With summer coming to a close, I find myself drifting back to my time spent on Nantucket this past July. It’s a place that was made for daydreams and I long to be back on the island. One of the days I keep going back to is one I spent with my friend Elizabeth Kochor. We actually met in Nantucket, and she ended up being my official tour guide during my stay. We hit it off immediately and as a regular Nantucket transplant who has been coming to the island for years, she really knows her way around. She was staying in town and I was staying out in Siasconset at The Summer House. Getting around the island is quite easy. I decided to take the bus into town from Siasconset. The bus is called The Wave and there is a stop less than a five minute walk from The Summer House, so I hopped aboard and was on my way.
The bus was more of what you might expect, taking an airport shuttle from one terminal to the next. It was clean, air-conditioned and no cell phones usage allowed while in transit. It was about a 15-20 minute ride to my destination and it only cost me $2. I enjoyed scenery along the way.
Elizabeth and I decided we would meet in town at 11am. She asked that I call her when my bus arrived and we would pick a place to meet. I arrived about 45 minutes early and decided to blend in among tourists and take in the sites. As I made my way towards the waterfront, I realized I hadn’t had my morning dose of caffeine and started looking for somewhere I could pick up a Pepsi. Burrowed between a high-end souvenir shop for pet paraphernalia, and a jewelry shop, I saw a large sign that said “Fudge”. As a subtitle, the words, “Aunt Leah’s Fudge” rested underneath the larger heading and I gravitated towards the entrance. The small shop was packed with people and before the door had closed behind me, the woman behind the counter smiled and asked if I wanted to sample some of their world-famous chocolate peanut butter fudge. It would have been rude to decline such an appealing offer, so I took a nibble– smooth, creamy and peanut-buttery. It was just the right blend of peanut butter and chocolate– scrumptious. They have so many different varieties of fudge to choose from; Green Monster Mint & Chip, Vanilla Macadamia, Maple, Jamaican Mi Crazy, Cranberry Chocolate Walnut, Cookies and Cream, and even Nantucket Red. It was the start of my day and it was hot out. I purchased my Pepsi and told them I would be back.
By now, I only had about 20 minutes to kill and so I sat on a bench in front of The Tavern at Harbor Square restaurant to give Elizabeth a call to arrange a meeting spot. It’s at this point I realized that my cell phone was not getting a signal. Looking around, I realized I was not alone, as the woman next to me was having the same trouble. There are no pay phones in this quaint little town, so I walked over to the hostess stand at The Tavern and asked the gentleman at the desk if I could barrow their phone. He was polite and handed me the receiver and I dialed. Elizabeth answered and asked that I meet her in front of Ralph Lauren, on the corner of Main Street and Union Street. I thanked the gentleman once again and headed up the street.
I popped into Ralph Lauren and was drooling over a brown and khaki herringbone riding jacket with a leather lapel, when I saw Elizabeth walk up. Perfect timing, she stopped me from engaging in a shopping spree.
As we walked back up Union Street, she was telling me about some of the restaurants and shops she investigates when visiting. She took me to the Old South Wharf Shops and Galleries down by the waterfront. A handsome young gentleman offered us free soap samples as we passed by Island Indulgence. Bike rentals can be had at Nantucket Bike Shop III, and another boutique shop called The Black Dog is the perfect shop for islanders who have an affinity for the black lab.
We strolled along the pier and found a young man reading and enjoying his lunch, while his feet dangled above the icy waters. The feeling in the air was that of relaxation. The marina was docked with a plethora of beautiful yachts from around the world. By now, we were getting a bit peckish and decided to grab some lunch at Cru Oyster Bar. It was quite busy, so we bellied up to the bar and enjoyed our meal opposite the bartender. They were shucking oysters behind the counter and it was amazing to watch. With a swivel of the bar stool, there was a 270 degree view of the water and marina. The breeze whisked in and out of the open doors and windows as we gobbled up our delicious lunch.
After lunch, we headed back up Union Street towards more shops. There are several bookstores in town and designer handbags and jewelry can be found on every block. We stopped at The Bean and Elizabeth grabbed an iced coffee. We then made our way to a little boutique called Nalu Nantucket. Elizabeth had been in the store the day before and had seen a bracelet she wanted to purchase. It was a Good Work(s) Make a Difference® bracelet. 25% of net proceeds go to charitable organizations. She was in luck, they had the bracelet she had eyed earlier. Elizabeth made the purchase and we were on our way.
From here, we decided to take the bus back to The Summer House and then pick-up a car from a friend. First, she took me out to the Sankaty lighthouse, located on the Eastern shore of Nantucket. It sits on a cliff overlooking a golf course. The lighthouse was moved 405 feet northwest from the edge of eroding land, in late 2007. There is a fence that runs along the edge of the cliff for safety purposes. I’m told that it is a straight drop down, if you were to make it to the other side. We could see seals frolicking in the surf through the fence links.
Our next stop was over to The Wauwinet, an inn by the sea. This luxury hotel and spa is on the northeast corner of the island next to Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. The Wauwinet House welcomed its first guests in 1875 and has been an historic part of Nantucket’s history ever since. We walked around the grounds and took in artwork on the lawn.
By now, it was coming up on dinner hour. We made our way back to Siasconset and enjoyed dinner at The Summer House bar. I had fluke fish sticks and they were the bomb. We toasted to a wonderful day in Nantucket and enjoyed the rest of the evening with a few cocktails and live jazz music in the lounge. Until next summer…