Travel Journal: Martha’s Vineyard & Cape Cod Girls Retreat (2019)

My group (consisting of me, my sister, and my mother) left our home on Saturday morning and drove to my godmother’s house in Massachusetts. After a short visit and conversation about what we would do on the trip, we drove to a nearby hotel. We stayed there for the night, then left the next morning for the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard.

We stopped in Cape Cod for cupcakes at our favorite New England cupcake shop: Cupcake Charlie’s. We also did a bit of shopping while we waited, since we had about an hour until our ferry left. The ferry was near Cape Cod, so it did not take us long to arrive there and get in line. We waited for about 30 minutes, then boarded the ferry. We decided to stay in our car and watch ‘Gladiator’ on my iPad Pro, which is coincidentally the perfect size to prop up on the dashboard and watch a movie. During this ferry, there was a car that had an alarm which would go off literally every five minutes and seemed to be unnoticed by the driver and passenger, both of whom were still sitting in the car. This was a bit inconvenient, but fortunately we were able to use subtitles, so we didn’t miss anything in the movie.

Once our ferry arrived in Martha’s Vineyard, we drove to the beach house my godmother had rented. We stayed there with four other girls. It was a bit crowded but having a house full of only girls was a lot of fun.

We went to the beach shortly after we arrived to go swimming in the ocean and climbing on the rocks surrounding. After our time on the beach, we returned home to change and rest for a bit before heading out to The Black Dog Tavern. Unfortunately, I had a migraine shortly after leaving (possibly caused by gluten exposure) and had to be rushed home and into one of the closed-off bathrooms, where I stayed for the remainder of the evening.

The next morning, we were visited by two alpacas from the Island Alpaca Company. We had some issues with booking this and found the person who took our calls to be very rude, but the experience itself was great. After the alpaca visit, we headed into Edgartown for some shopping and lunch. We then returned home to change and pack up for the beach. We brought food to the beach in addition to grabbing some food from the local restaurants so that we could have a picnic dinner. We stayed on the beach until the sun went down, then headed back to the house.

On our last day on the island, we went to the harbor to rent some jet skis. My mother took my sister and I out on a three-person jet ski, which resulted in us being tipped over at one point. However, we all had a lot of fun. After we went home to change out of our now-soaking clothing and bathing suits, we headed to another, more crowded beach. There, we walked along the sand, went swimming, and built sand castles. We then headed back to the house to get some snacks and get dressed for dinner.

My sister, mother, and I had to hurry back to the house from dinner, so we wouldn’t miss our ferry, but we ended up getting there just in time. We watched ‘Gladiator’ during our trip back since we hadn’t finished it before. Our 15-hour drive back home after the ferry ride was supposed to be split up by a hotel stay, but we could not find a single hotel that had availability, even though we visited five different ones, each in a different city and/or state. Still, we made it home safely and immediately collapsed into bed. We decided on carry-out for dinner, then went to our home movie theatre to finish up ‘Gladiator’.

All in all, this trip was a lot of fun and I was happy to go on a girl’s trip. I did get a bit sunburnt from all the time we spent on the beach, but I really loved being by the ocean so much. I also had to deal with not staying on my usual schedule (I missed two nights of wearing my retainer, one night of doing my face routine, and 3 days of my morning stretches), which was quite hard for me since I am so obsessive about my schedules.

In addition, I had to deal with having unshaved legs at the beach. I’ve talked a bit about foregoing shaving during certain vacations, but I had not planned to do so on this trip, since I would be in a bathing suit and in public most of the time. I was very self-conscious about my body hair at first, especially around guys and girls whom I thought were attractive, but I realized that the person I wanted to be with was not a person who would care about my natural body hair.

For this trip, I wanted to write some recommendations as well as tips. A lot of people go to Martha’s Vineyard each year, but not everyone is sure what to do. I’ve only gone this one time, but I thought perhaps my experiences could help others wishing to go to this island.


  • Island Alpaca Company – Private Experiences Only!

Though they are a bit more expensive, the private experiences are much better than the farm itself. You can get up close and personal with the alpacas, which you cannot do at the farm. When booking DO NOT email them, either call them or book online. We emailed them about 2 months before our trip and were called the day of to be informed that there were no longer any available slots. When asked why they had not responded to our email two months ago regarding the booking, they rudely replied that they were much too busy to check emails (despite it saying on the website that you need to email before booking). We eventually booked the alpaca gram, which was easier to get and much less expensive than our original plan (walking alpacas on the beach).

  • Ocean Sports Rentals

Something I would really recommend is renting a jet ski, boat, or paddleboard. The ocean is quite calm around the island and there did not seem to be too many animals in the water. We did see a warning on our third day about great whites frequenting the area, but we did not see any sharks at all during our trip.

  • Sunset Picnic on the Beach

One thing I really enjoyed this trip was our sunset picnic on the beach. The sunset is so beautiful over the ocean and totally worth the wait.

  • Edgartown Shops

There are a lot of cute shops and restaurants in Edgartown. We spent half a day there just looking around in the shops.


  • Be Prepared to Move All Day!

The island is small, but there’s a lot to do. I would suggest that you keep resting at home to a minimum so you can experience everything.

  • Rent a House That is Strategically Positioned.

Parking is hard on the island, so make sure you rent a house with parking space that is within walking distance of everywhere you want to go.

  • Try Walking Instead of Driving!

Try to walk everywhere you go. If not, be prepared to spend 30 minutes waiting for and/or looking for a parking spot.

  • Enjoy the Ferry Ride.

The ferry ride, especially when spent within the privacy of your car, can be super relaxing. You don’t have to worry about traffic or driving for nearly an hour. You can just sit back and relax until you arrive on the island or the mainland.

  • Book Hotel Stays in Advance During Summer

If you are planning to stop or even thinking about stopping on the way to and from the island, book them in advance. We searched for hotels for 5 of the 15 hours we drove home and went through 2-3 states. We were able to stop at rest stops for a bit of rest, but it was pretty rough driving through the night. Make sure to book a hotel in advance just in case you are unable to find one so you don’t end up driving through the night.


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