Italy Travels: Cinque Terre Part II

Two days in Cinque Terre, Italy

Cinque Terre is a UNESCO world heritage park, and it’s easy to see why. The area is full of natural beauty that should be preserved. In 2011, Cinque Terre suffered from flash flooding and mudslides, and the area was massively devastated. It has since rebounded, and, as an outsider, I would have never guessed. With the exception that several of the hiking trails were still closed. The trailheads from Riomaggiore to Vernazza were closed, leaving only the Vernazza to Monterosso trail open – which is lucky for us because it’s the longest and hardest (!)

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Day Trip: Fire Island


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My husband’s family lives in Long Island, so we go there often! Occasionally during the summer we will take a day trip to Fire Island. Fire Island is a barrier island about 30 miles long on the southern shore of Long Island. There are all types of communities and beaches as you go along the very narrow island – some for families, and some not (aka naked beaches)!

To get there you will need to take a ferry, which are located all along the coast of Long Island. Don’t plan on taking your car with you. Most places don’t allow cars period.

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I visited Ocean Beach and Sunken Forest and they were both amazing beaches! The water is chilly and has really big waves and the sand is white and silky.

Apparently Ocean Beach is called the “land of no” because you can’t bring any food or beverages with you, nor can you listen to a radio or “disrobe” as the sign says. We, however, snuck in food and drinks. Just don’t eat in front of the lifeguards. Although this rule is highly annoying, the beach is picture perfectly clean!

Sunken Forest is a great place to take a walk through on the raised boardwalk and offers lots of shade. You’d hardly know you’re at the beach when you’re in the middle of this park.

Because there are no cars allowed at Ocean Beach everything is within a close walking distance. Ocean Beach is covered in people riding bicycles and wagons. There are sidewalks and walkways all across the island.

Looking for a bite to eat? Check out Maguire’s at Ocean Beach! They have a beautiful bayfront dining deck and delicious menu. (That mozzerella bacon panini rocked my world. Just sayin’.) And the inside of the restaurant is awesome too! Check out those fishing nets on the ceiling.

There are also a lot of cute shops – some with classic touristy beachware and others with some really fun finds.

Fire Island makes a great day trip! Especially if you are looking for a beach near New York City. There are many different beaches and communities all along the island, and Ocean Beach and Sunken Forest are only two of them. Be sure to research the beaches before you go because they all have different flavors.

Have you been to Fire Island?

Reflection on Collection

I collect seaglass.

Not the kind that comes in a giant bag from Pottery Barn.

I pick it up piece by piece whenever I visit the beach near our house. I scan the sand beneath my strides, my eyes constantly peeled for that little sparkling reflection of glass amongst the rocks.

I stick it in my pocket until we return home. Then I toss it in a jar by our front door.

They add up quickly, don’t they?

This is one of my favorite collections.

When I was little I collected all kinds of things. Barbies, rocks, Pez holders, beads, stickers, pogs.

I didn’t accumulate these pieces in the mall. I found them all while walking on the beach with friends or family. Some of them are from my Mom, some are from my husband. Some I found while running on the beach and others I found while soaking in the sun.

Every piece is a memory of sand between my toes, distant sailboats, long beach chats with my husband or watching stormy clouds roll in.

I have found blue, green, white, purple, brown, pink and even “seapottery”.

The whites are my favorite.

I like this collection because it can keep going and going and going.

Sometimes I fill up a bottle and give it as a gift.

Somehow I don’t think a collection that was bought could be just as meaningful.

Or beautiful.