do it — it was pretty exhausting the way tourists were constantly fawning all over me. What can I say? I bear an incredibly striking resemblance to a stuffed animal. I can’t help it that I’m cute. Mom says I should be a tax write-off for how much joy I bring to the general population of the world.
Once we’d had our fill of cliff-peeping, it was off to Menemsha, the islands’ most famous spot for sunset. I’m a big fan of Menemsha due to the potential for guilting humans into giving me pieces of their lobster rolls. My crew had big plans for a sunset picnic on the beach, and I was ready to nab a front row seat.
First step? Picking the perfect lobster. I was all over it.
Menemsha is a little more laid-back than some of the other island towns, so we took the approach of casually strolling in without stopping to ask if dogs were totally technically allowed inside. This went well.
However, after a seafood sampling at several of the different shacks around town, my people were getting pretty chilly. Looks like some humans forgot their fur coats once again — dummies! So they decided to scrap sunset after one last stroll. Personally, I was toasty and warm as we trotted around the harbor of this traditional fishing village. Did you know much of Jaws was filmed here? Um, yes, dogs can know movie trivia too. Please.
Well, I actually have a whole lot more to tell you about our weekend but it’s nearing nap-o’clock here in Tucker Land, and there’s also a fly that needs chasing and a squeaky squirrel that needs a lesson taught. It’s pretty busy ’round these parts!
Don’t worry, I’ll be back! Stay tuned for Part II… as soon as I finish going through the garbage. Just, you know, to make sure the humans are sorting their recyclables. You’ve really got to stay on top of this crew.