I have a lot of constant low-level anxiety and that’s not good. Particularly lately, I find myself having to say to myself, out loud, several times a day, “You’re not doing anything wrong.” Yes, I need therapy, it’s on the list, OK. Anyway, one of the promises I made myself was I was not going to grade myself on this vacation. I wasn’t going to force myself to do anything, I was just going to do what I feel like doing, and anything I did inefficiently or even dumbly, I just wasn’t going to worry about. Does it make sense to go to Martha’s Vineyard and not make an effort to see the whole thing? Does it make sense to go to Nantucket just long enough to walk around the town, and not make an effort to see the rest of the island? Well, from some obvious metrics, no, that’s not the best way to do it, but this vacation isn’t about being a completist, it’s about doing what the hell I want.
I’d booked myself on the morning ferry to Nantucket, so had to get moving pretty early. There was a breakfast place called Biscuits or such near the dock that I’d seen, I thought I’d try that. They were hopping, and full, so I ordered a breakfast wrap and coffee to go, and was assured they’d bring it out to me. Well, when I charged the food on my card, it didn’t look like I’d be able to add a tip, so I stuffed some bills in the jar, but I don’t think the waitstaff saw me do that. And then they presented me with the check to sign, and there was a space for tip, which I crossed out, which they did see. And I’m like, “oh, fuck, they think I didn’t tip, they’re not going to be nice to me”. And sure enough, after waiting around outside for quite a while, I came back in and turns out my bag of food had been sitting there for quite a while. The waitress said guilelessly, “Oh, had you paid for this already?” Yes, dear I had.
Anyway, no fear, made the ferry on time and the breakfast burrito was delicious. It was overcast, so I sat inside by the window and had a pleasant hour-plus knitting and looking out the window until we got to Nantucket.
Went to the tourist info booth, got in line behind a gang of 3 ladies who did the ‘we’re going to ask you about every little thing thing’, and the garrulous boothmaster was happy to point everything out and draw circles on the maps and go above and beyond. I just wanted to grab a fucking map and brochure and go (hmmm, maybe I do need a vacation), and after those ladies came out, another one stepped up and I kind of squirmed in too and grabbed a map and ran. He’d described a walking tour and I got a brochure for that.
So I walked up Main Street and did the walking tour (sort of), except … I know different people read maps differently, but I always get thrown and irritated when maps use shorthand. “OK, we turn on the first street called Lambert”, except Lambert isn’t the first street because the map didn’t bother to include all the in-between streets. Drives me nuts. Luckily I also had the full tourist map to go by. Bottom line, walked around and saw a lot of bee-yoo-tiful old houses.
Back to the ferry dock to use the bathroom and grab an iced tea/lemonade. I did notice that Nantucket is upscale enough that, unlike Oak Bluffs, there aren’t a lot of easily accessible and obvious public bathrooms, or places to just go buy a soda. Plenty of places to sit and have a nice pricey meal, of course, or buy some really nice clothing.
More walking around, made a point to buy a t-shirt. Walked way out on a dock, looked back at the town, saw a church steeple and decided to try to find the church. (I did, pictures later) And ended up back at the dock to get the midday ferry back. I could have stayed later and gotten the last ferry, but I knew I’d want to relax in the afternoon, and was also somewhat fearful of missing the last ferry. (guidebooks had talked about the ferries selling out but I don’t think there’s a danger of that this time of year) It also somehow never occurs to me that if I plunk down the money and do a driving tour or a bus tour, it’s not tiring, you’re just sitting there. I really could have done that, oh well.
(but I will say, Nantucket was gorgeous. I think I’d be far more likely to be inspired to come back to Nantucket for a full weekend at some point than to return to Martha’s Vineyard. Don’t get me wrong, I have had a great time here in MV, but I don’t know if I’d come back unless the Obamas invited me to their summer house or such.)
Ferry back. I sat on the open deck this time for at least the first bit of the journey, until it got too windy. Got some great news via email, which I will share when permitted to. Then moved back down to the first floor inside for the rest of the trip.
I hadn’t been hungry for lunch while in Nantucket, but figured I’d have an ‘in honor of Charles’ late lunch when I got back. (He was notorious for not letting us stop for lunch until 3:00 when we were on vacation.) I thought I’d try a lobster roll, but ended up at the Chowder House and had a shrimp po-boy instead. I love shrimp, but this had a ton of bacon, which I wasn’t expecting, and the shrimp was so buttery it was actually kinda gross. Big mound of fries, too, which I ate, shamefully. So it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I’d really wanted.
Back out to the ferry terminal to buy a ticket for today, then back to Circuit to buy a t-shirt. Back to the hotel, where I found they hadn’t actually made up the room. Hmm, that’s weird. Down to the lobby to make a cup of coffee, the proprietress poked her head out. I asked her why the room had not been redone, she said something like, ‘it got crazy here, we didn’t get to it’. She asked if I wanted it done then, or at least if I needed towels, but I said don’t bother. I was pissed, though, I think this is by far the most expensive of the three places I’m staying. Well, I went upstairs and immediately spilled my coffee all over the floor. So I used up some towels cleaning that up, that’ll show ’em. And got another cup of coffee, more carefully this time.
Rest, relaxation, cleanup, planning, proto-packing. I really wasn’t hungry, but decided to watch news until about 745, when I could go across the street to the ale house for something light, and get back for Rachel Maddow. You don’t go to an ale house for wine and a salad, which is what I had, but it was delicious, actually – the sort of salad with bibb letttuce and walnuts and apples and cheese, and the Pinot Grigio was excellent too.
Then came back to find that Rachel had the night off, grrr. So I watched RuPaul instead.
And today I’m off to Cape Cod, for part 2 of this triptych.