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Sometimes, you just need a vacation.

The key to living in New York City, I’ve come to realize in my 16 years here, is to get out of New York City.

So, I went to Nantucket for a few days.  And it was magical.

The first thing I noticed was how untouched much of the land is on the island.  According to one of my cab drivers, people in Nantucket want to maintain the pristine nature of their surroundings, so strict laws favor preserving sweeping areas of land.  It’s refreshing, and what makes the place so special, despite its growing popularity.

I was fascinated with the landscapes.  The airiness of the wide, open expanses of land enveloped me, beckoning me with its stillness.  I spend my time in New York searching for peace, and Nantucket offered it up to me from the moment I stepped on its soil.

People will ask what I did there. I will tell them I did a whole lotta nothing.  I came in search of quiet, a place to hear myself think, to have a respite from everyday life. What I found was quiet, alright.  So much that my mind just went still, savoring the calm around me.  The quiet thoughts I’d longed to hear went silent themselves, grateful for a moment to breathe.

The beach helped too.

The sand was plumper than I’m used to, almost small pebbles instead of fine grains.  It still worked.

During my time on the island, I was bewitched by the clouds.  The clouds in Nantucket have personalities; they all tell a story.

Especially the storm clouds that drifted in early one evening. These were unlike anything I’d ever seen.

The rains came, so I did what I do best: eat.

Topper’s is the restaurant next to the inn where I stayed, The Wauwinet.  Their food is awesome, like these lobster and crab cakes.  They came with a mustard cream and a roasted corn relish.

Summer on a plate best describes the Lazy Lobster Bake, an upscale, re-imagined version of the summer time dish every beachgoer craves.  Here the shelled lobster was accompanied by fried whole clams, a spectacular linguica hash with caramelized onions and a roasted corn cream.

I would have hung around for dessert, but then the storm ended and the clouds parted.

Visit and experience the magic for yourself.

The Wauwinet, 120 Wauwinet Road; Nantucket, MA 02584; 508.228.0145

I felt a certain kind of melancholy fall over me when I heard about the passing of Nora Ephron last week – the kind you feel for someone you didn’t know, but will still miss terribly.  Accomplished across many fields, she was one of those women who still seemed so accessible, like you would instantly be friends with her.  Partly because she seemed to find humor in almost everything.  It was funny because it was always rooted in truth.

I read in the New York Times yesterday morning that in her book “I Remember Nothing”, she wrote a list of what she would and wouldn’t miss.  Of course, that got me thinking about what I love most in life.

In my head, I started my own list.

It began, and ended, with this:

  • Nutella

I would definitely miss that.  Its taste that I find indescribable leads me down the path of happiness.  Every time.

But, if I were being really honest, I’d add a few more things to the list.

  • My family
  • Sunrises
  • Sunsets
  • The light that falls over the tree in front of my window when the sun sets
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate croissants
  • Nutella
  • Seeing U2 in concert
  • Watching the moon rise
  • French Toast
  • Hugs
  • The smell of bacon
  • Eating bacon
  • Anticipating eating bacon
  • The smell of bacon and onions cooking together
  • The beach
  • Feeling the sand under my feet at the beach
  • Laughing
  • Cool breezes
  • The first snow
  • The first warm day of the year
  • Getting lost in a really good book
  • Christmas

I found I could go on for days.  How lucky am I?

What I’d miss very much, what I will miss, are nuggets of wisdom like this:

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”

–Nora Ephron

Amen to that.

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