The Idyllic South Coast

Saturday, October 19, probably around the same time, my niece got married on a beach in Kitty Hawk, NC while Jennifer Lawrence married in a mansion in Newport, RI. Needless, to say, my niece was the star in my story. She looked like a Greco-Roman goddess, and as a Helen, she was definitely one who would have launched a thousand ships. Most of our family were there, with a few exceptions, us being two of them. Before the wedding, I had lots of mixed feelings about not going, but I loved how everyone kept me in a texting loop so I could feel a part of things, and what with photos and everyone’s updates, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

So, what did we do instead to celebrate her day up North here? We took off for Westport Vineyards, one of our favorite destinations. On the way, we stopped off in Padanaram, a sweet little hamlet in South Dartmouth, that’s part of the town of Dartmouth. Less than ten years ago, Padanaram was a shell of what it is now. Rather abandoned and forlorn. Not anymore, it is experiencing a fabulous revival, a bit upscale, and while not totally to my taste (I like a little more grit and diversity), I appreciate it, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a chance to live there.

One unexpected delight on this venture was happening upon the newly opened shop of Shara Porter Designs. We were thrilled to stumble upon her here — to me she’s one of the original trailblazing artists of the New Bedford Artists and Lofts Renaissance. Once upon a time, we had a wee store in downtown Hyannis, and Shara’s was one of the lines we carried, along with one of her earliest studio mates, Moontide Dyers.

Shara screen-prints quirky, offbeat images onto vintage cloth, leather and vinyl accessories— pocketbooks, keyfobs, wallets, suitcases, you name it. She also used to do clothing but her primary focus now is accessories, — vintage, custom, and new. Her convertible crossbody bags are the best — functioning as a waist pack, a wristlet, or a crossbody. I could not stop thinking of the one I wanted once we left her shop, kicking myself for not just buying it already! But, it’s a good excuse for a sooner-rather-than-later return trip. The shop is bright and beautiful, and the product lines are super affordable for the average budget. I can’t wait to see how it all evolves.

To be perfectly frank, moving on the Westport Vineyards, was sort of an anti-climax, but if you’re going for an anti-climax, it’s the best kind. Gorgeous weather, lush vineyards and rolling farmland, coupled with bonhomie, and cousins out for their monthly wine club, what’s not to love? The wines are light, crisp and refreshing, the tasting rooms are the best I’ve experienced on the South Coast, and enjoying a glass of wine outside on their grounds is heaven for me. The view, the light, the air; an effervescent moment that lingers long after it’s over. Thank you Shara and Westport for a beautiful, ordinary sparkling day!