Sunday, September 8, 2013

Vacation in Amagansett

Tuesday 3 September 2013
The drive to Amagansett, which should have been a smidge shorter than the drive to Montauk, took two and a half hours.  OK, I stopped briefly at the grocery store, but the 2-lane highway was backed up for miles until I reached East Hampton, then it all broke up. As I got closer to the end of the Long Island Expressway, the storm clouds built up to the east.  As long as I was driving east, I drove toward the storm.  By the time I got out to Amagansett, though, the storm had passed, leaving several inches’ worth of puddles behind.

Didn’t arrive at Driftwood on the Ocean (Montauk Highway, next to the Hither Hills State Park) until almost 4, unpacked a bit so I could get into the beautiful pool.  It’s open 9-7 barring stormy (that is, lightning) weather.  After swimming gently for half an hour (no exercise in far too long, so I started slow), I walked out to the beach.  Rough surf, just beach as far as you could see east and west.  I found myself a bit tired, but pushed on.  On the way back from the beach, I stopped in the office to ask if any of the eating places were in walking distance.  Three:  Lobster Roll (a.k.a. “Lunch”), Cyril’s Fish House, and the Crab Shack. 

view of the ocean dunes from my patio
room with ceiling fan and patio
After showering me and rinsing the bathing suit (1 of 3), I hung the suit in the shower and headed out.  It was dark twilight by then, and I walked down the road from the resort toward Montauk Highway.  To my right was the pool, then some separate buildings, perhaps cottages (what an American would call a cottage, not a Brit), all shielded by the shrubbery and trees of the dunes.   

path to the beach
In the twilight I saw a deer.  A buck, but not terribly big.  He watched me, and I motioned him – all right, I told him, to go back into the park.  Don’t go toward the road.  I walked forward, watching him, and he walked parallel, watching me, bushes between us.  Then I saw the doe.  I gave her the same instructions, don’t go toward the road.  Twilight and dawn are prime times for deer getting hit by cars.  She seemed spooked and leapt into the brush.  He kept watching me.  He walked between the bushes and the cottage, watching me.  I walked along, keeping an eye out for cars.  One drove by me, but there were no awful sounds afterward.

Cyril’s Fish House is just across Montauk Highway, so I stepped around the massive puddles from the afternoon’s storm and ran across the highway to eat.  Bob Marley sang all the while.  Children marveled at the mosaic fish scenes on the walls. 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get to sleep.  Pains, a bit of nausea – so glad I brought that can of ginger ale that came with a Chinese restaurant order.  I had left the curtains slightly open, wanting the dawn to wake me.  Well it did.  I got up and looked to the east, and the red band lightening the sky was beautiful. 

Wednesday 4 September 2013
Woke much later than planned.  Put the “do not disturb” sign out.  I need nothing.  My arms vaguely achey, as is my neck, as if I slept badly.  Which I did. 

The patio is raised one story, and concrete, with concrete molded fencing and wood fencing between the rooms.  If I stand at the edge and look south east, I can see the ocean, just.  For a while, in the wee small hours, I could hear the ocean as the traffic diminished.  But mostly I hear traffic, the railroad’s horn, and the creatures in the preserve.  In the night.  Beautiful place, but I’d rather hear the ocean.

After a walk on the shore did nothing to alleviate the stress brought on by some aggravating phone calls, I went to Montauk.  I made my annual stop at the Montauk Bookstore, bought Shirley Jackson’s first published novel, and picked up a few more things (of course) at the IGA.  The drive made me feel better.  Ate at home.  Love my back patio and the table.  It’s all wrought iron, the seat cushions firm but soft, and I put one on the back as well.  Spent much time there.

sunset over the pool and the highway
Thursday 5 September 2013. 
I can’t seem to get myself down to the pool for “adult hour” between 9 and 10.  Later morning, I swam for a bit.  Annoying children who didn’t belong on the deep end.  I remember loving to jump into the water, but that boy with the green goggles never let go of the ladder or the side wall, so he clearly was too afraid to be in the deep water, but his adult was on the shallow end of the pool.

sun paints dune and treetops gold as it sets
In mid afternoon I took a walk along shore, picked up some trash rather than see it washed out to say. Tide was coming in, and someone was going to lose primary-colored earth-moving machine toys.  Sat for a while and stared from a lounge chair piled up near the entrance.  Then at dinnertime swam in the pool.  Decided not to walk the mile or so to Lobster Roll but drive, and went carefully at twilight (when the deer might be out again).  Didn’t see them, did see a rabbit. 

Again woke multiple times in the night, had even closed the patio door in prep for a chilly forecast.  Dreamt, I presume – someone walked along the walkway of front doors, shouting that we should find the button on the blanket and push it and it would get warmer.  I found small pearl sized buttons along the edge of the blanket, pushed one, and it was warmer.  Definitely a dream.  Not a dream was my damn phone.  It kept saying “Verizon Wireless.”  Several seconds would pass, and then something about “leaving service area.”  At least once an hour, as if the hotel were moving.  The hotel didn’t move.  At 3 in the morning I turned off the phone, and therefore my alarms.  Dream-filled sleep.

Friday 6 September 2013
Friday, last full day.  It’s chilly, delightfully. Bright sun on pool, kids there, I can’t go in just now but should go down there and just scribble what they say.  Little girl with a harsh voice, the harridan cried, Emily, you said you’d jump, JUMP!  Emily says she’s going to, harsh girl shouts VIDEO IT VIDEO IT to her mother, who foolishly says OK, but Emily won’t jump despite the harsh girl’s bullying.  She does later. 

i do love my patio
Saturday 7 September 2013
Woke a little after 8 from a dream in which all the cat food dishes were totally empty. 
It’s very cold this morning, so tough to take advantage of “Adult Hour” in the pool.  The weekend brought rowdies, the kind who do 4 to a room.  They were rowdy up to midnight last night and they’re rowdy now.  Luckily there’s some barrier between their patio and mine, but still.  Mostly packed, just want to take a plunge in the pool.  As soon as I put on some clothes, I can start bringing things down.  I can walk along the beach even after I’ve checked out, I know where the bathroom is, so I can relax. 

Note for next time – Although checkout time is 11 a.m., when I checked out at 10:55, she said I didn’t have to leave.  That I could use the pool, go to the ocean, whatever, and just use the shower and bathrooms in the Recreation room, pretty much under my hotel room.  So next time, I should plan on going home much later.  
Room 62 was lovely, but far from the water, so I heard the highway, not the ocean until the wee small hours when I should be asleep.  Next time – a room numbered in low 50s would be closer to ocean, and still have private patio overlooking the ocean dunes.   

A less than relaxing time, but beautiful.

~ Molly Matera, back home, happy to see the cats, otherwise miss jumping in that pool every day….