Sunday, November 4, 2012

Collecting Rocks and Shells

Has it really been over a month since I last updated this blog?! Wow! That's all I can say. But things have been happening around here, as you know. It all started with a trip to NY. This time around I talked my mom into going on a little get-away to Long Island, just for a couple of nights.
The first evening we were there the weather was ok, but kind of cold. So we went to the little beach just across the street from our motel and picked some rocks and shells. And then went out to get some din-din - some seriously delicious roasted chicken.

What can I say... The old adage "never leave for tomorrow what you can do today" proved itself true again! Our first evening in LI we only spent about 30 minutes or so on the beach thinking that we'd go there first thing the next morning. Except it rained hard overnight and the entire morning and early afternoon. Basically, we were stuck in our motel room.

And let me tell you about this motel room. It was a LivingSocial special and seemed like a really good deal. "Seemed" is a key word here. It was absolutely bare bones as far as comfort and coziness goes. I mean, it was worse than a Super 8 motel (and those are pretty basic).

Anyway, I thought that M was going to drive us (me) nuts sitting in the room with absolutely nothing to do (no Internet connection, bad TV reception, no toys, just one book for bedtime reading). But I was VERY wrong. In fact, he spent the entire first half of the day absorbed in sorting through and re-arranging the rocks and shells he collected the evening before, taking pictures of them, and drawing them. He was so busy and so in the flow, that it took me some effort to persuade him to leave the room once the rain stopped. I had to promise him more rocks and shells.

Once the rain stopped, the day was just amazing - sunny and even warm. We drove all the way to Orient and checked out the pebbly beach there and watched cars driving on and off the big ferries. Then we went to a great little cafe that served excellent Manhattan chowder and jumbo shrimp. We also discovered a lighthouse and a nearby beach with lots of little pieces of sea glass. And late in the evening we went to dinner at some restaurant that came highly recommended, but turned out to be pricey, but very average.  But all in all, it was a terrific day and we were very happy.

The next morning, after checking out of the motel, we were in no hurry to leave Long Island. M wanted to collect more rocks. I wanted more sea glass. Mom wanted more shells. And we all wanted a good breakfast. Luckily, the lunch place from the day before also served breakfast and was close to the sea glass beach. In case you go, the place is called Erik's Breakfast and Lunch.

M could hardly wait to get to the beach and look for treasure. And boy, did he find something totally awesome. Ok, so for days before going to LI, M wanted to talk about all the things we might find on the beach - rocks, shells, sea weed, crabs, more shells, more rocks, sea glass, driftwood and on and on. I told him that maybe he'll see something unexpected and surprising. Guess what he found? He found an old buoy, plastic with peeling black paint and the number 1090 on its side. How could he not take it home with him?!

Lemme tell you - for the next few days this buoy was the most taken care of buoy in the Universe. M painted it black and red. He introduced it to all the toys. He took it on all the car rides. And, on the way home to NC, he even took him into an IHOP for lunch!

For me the most unexpected thing about the trip was all the farms and vineyards we saw along the way. We stopped at a couple of farms and farm stands to buy the beautiful fresh produce, fresh-pressed apple cider and award-winning cheesecakes. And on the way back home we stopped by the farm called The Garden of Eve. They have just about the best playground (and it's free), complete with a maze, a dirt track (little racing bikes are also free), a giant spider web, and a fort.

Even with the cold and the wind and the rain and even with the nightmarish NY traffic we got stuck in on the way back, it was still a terrific little vacation!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, it sounds lovely. Makes me miss New York! And I think we are underestimating our kids - they know how to entertain themselves when they are "allowed" to be bored.