(Back tracking to November 2014)
We drove from Boston through Connecticut to New London to board the Cross Sound Ferry. This huge passenger / car ferry carried locals and tourists across from Connecticut to Long Island. The ride was a rough one and the kids were hard to keep entertained after being in the car for 3 hours already. The wind blew gale force outside which meant our options were limited to sitting in the family sized booth, watching the ferry roll and bob in the waves.
Finally, we disembarked and headed to Greenport to board another punk to ferry us across to Shelter Island. This place was amazing, some great shops and a wonderful village feel. Another car punt to North Haven and then finally we reached Sag Harbour on Long Island. The 30 minute drive from Sag to East Hampton was absolutely beautiful although not what I had been expecting. Dense bushland with log cabins and American flags dotted the winding road.
Finally we arrived at our beach house and were absolutely blown away with our living quarters. Right on the beach, with almost no neighbours, we settled into our new digs. The kids collected shells on the deserted beach with Gran. James played pool with his Dad down in the Man Cave almost every night. I read magazines in front of the fire and enjoyed cooking in the oversized chef style kitchen. On the cooler days when we were confined indoors, I painted the kids faces and we played hide and seek, which was fantastic considering the house was so gigantic!
One chilly day, we drove down to the most amazing vintage store in South Hampton. The kids stayed in the car with James while I dug around for nearly 30 minutes. After thrift shopping, we headed to Rumba, a tropical island beach shack right on the harbour. The food was absolutely sublime. The best I had encountered since stepping on US soil.
Another cold and stormy morning, we drove to Montauk. We started our day at Montauk Point Lighthouse which is on the very tip of the peninsula of Long Island. Huge signs warned us of the infamous ticks / Lyme Disease so we steered clear of the grass and explored the lighthouse and surrounds. While Grandad, Grandma, James and Abi climbed the lighthouse, I kept my feet on the ground and spotted seals and dolphins off the point. People clambered down the rocks to get a better view but this was virtually impossible with 3 young kids.
After the lighthouse, we went for a short, scenic drive up to the marina then headed back into town to find some lunch. The little town of Montauk was full of characters and we settled for a pub on main street. We walked around the boutique stores on main street and purchased a few seaside trinkets as souvenirs. The beach had a rough swell and was deserted too.
My time in the Hamptons was beautiful. I have vowed to return again but only in the summer so I can witness the towns swell with locals, tourists and all that comes with the warmer seasons. Next time you visit New York City, I highly recommend you jump on the Jitney and head east on Long Island to any of the towns in the Hamptons. A trip that you will definitely never regret or forget!