September 16, 2020

Girls’ Weekend in DC and Nantucket

Posted in: Travel

There once was a girls’ trip to Nantucket…

I don’t think I have to go into much detail about why we needed a girls’ weekend.  Mom life is hard and every job gives vacation time, so why not?  Plus our husbands went on a guys’ weekend a few months ago and we got super jealous.  We joked that we needed a girls’ weekend and before we knew it, the flights were booked!  

Candace and I have been friends for 12 years and have had tons of adventures (including an Alaskan Cruise last year!).  We both love traveling, but this is the first time we took a weekend for just the two of us!

Why Nantucket?

I think the most frequently asked question we got was, “Why Nantucket?”  We chose that destination for a couple of reasons.  We both love to travel and wanted to go somewhere that neither of us have visited before.  It was a destination that happened to be on both of our bucket lists.  And more importantly, why not??

Our Itinerary

Without boring you will all the flight details, it’s worth noting that our original trip did not include a day in DC.  Due to flight changes that occurred weeks after our trip was booked, we ended up having to stay overnight in DC.  The changes meant that we had plenty of time to explore some of the sites!  We spent one day in DC and three days in Nantucket.  It was the perfect girls’ weekend getaway!

How many times do you think Candace slept while we traveled? haha

Washington, D.C.

The first stop in DC was a cute little restaurant called We, the Pizza.  I still smile at the name – so clever!

It took a little trial and error, but we were navigating the Metro like pros by the time we went back to the hotel for the night.

On our way to the National Mall, we became acutely aware of the heat and the distance.  Candace noticed some scooters available for rent and suggested we look into it.  Realizing that we could potentially fall on our faces while riding the scooters, we decided against them.  Then a ray of sunshine highlighted a rack of rental bicycles across the street!  We downloaded an app, scanned a QR code, and we were on our way.

The Washington Monument was closed for tours, but we were able to ride right up to it.  We felt super patriotic as we rode bikes in a circle of American flags while the Presidential Motorcade drove to the White House.  We later learned that the motorcade actually belonged to a foreign dignitary, but we still felt patriotic in the moment.

Next stop: the Lincoln Memorial!  The wind was getting pretty scary as we rode next to the reflecting pool.  We knew a storm was coming, but we didn’t know how severe it was or how quickly it would arrive.  After getting some touristy photos next to Honest Abe, the security guard approached us.  She could tell we weren’t aware of the impending flash flood and tornado!  Um, what??  We hopped on our bikes and rode as fast as possible to the nearest Metro stop.  Our hearts were pounding as we finally made it to the entrance.  We locked up the bikes to end our ride and rode the Metro to our hotel room.

Once we were safe inside, we saw the rain violently pummeling the window.  We were so thankful we decided to head back when we did!

One thing I have wanted to do for years is order Chinese takeout like they do in the crime TV shows.  Since we were stuck in the hotel for the rest of the night, we made it happen!  That seems so simple, but we don’t have that luxury in our tiny town.  I’m glad our Door Dash guy wasn’t worried about the weather!

Candace and I both packed enough clothes for 2-3 weeks, so we ended up with a few coordinating outfits.  We felt super nautical in our matching navy and white stripes!

Nantucket

We had a few “pinch me” moments when we arrived in Nantucket.  It was hard to believe we were actually there!  Our Lyft driver took us straight to our Airbnb.  We unloaded our bags, called to reserve two bicycles for the weekend, and took a little time to rest before exploring.

The bike rental shop said they could deliver the bikes to us, but it would be a few hours. Since it wasn’t too far away, we walked to the bike shop to pick up our matching seafoam green bicycles with woven baskets.

Our first mission was to find food.  We found this adorable little restaurant on Google that served an interesting combination of Jamaican and Tex-Mex. We loved it!

Next on our list was to find Nantucket sweatshirts. We rode our bikes downtown to all the shops.  Vineyard Vines was a must-stop and one of the shops nearby had the perfect sweatshirts for our photos in front of the Brant Point Lighthouse.

We found some super cute neighborhoods and hotels/inns that we want to stay in when we visit Nantucket with our husbands one day!

Our bicycles were super fun and got us everywhere we wanted to go on the first day.  When we stopped for dinner downtown, we quickly realized that we would be riding back to our Airbnb in the dark!  It was about 2 miles away, but that didn’t seem too far when we started the journey.

What we didn’t know until that moment is that Nantucket does not have street lights outside of downtown.  Our phone navigation led us through some pitch black neighborhoods and even around a cemetery!  We couldn’t see, we didn’t know where we were going, and our bottoms hurt from riding the bikes all day.

At one point, we rode through a giant puddle.  It was so dark that we questioned whether we had ridden into a lake!  We eventually made it back to our Airbnb and decided that we may need to rent a car for the rest of our trip.  That decision was finalized when we learned that our brunch reservations for the next morning were at at restaurant 8 miles away!  We immediately called a few rental companies and left a message in hopes that we could rent a car first thing in the morning.

As soon as we woke up, we called every rental company on the island.  Every single one said they did not have any cars left.  Just when we were getting ready to cancel our brunch reservations, we got a call from a rental company.  They said, “We just had a car returned.  Would you be interested in renting a Mini Cooper convertible?”  Um, YES!  We asked if they could pick us up at 9:15 am, which would give us enough time to sign the paperwork and make it to the other side of the island for brunch.

We ate brunch at Topper’s at The Wauwinet.  The view was amazing, atmosphere was relaxing, and French toast was divine.  We walked to the back of the historic hotel and lounged for a while before walking down to the water.

Since we were already on the east side of the island, we drove down the road to the Sankaty Head Lighthouse.  I really wanted to see the Great Point Lighthouse, but it is only accessible by vehicles licensed to drive on the beach or by walking 2 miles on foot.  We were not about to do that in the heat, so we were not able to see that lighthouse.  Maybe we’ll get to see it next time!

You know we had to get some pictures with our Mini Cooper convertible!  This was the first time either of us had driven a convertible.  It screamed girls’ weekend and we weren’t complaining!

Candace and I both love coffee.  After we returned our bikes, we stopped at a nearby coffee shop to get our fix.

Then we went joyriding in our little convertible and got to see some pretty neighborhoods that I doubt we would have seen on our bikes.  We even drove by Tommy Hilfiger’s former $27 million house!

Ice cream seemed to be pretty popular on the island, so we definitely had to see what all the fuss was about.  We approved!

A photographer I talked to on Instagram recommended Millie’s for dinner and a beautiful sunset.  We took her up on that and have no regrets.

Our last day on the island was bittersweet.  We didn’t want the fun to end, but we both missed our families.  We’re so thankful for the time we had to get away for a fun girls’ weekend!

One last brunch stop!

Our bags are packed and we’re headed to the airport!

Oh, hey, Martha’s Vineyard.  Don’t worry, we’ll visit you one day too!

We had to take one more photo when we made it to Birmingham since we were both wearing white pants and our new Vineyard Vines shirts!  Let’s do this again soon, Candace!

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