Sunday, July 7, 2019

Long Weekend in Nantucket

What happens when one of your friends moves out of state and invites you to visit her at her new home in Nantucket? if you are like me, you jump at the opportunity and book a flight months in advance knowing that the weekend you agreed upon is a holiday weekend and prices are going to skyrocket. That is how my husband and I found ourselves in Nantucket; a small island off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Honestly speaking, Nantucket would never have crossed my radar were it not for my friend and I am so glad we got to check it out because it exceeded my expectations.......or rather lack of. Anyway, let me get started on the recap of our trip.

Getting to Nantucket

There is a reason this island wasn't in my radar, getting there is such a hustle and can be pricey, especially during summer which is high season. Of course we opted for the cheapest option we had which was flying into Logan airport in Boston then taking a bus heading to Hyannis in Cape Cod. We used Peter Pan bus to go to Hyannis and Plymouth & Brockton coming back to Boston (both go back and forth, it was just a matter of timing and that's why we switched companies). The trip took about 2 hrs and in my true fashion I blacked out through out the whole ride.

PS: Both buses can be found at the airport, just ask at the information desk to be directed to their stop.

From Hyannis we took the Hy-Line ferry to Nantucket, the ferry ride was about an hour long and it was actually pretty pleasant. I was scared of getting motion sickness but I didn't, thank goodness! 

We got to Nantucket when the weather was still bright and sunny so we were able to hit the ground running in order to maximize our short stay. The island is not big so that made it easier to check out what it has to offer in a short period of time, I will just go ahead and summarize what we did......

Day One

Technically this was half a day since we got to the island in the late afternoon. Majority of the time was spent at the beach enjoying the warm weather and walking around to get a feel of the island.

How pretty are these houses covered in flowers?! seems like that's the thing on the island, lot's of houses covered or surrounded by pretty flowers.

There was no shortage of well trimmed and manicured lawns.

Day Two

We had the whole day on our hands to explore more of the island so while my friend was at work, her sweet husband drove us all over showing us different areas and points of interest.

When visiting Nantucket and someone tells you, let's go to the mall. Don't expect a typical mall, this is where you end up. A place where people drop off what they don't need and others come to sift through the stuff to get what they need, everything is free and if you are lucky you can get some good stuff.

Oldest windmill in Nantucket built in 1746.

A trip to this island isn't complete without checking out their functioning lighthouses. There are 3 on the island: Brant Point Light, Great Point Light and Sankaty Head Light. I only got photos of two but you get the idea.

Sankaty Head Light

Brant Point

Day Three

We took a day trip to Martha's Vineyard which is bigger than Nantucket (it has 6 town while Nantucket only has 1). We took the first ferry out in the morning and the trip was about an hour long, I have always associated Martha's Vineyard with where US presidents take their vacations so I was imagining a stuffy, snobby place but we were in for a surprise! it was very touristy and packed with people from all over. Since we didn't have a lot of time, we decided to stick to Oak Bluffs and Edgartown (2 of the 6 towns in the island).

There are many ways to get around the island so we opted for a public bus which was cheaper, a whole day pass of $8 would let you get on any bus going to whichever town you want to visit for the day. There were long lines of people waiting to get onto the bus to Edgartown, which we had been told is the most popular town on the island. Fortunately the buses were frequent so we did not have to wait for too long. When we got to Edgartown we walked around, checked out some of the many cute little shops and basically just soaked in the vibe of the town, cute and quaint is how I would describe it. 

Since Oaks Bluff is where we would be departing the island from, we saved it for last. In my opinion I think Oak Bluff had a spring break vibe while Edgartown had a more relaxed and mature vibe to it. I liked both as each had its own appeal.

The popular gingerbread houses in Oak Bluff (google the back ground story). 

PS: Carry cash when venturing to Martha's Vineyard, we were surprised by how many places accepted cash only for payment.

We headed out of the island in the afternoon after enduring really hot weather. We were all tired and sweaty by the time we were getting back to Nantucket. We took it easy for a few hours before heading out to check out the local night life to end the night on a high note.

Day Four

We headed back home after having had the best mini vacation ever! I had zero expectations on this trip but it turned out to be one of our best vacation getaways. It's funny how certain places can surprise you, Nantucket was definitely a pleasant surprise!

That's it folks! I need to catch up on my sleep and get back to the regular routine........seriously can I just win the lottery and get to vacation forever? a girl can only dream, we have another mini getaway coming up at the end of August so watch out for an update.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Last Day in DC

Le sigh! all good things must come to an end and today is our last day in DC before heading back to reality tomorrow. We decided to check out Eastern Market which is a public market located in the heart of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood, our airbnb host had informed us that during the weekend they have an outdoor flea market which is pretty cool to check out so today being a Saturday, we quickly made our way there.

The flea market turned out to be pretty cool and there were lots of vendors selling everything from jewelry, clothes, art name it! it was definitely a perfect setting to start a Saturday. We walked around, got some brunch at this one restaurant that had horrible service and was over priced, before discovering food stalls tucked in one corner of the flea market serving dishes from different countries at very reasonable prices, I wanted to scream! (Well, I did scream in my head. I was like what the F**K?! ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!" plus a lot of other expletives). To all those people who have told me I always look so calm in stressful situations, trust me........there is usually a riot going on in my mind, I just don't show it. Besides that restaurant fiasco, we had a pretty good time and even bought some stuff to take home with us. I would definitely recommend a visit to the Eastern Market on a weekend to check out the flea market that's held outdoors.

