Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Family Time

Last week, as I was preparing to visit my family on Long Island, I kept telling people that I was "going home for a week." Home, despite the fact that it's been thirteen years since I lived on Long Island. Then, while I was there, sleeping on my parents' couch and eating at their kitchen table and spending their money (back-to-school shopping FTW!), I kept talking about all the things I would have to do "when I get home." Some people say home is where the heart is. For me, it seems, home is wherever I'm not. Or maybe I just feel at home in multiple places, which is not a bad problem to have, as far as problems go. 

At any rate, I spent a full seven days on Long Island with my family, and it was pretty great. When I go home (whatever that means) I try to spend as much time with my mom as possible. That was pretty easy this time around, because she was on vacation while I was there. Highlights included: shopping 'til we dropped (thanks again, Mom, for all the new clothes!), wine tasting on the North Fork of Long Island, taking my dad's new-to-him truck onto the beach, having lunch with my grandparents, and watching a House Hunters marathon. (Seriously - I must have watched at least 17 episodes over the course of the week. This is what happens when you don't have cable - you gorge yourself when it's around. Also, I am 100% ready to buy a home, with the exception of things like a steady job, a savings account, or any idea where I'll live next year. HGTV, call me!)

And now, per my post-trip tradition, some photos:

Breakfast on the North Fork, so as to have something in our stomachs before we started drinking wine.

Chicken friendly wine at Old Vine Vineyards.

Vineyard dogs - the best part of wine tasting! (After the wine.) 

A sampling of rose at Croteaux.

This was my second time wine-tasting on Eastern Long Island, and while I imagine it doesn't quite compare to Napa Valley, or France's Left Bank, it is an excellent way to spend an afternoon and I plan to make it a tradition. This will be easy to do, as there are dozens of vineyards on Long Island, each with their own delicious niche.

Farm stand full of lovely produce.

I will eat all of you.

Best game ever.

We stopped at a super cute farm stand on the way home and scored a dozen ears of corn, fresh blueberries, and apple cider donuts. A perfect way to end a perfect day!

Truckin' along.

We found an old Bud Light can, buried beneath the sand.

My parents live about a mile from the beach - even closer than me, in Wilmington! - so we spent a morning on the outer beach, which is only accessible via four wheel drive. It was unseasonably cool the whole time I was in New York, and while it was strange to wear jeans and a cardigan in August, I wasn't complaining! Instead of swimming or sunbathing, I enjoyed the cool air and read The Art of Fielding, which is maybe the best book I've read in recent memory, and will get an official review soon. 

And finally, a sample of the Instagram photos I snapped while away. I didn't take a ton of photos on this trip, mostly because I spent a lot of time drinking coffee at the kitchen table and talking my mom's ear off, and she would kill me if I put a photo of her on the Internet. On the bright side, a low key, relaxing, and family focused trip was exactly what I needed - especially since I flew back late last night, just in time to wake up early and teach my first classes of the semester today. More about that tomorrow. For now, I'm going to spend some quality time with my boys, drink a glass of wine, and enjoy the fact that I'm home - whatever that means.