I’ve been in and around New York since the 15th of July. It feels good to be home, except that I miss Ginger terribly. I even had a dream that Christopher surprised me and flew her in from England to visit all her favorite New York places with us. Wishful dreaming. Anyway, I was in the city for two weeks taking care of business, and then we spent a heavenly ten days in Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island. We have a beach house there and we are always debating selling it, because we don’t get to use it enough to justify the expenses involved. When we left for England, some friends asked if they could rent it year round, except for the 10 days they go to Maine, when we could have the house back. Pretty good deal, right? So we happily agreed and now get to be there for a good long dose right at the height of the summer, no doubt the house’s peak season.
I have always loved my time spent in Southold. The North Fork of Long Island is beautiful and real and unpretentious. It is family oriented. It is so very American. It is also surrounded by water. Being a Florida girl myself, I feel most at home in the water. And not just bobbing around in the water, but actually under the water, completely submerged. I like to grab hold of a big breath, dive down deep and just swim as far as I can until the need to exhale pulls me back up. I can do this a dozen times before getting enough of it. But unlike a Florida girl, I also really thrive in cold water, and the Long Island Sound is never too warm. Even in August, the temperature steals your breath for a few seconds as you first enter until you move around enough to get used to it.
We also have our routines in Southold that have now become tradition. Our morning run up and down the 125 lighthouse steps (our record was 14 laps this time), followed by a swim in the sound, then in the pool, then a rinse in the outdoor shower. We like a late afternoon trip to Greenport where we visit Beall and Bell, our favorite antiques shop, followed by an iced coffee or an ice cream at D’Latte, and then a ride on the carousel for the kids. And well, me too. The prospect of catching the gold ring keeps us all feeling competitive. On particularly beautiful days we might take our inner tubes down to Goldsmith’s inlet to ride down the “lazy river,” have a picnic, and buy an ice cream from the Good Humor truck. And on rainy days, we visit the Tanger Outlets and the Target store in Riverhead to stock up on clothes and school supplies, that are much less expensive here than they are in England. But probably my favorite part is gathering our friends and their children around the outdoor table for long lunches and dinners. We love our Long Island friends, and our children have known their children nearly since birth. I love a full family friendship, and there is no better time or place to hang out as such than in the summer, by the beach.
|Our most prized beach finds from this trip. I think the shell of the baby horse shoe crab might be our best one of all time.|
|I like to keep everyone out of the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner, so they usually end up at the ping pong table. You can see Christopher’s competitive nature is relentless, even when playing against a 5 year old.|
|I love how you can only see the sun in its reflection on the water.|
|A two-suit day is always a good one.|
|The view from the top of the lighthouse steps is the reward for the hard work in getting there.|
|Coco and Christopher heading back down after lap 14.|
|I love to sit on the deck at Scrimhaw’s and watch boats sail around Shelter Island while having dinner.|
|The new taqueria in Greenport – good Margherita’s.|
Summer fruit at Briermere Farm.
|This is the prize possession of the whole summer – a peach/blueberry cream pie from Briermere. We spend the winter dreaming about these things.|
|Sometimes before starting dinner prep, I sneak down to the sound on my own for one last swim. I often get lucky at this time of day and have the whole beach to myself.|
|The unspoiled view on the way into Orient, a nearby town.|
|Our town hall dinner served by pop-up restaurant Houseman’s. It was fantastic.|
|With my girlfriend Amy at dinner in Orient. We have lots in common – we are avid North Forkers, we work in fashion, we are devoted moms of two children, and we both have husbands named Chris. We can chat for hours and hours on end, and often do.|
|Coco, enjoying the chance to wear something other than a school uniform and riding clothes.
|The sunset on our last night in Southold was the most insane of all, and it reminded the kids of the Lion King poster.|