The Best and Worst Of A Long Island Summer

The Best and Worst Of A Long Island Summer

The hub of New York summers

Long Island is just 118 miles of land that over 7.5 million people call home. As a true Long Islander, there is nothing better than knowing the semester is almost over and being able to return to my favorite place on Earth. It's home to some of the most beautiful beaches, picturesque towns, top notch restaurants, and some pretty great places to kill time. The only problem with returning home is that everyone else is migrating there. Along comes summer, and along comes the summer vacationers. Your days won't go as planned, but there is always something else to do. As a true Long Islander, you know you can interchange places to go and things to do.

After spending two semesters at school, I look forward to a lot of things about being home: driving, not having to shop online, not having to eat the same food every day, etc. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one with the same idea. You want to go shopping at Tanger in Riverhead? Don't try it unless you plan on going right when it opens or an hour before it closes. Actually, want to go anywhere in Riverhead? Not going to happen as long as Splish Splash is in full Summer operation. Ralph's Italian Ices or Carvel? Flooded by the upstate and out-of-staters who are just dying to try this phenomenon. Beaches are crowded, that's even if you can find a parking spot. Restaurants are a good idea, but a hard no unless you plan on hitting the early bird special. Adventureland and the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center are also guaranteed to be packed full of people who couldn't go to Splish Splash, actually. It's the downfall of living in such a beautiful place that many dream about: at some point, they are going to come visit. And boy, do they visit. Long Island Bucket Lists are in full effect, and there is no escaping the outsiders.

My little island of perfect summer days becomes overcrowded and it's generally full of people who somehow think they know better than you because they can afford to vacation here. What these people fail to realize is that a Long Island summer isn't just Instagramming a picture of you sitting on a beach with a Long Island Iced Tea in your hand, or with your friends in Montauk with clothes that say "The End" on them. A Long Island summer is the hot days in your pool, on the beach, exploring the wonders this wondrous island has to offer. It's Fourth of July BBQ's with the sparklers you definitely shouldn't own, but do anyway. It's the hot days at Snowflake in Riverhead. It's a June weekend at Splish Splash when it's just a little too cold to be comfortable, but nothing will stop you from the nostalgic feeling of reliving your childhood down the Lazy River. It's Lewin's Farm Stand and strawberry picking with your relatives. It's concerts and tailgating at Jones Beach and a day trip to Fire Island is always an option. And at times, it's sitting in an hour's worth of traffic on your way to do simple errands. You simply cannot mimic a Long Island summer, because there is nothing like it. Try as they might, they won't be able to take away the greatness of three months of pure Long Island fun.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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12 Necessary Components For A Memorable Road Trip

How to treasure “being on the road, again”

Staying in one place doesn’t suit me. I love being able to travel to new places for new sights, sounds, and smells. Road trips are a perfectly cost-effective way to get away from home without having to leave the country and still experience something new. I recently took a very memorable road trip to Yosemite.

Between that and my semi-frequent road trips from the Bay Area to LA, you could say I’m an expert at planning and executing phenomenal road trips. In my experience, the following 12 things are what will make or break any road trip you take.

1. A meticulously crafted itinerary

Which you can disregard whenever necessary, but having one to start out with is always a good idea.

2. A bangin’ playlist

Specifically, one that is catered towards your final destination. A bangin’ playlist should take into account the weather, the time of year, the merriment of the occasion, etc.

3. Comfy pants

You might not need the elastic waistband because you’ll be eating three dinners, but no good ever comes from wearing tight pants that pinch on a 10-hour road trip.

4. More snacks than you think you’ll need


5. The “Trash” bag

You might not always start out with one, but you definitely always end up with one.

6. Water

Maybe not the most thrilling addition to the road trip, however having plenty of water is handy not only for staying hydrated but for increasing the number of pitstops you might make for bathroom breaks. This could lead to some pretty interesting unexpected side stories you’ll be telling to all your friends and family when you come home.

7. Mind numbing boredom

This usually sets in around the third or fourth hour on the road.

8. A pit stop for ice-cream

This helps to alleviate the aforementioned “mind-numbing boredom” and is a welcome addition to a road trip at any time of day. (Plus, this baby totally gets me.)

9. License plate games

Or riddles, or guessing games, or twenty questions. Basically, these save your life if you ever get carsick and can’t read or don't want to waste data scrolling through Instagram.

10. Walking shoes

The best part of any road trip is the time you spend off the road.

