Summer in the Hamptons
Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Angela! I haven’t posted in quite some time and I’m excited to connect with readers and fellow authors again.
Summer is upon us and it’s hot in Virginia. I recently relocated from New York’s Long Island where the late afternoon and evenings are always cool with an assist from the perpetual ocean breezes. In Virginia it’s just the opposite. The hottest part of the day is 5 p.m.
As a lifelong resident of Long Island’s South Fork, I spent endless summers boating, sunning, and swimming on some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Summer in Westhampton is a unique experience, some of it great, some not so much. The crowds start to arrive Memorial Day weekend and tourists slowly trickle in until school is finally out. The 4th of July weekend arrives and…boom! The crowds arrive along with the fireworks. Dune road is like a New York City street during rush hour…you can’t even reach the speed limit of 25 mph. The beaches are packed and the restaurants mobbed. You need to get there early if you want to catch a few waves and have any chance of eating dinner out. Farm stands dot the roadsides, bursting with fresh produce and just-caught seafood. There’s a farmer’s market every Saturday in the parking lot behind the supermarket where you can buy bouquets of fresh lavender, homemade soaps and other local delights. Shops on Main Street showcase surf and beach wares, pricey name brands, yet eye-catching and tempting. As a year-round resident you wait until September when everything goes on sale and the shop owners head to warmer climates. If you want a visual, watch Something’s Gotta Give with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson. Perfect portrayal.
Dinners are often eaten on the beach and my favorite no-cook-no-muss-no-fuss picnic dinner is pasta with fresh tomato sauce.
6 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
10 leaves basil, cut into ribbons (reserve a little for garnish)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Place tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil in a large serving bowl. Stir mixture until tomatoes are coated with oil, and garlic is evenly distributed throughout the sauce.
Cover and let marinate for about four hours on the counter at room temperature. Add salt to taste. The tomatoes will release their juices and flavors will meld. If you can't wait the full four hours, it's still tasty right out of the mixing bowl. Serve over pasta or bread, with more fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.
I cook the pasta in the morning and let it rest at room temperature, then toss at the beach. Another little trick is to make margaritas the night before and freeze in a plastic container. I pour the frozen concoction into beach-worthy salt-rimmed glasses, decorate with a slice of lime, and WA-LA…a frosty cocktail!
How many people can say their favorite vacation spot is their hometown? Living in a world-famous destination, I’ve never felt the need to visit a beach elsewhere. The sand is white and soft and the water crystal blue or green if you catch it on the right day. Surfers abound and if you get to the beach early you can vicariously catch a little thrill as you watch the talented riders crest the ocean waves.
We have our share of celebrities too. I once worked out at my local gym next to Eli Manning, the summer after the Giants won the Super Bowl. We walked out to the parking lot together, chatting aimlessly about the lovely weather. His wife was off doing a “yoga on the beach” workout. Eli indulged his young fans at the gym, signing autographs and working out with the boys on the football team. Technically there are two towns, Westhampton and Westhampton Beach—the incorporated village. They portray a quaint, rural, small town atmosphere, and there’s a definite distinction between the locals and the city people…the townie kids call them “cidiots”. One afternoon I was picking up my 15-year-old son from the Bath and Tennis Club where he worked as a cabana and bus boy. Both my sons worked the beach club/restaurant scene in the summers and many of my son’s friends lifeguarded the beaches. More than once I bumped into two hunky lifeguards in my kitchen as 7 a.m. as I was heading off to work. My door was always open and my house served as teen central for many years. Anyway, his shift got extended for another hour so I killed time at the supermarket to secure a few items for dinner. It was around 4 o’clock on a Friday and the lines were dreadful, a mixture of hired help stocking beach mansions and Manhattanites shopping for groceries. Waiting in line, I noticed one of my neighbors ahead of me. The guy a few spots in front of her yelled, “Can’t you locals shop on the weekdays so we don’t have to stand in line!” That loaf of bread in her hand became airborne and smacked the guy right in the back of the head. A bunch of us surreptitiously smirked with satisfaction. That shut him up.
Reading on the beach is a favorite pastime of nearly all beach goers. You can spot what’s hot on the New York Time’s best seller list as you take the required walk along the water line, hoping to diminish the effect of the calories your going to consume at cocktail hour. Of course, there’s no alcohol permitted on the beach so you have to be a little sneaky until 5 p.m. as the beach police patrol the sands on ATVs. I recall the summer Fifty Shades of Grey hit, every other beach blanket caressed a copy. Of course I recommend my debut release, The Wives of Lucifer, as a hot summer read, or even if you’re curled up on your couch with the air conditioner on full blast. You can find it on Amazon or from my publisher, The Wild Rose Press.
I’ve recently been inspired to write a series about summers in the Hamptons. Families send their teens there to work for the summer. My sons made lots of international friends over many summers working the trades in town. The owner of the Beach Bakery hosts many of his European relatives for summer work. As a result, my son and a buddy were invited to ski the Alps one winter as a benefit from a summer friendship with a French teen. Intrigue and love affairs were the order of the summer and many sad goodbyes came around on Labor Day. We call the day after Labor Day “Tumbleweed Tuesday” as Main Street is suddenly deserted and the place looks like a ghost town. A decadent feast follows as most restaurants close their doors for the winter, emptying their coffers, hosting an all-you-can-eat dinner for a price you’d never see from world-renowned chef Starr Boggs (a native Virginian by the way) during the regular season. Half the shops close, even the movie theater. So it’s pretty much feast or famine in my old hometown. We do enjoy the beaches for another month or so, but the lifeguards are gone, the beach huts close so there are no amenities…even the restrooms are locked!
I hope everyone enjoys a delightful, scrumptious, and relaxing summer. Take some time to relish the fruits of summer. Grab some of my pasta dish, a frosty margarita and a good book. Enjoy!
She will forever alter the balance between good and evil.
Olivia loves her new immortal life, her friends and especially Drew; she never thought she’d fall in love on the other side of death. But when Olivia learns she bears the mark of Lucifer and has powers that tie her to the Underworld, she worries that perhaps she’s done terrible things in her past lives and dark secrets are being kept from her. And those damn wives, what do they want from her? Olivia endures unspeakable tragedy in The Wives of Lucifer and when she discovers what fate has in store for her...she suddenly understands that being immortal doesn’t guarantee you’ll live forever.
Book Buy link: http://amzn.to/1oXZZgF.
Caryn McGill has immersed herself in a lifelong study of religion, astrology, reincarnation, and past-life regressions. This otherworldly journey coupled with her decades spent teaching science has produced her debut novel, The Wives of Lucifer.
Born on New York’s Long Island, Caryn McGill resided on its bucolic East End until a recent move to Richmond, Virginia, where she's currently finishing her second novel.
Find Caryn McGill online: FB at caryn.mcgillwrites, Twitter @carynmcgill, thewivesoflucifer.com and www.writeonsisters.com where she formerly blogged.
Goodreads book link http:/goodreads.to/1UFDkRl
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