Beach, Beach, more Beach!

What a weekend! Jeff and I both agreed this morning that we needed an extra day to relax from all the fun we had. But alas, it’s Monday and back to the grind.

On Saturday morning we got on our bikes right away and headed to our favorite place: Coney Island! We made it to the ocean in an hour and fifteen minutes – not too bad for two middle aged folks riding two heavy bikes loaded with everything needed for a beach day. Oh, and two kids.

IMG_3112

We hung out on the beach for a few hours, ate watermelon, played in the water, and dug in the sand. The boys couldn’t care less that this isn’t the loveliest of beaches; they just have fun. And so did we.

Then we got hungry and needed hot dogs immediately. They were delicious.

IMG_3394IMG_3220

The rest of the afternoon was our typical Coney Island fun: Wonder Wheel, rides, ice cream.

IMG_3393IMG_3224

Then we rode back towards home. Right around Park Slope our legs were getting tired, so we decided to stop for dinner. We stumbled upon this lovely place, sat outside, and filled our bellies with meats & cheeses, pasta, and mussels. Arthur ate all my seafood, and I stole bites of his pasta. We were so happy and full – and very tired. We rode home as the sun was setting, showered, and fell into bed.

IMG_3395IMG_3396

On Sunday we decided we hadn’t had enough of the beach, so we headed to Rockaway. We wanted to try the new NYC Ferry, and so we rode the bikes to the Wall Street stop and took the ferry over. It was pretty smooth, but only because we got in line early. Many people who arrived after us had to wait for the next boat, which only comes every hour.

IMG_3265

We rode the bikes around Rockaway for a bit and then found us a nice spot on the beach. We stayed there all day, played in the waves, ate sandwiches, chips, watermelon. Beach life is simply the best. We all took naps, too. Delightful.

IMG_3329

Before we headed home we wanted to grab a quick dinner and randomly found this very strange place that has fast food and shakes on the menu – and an assortment of old toys in the yard.

IMG_3384IMG_3385IMG_3325.jpg

Hot dogs and shakes for life.

Then we made a mistake and rode our bikes around the boardwalk for a bit. It was so lovely out. Bands were playing, happy people everywhere. Except: When we arrived at the ferry dock, there were so many people in line already, and the ferries were so backed up that we had to wait for more than an hour. So that was fun. (Next time we’ll take the train again. The NYC Ferries are fun in theory, but so overcrowded it sucks the joy and convenience right out of it.)

IMG_3386

We killed time on the boat by drinking a beer, making silly hairdos, and playing games.

IMG_3387IMG_3388

We arrived home at 10pm. The kids were exhausted, although honestly not as much as we were. Today we all slept a little later, and even though I’m sure we’re all a bit tired still, we have made a bunch of unforgettable memories this weekend.

Long Island City

Today I can barely keep my head above water, so I’d rather think about yesterday – which was a lovely day.

The boys and I met up with some of our favorite friends and took the boat over to Long Island City.

IMG_7546

It was a beautiful day, and the kids were so happy to be on a boat and on an adventure.

We went to a playground and played for a bit.

IMG_7540 IMG_7541 IMG_7542

And then we just hung out by the water, looked at boats, and ate lunch. What a view, right?

IMG_7544

The kids are so fun together and so sweet. I just love all of them so much.

IMG_7545

And most of all it is so good to be around a friend (the adult one, not pictured!) who gets why I think my kids are ridiculous and annoying and wonderful at the same time.

I’m living the paradox – where things are beautiful and offensively difficult all at the same time. Bam!

IMG_7548

Sandy Hook

When Jeff and I were dating, before the kids and our life together in Brooklyn, we had a happy place. It’s called Sandy Hook.

We would get up early on a weekend morning, take the ferry to Sandy Hook (Bloody Marys in hand), ride our bikes around and spend the day on the beach.

