We Bought a Farmhouse

stories of renovation, home decor inspiration & sprinkles of country life

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Crossing A Major Bucket List Destination Off My List in 2018

It's no secret that Josh and I love the Northeast, especially coastal destinations. We've made it a point to explore as much of this little corner of the world as we can. And as much as we love traveling and want to start to see the rest of the world (we've never even been to Europe), with all these amazing places to visit within four hours from us, it makes it hard to go anywhere else.

It's not the Northeast or a coastal town, but the first major vacation Josh and I took together was Mexico. We've been twice, and our first excursion was Cozumel and the second, the Maya Riviera, staying at all-inclusives both times. We had an absolute blast - there's no vacation quite like laying around at a pool or an ocean all day, and day-drinking right after breakfast because everyone else is. And as much fun as the all-inclusives were, we did venture off our resort grounds quite a bit to experience as much of the culture as we could. We even successfully ordered a meal in Spanish one time (which, for me, was tough seeing as though I never took Spanish classes, so I considered it quite an achievement). We also took the collectivo, got lost on rural streets on our way to a destination, walked through a crocodile pit and swam with the dolphins (of which we have no pictures for the most part because we refused to pay the exorbitant fee for them). We also explored the beauty of Tulum, which was an amazing experience in and of itself.

The Nantucket Christmas Stroll

This was the trip that almost didn't happen! We booked our inn months ago, and in the chaos of trying to finish our guest room and clean up the house for the holidays, we just kept putting off booking ferry tickets for our excursion to Nantucket for the Christmas Stroll. When we visit Nantucket in the summer, we usually book our ferry 1-2 days prior because want to go on a day with nice weather, so that was also always in the back of our minds. Oh, we have time, we kept saying.

So then, about 9 days before our trip, we finally dedicated time to book our ferry ride, and I kid you not, every ferry was sold out.

We couldn't believe it.

We called all the ferry lines, asked if they had any suggestions. We looked at other ways to get on the island (flights were insanely expensive, not even sure why we looked into it). And finally, after two days of having no luck, we just decided we'd go to the Cape and make the best of everything it had to offer since our inn was non-refundable at this point. The ferry lines told us that sometimes people cancel, and to just keep checking the site, but I was pretty convinced Nantucket wasn't meant to be this year. Sometimes, a ferry out to the island would become available, but no ferry back, and we couldn't risk being on standby and getting stranded on the island (especially because it's pretty expensive).

Then, a few days before leaving, Josh was stalking the Hyline website, and someone cancelled their ticket. He booked us for the 9 a.m. ferry out, and we were able to get a ferry back at 4:40. And so, we were back on track.

We arrived at the Hyline terminal in Hyannis an hour before our ferry departed because we were that excited. We were the second people in line to board, and Josh thought I was crazy for jumping in line in the freezing cold when there was a perfectly good (and warm) sitting area in the terminal. We waited in the line, outside, for 40 minutes, and I was glad I did because the ferry was packed and the line to board got pretty long. We had our pick of any seats on the ferry, so it paid off.

Cape Cod At Christmas: Our Stay in Chatham

Years ago, Josh and I started a tradition of traveling during the first weekend of December for a festive, Christmasy getaway to kick off the holiday season. The past few years, we've traveled to New York City, but we found ourselves looking for something new to do this year. If you know me, you know my love for Nantucket runs deep, and I of course, follow quite a few Nantucket-based businesses and photographers on social media. For the past three years or so, I've found myself drooling over their photos of the island at Christmas time during their stroll, so we had a thought this year - let's go to Nantucket! So, we did.

We decided to stay on the mainland, which was mostly for financial reasons. Nantucket is just so expensive, even in the winter! We settled on staying in Chatham, a town we love to visit when we visit in the summer. I was looking for a cozy place to stay that looked like it could be on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie, and we found it with the Chatham Gables Inn. Their off-peak rates were fairly priced, and the atmosphere seemed to be  nautical, while having that cozy, Christmasy feel. It looked perfect online, and I'm happy to report that it was once we arrived, too.

I'm going to recap the Nantucket Christmas Stroll in another post because I took so many photos, so in this post, I'll begin with our stay in Chatham, and a few other things we did while on the Cape during this time of the year. 

Nantucket isn't easy for us to do as a day trip since it's still about four hours from our home just to get to the ferry, so we made a weekend out of it. We arrived in Chatham on Friday early evening to check into the inn, and guys, this place was spectacular. I'm sure it's beyond lovely in the summer season as well, but the owners, a husband and wife team, did a fantastic job at making this place feel so welcoming and homey for the Christmas season. All the common rooms were decked out for Christmas, complete with garlands, trees, lights and all. It truly was magical. Their dining area was set with red and green plaid table clothes, burlap trees and beautiful dinnerware. Plus, everyday, there were always freshly-made cookies available to snack on, which is always a win in my book. Everything was such a wonderful mix of seaside and Christmas, and we adored it.