Nantucket Island

Nantucket091

A trip to an island. There’s nothing like it for infusing a deep breath into your life.

Last weekend I traveled to the island of Nantucket.  Located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, its name has been cited to originate from the Native American word “Natockete” which means “faraway land”.

Faraway is a very good place to go for getting away for a few days.

Nantucket092

From the moment I stepped onto the ferry boat, I felt my worries slip off as I left them there on the dock and looked forward to a relaxing weekend with my parents.

Nantucket093

In years past, we have biked around the island but now that my parents are older and so am I, it was much easier to be picked up by a tour van for a jaunt around the island. Our tour guide, a native of 42 years, picked us up at the front door of our bed and breakfast and we set off on an adventure to all sorts of interesting places, both historical and scenic.

Nantucket094

The island’s original inhabitants were the Wamponoag Indians who lived there undisturbed until 1641 when the first English settlers, Thomas Mayhew and his son, received a deed from English authorities in Massachusetts colony.  He later “sold” his interest to 9 men “For the sum of thirty Pounds and also two beaver hats, one for myself, and one for my wife.”

As time went on, more settlers came to the island and their presence led to the unfortunate demise of the island’s Native population.

Nantucket095

From the mid 1700s to the late 1830s, the island became famous as the whaling capital of the world.  During this period, one could find as many as 150 ships making port in Nantucket harbor.

In Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Nantucket’s whaling dominance is mentioned:

“Two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer’s. For the sea is his; he owns it, as Emperors own empires.”

Nantucket096

A great fire in 1846, along with the California gold rush, led many off the island to seek other fortunes and the whaling industry promptly died.

Nantucket097

It wasn’t until the late 1800s that tourism became the principle source of income for many on the island.  During the summer season, the population booms from around 9,000 to 50,000.

And so here we are, joining the rest of the tourists, moseying from shop to shop along the quaint, cobblestone streets.

Nantucket098

A fishing trip with my Dad was the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Advertisements

Saturday Morning Tea

TM78Dry060609

I wanted to share an iced herbal infusion this morning but it’s such a gray, dreary day outside that I will save that for a hot, sunny day in the future.

It’s a perfect morning for a cup of hot tea to ward off the cool dampness.

This morning’s tea was a very pleasant surprise. First of all, the leaf is absolutely beautiful in all of its variegated, tippy glory. It’s a Nepalese tea from the Kuwapani estate. Kuwa means “well” and Pani means “water”. The estate grows tea at elevations of 5,200-6,000 feet above sea level.

Like the Darjeeling district in northeast India, Nepal sits high in the Himalayan mountains. It is the home of Mount Everest, the highest peak on Earth, at 29,029 feet above sea level.

TM78Steeps060609

Like a Darjeeling tea, I steeped the leaves for 3 minutes in 212 degree F (boiling) water. The tea steeped to a deep, rich amber with a honeyed aroma and flavor notes of fruit and chestnut.

TM78Teapot060609

For those of you who do not enjoy the astringent “bite” of a Darjeeling, this tea is a perfect alternative. The liquor is very smooth with a tad more body. Mmmmm….

TM78Teabowl060609

I love my new bamboo placemats, purchased at Joann Fabric’s at 2 for $5!

Today my parents arrive from Michigan and tomorrow we’ll head down to the beautiful island of Nantucket, located 30 miles off of the Massachusetts coast. A ferry ride will bring us over to go deep sea fishing and shopping, to a whale museum and then a nature hike and, of course, partaking in some fabulous food. I’ll be sure to bring my camera and take lots of pictures so I can share some photos of my island adventure!

“At last the anchor was up, the sails were set, and off we glided. It was a sharp, cold Christmas; and as the short northern day merged into night, we found ourselves almost broad upon the wintry ocean, whose freezing spray cased us in ice, as in polished armor.” ~Moby Dick, Herman Melville