Nantucket, Vacation

What I Did On My Summer Vacation – Nantucket 2013

Earlier this week I posted my race report of the Nantucket Triathlon but I was on the island for almost a week so the races were just a couple of  highlights from the trip.  Here are some of the others:

We arrived by Steamship Authority on Thursday evening and I was so excited to be back.  It had been a long 10 months since my last trip.  It was going to be busy week with lots planned including two triathlons but I also knew I was going to enjoy every moment.

Arriving to the island by Steamship Authority
Arriving to the island by Steamship Authority

Thursday was a great night starting with a cocktail at Cru (I tried the Crucumber by recommendation and it was delicious) and dinner at American Seasons.  After dinner we jumped around to a few of our favorite spots to say hello to friends.   We were having a great time but at the end of the night I was ready to head home and get some sleep.  It was going to be a big weekend.

Friday morning we headed to the Fisherman’s Beach early to relax and get some sun.   It’s a great spot and not crowded so it was easy to close my eyes and just enjoy the ocean.  I was extra comfortable with my new beach pillow I ordered from friend Sarah.  Her Beachburms pillows are a must for a sun lover like me.  They are the perfect size to toss into a beach bag and they are machine washable so you can throw them in the laundry at the end of the day.

Oh so comfortably soaking in the sun! (click the photo for more info)

We decided to head to The Galley for lunch in the afternoon and sit on the patio.  It was warm and sunny but so comfortable on the water.   It was one of many moments over the week that reminded me why I am so in love with Nantucket.  Also, their jumbo crab cake is really fantastic.  Later in the afternoon we picked up our friend Brian from the ferry and walked around town a little bit.  I wanted to stop in at Jessica Hicks Jewelry to see a necklace I had been eyeing.  We had run into Jessica on Thursday night and she told us they were having a Grand Opening Party to celebrate her new space on Union Street.  After spending some time looking at all of her beautiful pieces, I finally decided on the necklace I wanted but it had to be ordered.  I was disappointed I wouldn’t get to wear in while I was on the island but when it finally arrives it will be like a hint of vacation again.  I’ll be sure to share a picture on my instagram account when it finally arrives!

Our view at lunch.  Not too shabby.
Our view at Galley Beach. Not too shabby.

We spent the later part of the afternoon taking care of some pre triathlon business and then headed to dinner at a restaurant we have seen many times but have never tried.  Our favorite cab driver and unofficial eyes and ears of the island recommended Fusaro’s for a great Italian meal.  It’s a little outside of town and doesn’t take reservations but the casual environment of the restaurant was welcome and the food was terrific.  We were all looking for a hearty carbo loaded meal and this was the perfect pick.  It was so great, we ended up there the following night as well before Jared and Chris competed in the Hero Triathlon Sunday morning.

Saturday morning started very early for the Nantucket Triathlon but once the race began, time flew by.  After everyone crossed the finish line we headed home to clean up and then spend a little time at the beach.  The boys swam for a bit but all I wanted was a little nap in the sun since I barely slept the night before.  I fell asleep right away thanks to the breeze and the comfort of my Beachburm pillow.  I could have stayed there all day but we wanted to make a couple of other stops that afternoon including Cisco Brewery – one of my absolute favorite places on the island.  It was super crowded (as it usually is on a summer Saturday) so we enjoyed a drink and I bought a pint glass for my growing collection and we took off for our next stop, The Faregrounds, where many of our friends were waiting for us.  Meanwhile, my parents had recently arrived on the ferry and were getting settled in their rental house.   They came by the Faregrounds to say hello and have a cocktail.  Traveling with mom and dad were friends they invited to join them for a few days.   Bob and Jane are friends from our time in Arkansas and my parents hadn’t seen them in 30 years!  They got back in touch earlier this year and since Bob and Jane were planning a trip to New England for July, my parents invited them to Nantucket for a few days.  They were a very nice couple both with a sense of humor that was compatible with my parents and it was fun to see them enjoy the island for the first time.

After Fusaro’s round two we made it an early night since the alarm would be going off at 4am for the second morning in a row.   It was a great morning at the Hero Triathlon (read the race recap for details) and after Chris’ successful finish and Jared’s debut on the podium there was a lot to celebrate.  After just a little bit of resting at home we headed into town for a bite and give Brian some time to photograph Nantucket in the ‘sweeping’ light.  Brian is an accomplished artist and the streets of Nantucket, especially on a rainy day, make the perfect subject for his next work.  I can’t wait to see the masterpiece that comes from the photos he took that day.  For more on Brian’s work visit his website: Sage Artworks 

