Beaches and boats- that’s what we’d planned for this summer. Granted the beach was Martha’s Vineyard and the boat was a cruise to the Greek Islands. As COVID-19 ravaged the world, summer arrived, and then case rates skyrocketed in much of the U.S. (but, thankfully, not in our sensible, science-guided, home state of Connecticut). All our carefully made plans went back to the drawing board.
Many people scrapped their summer vacations altogether. Doing that would make me (and most others) cranky and bitter—and there is more than our fair share of crankiness out there this year. Undeterred, I set out to plan a COVID-safe, family getaway with no quarantine restrictions at either end of the trip.
The result? A beach and boating vacation within a 25-mile radius of our house. We saved big on travel expenses—they were the cost of a daily commute to the office, back when people did that sort of thing. We used those savings to splurge on a luxurious ocean-front room with a balcony at the Madison Beach Hotel. With its private beach (no crowds getting in your face), and Connecticut’s quarantine restrictions for travelers from hot-spot states, we felt safe there, and indulged freely in some much-needed pampering.
Beachside lunches delivered to our loungers, cocktails and dinner overlooking the water at The Wharf, and jaw-dropping sunsets bathed in an oceanfront breeze. Just what I needed . . .
Another bonus? Torturing the kids with stupid parent jokes the whole ride there:
“Madison- such a quaint little seaside town- I wonder who lives here?” (A decent number of friends and work colleagues)
“The Connecticut shoreline’s so pretty- enjoy it, girls, we may not come back here again.” (for two to three days)
Lucky for the kids, the car ride was short. Lucky for mom, replacing the boating was easy.
We bookended the trip with two boat rides—the first out of Carefree Boat Club’s Steelepointe Harbor dock to our new favorite, socially-distanced swim area at Pirate’s Cove in Port Jefferson. On the last morning of our trip, we headed out of the Clinton location for the first time, checking out new waters and anchoring off Duck Island for a swim.
It wasn’t crystal clear, turquoise waters off the coast of Greece (downside), but I got to steer the boat (definite upside). I don’t think the captain of our cruise ship would have allowed me to take the wheel, no matter how much cajoling I tried (… and I would have tried, for sure).
Our summer plans—like most things—were radically altered this year, but we returned refreshed and relaxed, nonetheless. Vacationing within 30 miles from home may sound silly, but I think that everyone should to do what they can to safely seize moments of joy during the cluster f–k 2020 has become. We all can get through this, but only if we are kind enough to ourselves to allow us to be kind to others, and to halt the ongoing descent into bitterness, division, and rage.