I love going back east in the summer, the vibe is so different that you don’t really mind the heat and humidity all that much. There is something so distinct about summer on the East Coast. I have no idea why it feels different from here.
Maybe it when you look across the beaches of the East Coast you see families generations deep. Each family takes up a massive footprint at the beach. There is your immediate family, plus some cousins, some aunts, grandparents, some 2nd cousins, everyone watching everyone’s kids. I actually got to sit in my beach chair for longer than 2 minutes.
At least one night, everyone packs their favorite hors d’oeuvre, favorite beverage, my Aunt transfers her wine to a classier jug, beach chairs and warmer clothes to change into and we head to a particular beach to watch the sunset. Whoever happens to be on the Cape is invited. It is one of my favorites when I am there.
It is the chance for family members who haven’t seen each other in a while but are on the Cape at the same time, to spend time together and let their kids get to know our kids. Beach chairs, facing the sea, are lined up in a semi-circle around the food and wine table, watching the little ones run free toward the ocean. There is something so special swimming in the sea as the sun is setting. The sunset picnic carries on even when we are not there and will every time we are back.
So Much to Do
Everything you do is an experience – you go out for ice cream. It is an activity. My kids have never had ice cream, for many reasons, one of them being there are not a lot of real ice cream venues around here. There is something perfectly summer about going out for ice cream, at a family owned business where you get a cone, sit on a bench gazing out at the woods or vast green fields surrounding you. I wanted my boys first ice cream experience to be that. So I waited until we went back for them to have ice cream for the first time.
We got in the car and drove to a family owned establishment that has been serving ice cream since the 1930’s. And true to their personalities they ate their ice cream – Kellan took one bite, looked at me and laughed then dove into the rest, while Atlas took a bite then one lick at a time savored that cone as it melted down his entire arm. They may not remember how wonderfully New England it was but I will.
When in Rome
The boys went to their first Irish Pub, which I am assuming other than Ireland, Boston comes pretty close to having some of the best ones. Also in Boston, it is not considered a poor parenting decision to take your toddlers into one, because as they say, When in Rome…the boys loved it, singing and clapping along to the music. Kellan, not sure if it is because of his name or what, really felt the Irish blood running through him and like any good Irish-man ended up dancing on the table amongst many other questionable acts.
Playing outside after dinner takes on a new meaning as well. There is something inherently special about it still being light enough to play in the yard after dinner. We do it here, however, back east the boys had extra energy as they ran across the yard as the sun was going down. The played in the rain, fought off bugs, ran from one end of the yard to the other with their cousins with wild abandon.
It could have just been that they were playing with their cousins who they don’t get to see often but clearly love, or that their Uncle was out there running with them and throwing them in the air, or seeing my parents sit on their deck watching their grandchildren, whatever it was, Pure Joy.
It just all feels different. Could it be nostalgia of my own or it could be that it is just different? I have no idea. I love LA, the year round weather is unbeatable, especially with toddler twins. But I will take an east coast summer any day and I relish in the knowing that the boys will grow up with a little bit of both coasts running through them.