Anyone who has played a field sport at a higher level has probably had some anxiety over the prospect of tearing their ACL. I know in my ten years of playing lacrosse, it was a constant, nagging fear. Luckily, much like concussions, I avoided it. I should note, though, that I got a concussion paddle boarding two years after I stopped playing lacrosse. So, when two years after that I dismounted gracelessly from a surfboard on my second day out, it is no surprise that I was convinced that I had once again injured myself doing something much milder than the risks I had subjected myself to in my (even) younger days. This is one of the key things I think about when I think of Nantucket...
It's April. It's been cold. It has snowed, and rained, and hailed, and it will probably continue to do so for a few more weeks. So, if you are like me, you are dying for summer, and in the mean time you are recounting tales of summers past. That is where this post finds me.
I had the pleasure of visiting my sister on Nantucket this past summer, and unlike most New Englanders of nearly 20 years, this was a first for me. And I cannot wait to do it again. Despite less than perfect weather, my trip to Nantucket last August was the quintessential beach vacation. Because my sister was only a few miles from downtown, we were able to bike there or take an inexpensive Uber or cab into town. This made it incredibly easy to shop, dine, drink and play. For the beaches, we went a bit further via car, but that was entirely worth it. Here are a few of my suggestions for MUST DO things on the island:
Learn to surf. If you hurt your knee, get back up and ice it later. If the cute instructor is flirting with your sister, paddle away and let her get the date.
Visit Four Winds Gift Shop. It's RIGHT downtown, and has everything Nantucket you could want to bring home. Great people, too.
Get pizza from Oath. Eat it on the docks, dangling your feet over the edge and marveling at the enormous yachts.
Go out for drinks, and get the bar tenders to make what they're good at.
As a tangent from that, ask everyone where they are from and where they've been. Island people live island life. A lot of them just go places; explorers tend to have good stories.
Walk along the bluff (the Sconset Bluff Walk). Read the informational signs and marvel at the INSANE erosion that Nantucket faces. It's amazingly humbling to be reminded of the power nature has over everything we have built, and I have seen fewer examples more stark than this that it can go away faster than it came into existence.
Leave with the beach still on your feet. The kids on your ferry ride home will think it's the coolest.
Ultimately, I know I am just dreaming of warmer days. But it's been said that there's more joy to be found in planning for and anticipating a vacation than there is in actually taking it. True or not, I think I will start planning 2016's trip now...