A Trip (not a vacation) - Nantucket

“Walk the stunning beaches, swim the sparkling waters of Nantucket Sound,” I read from the Hy-Line Cruise website over Matt’s shoulder.

That doesn’t sound much like us, I think, as he books four tickets in the Captain’s view section on the ferry leaving Hyannis on August 18, 2019. He scrolls down the page and as I see the bullet point reading No Pets I wonder if it really means No Children. 

Known for its idyllic Main Street, historic island mansions, and au courant shopping, Nantucket Island, located 30 miles off of Cape Cod, seems an unlikely trip destination for my family of four with two kids, ages 6 and 3. As we board the ferry, the passengers in their Nantucket Reds and Lily Pulitzer contrast with our large stroller and travel bag overflowing with diapers.

As Matt and I settle into our seats, the kids notice the big windows at the front of the ferry. We try to distract them with snacks but we can’t hold them back forever and soon they are out of their seats, putting their hands and fingers. All. Over. Those. Windows.

I want to tell them to stop touching the glass but they’re having so much fun. Their little hands on the windows will become one of the hallmarks of this trip.

Half way through the ferry ride, I start to relax. But just a little, because it’s hard to relax on a trip with kids. I say trip, instead of vacation, because by definition a vacation includes leisure time, quiet time, maybe even a nap on a beach. It does not include fingerprints on windows, strollers, or diapers.

Of course, traveling with kids isn’t all bad. But it does require seeing things differently and ready to expect the unexpected.

It means that the mode of transportation is as important as the destination. That’s why nearly half the images are from the ferry ride on and off island.

It means barnacles and seaweed can be your enemies. That’s why there are no photos of children frolicking in the water.

And it means trading lighthouse tours for playground tours.

A Trip (Not a Vacation) is my family’s travel zine, a record of our travels near and far.