One of the things I am learning this summer is that as my children and their cousins get older, there is A LOT of activity. Places to go…people to see…and things to do…A LOT of things to do…and do…and do. So as much as I want to sit on the beach and read and relax, it just isn’t happening…
I suppose I set the tone for all of this activity by dragging them all over downtown NYC last month, followed by going to a minor league baseball game in New Jersey the day after my birthday BBQ (Sorry Long Island Ducks).
Although the only real action on this day seems to be devouring blue cotton candy (candy floss).
And then for some reason, we decided to go to Six Flags Great Adventure the very next day. Why? Well, why not…I guess…even though the thought of a roller coaster makes me feel ill, especially after looking at that bright blue cotton candy.
Something that blue can NOT be good for you unless it is the colour of the sky I am lying under at the beach… in the sun… reading a book. A book? Hmmm…that book reading isn’t going so well this summer… but I digress…
Nephew J (N2) is the same age as C1 and wanted to start with the Runaway Mine Train. N2 had been on it before and said it was ‘SOOOOOO EASY…like a baby rollercoaster!!!’.
I don’t even like rollercoasters but …well, kids and all that, so how bad could N2’s ‘baby rollercoaster’ be? Well, C1 and I still have not recovered, so all I can say is that Runaway Mine Train was our first and LAST ride of the day.
C1 was crying and screaming so loudly that I was sure that the roller coaster ride operator would stop the deranged thing. When he didn’t and we went up another loop, I found myself holding onto C1 even though I wanted to laugh to try and calm C1 down somehow…of course.
When the wicked wheels finally came to a stop, C1 and I could barely look N2 in the eye as N2 shouted how, ‘THAT was AWESOME’ and ‘LET’S DO IT AGAIN!’
Hmmm…C1 and I headed straight for the Ferris wheel.
The rest of our thrill seeking lunatic family went back for more.
C1 and I were still a bit shaky on the ferris wheel, but calmed down while having a birds eye view of the insane roller coasters that we would never…EVER go on. With names like El Toro and Kingda Ka, we started to feel a bit sorry for our little Runaway Train.
Nah, forget that.
Just to be clear…NEVER.
Surely that was enough of a summer wrapped up into 1 week, so I start to think about slowing down. I know I can’t keep up.
I’m not sure I even WANT to keep up but at least we are headed to the beach now where we can ‘CHILLAX’ as C2 says.
Last year we also finished our summer at Montauk (The End). But it was just the 4 of us. This year, we rented a house and invited extended family and friends. Lots of friends. And their children. So while Long Islanders refer to Montauk as ‘The End’, I’m starting to think that this may just be the beginning.
Well, at least we are at the beach. At the very least, it will temporarily stop all this toing and froing (and upside down roller coastering) and I should be able to get back to that book.
The house has a garden for sports and we are on a saltwater lake for anyone that wants to kayak and/or paddleboard. There is an oyster farm we can help harvest. Gin Beach, on the usually calm Block Island Sound, is 1 mile to the north and Ditch Plains, a surfers paradise, is 1 mile away to the south on the Atlantic Ocean.
Perfect…enough activity for everyone to get on with it themselves. We all speak the language, most of us are ‘locals’ so everybody can make themselves at home and I can sit and do nothing.
Where IS that book?
But wait…here comes FRED, (Forever Ready and most Enthusiastic Dad EVER, ie. FRED), my brother in law, and FRED has that look in his eye. He’s on the move…
And now SIS is on the move as well…getting kids dressed, teeth brushed and faces slathered with suncream.
Uh oh…they are headed in my direction. On page 6 of my book, FRED and SIS want to go to the Montauk Point Lighthouse.
I don’t REALLY want to go to the Lighthouse. I REALLY want to sit here and read my book.
Me to FRED: Is everyone going?
FRED to me: Yep.
The kids are all ready. Daaad is up and at ’em but he is jet lagged and has been up for hours anyway. Grammy is going too. Everyone wants to go to the lighthouse. Geesh…
Me: (somewhat pleadingly now) Okay. Just hang on a sec while I get dressed.
I know, I know. I could have stayed. So why do I go? Well, in the end (or at The End ha ha), I WANTED to go.
It’s not guilt and it’s not under duress. We only see our extended family now once a year, during the summer. It’s a lot to pack in but there IS a lot to do and I want to share these experiences with my kids as much as I want to watch them experience it with their cousins. And besides, they are great company at the moment and I think they must be growing up faster than I realize. I want to be with them.
I suppose that book can wait.
We climb 137 steps of the Montauk Point Lighthouse and the views are spectacular.
I don’t normally post photographs of the children but look how much better that lighthouse looks now.
We visited New York’s first lighthouse and learned about its history, so now I think it might be possible to go to the beach now…RIGHT???!!!
But I don’t dare say it out loud.
My instincts serve me well…because we are clearly not finished.
My nephew, N1, wants to roll down the hill.
And so he shall…
And FRED, SIS and the rest of the kids follow…
In fact, a few other people that are not even part of our group decide to also roll down the hill.
I now know there is no chance of my finishing that book this summer.
Nope, no chance at all.
But at least C1 has forgotten about the Runaway Train experience, and doesn’t seem to mind the tail spin of rolling off a cliff into Block Island Sound.
Back at the house, more dear friends arrive and everyone is out enjoying themselves.
Salads are made, the BBQ is lit and I go into town to get some more marshmallows.
Our little pit is a popular spot every night.
SIS comes out and tells everyone that she booked a deep sea fishing tour for everyone tomorrow morning.
REALLY? Geesh…she and FRED are a match made in Heaven.
But there are only 8 spots left on Captain Lazy Bones. 2 of us cannot go.
Even, with a name like Lazy Bones, I can’t be fooled.
I offer to stay home. There’s always next year…RIGHT?!?
I may have volunteered a little bit too quickly but if anybody noticed, they’re not saying.
where IS that book…
For FRED, a big fat GROWLER
compliments of Montauk Brewing Company
(while N1 has a glass of milk and talks to strangers)
x Lots of love to all of our family and friends and to you and yours. Hope you all had a wonderful summer.