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Columns August 27, 2015  RSS feed

Victoria's Secrets

A grandma getaway

For many summers, I have had the treat of taking my children and their growing brood for an end-of-summer getaway. Fortunately for me, I had a magical weekend with my Yunis family. This is a week with my Schneps family.

How powerful it is in the hectic lives we lead to take a break and have time to see each one in a setting away from the “real world.”

This summer, we chose a getaway only an hour away – the Hamptons. I had bought an apartment in Westhampton, only an hour from my home, and wanted to spend some time there, but the only prob lem is that my place only has two bedrooms and I needed six! So the search began.

I had tried calling some real estate brokers but their options were outrageously expensive. So I went the modern way and went online to search Airbnb. To my delight, I found a company, Hampton House Properties, that showed a house that offered what I needed at a realistic price.

The seven-bedroom house offered a pool, hot tub and volleyball court, and inside a pool and ping pong tables.Family getting ready for dining on the Shinnecock Canal.Family getting ready for dining on the Shinnecock Canal.

It sounded just right so I called and arranged to meet owner Marilyn Tolchin. To my amazement, her office is in Corona, Queens, and we immediately bonded. We drove over to look at the house and it was at the end of a long, pebbled driveway sur rounded by trees. The house is at the end of the cul de sac and is surrounded by trees and shrubs. It was as listed and after I took a fast walk through it, I took the place for the last week in August. And so we are all here.

Since we have a new baby, almost 3 months old, Sloane Londyn, I am looking forward to getting to know her better She is a happy, contended, smiley baby. Her mom and dad are doing a powerful job and we are devouring her with hugs and kisses.

Being a group of 12, we decided to have dinner outdoors at a harborside place called Canal Café. It’s hidden behind a large store selling boats but we snaked our way around the boatyard and found a parking lot and outdoor tables.

Up a few steps was the restaurant facing the many boats parked in the marina. I noticed not one person go out on the dock to a boat. Such is the life of boat owners. They are mostly docked!

We found a perfect table for us in the corner of the upper terrace and sat on stools and folding chairs. I liked that with the baby carriage, and an active 3-year-old and 4-year-old who don’t like to sit too long, the café was accommodating We also got there early, at 5:15, so many families were there and as Hudson romped up and down the steps followed by his dad Josh, we never got a dirty look from the staff The food was served on paper plates and plastic silverware so the whole atmosphere felt kid-friendly.

Good food and good views dining at the Canal Café in Hampton Bays.Good food and good views dining at the Canal Café in Hampton Bays.We ordered a bevy of appetizers from shrimp cocktail to fried calamari to hummus and crackers to guacamole – all were plentiful but it was time for the main courses. I was so full I ordered a wedge of lettuce topped with bacon bits, tomatoes and Gorgonzola cheese oozing out between the slices. My favorite seasonal food, gazpacho, became my main course. The featured dish of lobster roll was filled with large chunks of lobster. The only dish that disappointed us was the flank steak At a seashore place, order seafood!

The evening ended with a trip to Carvel and the bonus was that after eating the ice cream, there was a large green meadow surrounded by benches. The kids threw off their shoes and ran endlessly around playing tag, dancing to the music over the speakers and laughing and laughing until Morgan got her hair pulled as she was being tagged! A mushy hug from her dad consoled her and back she was chasing her cousins.

It doesn’t get better than this...