If there was ever a time we needed to get away, it was this past week.
Luckily, months ago we thought of renting our favorite house on the beach for the weekend after the election, so off we went Friday morning.
People who know me can tell you what a planner I am, and since we’ve been going to this house for a couple years now, I know exactly what I will need in the kitchen to make me feel at home.
Really, the small cottage is close to perfect: comfy couches in a dreamy blue-grey linen
a soft, shaggy oatmeal carpet, two bedrooms (one with a bunk bed and a queen) and most importantly, this light-filled oasis is right on the beach in sleepy Rockaway Beach.
This means we can just open up the sliding doors off the living room and Bailey can play in the grasses with a view and we can watch the waves crash just beyond the rocky buttress.
We go to this place twice every year; we say it’s for Bailey to make up for all the times we fly away on vacations of our own, but really, it’s a time we all look forward to.
It always starts with the meals I plan — and thanks to my little kit I know I’ll have what I need.
The kitchen is pretty well-equipped for a rental but I always find the lack of a few things annoying, so yes, my mini cutting board, French paring knives and potholders always come with me.
Same so for great salt, a spice sampler, some olive oil and a few tools including my Microplane zester.
This time I brought a few cast-iron pans as well because I can’t stand their fry pans.
Some people may scoff at the idea, but if it gives me such pleasure to use them, so why not?
Scampi and cast-iron are a garlicky dream team.
Each night we set the table with a different tablecloth with candles and plates (all of which come from my house, too).
This is what the table looked liked as we set out to play some cards.
The first night we had grilled flat-iron steaks, Caesar salad and thick-cut French fries, and the second night it was all about the seafood, garlic bread made with Tabor Bakery Bread, corn on the cob with shallot butter and coconut rice.
Because it’s our time to spoil Bailey as well, I’m always sure to include treats for him, like a bit of steak — or an ear of corn.
I had to laugh when I looked over at him — I guess watching us eat corn for the last ten years means he’s got it figured out.
He rolled that ear around on the floor, zigzagging his attention up and down that cob like a typewriter, leaving but a few kernels on the cob, and then to our surprise, he started eating the cob (we took it away as we feared he would choke on it).
Forty eight hours away isn’t long, but we made the most of it.
David and the kids spent hours playing tag and football on the beach
and I took turns playing in the sand
and walking up and down the coast, lulled by the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
After such a brutal last week, it was wonderful to be away from pundits and polls and analysis as to what the next four years are going to look like.
Instead, we just focused on fun side trips, like to Manzanita.
The beach here might be my favorite on the coast, maybe because it most reminds me of my childhood summers in Cape Cod.
We then walked over for a quick visit to the charming town for sandwiches, fried chicken and warm corn dogs (there are NO judgments on beach weekends)
and on the way back to the house we stopped at this tiny two block town
as it holds one of my most favorite vintage malls (with about fifty different booths of well-priced quality stuff).
There’s so much goodness here, and we spent an hour checking everything out — including some wonderful vintage Christmas stuff.
The biggest Santas (circa 1950?) came home with me for my holiday mantle, and the smallest one is a gift for a vintage loving neighbor.
I also added some enamelware to my collection — including an over-sized white tureen-like cup and a pie plate that I see getting a lot of rotation around here.
And no visit to the antique mall is complete without a trip to the vintage popcorn machine (happily stocked with just-popped goodness inside).
Two days away meant eggwiches and mornings spent beachcombing, afternoons exploring little towns and playing cards, nights with cocktails with a view
and then movie nights with a big dinner spread.
Turns out this getaway is just what I needed to recharge my batteries and to remind those around me
how much I love them.