Long Island

Living in the city with no car is really easy and convenient, until you want to leave.  Then it’s a huge pain.  Nat, Michael and Jack came for a visit and we decided it would be fun to head out to the beaches on Long Island for the weekend.  For some reason car rentals in the city that weekend were more than double what they were on Long Island.  So we decided to take the Long Island Railroad and rent a car once we got there.  Try hauling 5 kids, 3 car seats, 2 strollers, and enough luggage for 9 people through the streets of Manhattan.  Wow.  We convinced Rusty to take a taxi to Penn Station instead of the Subway, and even then things were hard.  We finally got everyone and all the luggage on the train and settled in for our hour journey. When we arrived at our stop we pulled down all our luggage and headed for the door, only to find it had already closed and the train was pulling out of the station.  Crap!  We got off at the next station and Rusty and Michael had a fun little jog back to pick up our rental car while Nat and I fed the kids lunch. FINALLY we got the cars and headed to Jones Beach. Cute little Leo HATES his carseat, and although they were a few car lengths behind us we could hear his screaming as clear as day.  But the beautiful beach was worth the hassle.  It was incredible—wide, clean, and about a million seashells for the kids to find.  The water was pretty warm, and the waves were just the right size for the kids to play. 
Jones Beach
After we got the kids good and tired, we traveled to East Marion, on the very tip of Long Island to stay in our cute little VRBO house.  Rusty and I got to sleep in twin beds.  It was awesome.  We had some great seafood for dinner—lobster, lobster, yum, yum, yum! 

The next day we headed to the city beach in Southold. It was VERY different from Jones Beach.  It was narrow, and very pebbly—not a lot of sand, mostly rocks.  We were glad not to have to deal with the sandy mess of towels and swimsuits, but our feet were pretty raw by the end of the day.  There were no waves here because we were on the Long Island Sound, and the water was really, really warm, which made it fun for the kids to play in.  Even cute little Blake went all the way into the Ocean and floated around in his life jacket.  He was equal parts thrilled and terrified. 

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We hit up a cute little lighthouse on the way home, and picked up some food for a BBQ.  After we had eaten we tried to roast marshmallows for Smores, but the coals were to cold.  We improvised over the gas range in the kitchen.  Rolo smore?  Divine. 

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And what trip to LI would be complete without a jaunt through the Hamptons?  On our last day we loaded the kids into the car and caught the ferry over to East Hampton.  We drove up to Montauk to see the famous lighthouse. Only to discover that it cost $10 to park and another $8/person to actually go see the lighthouse.  Yep….should have researched that a little better.  At least the drive was beautiful.  We’d planned on hitting a beach in the Hamptons, but the parking attendant told us we could use our parking pass at the nearby Hither Hills beach, so we gave it a go.  I love how each of our beach experiences were so different.  This beach had HUGE wave and was freezing cold.  The water temp took my breath away. All the adults and Halle braved the cold and had fun getting pummeled by the waves.  And I didn’t take any pics!  BOO.  When we asked Josh if he was ready to leave the beach he said, “I desire to stay longer.”

It took about a decade to get home, more running from the rental car drop off to the train station, a medical emergency by another passenger on the train, and we were all very glad to see our little apartment.  All in all it was a Fun and Exhausting trip!
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