A group of our good friends here in NYC headed over to Montauk for some truly legit beach camping over the first weekend in June. We stayed at Hither Hills campground for two nights and had the BEST time. I'm so glad we ended up going because we almost cancelled at the last minute. Brian was out of town and I came down with the absolute worst cold of my entire life- I felt so miserable and trying to pack a car and drive 4 young kids and set up camp by myself on the edge of Long Island over a weekend in NYC is a daunting task under perfect conditions (I am admittedly the most novice camper in the history of ever). When I told the kids I just didn't think I could manage it with how bad I felt, I could tell they were super bummed. I rallied the ounce of energy I had to mostly bark orders at my older kids to help me hurriedly pack our minimal camping gear in our rental car. We had purchased a pop-up tent from Costco, which pretty much saved us. No, actually, the other families that came with us and shared their food is really what saved us (read: me). We got to camp after dark and had a ton of help setting our stuff up and then hung out for a couple of hours while the kids shared scary stories and we cooked s'mores over the fire. We then blew up our air mattresses ("glampers" unite!) and fell to sleep quickly in our nylon home.
It was supposed to rain the entire time we were there, but we woke up the next day to blue skies and high temps- opposite of what was supposed to happen! I am so glad the kids threw swimsuits in their bags because it was such a gorgeous day and the beach was so beautiful! I, however, had to go find a swimsuit at a store in town because I wasn't as smart. After I found something, I picked Brian up at the train station and we joined the group at the beach.
These kids had so much fun playing on the sand and in the FREEZING water pretty much all day long, until a truly nasty storm rolled in late afternoon. We huddled in our tent and it only fell down once! It wasn't too hard to get it back up (I can say that because I wasn't the one outside getting soaked doing it...thanks, Brian!) and we hung out while the skies cleared about an hour later. You can see in the pictures below how bad the clouds got- it happened in literally seconds. Bright blue skies to total downpour.
After the storm calmed, we drove out to a local grill and had an early dinner and then headed back to hang out some more. Today was Kate's 14th birthday, so we grabbed some cupcakes and everyone sang to her over a campfire. I hope thats a really fun birthday memory for her down the road. She has zero requests for birthday celebrations as she is sooo low-maintenance, but this was a great kick-off.
We got up early (as you do when you're camping with kids) and had a delicious breakfast and then got all packed up and ready to head back home. But, first we stopped at the famous Montauk lighthouse at the "end of the world". We walked along the cliffs to the beach on the other side of the lighthouse.
This group of kids has so much fun with each other. They could play for hours and there is zero drama. So fun to see our kids make such sweet friends. And, their parents are pretty awesome too!
We stopped at the cutest candy store on the way out of Montauk and loaded up on the necessary chocolate and gummies. We grabbed pizza and then made our way through the Hamptons and over to NYC. This part of New York is simply gorgeous. The beaches are so nice and the homes are just something else. This weekend was so fun for all of us (so glad my kids forced me out the door) and we made so many lifelong memories that we will cherish forever. We have such a huge love for the friends we've made here and it was magical to spend time with them in such a beautiful part of New York.