Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Fantasy Island



Last weekend we took a trip to Fire Island.

A long strip of sand, separated from Long Island by a bay, which runs for miles along the southern shore of the Island, most of it is only accessible by ferry. Some communities live there year round, but otherwise it is a summer playground for New Yorkers, many of whom club together to rent a house share for the summer.

There are no cars, and people either ride bikes (although these are also banned on busy summer weekends) or drag their belongings around on little wagons. (Americans always have lots of Belongings. Packing light is not really an option for them, judging by the huge coolboxes and bags going over on the ferry).

The white sandy beaches are pristine, with no food or drink allowed, and very 'au naturel' for America - not even a restroom, which is unheard of. For this reason they attract a younger, probably more adventurous crowd than the kind of beaches we usually go to - and this made a welcome change.

Aside from the beach, there are a few restaurants and shops, and the rest of the narrow island is made up of shady little paths lined with beach cottages. Although some look luxurious, some are more basic wooden cottages - just a porch, a few seashells round the door, and a few rooms at the back. Although only a couple of hours' journey from where we live, it seemd like another world; a laid-back, holiday island where time seemed to move slowly.

We had such a perfect day - bodysurfing in the crystal clear water, eating lobster rolls for lunch at a restaurant overlooking the bay - and I was so taken by the place that I had fantasies of renting a cottage here for a week next year. It turned out they were just that - fantasies. A week in a cottage here costs more than a whole month's rent for our house. And some of the more luxurious cottages...well let's just say we're looking at a cool $16K for house for the month of August. Oh well. Back to the Holiday Inn Express, I suppose...



10 comments:

Calif Lorna said...

It looks so lovely what a shame the cottages are so expensive.

You're so right - American's don't travel light. They all have those massive coolers, not something you see in the UK.

The lobster rolls sound wonderful.

Iota said...

No restroom? That's not a beach then, is it? Whoever heard of a beach without a restroom? I think you must have been at a beach-like wilderness somewhere.

A Modern Mother said...

Amazing what some of these places cost. When we lived in La Jolla the house next store was a vacation rental and families were in and out all summer. It was very interesting having transient neighbours. And in the Autumn, an NFL football player (the quarter back!) moved in for the season. So much fun, but very expensive.

Nota Bene said...

Such an evocative name...looks gorgeous...

TheMadHouse said...

A beach were you arnt allowed food - how very American!

PantsWithNames said...

Why is it that the most amazing places have often already been discovered and then the prices skyrocket? Such a pain! Sounds amazing though - what a time you must have had!

Mud in the City said...

What bilss! And fabulous memories for you all.

The Dotterel said...

What a coincidence! No, I've not just been there too (more's the pity) but I CA tell you (if you don't already know, and thanks to dear old Bill Bryson's Made in America) that the name has nothing whatever to do with conflagration. Apparently, there are five Fire Islands and the name comes from the Dutch 'vjif', five.

I'll get me coat.

nappy valley girl said...

Lorna - we seem to be catching the bug and now own a whole load of beach equipment ourselves....

Iota - Yes, I think you must be right.....

A Modern Mother - An NFL star! I probably wouldn't have had a clue who it was....

The Madhouse - very American in some ways to have rules (esp. in New York) but very un-American not to allow food - food is very important here!

PantswithNames - I think it's unlikely that somewhere 80 miles from NYC would have remained undiscovered, but still I was shocked by the prices!

Mud - yes, it was so exciting for the boys, particularly the ferry ride.

The Dotterel - I have actually read Made in America but didn't remember that bit. Although I read several different theories about the name on Wikipedia, including one that pirates used to light fires there.....

apartments in dubai said...

Being on island is great pleasure. Wet sand and cool wind of sea. A beautiful and romantic sights. I love it. You reminded me my Hawaii island holidays.