My partner and I couchsurfed for the first time in Nantucket this past week. Our hosts were Lindsey, a sweet, arts-'n'-craftsy gardening girl one likes automatically, and Caleb, a hilarious, straight-shooting musician with a beard and an instrument (often a fiddle) in hand. When we met, the instrument was a bass ukelele. Caleb uses the word 'asshole' liberally, applying it equally to his "conservative, white, Republican" relatives and his sister's dog, but (I think) he means it affectionately.
When we arrived, Caleb picked us up at the ferry in his bright blue van with a dashboard filled with multi-colored sunglasses and brought us with him to a beautiful waterfront home for a family dinner with aunts, uncles, cousins and close friends.
We admired the Nantucket bay from a covered porch while munching on cheese and cocktail shrimp, drank wine with fancy descendants of the Dupont family (per an uncle) in their gorgeous home filled with historical artifacts, and sang happy birthday to a close family friend from Ireland after dinner.
The next day, my partner and I walked to town along a winding bike path. We passed cranberry bogs, picture-perfect homes, and endless stretches of greenery. It was sunny and warm, with a gentle breeze.
Even the weeds were beautiful.
Houses had window boxes full of colorful flowers and painted wooden signs with names like "Windswept" and "Seabatical" above their front doors.
After about eight miles and two hours, we ended up on the cobblestoned Main Street with its brick sidewalks and little preppy shops.
We then walked to every historic site on the Nantucket Historical Association's combination pass: an old Quaker meeting house, an old mill, an old jail, the "oldest house," an old fire-hose truck station and a fancy home built by a successful whaler in 1845.
My favorite was the old mill, whose top rotates so as to catch the wind. Pretty cool, for the oldest mill in America (built in 1746).
We got to see and feel real grindstones that are used to crush corn into cornmeal. Just amazing.
On our way to the mill, we saw this neat shell mailbox.
When we left, this was our path away.
Later that afternoon, we went to watch Caleb perform with his bluegrass group at a brewery for the afternoon, had burgers with Caleb and his friend for dinner, hung out with Caleb, Lindsey and Caleb's sister's boyfriend for a bit and then watched a movie in Caleb's basement afterward.
We loved Nantucket and couchsurfing with Caleb and Lindsey. We really couldn't have asked for better hosts. (And I didn't even mention their beautiful house, their sheep/dogs/chicks/etc., the giant trampoline, the huge dome jungle gym thing that Caleb built, and the cool old car parked outside.)