Friday, May 13, 2011

"when you come to a fork in the road..."

"take it." - Yogi Berra 

Some may call this Yankee great an idiot for his now infamous statements, but I think he was on to something with this one. Why? Because it comes to the fork at the end of Long Island, I'll take both (well, all three... I also want a fork to go in my mouth). As for the Long Islands forks though, my mom's parents have a summer home on the North Fork and my dad's parents have a home on the South Fork and I honestly cannot decide which place is my favorite. They are both places I always want to visit and never want to leave.

On the North Fork, my grandparents' home is on Nassau Point in Cutchogue and thus the house is referred to as Nassau Point. Situated on the top of a dune overlooking the bay with views of numerous islands and the South Fork in the distance. Incredible. The nearby towns are a bit saltier, with a more homespun feel than the South Fork. The restaurants and shops are often family-owned and operated, which feels almost feels like another era at times. There is no ocean here, just bays and the sound. It is very much the laid-back cousin of the posher South Fork.

My dad's parents, on the other hand, live out in Amagansett, a town between the Hamptons and Montauk. Spending time here, it is easy to see why the wealthy come to spend their money here. In many ways, it is beyond comparison. I'm currently spending a few days on the South Fork of Long Island with my grandparents in between work days.  l The beaches, homes, gardens, and quaint towns are beautiful while the shops, restaurants, and other amenities are world-class. Though many people who have only heard of the Hamptons may think of it as snobby, there is actually a true mix of people here. While we live comfortably, my family is not fabulously wealthy. My grandparents live in a three bedroom ranch-style home about a mile from the beach and a mile from the downtown. They have a nice piece of property with a great backyard and gardens they have designed and planted all on their own- no "landscape architects" in included. The house is very much the same as its been since they bought it decades ago. Their home is comfortable and perfect for the two of them (and me as a guest!).

The Run

Clearly, its not easy to pick a favorite, but today I felt the South Fork swaying me as I went for my run. I headed out yesterday with a nice run in the sunny, cool late afternoon on some local lanes. I passed the tiny Marine Museum,  beautiful homes, hedging hiding homes I can assume and beautiful, and grassy dunes. In one ear, I had the sound of ocean waves crashing in my ear. On my way, I narrowly avoided stepping on a coiled up snake (yikes!). Then it was a run passed a farm, farmstand, church, and the local elementary school. All scenic little spots. 

After that, I hit the small downtown of Amagansett. Local landmarks like the Stephen Talkhouse, eclectic shops, and a few restaurants dot the main street. Lots to look at, even though it was pretty empty since we are still waiting for summer. After the town I headed to the ocean and nearly passed out when I saw a worm and initially thought it was another snake! Guess the little guy made me more nervous than I thought. 

Once at the ocean, which I initially went to just to get a nice view, I made the spontaneous decision to run on the sand. I also the mistake of saying "oh I'll wait for the next beach exit" and passed the first one, which was only about 1/3 of a mile from where entered. A mile of running into the ocean winds later, when I finally hit the next exit, I was saying "maybe spontaneous beach running should be a bit more planned." Beach running is hard! Luckily the view made it more than worth it. Then it was home! I finished up with twenty lunges on each leg and headed in for dinner. Total mileage : 4.25. 4.25 FLAT, gorgeous, and solitary miles.  And I could have done double that if I'd had the time. If I lived here, I think I'd be a marathoner.

I wish I'd had a camera for this run because this entry would have been so great to photograph. I actually bought a camera last week but it does not charge so I need to return it and try again. :(

If you are saying "you lucky brat" or possibly using an expletive in place of brat, you are right. I am extremely lucky to have such loving and generous grandparents who live in two of the most beautiful places I've ever visited. Had another lovely run this morning. Now it's lunch and a nap before the drive to work. 

Blog posting was down for over twelve hours- I meant to put this up last night!

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