Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

I made a couple of bracelets for Mother's Day. I also exceeded my Flickr account with Nantucket photos... sooo... here are the two pictures I managed to squeeze in there!

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Blue rose bracelet and earrings for Nick's momma

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For Grandma McG, "Inspire" bracelet

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"Wish" bracelet for Grandma S

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Because my friend Rach is a science nerd, and because she's led camps and participated in research and is apparently a sponge for knowledge, she was able to give me a very comprehensive tour of the island of Nantucket. On the afternoon that I arrived, the sun was trying to shine through the clouds and the weather wasn't terrible, so we dropped my bags off at the house (more on that later), and headed out to see some sights.

It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures that I took - looking back at them it seems like the entire landscape is brown, gray and occasionally blue - but as we were driving around, it felt like every direction I looked, something different was taking place.

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This is the view toward town, from the site of the "Oldest House" - the longest inhabited home (now owned by the Nantucket Historical Society)

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And, here is the Oldest House. I guess they give tours in the summer, but I had to make due with peeking in the windows.

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Here are some of the homes? Hotels? Places to stay on the island. I had a hard time telling buildings apart, as the majority of them are finished in those cedar shingles.

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I was anxious to get down to the beach, but this was too pretty not to snap.

We walked along the beach on the west side of the island. There, the water was pretty still and the sand was littered with shells. Rachel gave me a guide to the shells of the island and I filled my pockets with a few (I should probably bleach those soon... my carry on bag probably smells pretty bad). Next, she drove me to the eastern facing side of the island, where the beach was soft sand and the waves were very choppy. It was also considerably colder. I found it amazing that such a short distance could yield such different climates.
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Rachel explained to me that the island is always changing. It was created by the glaciers and is essentially a big pile of sand and rock. She said that a couple of years ago, two homes on this beach were washed away after a big storm.

To round out my tour of the island, we headed out to Siasconset so that I could see the pretty homes and beaches there.

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Pretty, beach facing homes that may or may not still be there in a couple of years.

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"Evil cliff" that is threatening homes in previous image (interesting politics).

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We stopped off to see the Sankaty Lighthouse before heading back to the house to get ready for dinner.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A long-winded preface to my Nantucket adventure

One of the few things I hate about traveling is returning home, only to feel like I didn't make the most of my trip. Two years ago, when I visited Boston with a friend, we walked by the library twice but never went in. We spent more time in shopping malls than in museums. We rode the subway in every direction, but found ourselves getting off at mostly the same stops each time. While it was a fun trip and certainly whet my appetite for the East Coast, I wasn't completely satisfied. The same goes for a trip to Vegas, where there are so many things to see and do, I spent most of the time feeling overwhelmed. All I really wanted to see were the places Sinatra hung out, but we just never made it to Old Vegas.

I cannot think of one thing I wish I had seen or done during my trip to Nantucket last weekend. Now, this could have something to do with the fact that the island is only 13.5 miles long and 3 miles wide, but I think it is more likely attributed to my fantastic tour guide. Not only is Rachel one of my favorite people, she's also a kick ass cook, gracious hostess and one of the biggest nature nerds I've ever known (that's a high complement, coming from me).

Rach and me in our pokey-dotted dresses, sometime around three years ago.
This trip was kind of a big deal for me. When Rachel moved to the island after college, she offered up the chance to visit, but I didn't want to impose/didn't have the money/knew nothing about Nantucket. After our friend Caitlin made her way out there last fall and then told me how awesome it was, I started thinking of ways to go out to see Rach. I told my mom that I thought I might want to make the trip and that I'd like to go alone - it would be a good test of my self confidence and give me a chance to spent time one on one with my friend. So, for my 26th birthday, my parents agreed to pay for my airline ticket so that I could fly to Boston and then make my way over to visit Rachel.

Nantucket does have its own airport, but it's pretty pricey and flights to Boston were running cheap, so I decided I'd take the roundabout way. That means I had to fly to Boston (2 hours), catch a bus to Hyannis (2 hours), and then take the ferry to Nantucket (1 hour). I was a little worried about all of the connections, but Rachel helped me navigate the transportation system, with back up plans included.

Everything went fairly well from Columbus to Hyannis, and I was eager to stretch my legs once I got off the bus. I made my way over to a breakfast/lunch place called Persy's Place and ordered a cup of chowder and a salad. Then, I thought to look at the time and realized I'd better gulp down my soup and get my rear to the boat dock if I wanted to make my ferry. I hustled out and found a cab, but in my disheveled state I said, "Take me to the fast ferry, please." I ended up at the Hy Line, when I needed to be at the Steamship Authority. Freaked out, and with 5 minutes til the boat left, I called Rachel. She guided me to the correct place and I made it with little time to spare. On the boat, I dozed off listening to Ella Fitzgerald and awoke as we were pulling in to the port.