Friday, March 25, 2011

"Nantucket is a Refuge From the Rest of the World" - Bob Reed

After several months of an off season, my brother returned to Nantucket a few days ago. He is a chef at American Seasons - an outstanding restaurant on the island. And I'm not just saying that because I'm the proud big sister. I've actually eaten stuffed my face at this fine, fine establishment. No joke, this place is one of the best restaurants I've ever been to.

So last summer, my parents and I went to visit Andy, the restaurant, and Nantucket for the first time:

Andy picking us up at the ferry

Mr. C loves sailboats...

Mrs. C loves yachts (hey, I can dream, right?!!)

Gorgeous weather....

Approaching the restaurant...
Beautiful flowers abound...

Sorry about the branch-in-the-face, Mom....only pic I had of the three of you at the restaurant
Brother and Sister

I love how uncrowded this beach is....seriously, where can you find this in the summer?!?!
Stopped in for a tasting at Cisco Brewery...

Clearly we enjoyed ourselves...

I love the cobblestone streets...

In case you were wondering how many miles away Iceland is....

Andy's neighborhood

Mom relaxing.....

Dad "airing himself out" (it did get kinda warm mid-afternoon)

Heading into one of the best meals we've ever had together....

Last stop at a local dive before the ferry took my parents and I home.
Sorry for the blurred image - didn't bring the fancy camera...

Ok, I'll fess up - the blurriness might also have something to do with the fact that we are all slightly tipsy by this point.

Let me just say that we were treated like royalty at American Seasons - they literally kept bringing out course after course for us....and I'm not even going to bring up the drinks or desserts. I am really looking forward to bringing Mr. C to Nantucket this season -(he wasn't able to come with my parents and I last year due to a work project). With spring just around the corner, it looks like we only have a few more weeks to go!

In addition to the good eats coming our way, I'm also just genuinely excited to visit this island again in general. I have to say, I was a little hesitant last summer when I first stepped off the ferry - Nantucket is notorious for being extremely expensive and for being frequented by strictly uber-wealthy and/or snobby visitors..... I was so pleasantly surprised during our visit, though. Yes, it's true that Nantucket is expensive...but it is in no way stuffy or snobby. I found the people to be very friendly and there is a laid back feel you would expect on any island. It's a beautiful, scenic destination with quaint shops, fine restaurants and gray and white cedar shake homes are far as the eye can see. What's not to like?!?!

Nantucket has proven to be my favorite beach that I've been to so far in MA. I have been to the Cape many times, and while I always enjoy a visit to the Cape - I get a different feeling on Nantucket, and I finally was able to pinpoint why. A great deal of Cape Cod is made up of year-round communities and residents. In the summer, there are definitely tons of tourists and second-homers that flood the area, but the Cape by no means shuts down during the winter time. There are still numerous restaurants and shops open, and you'll see many people out and about on a January afternoon in CC. Nantucket, on the other hand, is strictly seasonal. When the season is over, the population drops dramatically - almost to deserted. The shops and restaurants close, and it is very quiet and still. Summers on Nantucket are fleeting - they last only a few short months and then they are gone. I think this is a big part of why I'm drawn to Nantucket - it reminds me of the summers I spent growing up on LBI. LBI is a tiny island off the NJ coast (which, btw, I will absolutely not tolerate any ridiculous Jersey Shore comments or references on this blog - I loathe that show and the way it has misrepresented and degraded where I grew up, not to mention Italians and a host of other things). Ugh. Sorry, but I really had to get that off my chest. I am probably the only person my age that doesn't enjoy that show. So, back to what matters.

The summer months on LBI will swell with tourists, and before you know it, the island is practically empty (like Nantucket) and you have to endure 9 cold, long months before you can enjoy the island again. For me, this made the island so special and sacred - it didn't last forever and I had to enjoy it as much as possible during what little time I had. Kind of like when you're a little kid waiting for Christmas....to a child, it seems like you're waiting forever for Santa to arrive! And in a flash, Christmas Day is over. On the Cape (and in other year-round coastal communities), the towns never really shut down, and so they lack that magical, elusive quality.

It very well could be that I'm the only one that feels this way...but all I know is that I fell in love with Nantucket during that fleeting day I spent on the island in the summer of 2010 and I can't wait to go back. And waiting it out during one of New England's snowiest winters has made me more excited than ever.

2 comments:

  1. Well I couldn't agree more about Nantucket. The first time I went out to the Cape (my company's headquarters are in Boston) I was soooo disappointed, not at all what I had in my minds eye. Then I caught the ferry out to the island and I was in heaven. I have a very similar picture as yours of the cobblestone street with the giant planter in the middle, the plantings in the summer are just spectacular. Thanks for reminding me that a trip out to Nantucket is long overdue. You my dear are lucky to have family out there and a chef is even better!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Miss Char, Glad you had a chance to visit Nantucket! I agree about the Cape, although there are some areas that I do really like - Chatham is a beautiful town and I have to visit Truro Vineyards at least once or twice a year. But in the end there is just something extra special about Nantucket. :-)

    ReplyDelete