06 May 2014

Anticipating a Nantucket Summer Vacation

In her 1970’s blockbuster hit “Anticipation,” Carly Simon paints the perfect word picture of the struggle we all face to live fully in the present, while dreaming of and planning for tomorrow. “We can never know about the days to come,” she sings, “but we think about them anyway.”  The Nantucket harbor, filled with its recently set moorings, is the ultimate image of the mood on the island right now. It’s quiet here…calm most days even…but we are dreaming of the boats bobbing on those moorings and taking great care to ensure everything is in order for the arrival of our summer guests and their Nantucket summer vacation.

Nobody goes to more trouble to provide first-rate hospitality than the people of Nantucket….and never are the efforts more evident than the weeks leading into summer.  Elaborate window boxes are brimming with fragrant arrangements, cheery spring gift items and clothing adorn the windows of retail shops like Millie & Grace and Current Vintage (where you can also sample their new spring bubbly while you shop!) Many of the restaurants, like Oran MorThe Proprietor’s TableCorazon del Mar and others have rolled out this season’s menus and are raising the bar on their already extraordinary cuisine.

Local Inns and hotels are offering generous “pre-season” rates and some like The Nantucket Hotel are hosting open houses to introduce residents and guests to their new fitness facilities and summer guest packages.  The island landscapers are working overtime, cleaning crews are fluffing and polishing and event planners are busy putting the finishing touches on this season’s “don’t miss” soirees!  All of this in true Nantucket style and with a singular goal in mind – the extension of a gracious welcome to new visitors and a warm “welcome back” to returning friends.

In the weeks between now and then, those of us who live here year-round will attempt to find the delicate balance between working overtime to prepare for the days ahead, while pausing to fully embrace the serenity of these quiet days and the beauty that Nantucket affords us during the spring season.  A bright red cardinal on a branch outside our window, the millions of daffodils on display around the island, the peepers lulling us to sleep at night, the calm empty harbor shimmering as the afternoon sunlight dances on the surface and of course…for just a few more weeks… the coveted parking spot at the Stop and Shop.

Soon enough, there will be an island wide declaration of “let’s get this party started!” Until then, Nantucket will continue with its last minute planting and sowing, cooking and cleaning, designing and decorating.  As the anticipation builds for the unveiling of our summer season, we’ll try to live in the moment and sing along with Carly “these are…

“the good old days.”

 Shellie Dunlap


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