We made a last-minute decision to get away this summer. My husband is nostalgic and romantic about family vacations. I am less enthusiastic. But it is hard to argue.
We had a wonderful, stressful, busy, hot week in Greenport, New York. Go there. It’s beach-y and laid back and sophisticated at the same time–actually don’t go. Less traffic. You’ll hate it. I’ll go and tell you how it was.
Last year, we went to the beach for a few days. You may remember my moaning about this. I was a bit undone by our trip with two-year-old twins and our four year old. Going away with two three year olds and an almost five year old is so, so, so much–exactly the same. It’s not easier. It was work from the packing to the sunscreen applications to the unpacking. My mother was with us, so we got out a few nights after the kids finally passed out on a sofa, or in someone’s bed. Like home.
We went to beaches, a farm, many stores, restaurants and the aquarium in Riverhead, New York. Go there. For real. Forget what I said because there are sharks. Really big sharks. Sharks!
We rode a miniature train built by one local man, to fulfill his dream, on his expansive property. It is legendary apparently, and also closing this year. To see your little boy on a miniature train, traveling its antique tracks, through land and props set up to entertain and bring only joy and wonder is magic. And corny. Maybe creepy. Still magic.
We celebrated the 4th of July with good friends, a grill and a poop incident. The kids were in bed before the fireworks, so the only trauma involved myself cleaning up the poop incident.
We celebrated vacation, family, children, dancing too close to the water. Summer itself.
I washed our sand-encrusted bathing suits and towels more times than necessary with the provided laundry detergent. It smelled like a mid-summer evening. I can put my nose to our clothing still and remember fireflies and sailboats. My friends, in-unit laundry is a luxury on vacation–I live in New York City. I did laundry each night just to hear that lovely click of the water turning on, the bang-bang turning of the dryer.
One night we were so tired that we watched the local news instead of drinking wine on the porch. Three children had drowned in a yacht accident off Long Island with their parents on board. My husband and I sat side by side on the small, antique sofa and didn’t look at each other. My anxiety kicked in. I checked the kids, poured a glass of wine and still couldn’t sleep that night.
Daily, our children demanded ice cream and toys. They cried when they couldn’t have what they wanted, and we explained how lucky they are to have vacation and ice cream and toys. And we bought them things because it made them giggle and smile and scream with excitement.
We rode an antique carousel in town about a thousand times. At $2 a ticket. Children do not tire of moving horses painted with bright colors. The game of running for a place in line, handing paper tickets, picking our favorite horses became unbeatable. Always the same, always the possibility and promise of something new.
And we went around and around. Like any good ride will do.
No part of this trip was sponsored in any way. All opinions are my own. For more information on where we stayed, see Great Things.