Friday, September 4, 2009

Sam and the Brass Ring

Sam's journal entry for day 3 of our Martha's Vineyard vacation:
Day 3
Went to Manemsha beach. The waves were better but I wanted more. Tomarou we go to southbeach. We went to the flying horses carrusel, amarrica's oldest carrusel. They do a thing so that when you get the gold ring you get a free ride, I got it three times, since I got it three times my Mom got me a necklace with a gold ring on it.
Monday was a big day! As Sam said, it started at Menemsha beach, which may not have been as raucous as Sam had hoped but was a perfectly lovely beach at which to spend a day basking and swimming and kite flying. And sand castle construction was enjoyed by all!
In the evening we headed to the town of Oak Bluffs to take a spin on the Flying Horses Carousel, America's oldest continually running carousel. Admittedly, the horses' glass eyes were creepy and Sasha wanted no part of carousel horse riding (she preferred playing in the adjoining arcade with Grammy), but other than that we had a truly fantastic time catching rings and riding the horses.

Hopefully I can explaing this ring-catching thing sufficiently clearly... there are two arms that dispense a single ring at a time and are within reach of the carousel horses, one for the inside row and one for the outside. There's a tradition at the carousel where the last ring on each carousel ride is made of brass instead of the iron rings that you collect throughout the ride, and the winner of the brass ring gets an extra free ride. It's a fun game to play while going round, although I could never manage to grab more than two rings in a single revolution (I'll need to return and put some serious practice into my ring-collection skills).

On our first carousel ride, Sam caught the brass ring, which was pretty darn cool. Then, just as the last ride was ending and we were all ready to head to dinner, we hear our child's shrill little voice call out, "I got the brass ring! I got the brass ring!" Needless to say, dinner had to wait for a few more minutes. Then as his free ride ends, can you guess what we heard again? Yep, Sam caught the ring for a third time. We ended up purchasing 8 rides and enjoying 11, so I guess that's not a bad ROI, and thinking about Sam strutting around with his brass ring proudly hanging from his neck still makes me chuckle.

We rounded out the evening with a stroll through the Oak Bluffs cottages, beautiful little cottages that were originally the tent sites for a large Methodist campmeeting and eventually evolved in the late 1800's into darling and ornately decorated Victorian mini-houses. Steve warned me before visiting the cottages that if I called them "gingerbread houses" Ben was going to be very disappointed, so I held my tongue from any reference to sweets as it pertained to the decorations on the houses and a good time was had by all!

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