The Block Island Fave Five

images.jpegIt’s the summer and that can only mean one thing…time for a few Role Mommy Road Trips! First stop…Block Island. If you live on the east coast and have never ventured out to this tiny island with your family, then you don’t know what you’re missing! Dozens of great restaurants, beaches galore, charming bed and breakfasts, boutique shops with tons of Vera Bradley bags :), haunted houses (gotta love that) and picturesque bike trails.

In case you’re planning a trip to Block Island, here are five of my favorite things…
IMG00210.jpg1. It’s Easy to Get There – If you live on the east coast, there are ferries from Montauk, New London, and our personal fave, Point Judith. While it takes about three hours to drive to Pt. Judith from our house, once you purchase your tickets to the high speed ferry, it only takes 30 minutes to get to the island. Just make sure you don’t eat your lunch because these days, the seas are seriously rough. One of the staffers was even circling the seating area with barf bags. Luckily we didn’t use them – but I did take one just in case!
IMG00230.jpg2. Bed & Breakfasts, Haunted Hotels and Hospitality Galore – Have to say, I love where we’re staying this year. It’s called The Island Home and the innkeeper, Dina, is one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. We’ve also stayed at the Narragansett Inn (pictured above) and Kathy, who has run the hotel for nearly two decades, is also so sweet, remembers our kids and is a great conversationalist too! Wonder why we’re not staying there this year? Just buy “The Ghosts Of Block Island” and you’ll find out why! I’m a little skittish on the ghost front and supposedly, most of the B&B’s and hotels are haunted. No sign of apparitions where we are, but we still have a few days (and nights) left!
IMG00242.jpg3. Mansion Beach – Thanks to our great friends, we’ve discovered the best beach on the island. It’s called Mansion Beach and you’ve got to get their early or else you’ll never find a parking spot for your car. But once you’re there, the waves are high, the sights are gorgeous and I get to dive into my beach read! Oh – and did I mention that every year, our good friends have an annual reunion with their high school and college buddies, and invited us a few years back to join the caravan. The highlight of our beach experience is topped off by one of their actor friends, who goes by the name of “Pirate Tom” and hosts a massive treasure hunt for kids of all ages. While the expedition initially started out about a decade ago with two kids, there were about 50 children racing for pirate booty during Pirate Tom’s latest adventure! Don’t believe me, check out this vintage clip of Pirate Tom from 2007!

IMG00261.jpg4. Shopping Anyone? Ever wonder where all those kitschy items that are reviewed by some of my favorite mom blogs (Cool Mom Picks) can be found? Simple, the boutique shops of Block Island. From onesies that say “Chicks Dig Me” to changing pads called Cushy Tushies, plus great Vera Bradley bags and craft fairs galore (where I picked up a gorgeous picture frame and mail box with hydrangeas on it from a local artist who summers in Block Island and lives full-time in Houston), shopping in Block Island is one of my favorite pastimes!
IMG00227.jpg5. The Summer of Lobster Continues…Did I mention the amazing restaurants on the island like the Spring House and the Atlantic Inn? There is nothing quite like seafood in the summer time and lucky for us, the Spring House, which is set atop a picturesque hill overlooking the bay, has steamed and stuffed lobster on the menu – along with mouth watering appetizers and desserts (they had me at key lime creme brulee). And the wine list is killer too. Oh, and about that view…
tradition_header.jpgFor more information, visit Block Island tourism.

We’re Back!!!

So we just returned from a fabulous mini getaway to Block Island and all I can say is, it was simply awesome. The weather was perfect, we got a babysitter two nights in a row, which means we were able to try out two fabulous restaurants that we had never visited because we didn’t know the ins and outs of the island and I even read half of Jennifer Weiner’s new book, Certain Girls. Incidentally, since it is summer, I am dedicated to brushing up on my reading – for the sake of my daughter and my vocabulary so I’ll be giving a few Role Mommy book reviews after the July 4th weekend so that you’ve got some great summer reads during those months when your kids are off in camp and no one is calling your name!
But I digress. Block Island. It’s a great place for families – the hotels and bed and breakfasts are charming and the place we stayed in was haunted. You can’t get any better than that. Not that I saw any ghosts or anything, but I was completely hooked on all those chilling stories and my husband is convinced that one of the doors that slammed in the middle of the night was totally a ghost – and not a drunken partygoer who had been attending someone’s 40th birthday shindig the night before.
As for activities, the kids had a blast – catching crabs that were covered in barnicles near the docks (can anyone say ewwww), playing on the beach – my daughter was buried in sand up to her neck; and venturing out into the waves. My son, who is normally totally nervous about the water even tackled the surf this weekend – while part of me was flipping out (Don’t go out too far!!!), I was also thrilled that he’s becoming comfortable enough to swim with his friends while his mom can keep one on my book and the other on his bermuda shorts bobbing up and down in the tide.
And my daughter had the time of her life too. She went out even further into the ocean, which made me a little nervous too, but made it back in one piece and then proceeded to befriend the waitresses and owner of The Narragansett Inn where we stayed for four days. She was back and forth at the hotel gift shop so often that I have a feeling in a few years, she’ll be getting a job there.
There’s nothing like a mini family vacation to put everything in perspective – it’s nice to relax for a change and walk away from the computer. So much for a little peace and quiet…now back to the real world for a few days before we hit July 4th and the kids head off to day camp. Gotta love the summer!