Friday, June 22, 2018

nantucket and the cape- day three

Our third and final day on Nantucket was really just a morning while we waited for our noon ferry to arrive. We still had our rental car until just before we departed, so we decided to try to squeeze in a few more things we had wanted to do.

Our first stop, coffee and these delicious "morning buns" at Petticoat Row Bakery, which was steps from our hotel. 

Then I popped around the corner to one of my favourite shops, Flowers on Chestnut. I had spotted a little blue transferware piece that I really loved, but left behind the day before. I decided to go back and get it for myself as a little souvenir, and I'm really so happy I did. It's the sweetest shop with fresh flowers on the main floor, and beautiful home decor on the second floor with some great books and antiques scattered about. Maybe in a separate post, I'll share a few photos of it with you. 

We then drove around town for a bit, looking at the store fronts. I had to laugh because some of the cobblestone streets felt bumpy enough to send me into labour! We joked we'd be able to extend our stay for a bit, and who wouldn't want a little Nantucket baby?

We made our way down to Old South Wharf again, this time to see it in the daylight.

I popped into this sweet souvenir shop to pick up a couple little things for the boys - a little wooden 'Sconset train for Jude, a geode for Hudson (he asked for the coolest rock ever - this one you smash open and hopefully find some crystals inside), a knot bracelet for Willen and sharks tooth fossils for both.

We had wanted to try the famous Turkey Terrific sandwich from Provisions, so we grabbed sandwiches and packed them for on the ferry ride.

Still finding ourselves with about an hour before needing to be back, Ryan decided we would take a quick drive out towards Tom Nevers, a part of the island we hadn't been to yet. The beautiful sunny weather was starting to give way to the grey fog the island is known for, and rain was on it's way. It didn't stop us from meandering through the sandy back roads though, all the way to the coast where we got out and enjoyed a few last minutes of the beach.

After dropping our car off, we checked our final stop off our list - the Juice Bar for their famous ice cream and homemade waffle cones. So worth the stop.

We caught our ferry and departed just as it started raining. As we rounded the harbor we knew we'd found a special little place we'd be returning to again.

Once back in Hyannis, we made our way up the Cape, towards Provincetown by way of Chatham and Orleans - two beautiful towns off the highway. Unfortunately it was teaming rain, so we didn't spend much time walking around. I did however bookmark two stops, one an antique map shop and another antique shop.

We spent our last night camping in Provincetown, but to be honest, we were a little disappointed. First, at the campsite you weren't allowed any fires, but that's pretty much what we do in the evening when camping - sit around a nice fire. No problem, we'd drive into town and walk up and down, and spend more time there. We picked up boxes of Salt Water Taffy for the boys and the most delicious chocolate peanut butter cups and turtles for us. 

Ready to eat, we then sadly discovered that on Wednesdays during the off season, many restaurants are closed! This included the few choices we had wanted to try. We ended up settling on the Lobster Pot, which was pretty good food wise, but with a beautiful view of the wharf. We ate as the sun set and then made our way back to the campsite where we attempted to play cards by the dimmest lantern ever. Fortunately we were tired and decided to call it a night so we could be on our way early the next morning. We had a nine hour drive ahead of us, and we wanted to be home in time to spend some time with the boys before bed.

I wanted to share our camping side of our trip. We camped the first and last nights, and stayed at our hotel while on Nantucket. Originally we had planned to both just sleep in the back of our van, but the only mattress that would fit was a single. And while we love each other dearly, sharing a single bed was a little too close for comfort. I ended up sleeping in the van, and Ryan happily unearthed all his camping gear from his bachelor days and camped beside me. 

Fun fact - on our honeymoon, from New York City to the East Coast, we camped every other night as well, in this same tent! Even then it made me a little claustrophobic, and we had to sleep opposite ways to fit. It was still romantic. 

Ten years later, I was quite happy to let him enjoy the tent while I enjoyed "glamping" in our van. And yes, I brought white linens. When sleeping on a bed, might as well make it comfortable.

Here are my two souvenirs I brought back. I don't have many pieces of  blue transferware, and have been looking for some for a while now. The top piece will go by my night table, and the bottom one, on the wall in the family room.

Hopefully you enjoyed our tour! We had an amazing time. It's one of our favourite places we've been together, and honestly, we can't wait to return, because return we shall.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

nantucket - day two

         Our second day on Nantucket was devoted almost entirely to walking around 'Sconset.

Now at any other point, we would have rented bikes in town and enjoyed a bike ride out to this area - the island is perfectly suited for biking. But, given my current very pregnant condition, we rented a car for the day so I could walk around once there and enjoy the day comfortably. I'm so glad we did! We actually enjoyed so much more than we planned this day because we had the convenience of our own car.

Our morning started off with coffee and pastries in the courtyard of our hotel. Ryan would get up before me, stroll to get his coffee down the road and I'd find him later, reading here. Then I'd go get my coffee and we'd plan our day.

Breakfast at Black Eyed Susan's was our first stop. We both enjoyed a good, casual breakfast in a very bustling but cozy atmosphere.

Then we headed out to Siasconset - or 'Sconset as it's called. We parked and walked 'Sconset beach, looking for rocks and shells for the boys, enjoying the wind and warm sunny day.

If there's one thing we couldn't get over about this place, it's the sweet smell of wild roses growing all over and a fresh, saltiness of the ocean air. It's intoxicating.

Then we headed to Sankaty Head lighthouse before parking back in town and walking the 'Sconset Bluff Walk.

The walk is along this little footpath that wanders through the back yards of the homes overlooking the bluff. It's a beautiful walk with perfectly manicured yards of these meticulously kept homes on one side and this wild, heathland with breathtaking views of the coast on the other!

