I never really knew much about Fire Island until last summer. My brother’s girlfriend and her family have been going every summer for a while now, and last July I decided to take the ferry over “for a night” to go to the beach and hang out.
Well, I ended up staying..the whole week. Renting a house out on Fire Island is really the true definition of a vacation. Once you get off the ferry, you enter a small little world of restaurants and bars, shops, narrow streets lined with beach houses, and miles and miles of sand and ocean. No cars are allowed on the island, so people walk around by foot or bike, passing by the occasional deer, church, and baseball field.
Welp, Fire Island happened again this summer. I arrived with my brother Thursday night, where we spent three nights of pure summer-bliss. With a grand total of 18 of us, things happened. We played competitive games of Spoons mixed with homemade thyme-infused vodka lemonade, which clearly kept things interesting. There were hours of r&r at the beach, and pages and pages of book-reading. We happily ate ourselves into oblivion with eggs and bacon, cheeseburgers, grilled brie and goat cheese, chips and salsa, pancakes, and blueberry pie. We also might have come home late Friday night from town and devoured a whole package of cookies. Maybe. We danced in bars to shitty summer songs. We discussed english grammar over a bag of Tostitos. We took beer showers. We got burned.
Jane was awarded MVP for her individually wrapped brownies, Sean sat in a chair that just magically broke into seven pieces, and I was stung by my first bee/wasp/hornet (unknown) while Flo simultaneously dove in the ocean and stabbed her nose with her piercing, which resulted in a bloody face. Nicole and I slept in a tent on the deck. Zak and Jane made bloody mary’s, chile-vodka, and blackberry gin. There were couples everywhere. I talked to only one guy when we went out, and he said I had an “honest face.” Is that the new pickup line of 2011?
It is really awesome to experience another family’s summer tradition. I can’t feel what the Nichols’s must feel going over the Fire Island; that’s an experience unique to themselves. But, it is wonderful to get a taste of something special, and to create your own feeling of a place.
And perhaps, a new tradition will evolve.