Growing up in Rhode Island my summers were filled with sun, sand and lots of frozen Del’s lemonade. Since we now spend most of the year in Downtown, DC its a complete joy visit the Ocean State for a few weeks and see my childhood summer through my “littles” eyes. Of course we have added a few new traditions of our own.
- Sand, sand and more sand. I am not sure what is harder to get rid of: the pine needles at Christmas or the sand from the beach! It seriously sticks to everything I am taking a bet with my husband on how many times my car will need to be Vacuumed to get rid of all of the sand! My guess is five but I have a feeling I may lose that bet. Wether I win or lose that bet the memories that were made with each piece of sand is priceless.
- LONG beach days! Just like when I was small we have enjoyed 12 hour beach days! We arrive when the gates open with my Dunkin Donuts coffee (Dunkin is a huge staple here in RI abut after a few weeks I am totally craving my Americano from Starbucks) and we are usually the last ones to leave after seeing the stars glow so bright on the empty beach. I chase my littles with sun screen and hats most of the day, just like my mom did when I was little.
- Fishing! Now this is a new one for me, growing up I would dig for the large famous RI clams, quahogs. I think next year I will introduce my kids and husband to digging for clams but until then I love watching my husband and son bond over fishing. Wether they are climbing out to the rocks or throwing a line out from the shore it’s those moments I know they will both always remember. Of course my daughter gets in on the fun saying she is their “good luck” charm and she is usually correct!
- Del’s Lemonade. I know, I know what you are thinking their are other frozen lemonade companies and sure I am sure they are good but nothing will ever compare to the fresh not overly sugary taste of Del’s. We try to recreate it at home with the kits they sell but I think it must be the water. You know like how NY bagels just taste different?!? My littles have embraced it just as much as I have and it’s always our first stop when we arrive!
- The food! I swear I am going on a total clean eating kick when I get home but there is nothing quite like fresh oysters from Matunuk Oyster Bar, Clam Cakes from Georgia’s, “cold pizza” from the bakery (which was not just a summertime treat but at everyone’s birthday parties growing up) and chicken parm from Twin Oaks. Yes, that last one may seem like an interesting choice but it is a Cranston staple or institution that we would have every Sunday growing up. I swear the recipes have not changed and my littles love it as much as I did growing up.
The time always seems to fly by when we are here and I want to hold onto summer a little longer but I know when I close my eyes in the winter I can be transported to the sounds of the waves crashing and my kids laughing.