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A Day Trip to Nantucket – Vacation, Part 1

July 13, 2012

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

~F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby

Summer is way too short. I’ve become a big believer in filling it up with lots of unstructured (even if that’s not professionally recommended!) fun time for my kids. It’s renewing for all of us. After a long school year of having nearly ever minute of the day planned, even my little ones who thrive on structure enjoy sleeping late and lounging at the beach. It’s what summer should be. Heck, it’s what childhood should be.

So keeping that in mind, forgive me if I have a little less time to write this summer. All this free time keeps a mama pretty busy! 😉

So let me start to tell you about our vacation. It came at just the right time. There were some seriously insulting things happening with our ABA provider, and I’m still not sure I fully understand what happened enough to write about it here. Suffice it to say, it was the straw that essentially broke my back. There were huge transition issues for all of my children at the end of the school year, and whatever this drama was, it only served to seriously complicate things, and put me as close as I have ever come to a full nervous breakdown.

We needed to get away.

So we did.

First, the three children, the dog, and I made the 12 hour drive to my parent’s house on the mainland of Massachusetts. (I often make these journeys solo due to my husband’s work schedule- we save his time off for the big stuff- like that top secret expedition to Disney in the fall!) The next morning, we drove about 45 minutes to Hyannis, where we boarded a ferry bound for Nantucket. You see, Daddy just happened to have a trip to Nantucket, so we met him over there for the day. I have a very special attachment to Nantucket because I attended, and later worked at, a Girl Scout camp there every summer between 4th and 12th grade. As a kid, it just wasn’t summer until I had gone to Nantucket. This was the first time I was able to bring my own children there.

It’s a 2 ½ hour journey over the open sea. It’s beautiful, salty, and windy. My babies loved the windy part!

Saying goodbye to Hyannis

Dancing in the Wind

Did I mention Mary loves the wind?

So we survived the boat ride. We landed, got our bikes off the boat and met up with my husband. One of the ferry workers warned us that a thunderstorm would be rolling in shortly, so we decided to park the bikes and find some lunch. We decided on the Brotherhood of Thieves restaurant, and walked on over, ahead of the crowd.

This proved to be a problem for Troy. I’m not sure if I have told you about his newest fixation – the bike riding. It’s not just a hobby or a sport – it’s recently become a full-fledged obsession, in typical Aspie fashion. He has always liked bike riding, but my husband had noticed that Troy was developing a real talent for it overall (I know- our kids aren’t typically all that coordinated, so this makes the bike riding thing even cooler!). So for his birthday, he got this:

Troy and his new bike

He’s had it for one month, and according the bike computer he has on it, (and confirmed by his parents’ tired legs from keeping up with him while pulling a bike trailer with two little sisters in it!) he has already put more than 100 miles on it. Yeah, that obsession thing.

So, anyway, Troy’s mission upon arriving in Nantucket was to bike the island. I compromised on a ride to Sconset (a little over 8 miles each way) at some point during the day. Troy did not think that ducking into a restaurant to eat lunch and escape a rainstorm made any sense at all. Add to that, we quickly realized our mistake in the choice of the restaurant itself- the part that we found charming and cozy (the old, old basement location of the pub), Troy found noisy, crowded and claustrophobic. But we got him through it, by discussing cars, bikes, and deploying the electronic entertainment.

He really didn’t like the noise…. Or the crowds…

Joyce acting silly

Troy in a better mood

She loves cameras. 😉

What did parents do before Ipods?

We survived lunch, and survival = success in my book. And we even had a little fun. 😉

Next we ducked in to Daddy’s B&B to freshen up / dry off. Then, amid protests from the boy, we decided to walk around the town a little while the rain finished up. We got some coffee and cookies, snapped a few pictures, showed the kids what real cobblestone streets look like (we only have brick here), and then decided to set off on our bike ride, rain be damned!

Troy, Joyce, and Mary in downtown Nantucket

We set off on our bike ride, Tom trying to keep with the boy, and myself trying desperately to keep up with both of them while pulling a trailer containing 70 pounds of precious girls behind me over slippery cobblestone roads in the rain. Somehow, we managed to make it out of town and onto the bike path. There, we were able to let Troy get ahead of us a bit. My husband commented on how ludicrous this would all be to an outsider, but to Troy, it all made perfect sense. Really, why wouldn’t we ride our bikes nearly 20 miles in the rain? It is what we planned to do – ride bikes on Nantucket. We don’t change plans. And so we did. The girls were at least in their covered trailer, and Mary took a nap on the way out to Sconset, while Joyce took a nap on the way back. And Tom and I figured we had worked hard enough to have burned off any calories that might result from an extra beer with dinner. The big bonus was, of course, that we managed to wear out Troy – something that is simply not all that easy to do these days!

Oh, and we did get to see the beautiful little village of Siasconset, rose covered cottages and all!

After returning to town, we grabbed a leisurely dinner, at a more open-air and less crowded pub, and then put the children in their jammies for the boat ride back to the mainland. We had to get back because we had another boat ride to take the next day- this time to my parent’s house inMartha’s Vineyard. (Yes, I know, we’re spoiled. 😉 ) I’ll write about that in another post.

PS- I should apologize about the gratuitous number of pictures, but the grandparents who live up in MA read this, so I won’t apologize – Grandparents like pictures! 😉 Thanks for understanding.


Nantucket on Dwellable
6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2012 1:53 am

    Sounds lovely. Photos are great and I’m impressed that you are riding that bike with 70 lbs attached! 🙂

    • July 13, 2012 1:57 am

      Lol. Thanks! I’ve been (half) joking that Troy is my new fitness trainer – the bike trails are the gym, the girls are the weights, and they’re all the motivation! 😉

  2. Mema permalink
    July 13, 2012 10:06 pm

    Love the photos (and your writing) God Bless!
    Dad G

    • July 14, 2012 12:31 am

      Thanks! We miss you already! See you in a few weeks. 🙂

  3. janedwellable permalink
    March 4, 2013 7:40 pm

    Hi Erin,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blogs about Nantucket to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!


  1. Sunset – Vacation Part 2 « threepuzzlepieces

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