Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard all in ONE weekend!
Our time in Nantucket was unfortunately a bit rain soaked and harried as Ben our producer worked to change the destinations to accommodate thick grayish clouds that would open up at a moment’s notice. But growing up in a place not too dissimilar I love whatever the weather the New England coast throws at me. Our biggest challenge was figuring out how to salvage the clam bake which was to take place right on the beach. The great thing about being on such a tiny island is that everybody knows everybody and when the SOS call went out many of the residents leaped to our aid. A lovely woman named Stephanie whose family has had a home for many generations offered her Boat house up for the feast which was baking nicely in the sand very nearby. The space was raw and beautiful with exposed beams, and a rickety wooden floor. Christmas lights wrapped around the beams and large Chinese lanterns hung – all decorations from a wedding held a few months ago. A small boat took up most of the space and a fiddler and guitarist positioned themselves at the bow. When everyone sat down at the folding table with plates filled with mussles, steamers, bright yellow corn and a large red lobster, I thought wow, this is like from the pages of a Martha Stewart magazine.
We shot during the day and caught the 2:30 ferry to Martha’s Vineyard to complete our second half of the Nantucket VS. Martha’s Vineyard episode. We have gotten some lively opinions from Nantucketers — all good spirited and fun. Apparently all sprung from an innocent yet passionately played high school football game that takes place every year around Thanksgiving. As our ferry pulls into MV it is a hot, beautiful summer day — unbelievable seeing they had experienced hail the size of golf balls three hours ago. But one thing’s for sure it is good to feel the sun again.
About three months ago we got a call from the Make a Wish foundation with one of the most flattering requests I have ever gotten. A young woman in her late teens had said her wish was to spend the day with me during one of our shoots and the Foundation wanted to know if that would be possible. After a lot of back and forth it was determined that our shoot on the Vineyard would be the best; it was close by to where the family in Massachusetts lived and our schedule was such that it wasn’t too crazy of a day for She and her family to join us and hopefully have some fun. Her name is Laura Bentley and her parents as well as sister joined us for the day. At lunch we got a chance to talk about her unique and courageous story that began three years ago at the age of 15. At first she started to feel very tired which as we all know is a part of what being a teenager is all about. But when she started to experience a lot of pain in her back her family went in for some tests. Hearing you have Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma before your sixteenth birthday has to be a real blow no matter how young and resilient you are. She went in for Chemo treatments immediately and then began six weeks of rituxin. It was during this time that she started watching a lot of me on Travel Channel. We finally convinced Laura to be in a scene with me — a simple one of ordering lobster ice cream in Martha’s Vineyard. She was slightly nervous but you could never tell, when we went back to see how they made it -fresh lobster mixed in with sweet butter cream ice cream she came off with the best joke of the day — after mixing the two slightly cringe inducing ingredients together she said “want to lick the spatula?” In my mind I thought okay, YOU get to have my job when I am finished.
The whole of the North East has been caught in a month of depressing weather that it is now called the Month of January. These last two sparkling days have just begun to make up for it but we are due at least two months of bright blue skies. Christina Rory and I are leaving today for California to join that crew for the circus episode our ferry isn’t until 2 so we have the morning off before we have to begin what will be a very long journey. I bought the New York Times and headed to the little sand outcropping of a beach made lovely by a small lighthouse making the name I’m sure: lighthouse beach. There I sat absorbing as much as I could of this beautiful scene, soaking it up like a sponge: the breeze, the taste of the air, the families playing and sunhat babies with sand trapped between the folds of their pudgy legs. But this will all soon end — we’ll have to return rental cars, board a ferry, take a two hour taxi to Boston, board a 6 hour plane ride to San Francisco and then rent a car for a final hour’s drive to San Jose — this and the constant loading and unloading of heavy gear and even heavier suitcases will make for a toughie.