Inside the Eastern Market

After getting our fill of the market we headed to The Wharf, a vibrant mile long stretch along the Potomac river that has restaurants, entertainment and businesses that attract large crowds. I actually just found out that it was the first major waterfront development project aimed at transforming the area and it's only been open since 2017! not too long ago clearly. Anyway, it was hot as balls and we were both sweating like crazy so we headed into one of the restaurants in the area to cool off with drinks while people watching from our seating on the shaded rooftop. Seriously if it's possible to gain 10 pounds within 3 days I think I may have gained that much during this trip. We have been eating a lot of goodies and drinking more than we normally do but hey! we are on vacation so why not? we hang around The Wharf till evening before calling it a day.

Funny story about the photo below, I saw this photographer having a photo session with some clients. After he was done and packing up his gear, I approached him and asked if he could take a photo of us with my phone. My husband was so embarrassed but I figured who better to ask to take our photo than a photographer and what did we have to lose anyway? the photographer shook his head saying no politely. I just smiled before telling him, "that's ok I understand." As soon as I started walking away he called out to me and said he would take one photo. Let's just say my husband was not amused, but in all honesty was it really foul asking the photographer to take our photo? I travel alone a lot so I am used to asking strangers to take my photos. If they say no I retreat but if they oblige I jump at the chance, I mean......why not? the photo does make me laugh though because I look happy as can be while my husband looks so stiff and that's because he was so embarrassed. 

That's it folks! it was a day well spent and we are ready to go back home. We do have a trip coming up in July so do watch out for an update.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Day 2 In Washington DC

Our second day here we decided to head to the National Museum of African American History and Culture which is open everyday from 10 am to 5:30 pm. Entry into the museum is free and if you plan to walk in without an entry pass you can do so during the week starting at 1 pm otherwise you may be required to get an entry pass.

Since we had gone out last night and stayed up till very late, we were able to sleep in and make it to the museum for the walk in hours. There was a long line of people who were waiting to get in and I was worried that we would have to wait for hours but as soon as it got to 1 pm, the line moved pretty quick much to our relief. This is definitely a museum I would recommend, I LOVED it!!!! I was so engrossed by the exhibitions that I managed to take only one photo inside, who has time to be messing around with their phone for photos when there is a lot of interesting information to be digested?!

I just love this image, so powerful!

We spent about a couple of hours at the museum before leaving. If I was by myself I would have checked out a couple more museums but el esposo was done with museums for the day so we headed to the next spot, U street. This was once considered the heart of black culture in America, it went through a period of decline but it's now a lively vibrant area full of restaurants, bars/lounges, nightclubs etc. We had lunch in the area, wandered around checking out various spots before going back to our airbnb.

At night we headed back out again to see a different side of U street. It was so lively with party goers and music blaring from the various clubs, definitely a place for nocturnals. 

That's it folks! second day in DC went well. All the club hopping we did got me relieving my college days. Initially, listening to some of the music playing I was thinking to myself "some of these lyrics are way too vulgar!'" a few drinks later I was the same one singing along "I'm a bad bitch" I tell you, alcohol can do wonders! and on that note, this "bad bitch" is calling it a night. I feel too old for this! it was fun though.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Greetings From Washington DC

We are currently in DC celebrating my husband's birthday and since we have only 3 full days here, I want to make sure we squeeze in as much as possible within the short period of time so let's get started on how our first day was spent.

Day One - National Mall

No trip to DC is complete without visiting the National Mall, I mean.......have you really been to DC if you haven't gone to the National Mall? this is the most visited national park in America where you will not only find monuments and memorials honoring famous historical figures of this country but you will also be spoilt for choice with the numerous world class museums to be found here. On our first day we decided to focus on the monuments and memorials because there was just so much to see. The National Mall is not as small as it may appear in maps, the area is actually quite large and that's why the DC Circulator came in handy.

Our very sweet airbnb host recommended that we use the DC Circulator which is a bus system that has a route going around the national mall stopping at the numbered stops seen on the map below. These stops lead to the various monuments, memorials and museums which are of interest. The bus is free and all you have to do is get on and off at whichever stop you want, the bus comes around after every 10 minutes at each stop.

Lincoln Memorial up close

Washington Monument behind me in the picture below

Martin Luther King Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

The US Capitol

The White House...........had to do some serious zooming here! yes, we were that far from the white house.

After we were done with the mall we headed to H street corridor, an artsy neighborhood full of restaurants and bars. We walked around the area, had some lunch then stopped in at this really cool bar for happy hour. Two sangrias later I was tipsy and ready to take a nap, seriously those sangrias were strong!! 

This is the last picture I took before my phone died, Aaargh! don't you just hate that?! I didn't get to take more photos of the various cool spots along H street.

That's it folks! first full day in DC went very well and we closed the night at this nightclub that had a live salsa band. Needless to say, el esposo had a wonderful birthday so my mission for the day was accomplished, now let's see how the next couple of days will go. Stay tuned!