Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Hamptons: The place that seems to attract people like bees to a hive!

Okay... I'm guilty... I stole the quote from the back of a Tate's cookie package from the Hamptons. But, something about the imagery reflects my attitude about the Hamptons. The place is sweet, rich, and magnetic. A few weeks ago, when I found out that my family and I might go, I felt like someone was telling me that I was going to the moon. I just never thought the possibility existed. I grew up in northern New Jersey and now live in a small city in Virginia. And, I know it's shallow, but I couldn't wait to tell people that we were going!

Coming from the South, getting to the Hamptons was a haul. We followed our "Garmin girl" like cult members and ended up taking an extensive tour of Brooklyn. Then, before reaching Montauk Hwy, we spent miles of traffic lights on Sunrise Highway. We were ecstatic to reach our destination (and would definitely be taking an alternate route back)!

We were meeting up with our extended family. The Southampton house was spacious, grand and "homey" with eight bedrooms, a modern kitchen, vaulted-ceiling family room, and a library. The backyard included a pool, tennis and basketball court. This beautiful space would be our home for the next few days.

Some might disagree, but the area where we stayed reminded me of my hometown--Upper Saddle River (but at the beach). The roads were windy. The lots were wooded. And the houses were impressive. As you approached downtown, some of the land became lush pastures. Once you reached the quaint downtown of Southhampton near the ocean, the roads became grid-like. It was like a "quilt" of estates, surrounded by majestic borders of hedges.

The Southampton beach was spectacular and unspoiled. Because it was April, I wrapped myself in a cozy towel to ward off the chill. But, my husband and twin daughters, didn't seem to notice and merrily collected sea shells. So, this is what we did:

Tuesday: Southampton Beach and lunch at "The Golden Pear"
Wednesday: Duck Walk Winery, Munn Point, "Tate's Bakery" and North Sea Harbor
Thursday: East Hampton, Montauk, and dinner at "World Pie"
Friday: Southampton Beach, lunch at "Townline BBQ", Wolffer Winery

In the words of my daughters: "It was the BEST Spring Break ever!" And, I'll put it like this: The Hamptons set the stage, but it was the company that we kept that made the experience special. Probably my lasting memories will linger around the homecooked meals shared around the long Tuscan table at the Southampton house, conversations on the front porch, and fireworks on the tennis court.