After a drink at Boarding House, we all walked over to Cru for a quick ‘snack’.  Before long the table was filled with food from their delicious menu and cocktails were flowing.  We had a great table looking out to the boats and friends came in and out to visit with us and congratulate Chris and Jared on their race.  It was hard to leave the fun of Cru but we had big plans for the evening.  We said goodbye to Brian who was heading home and we went back to the house for some rest.  Our dinner plans for the evening would be at The Pearl.  Based on a bet between Chris and Jared with a complex handicap to level the playing field, Chris was on the hook for dinner.  Jared, Chris, Christy and I carefully chose some appetizers and entrees and passed them around for all to taste.  Good thing that we were all willing to share because it’s impossible to choose one thing from the Pearl menu!  After dinner we bounced around to our favorite spots and joined a dance party at Holly’s House upstairs at Ventuno.  Holly is the social queen of Nantucket and one of the best bartenders on the island so everyone stops by to see her during the night.  The party was hopping and it was a great way to end our night.

Laura, Jared, Chris and Christy celebrating at The Pearl
Laura, Jared, Chris and Christy celebrating at The Pearl

Monday morning I left Jared at the ferry and met my parents to move into their rental for the next couple of days.  With their friends Bob and Jane we all went into town for the afternoon to visit some shops and have some lunch at Met on Main.  Afterwards, we did a Nantucket Historical Association guided walking tour of the historic homes of Nantucket.  Our guide, Kay, took us to several homes of families that held an important role on Nantucket.  It was interesting to see the interior of some of the homes and imagine what life might have been on Nantucket in the early 1900’s and even before that.  It also gave us an opportunity to take lots of pictures of some of our favorite homes and the beautiful flowers they are decorated with.  It was a really nice way to spend a part of the afternoon and learn a little more about the island.

ACK tour
A historic tour of Nantucket: Mom admiring the hydrangeas, Our guide Kay leading us through town, Mom and I in the garden at Greater Light.

Before heading home we made a stop at Cisco Brewery.  It was a beautiful day and the brewery is such a fun place to sit down and enjoy a drink while listening to some music.  We grabbed a table and I taught everyone how to play Shut The Box.

Dad's learning some strategy for Shut The Box at the brewery
Dad learning some strategy for Shut The Box at the brewery

Monday night, the five of us took a ride out to Madeket for dinner at Millie’s.  It was foggy so we weren’t able to enjoy the sunset but dinner was delicious and an evening at Millie’s is always fun.  I think it was a perfect way to end Bob and Jane’s stay on the island.

I woke up early Tuesday morning to get a long run in.  Vacation or not, I am in training for two marathons this season so I wanted to run at least 12 miles.  I thought I was pretty comfortable getting to Milestone Road to run toward Sconset and although I am well aware of how boring that route can be, I went for it.  It was even more boring than I remembered but I was so happy to get the run in and be done with it. Later that day Mom and I took a walk into town to do a little more shopping.  I had time to pop into all my favorites including Milly & Grace, The Lovely and Blue Beetle where I found a pretty blue maxi dress and an adorable pair of starfish earrings.  More often than not, my Nantucket souvenirs can be worn.

ACK Long run
Scenes from my run to Sconset. My long boring run to Sconset.

We had planned a family dinner for that evening but had trouble deciding on the perfect spot to eat.  While my mother LOVES Nantucket, it is not a great culinary match for her limited palette.  Fish is usually the feature on most island menus and she won’t touch it.  Nantucket restaurants are also known for their creativity and sometime unusual dishes and she’s not always comfortable with that either.  After we looked up every island restaurant’s menu on her iPad we narrowed it down to 56 Union, Oran Mor and Pazzo.   Finally we decided on Pazzo and made a reservation that we were all looking forward to.  It did not disappoint.  I had never been to Pazzo but it skyrocketed to one of my favorites after this visit.  Our waitress, Phoebe, was the sweetest and delivered very exciting news when telling us about the specials.  They were offering a traditional Eggplant Parmesan – a perfect dish for Mom! We were all excited for the Grilled Bruschetta starter that had local grown heirloom tomatoes and goat cheese, a perfect way to kick off our meal with a bottle of Pinot Noir.  Dad and I both ordered something a little different than what we are used to. He chose the Fideua (similar to a paella but with noodles) and I ordered the duck breast kabobs.  Pheobe told us that pazzo is Italian for wild so we ordered appropriately! Everyone was very happy with their meals and Mom even said it was the best Eggplant Parm she has ever tried!  We will be back to Pazzo for sure.

Family dinner at Pazzo!
Family dinner at Pazzo!

Early Wednesday morning Dad drove me to the airport to catch my flight to Boston.  I grabbed a Nantucket Magazine to read on the flight and while I was sad to be leaving my perfect little island I was happy about how I used my time.  There was plenty of sun, fun, friends, excitement, relaxation and quality time with lots of people that I love.  What could ever be better?

Till next time Nantucket, I promise it won’t be long.


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