Nearing the end of the walk, I was starting to feel quite tired, so I ended up finding a shady spot to rest outside what became my favourite home we passed, while Ryan lovingly walked back into town to grab the car.

In town, we stopped again to walk around the older cottages - the ones that 'Sconset is famous for. These tiny, crooked, rose-covered cottages from the 18th century look like they're right out of a storybook! The roses were just starting to bloom and I can't imagine how much more gorgeous this area is once everything is in full bloom.

Can you just imagine this cottage in bloom?

I made Ryan stand beside one of them to show the boys the scale of just how tiny they are!

Before continuing on, we stopped at the 'Sconset Market and picked up some water and snacks before we made our way to another part of the island. The sign outside the market says "Fancy Groceries" and it made me laugh, until we walked in. It might as well have been a small corner store, but it was entirely stocked with every fine food and snack you could imagine! I couldn't get over it. I told Ryan I wished we had a little market like this... though it's probably best we didn't. It was the same with their playgrounds - these pretty little climbers that were white and shake and perfectly matching their surroundings.

Our next stop was Cisco Brewery for Ryan, where he enjoyed a flight of their island inspired beers in the garden while a live band played and food trucks sold raw oysters and frozen Rose - It's a thing there - frose. Too bad I was pregnant...

We then headed to Bartlett Farms where I picked up a peach and some cherries (I needed something healthy!) and then took a scenic drive back to our hotel.

As we had missed lunch, we decided to change and head out for an early dinner. We had planned to have burgers for lunch at Lola Burger, so we just made our way back there. Now, I know we were hungry, but these burgers and fries were something else. Seriously, one of the best burgers I've had. And these crispy little fries with garlic aioli? So delicious! We left stuffed.

We then drove out towards the Madaket Beach area, as we heard you can see the prettiest sunsets there. 

It didn't disappoint! It really was gorgeous. But it was also quite chilly and very windy, so we didn't stay long.

Ryan surprised me with stopping at Galley Beach for dessert - a restaurant I had wanted to try. We watched the sun sink from the comfort of a fire on the beach while we enjoyed drinks.

Then, once it was dark, we headed inside and had our dessert. It was a beautiful restaurant, but really, it's location couldn't be more perfect. We ended the evening on Old South Wharf, walking the docks by lamplight.

Because we were able to drive about, we were able to see so much more. It really was a near perfect day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

in season - peonies, local strawberries and local rhubarb

This is one of my favourite times a year to visit our farmer's market as some of my favourite things are now in season.

A few weeks a year, locally grown Peonies are available and it's such a sight - pails and pails of blooms! And so reasonably priced, you can pick up an armful to enjoy a bunch in every room of the house.

Rhubarb is also still in season, and something I pick up each time I can. We never tire of Rhubarb Crumble Coffee Cake, or Rhubarb Almond Muffins, or a favourite of ours - Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. I also freeze it to enjoy through out the summer.

And local Strawberries have become readily available, and while I will eventually get out to pick my own for jam, we still can't leave without two pints - one to eat and one to enjoy over waffles or with our yogurt.

Within a day or two the Peonies unfurl into the most beautiful flowers and they smell so pretty.

This weekend I also stopped by the Oliver and Rust parking lot sale and grabbed another one of my favourite locally made pillows. I also used my market tote which I brought back from Nantucket!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

nantucket - day one

Oh Nantucket, how quickly you have become one of our most favorite places.

Because of the number of photos I took from our few days here, I decided to share them with you by day. It really is a magical island and was so perfectly suited to our taste.

It is roughly an eight hour drive from our home to the ferry, followed by an hour ferry ride to the island. We left early on Sunday morning, and decided to stay on the Cape, allowing us to take our time driving, stopping whenever we wanted. We camped  - which was an adventure, and reminded us of our honeymoon. I stayed comfortably on an air mattress in our van, while Ryan roughed it in his coffin of a tent beside me. We barely stayed up long enough to watch the stars come out while we sat by the fire. The next morning we traveled to Hyannis (where the Ferry departs) the scenic way, through the most charming little towns of Sandwich and Barnstable. 

We couldn't help stopping by a few historical places and walking about.

Before we boarded the ferry, we stopped in Hyannis at Pain d'Avignon for honestly, the most amazing Pan au Chocolat and Almond Croissant I have ever eaten.

We were happy we reserved tickets for the high speed ferry, which meant less time travelling, and a couple extra hours to walk around town when we docked.

We stayed at the Gate House, part of the Robert's Collection right in town, which was ideal as we walked everywhere in town.

Our room was extremely reasonable, and just what we needed. We didn't spend much time in the room as there was a courtyard right outside.

After unpacking and a quick shower to freshen up (we were a little salty and wind-blown from sitting outside on the ferry!), we changed for dinner and started wandering around the cobblestone streets downtown. Because we went mid-June, it's still considered off season, and we found that to be ideal. It was busy enough, but we never needed a reservation, or had to wait long anywhere. Also, the weather was perfect!

We were slightly early to see the Roses and Hydrangeas in bloom, but the gardens didn't disappoint. Every home, in the smallest spaces possible, boasted beautifully manicured little gardens and the most unique window boxes.

I was thrilled though, whenever I found an early rose bush in bloom!

After dinner at the Brotherhood of Thieves, a dark and cozy basement pub, we strolled around until it was dusk, ending our walk in Lily Pond Park - the prettiest little wetland sort of area with boardwalks and rabbits bouncing around all over. We sat and watched the sun set, listening to the sounds of the frogs and birds, and then made our way back into town in the dark. It provided us the perfect opportunity to glance in the windows and see the interiors of so many of the perfect homes in town.

We finished the evening with cappuccinos and dessert at Dune and collapsed on our bed as soon as we returned, looking forward to the next day, when we'd head out to 'Sconset.