Memorial Day Monday was a full and fun filled day with new adventures and destinations. Last week our friends, Maria and Matt, invited to go on a day trip somewhere on Memorial Day. Having no plans, we gladly jumped at any opportunity to get out of the city and do something fun. However, the destination was still undetermined.
Getting out of the city for a day is always a bit challenging due to the fact that you may have to renting a car or take a train somewhere. Then you have to chose a place that is close enough that you can get there in a reasonable time so you have enough time at the location to make the trip worth it.
In considering all theses factors, my co-work suggested Fire Island, an island off the cost of Long Island. She had never been but heard great things about it. Determined to go somewhere I have never been before, I suggested it to Maria and she was on board.
Monday morning we left the house at 8:15am wanting to get a head start on the day and really make the trip worth it. We didn't want to rent a car because of the traffic on Memorial Day going into Long Island, so we took the Subway to Penn Station, then we took a train into Long Island, then we took a bus to a ferry, THEN we took a ferry to Long Island. This all took about 3 hours. hahaha Oh the joys of traveling in NYC without a car. But, I must say that the train ride was fun with helping Matt study for his medical school test (by us acting like patients and him trying to determine what was wrong with us) and the ferry was very scenic and relaxing.
Fire Island is a unique island in that it is 31 miles long and varies between 520 and 1,300 feet wide. It is closed to the public for the winter months and only populated by a few hundred people during this time; however, during the summer months the population expands to hundreds of thousands of residents and tourists. It also contains many unique features such as a light house that was built in 1858, a forest, a clamming pond, and great hikes.
However, there was one feature of the island that we were totally unaware prior to our visit to the beach. As we were walking down beach, making our way to visit the lighthouse, we saw two men walking along the ocean in the distance. Matt saw them and asked us if it looked like they naked. The distance made it hard to see if they were naked or were wearing some type of thong swim suit; however, it was VERY apparent that they were not wearing swim trunks. As we got closer we confirmed that they were in fact VERY naked. As soon as we realized this we started to see naked people everywhere! Without us realizing it we had stumbled in a NUDE BEACH, apparently another unique feature of Fire Island. Acting very immature we couldn't stop laughing and I couldn't stop STARING! I even managed to be sneaky and tried to snap some pictures with my camera down at my hip. Needless to say, none of us have been to a nude beach before and couldn't get over how uninhibited these people, mostly men, were as they strutted "their stuff" for all to see. Stumbling upon this nude beach, definitely made the trip memorable and made me realize that although I may be technically 28 years old, I am definitely 13 at heart!
(as we left the nude beach portion of the beach we saw a kid about
8 years old making this sand person above. Not your typical
"sand castle" but I guess that is what happens when your
bring your kid to a nude beach!)
By the end of the day we were totally exhausted. On the ferry ride home we sat near this very nice couple, who knew everything about anything. We chatted for a bit but said our goodbyes as the ferry docked. However, as we were walking to the train station (since we didn't want to spend the money on a bus) they drove by in their car and actually turned about and offered us a ride, which we TOTALLY took. It has been so long since I have been the recipient of such an act of kindness, which was totally refreshing.
Although the process of getting to Fire Island was an adventure within itself, it definitely was worth the effort considering all the fun and memories we created.