We haven’t been to Sandy Hook since 2010, but now that we are pros at packing everything we need for a day at the beach on our bikes, we decided to give it a shot. We had to leave the house at 7:15am to have enough time to pack the bikes and ride over the Brooklyn Bridge and to Pier 11 to catch the 8:15am ferry.

IMG_6715

The boys were beyond excited because a) bike riding b) the prospect of a boat ride and c) a day at the beach!

We had muffins, croissants, and bananas, and possibly Bloody Marys on the boat. Here is Arthur looking cool:

IMG_6769

We brought blankets, towels, two umbrellas, a cooler with beer, lots of food and snacks and beach toys. Oh, and two children. Our bikes seriously are like a mini van. A small mini van.

Everything was perfect. The ride to the beach in Sandy Hook was lovely. We heard a million crickets and looked at rockets still displayed at Fort Hancock. The boys were in heaven.

IMG_6770

We played on the beach all day.

IMG_6771

We had lunch, played some more, and then we all napped. Beach naps are the best. One of my earliest memories as a child is the feeling of pure exhaustion and falling asleep to the sound of the waves, feeling all sandy and salty and warm from the sun. I’m so happy that I can give my boys the same memories.

IMG_6773 IMG_6758 IMG_6772

Before catching the 5:45pm ferry back to Manhattan, we stopped for ice cream.

IMG_6776

We ended the night at Smorgasburg at South Street Seaport, where we were quite likely the only non-tourists. We had grilled cheeses, pulled pork sandwiches, lemonade, and beer – and it’s pretty safe to say we were all exhausted on our ride home.

It was such a great day. Jeff and I have such fond memories of our summer days spent in Sandy Hook, young and falling in love with not a care in the world.

We definitely came with more baggage this time around, but also with much fuller hearts.

IMG_6777

A Break from City Life

Each year, since Julian was a few months old, we’ve spent a week upstate at our friends’ cabin by a lake. It’s always a wonderful break from our busy city life.

The boys just love everything about our little getaway: the car ride (a novelty!), different beds, and everything else about vacation. Playing outside, throwing rocks, going for boat rides, finding “friendly spiders”, picnics, and hamburgers fresh from the grill for dinner and s’mores for dessert. What’s not to love?

It was really peaceful and relaxing, which says a lot when going on vacation with your two and four year old. They didn’t break anything in our friends’ house (phewww) and were just content to play outside as much as they could.

IMG_4297 IMG_3970

One day we took them to a farm, and they each got to ride on a horse. Arthur, the braver of the two, went first.

IMG_3965

It’s so lovely to see how the boys bring out the best in each other, sometimes. Last year Julian didn’t want to sit on the horse at all. This year he definitely wanted to, and enjoyed it. After all, if little brother can, so can he.

IMG_3906IMG_3969 IMG_3968

Everything upstate is so lush and beautiful. The weather was overcast/rainy on a couple of days, but we brought our rain boots and managed to get outside every day.

IMG_4104 IMG_4089 IMG_3854

Other than playing and having fun, we ate a lot. We barbecued every night. It was delicious.

IMG_3850 IMG_4146

I’m pretty sure we each gained 25 pounds.

IMG_4184 IMG_4019 IMG_3831 IMG_3966 IMG_3967

One day we drove to Bethel, the original site of Woodstock. We checked out the museum and the grounds.

It was kind of cool to run around on the fields where 400,000 hippies gathered together to listen to music and roll around in the mud.

IMG_4229

Also, this happened:

IMG_4230

But mostly we just hung out. There was a bit of poker…

IMG_4103

…Twizzler eating on the deck wearing tiny hats…

IMG_4283

,,,,lots of napping and lounging around…

IMG_3853 IMG_4014

…singing into nature’s microphones…

IMG_4285

…and many, many boat rides…

IMG_3777IMG_4090 IMG_4281 IMG_4284

We’re so thankful to our friends who let us stay in this sweet cabin…

IMG_4302

….and thankful for all the wonderful memories…

11709912_10153980784286029_8549123589857260540_oIMG_4171