Where do we go now?
By Steve Weeks, HF Guest Writer
For decades, my wife’s family has been vacationing in Rhode Island during the summer. Her parents would rent a house in Little Compton just across the Sakonnet river from Newport on Warren’s Point, a beautiful section of rugged coastline that has been preserved much the way it was in the 18th and 19th centuries.
When my wife and her three sisters were kids, these vacations lasted several weeks so that Little Compton became more of a summer home than a vacation destination for them. Although all the girls are grown now and have children of their own, they have returned every year without fail to Warren’s Point with husbands and kids in tow, but now carefully lining up their week-long stays to overlap so everyone can see one another.
Our family summer tradition has included this Little Compton stop for several years now. It’s the chance for our two children to spend time with their cousins and for everyone to catch up with one another for the year. The kids spend their days hunting for crabs on the rocky shoreline, building drip castles in the sand, diving into the cold New England water from the high pink granite bluffs, or playing spontaneous games in the wide grassy lawns. The adults use the time socializing reading, enjoying seafood, and just soaking in the quiet beauty of the point.
In recent years we’ve used Little Compton as a base camp, venturing out to take in a Pawtucket Red Sox game, visit nearby fishing villages, dine in Newport or spend a few days in Martha’s Vineyard or Boston. — The reason I mention the details of our Rhode Island summers, is because I’m about to ask for your advice and you’ll need to have a good idea of how we like to spend our time.
Creating New Memories
No one in our extended family lives near Little Compton. We return there each year not only because it holds a lifetime of memories for my wife’s family (and now the grandkids), but also because it’s a beautiful place full of outdoor activities and nearby attractions.
However, due to recent health issues with my in-laws, we will most likely not be returning to Rhode Island next year. It’s obviously a sad milestone marking the end of a long tradition. It’ll be weird for everyone not being in the familiar settings of Little Compton when next summer rolls around, but it also presents the opportunity for all of us to visit somewhere new. I could sense a certain excitement mixed with the sadness as everyone started talking about what to do next year.
Once the statement was openly made that we would probably not be coming back and everyone had a moment to grieve the loss, the discussion drifted and became a brainstorming session about new locations. Each person was eagerly tossing out ideas of places that they’ve always wanted to go or that they’ve heard were great destinations.
Suggestions ranged far and wide, everything from surfing in Costa Rica, to Disneyland, to trekking in Montana. Family members are from all over the US, so visits to San Diego, Colorado, and Washington DC were mentioned as they would allow at least one family to avoid a plane flight.
In the end, we all agreed to go away and research different options and report back with real and feasible options. Basically we’d look into our preferences, weed out the ones that just wouldn’t work, and do a sales pitch on the ones that pass the test. I personally did some research on Nova Scotia and the San Juan Islands, places I’ve always wanted to visit.
WANTED: Recommendations for Vacation Desitinations
OK, here’s where I ask for your help. I figure that “Hilltown Families” have a lot of advice on great family destinations, probably some places I’ve never even considered. I’d love to get feedback from everyone on some of your best family vacations. So please feel free to comment and tell about you favorite vacation destination. We’re looking for somewhere that would provide peace and quiet but would also have proximity to interesting day trip activities, somewhere that would be family friendly and fun for the kiddos, somewhere memorable, somewhere that will ease the loss of our Little Compton.
So where do Northamptoners vacation? Southampton?
About the author: Steve Weeks
Steve Weeks is an award winning children’s musician and creator of the Alphabet Songs series which includes such hits as “If I Were a Cup”, “Kiki Kangaroo”, and “Someday”. His songs are upbeat acoustic-based tunes for kids and their families alike and can be heard on radio stations across the US. He currently lives in Colorado with his wife and two children where he writes, records and produces his music. www.steveweeksmusic.com