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.