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Monday, July 7, 2008

Staycation-Block Island

This summer the key phrase all over the media seems to be staycation. People are opting to take short trips to save on fuel costs. Each summer, we do this anyway!

Usually in mid-July, we hop on a ferry and head over to Block Island for a week. If there is a shred of untouched paradise left in the U.S., Block Island is it! We have vacationed here every year for the last 15; our children know the tiny island like the back of their hands. This week, you are coming with us as I show you this jewel in the Northern Atlantic off of the end of Long Island.

When you arrive by ferry from Long Island, you enter the island through the Great Salt Pond, a harbor within the island. This is a boat stop on the Atlantic coast where mariners can hook up for the night (or longer). It's a labyrinth of boats! In the middle of all the docks is a great bar called "Trader Vic's" where they proudly make the craziest drinks around the island! My children enjoy squid fishing off the docks at night with flashlights. It's fun to watch the squid squirt ink all over the bucket before releasing them back into the pond!


The green roofed home on the hill is the Sullivan House. It sits between the Great Salt Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. It's a beautiful bed and breakfast.
This is a view of the harbor off Water Street. Water Street is the major shopping area on Block Island. My children like to snorkle and skim board here. The largest hotel on Water Street is the National Hotel. On the fancy side, it offers rooms with a great view. On the large back porch is a small refreshment stand where they make Froozies--fruit shakes with any combination you can think of! We always hit the Froozie shop at least a few times during our stay!
One of the days we are there, we'll investigate Rodman's Hollow. According to the website:

Rodman's Hollow, criss-crossed with walking trails, is a large depression on the southern end of Block Island. When you're tired of the hustle and bustle of Old Harbor, it's a great place to get away from it all.
The Hollow was formed at the end of the last period of glaciation in New England, around 22,000 years ago, when glacial meltwater eroded the southern end of the island (which itself had been formed by successive glacial deposits) and flowed over seventy miles to the sea. With much of the world's water locked up in ice, sea levels were correspondingly lower, and Block Island was much larger. There are three large kettleholes within the Hollow, created when huge ice chunks that were mixed in with the glacial deposits melted."

One year, we got lost in here! It's big and you're sublevel. We just could not get out and we got such a case of the giggles we had a hard time walking!



My children love to collect Block Island rocks which we call Oreo rocks. They are black and white striped, something I've only seen on the island. In our livingroom, there's a special place for all Block Island collectibles!

Block Island is actually part of Rhode Island. Natives call it Block Ireland because of its hilly and craggy terrain. The island is named after Adrian Block, the Dutch explorer. The Nature Conservancy has named Block Island as one of 12 sites on its list of “The Last Great places in the Western Hemisphere”. Its beauty is unsurpassed!

There's even a zoo in the middle of the island run by a local family. Last year the owner had a kangaroo, the first time we had ever seen one! Below is one of two camels he keeps on the island!

This is the view from one of the best kept secrets on Block Island--The Oar restaurant. Overlooking the Great Salt Pond, it offers lite fare, the best of which is the blackened mahi mahi sandwich (have I been there too many times?). Sitting over this majestic view, eating great food...ah, this is what a staycation is all about!
Hope you enjoyed our tour so far...oh, want to go to Trader Vic's for a local beer? Sure, let's go!


23 comments:

Kathleen Grace said...

Oh that looks beautiful. Sometimes vacations you take every year with your kids are their favorites.

Donna said...

Ooooo, Block Island is a fabulous place! We visited there when our daughter was in school in RI. We walked all over the island and enjoyed the shops and restaurants, and the ferry too!
Your photos are wonderful and I'm so glad I could enjoy it all over again!
Hugs,
Donna

CIELO said...

What a beautiful place... I so want to go on vacation this summer! Can't wait for our trip to FL and some good time at the ocean... Thanks for sharing, Tara!

Cielo

Barb McMahon said...

Looks like a wonderful place. And you're so lucky to have it so close!

Oliver Rain said...

I'm all for a visit to Trader Vic's, though I'll pass on the beer (little delicate still from Sangria Saturday!). What a beautiful place for a holiday. Thanks for taking us along.

dlyn said...

It looks wonderful- we love stay-cations the best. I like to get to know a place and really feel at home there. Can't wait for more of the tour!

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

Wow, I love being near the ocean, and this looks like so much fun! I would love to explore that island too! It looks like you had a wonderful day!

I took a stay-cation too this week. Stayed at home to just relax in my own yard and get some projects done.

Kady

Mary said...

Oh I LOVE Block Island! We went one year when my kids were little. Katie was just beginning to walk, and we were afraid she would climb right over the edge of the ferry, so we had her on a leash! LOL Go a few strange looks, but it was worth it for the peace of mind...
Enjoy your "staycation!"
xoxo,
Mary

Pat said...

I've only been to Block Island once, but it was wonderful! A great place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Have a good "staycation" !

Hugs, Pat

Sandi McBride said...

Wow, what a grand tour...the fourth trip I've taken today and didn't have to leave the comfort of my computer chair! I meet you at Trader Vic's and share a beer!
Sandi

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

We have thought about going to Block Island. This really makes me want to visit.

Lydia said...

Block island looks beautiful. It must be a quaint pretty little seaside town. I'm sure they have some delicious clam chowder there too. I've read a bit about Block island in the past and have heard many great things about it. Have a great day.

Gina said...

Looks like the ideal family getaway! Eating outdoors on a warm night...the best! :) Gx

All Things Bright and Beautiful... said...

Tara - with the twinlettes I'm on semipermenant staycation it seems!

Cori G. said...

What a beautiful location and in your own backyard...I'm so jealous right now :). Can it be made into a day trip?

Carl and Kristen said...

I love you blog! Thank you for your beautiful thoughts. I especially loved the potato chip post. I too am trying to lose a bit of weight, just so I can fit into my clothes better and keep up with our children. I am finding that while I was in my 20's I only had to think about losing weight and it would come off, however now that I'm in my mid 30's, it takes quite a bit more effort. So I've decided to join you on your efforts, here goes...:-)

Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a great tradition! It looks like a great place to go. We had started going to Stone Harbor New Jersey every year for a vacation and it was so great. Wish we would have kept it going. Great memories for the kids

M.Kate said...

Looks like a fantastic place, I'd like to tag along too..but that will be impossible..for now :)

Jill -Forever and Ever House said...

Block Island is so charming!! What a great tradition!

halcyon said...

tara, first of all thank you for visiting my blog! I think you would be very happy with that Buttah yellow color! Don't let the paint go too long. I am paying for it, the good news is that it's pretty easy to sand back to life.

Secondly, I've GOT to get to Block Island! This is a feast for the eyes, and I am jealously coveting your easy schedule. I am puttering on vacation, but I can't tell crab life stories! (that was so cute).
Block Island should put you on retainer for this publicity!

Love your blog. Glad to have found it!

Beth Leintz said...

Thanks for sharing your vacation- I feel more relaxed already!

pve design said...

Order me one, be right there!

A Romantic Porch said...

That sounds so fun! What a great staycation. We've been to Martha's Vineyard, but never heard of Block Island...gotta go get the atlas and see how it is all arranged. Your description of it all is wonderful. xorachel