11. A camera

To document all of the good fun. Photos help so that you won’t forget any of the little details (This speaks more to it being remembered.)

12. Good company

If you had bad company, you wouldn’t want it to be memorable in the first place.

And finally, I will leave you with a nugget of wisdom, a Public Service Announcement so to speak: clean your car immediately BEFORE AND AFTER you go. You can thank me later.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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A Play-By-Play Of Your Vacation Routine, On Island Time

Island time is the best time zone to be in.

As much as you try to not be on a schedule on vacation, you eventually develop a daily vacation routine. You could claim you just sit back and relax all day, but where is the fun in that?

Your daily vacation routine may not be as hectic as your usual routine, but you cannot ignore the fact that it is still a "routine." Obviously... being on "island time" is the best time zone to be in.

8:00 a.m.

Resort wear is minimalistic. First thing in the morning, all you have to do is simply put on a bathing suit and throw a cute cover-up over it. If you feel you even need shoes, just wear flip flops! The best part of the morning vacation routine is: NO MAKEUP or HAIRDOS necessary! However, sunscreen application is vital at this point in the day.

8:30 a.m.

BREAKFAST TIME! Hopefully, your resort has a buffet because everyone knows that breakfast buffets are the best type of buffets. If you are in South America or the Caribbean, DO NOT HESITATE to have beans and rice for breakfast. Your taste buds will never experience tastier beans.

Also, take advantage of the fresh island fruits. Do not be scared to try a new fruit you have never seen or heard of before. Although you may enjoy the passion fruit iced tea at Starbucks, have you ever tried a real passion fruit?

9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

PRIME SUN TIME! The best part of the day to lay out and work on your tan before the sun gets too hot. To handle the heat, take an occasional dip in the ocean. Salt water is the best thing for your skin so soak it up as much as you can. Around 11:00 is the appropriate time to order an island drink. Mojito? Pina colada? Miami vice? Strawberry daiquiri? The decision is yours...

12:15 p.m.

Head over to the lunch buffet or restaurant. If you see something on the buffet or on the menu that you have never tried before, now is your chance to indulge. Fried squid on the menu? Might as well give that a try. This is the perfect time to edit your vacation Instagram pictures and think of a good caption.

1:00 p.m.

The sun is getting stronger at this point, so after lunch is a good time for a "shade break." The most relaxing way to do this is by taking a nap on the beds by the pool. Jump in the pool to rinse off the sand and salt water that accumulated on your skin earlier when you were at the beach.

Moral of the story: nap time/shade time is essential. If you're lucky, maybe your resort will be having a foam party during this time! If you can't nap, this is your opportunity to swim over to the swim up bar and try a different drink.

2:30 p.m.

At this point, you may have had enough of the beach and pool, so try an excursion or activity. If you want to stay near the resort, rent jet skis, go parasailing or go on a banana boat ride. The possibilities are endless, and the island workers are always willing to bargain and argue over the price! If you are feeling more adventurous, go snorkeling on a catamaran, rent ATVs and ride them through the desert or take a walk through the rainforest.

5:30 p.m.

After a long day, hot tub time is THE best time. Sit back in the hot tub and let the jets do the rest of the work. Turn on your speaker and scroll to your favorite song. This is a good time to reflect on the day's adventures and look forward to what the night will bring.

6:00 p.m.

Is it just me or is getting ready for dinner on vacation so fun? Showering feels good after a long day of salt water and sand. Hair and makeup preparation is minimal. At this point in the day, ALOE IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND! If you are sunburnt (like me), aloe feels like liquid heaven.

7:00 p.m.

Ah, once you are all ready and head downstairs, you are pleasantly surprised with the plates of appetizers awaiting you. Conveniently, you look to the left and there is an open bar. That means prosecco/champagne time. Cheers! This is a good opportunity to get a few cute pictures with your squad before dinner.

8:00 p.m.

DINNER TIME! Hopefully, your resort has a lot of options. Monday is for Mediterranean food. Tuesday is Italian. Wednesday is Hibachi. Thursday is seafood. End the week off right with steak on Friday.

10:30 p.m.

Thankfully, the club finally opens, but of course, you do not want to be the first person there. Depending on if the club looks lit or not, enter between 10:30-11:00. Dance like you have never danced before because you will never see any of the people again!

Be careful walking back to your room in the dark. Go to sleep and get ready to start the fabulous routine all over again tomorrow!

Cover Image Credit: Lexi Caruso

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