The Most Perfect Weekend Ever.

Once you've "grown up" and moved out of your parents house - it's becomes very sentimental. At least for me, thinking about home makes me think about how lucky I was to grow up where I did - on the water, with aunt and uncles and grandparents a quick car ride or walk away.

Trips home are a time to visit the places I used to frequent - and absence makes the heart grow fonder - so the places that I used to be sick of are now some of the places that I miss the most. 

That's why if you ask me what my perfect summer weekend looks like, it's a weekend home in Miller Place where every moment is filled with family, friends and some very key places and activities.   

For Labor Day Weekend, Peter came to Suffolk County for my attempt to show him this ideal summer weekend. I don't know if he would agree - but for me, I'm still floating on cloud nine about how amazing it was. 

I headed home after work on Friday and was greeted by a new iPhone 5S...yep, I cracked already.

I spent awhile getting it all set up and then went to the beach with my parents for some live music and beers down by the water.

After that it was off to dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants - Alexandro's.  It was a beautiful night and we were able to sit outside. AND they had my favorite special - the tuna tartar tower! MMM! For an entree I got a giant Greek salad with shrimp. And of course I filled up on pita and their amazingly fresh homemade hummus.

We got home and watching some TV while I made myself a heaping ice cream sundae with Tonight Dough and Speculoos Core Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  

In the morning, I failed to wake up and work out before Peter arrived as planned - something about my bed at home just never lets me escape the covers in a timely fashion! Oh well. 

We ran a few errands - picking up a phone case, picking up bagels and cream cheese for Sunday morning, and stopping for breakfast and lattes at Crazy Beans. SO delicious. It's the kind of place I would love to open one day. Filled with odds and ends, cozy, offering music and art and open mic nights with wine and beer - all that it's missing is avocado toast and green juices. 

Salted Caramel Latte for Peter and a Rainbow Cookie Latte for moi. 

We got home and hopped in the truck for my dad to bring us down to the water for some kayaking! It was gorgeous out - a cool breeze, sun shining, and we paddled around the harbor for awhile before a quick relaxation break on beach. 

After showering it was off to the Yacht Club for a RUM BUCKET, a plethora of chips and pretzels with the world's best honey mustard (Ken's), and appetizers (wings, shrimp and mini tacos) and this delicious summer salmon salad that we split. All the while, Peter was enthralled in the Penn State football game. 

Driving away we caught the beginning of what was sure to be a beautiful Cedar Beach sunset (which to this day has never been beaten - not even by the sunset in Santorini). 

We picked up my sister and went back to Crazy Beans for some live music and beer. In the beginning if was kind of dead, but by 9 it was hoppin'. The best part was catching up with friends who I hadn't seen in wayyy too long. 

Not ready for the day to end, we headed Down Port where we wandered, complaining about every bar, before settling for a table outside at Tommy's.

We went home and I quickly fell asleep. 

In the morning, I managed to force myself into a circuit workout in my basement during which I felt every bite of food and every sip of alcohol threatening to come back up - luckily, that didn't happen. When I finished my pathetic attempt at a workout I woke Peter up and we went for a run - any perfect weekend in my book includes a run - and it was fun to show him what my usual little 3.5 mile route is when I'm home. The IT-band was hurting by the end, but nothing too terrible which left me feeling pretty positive. 

The run was followed by another Long Island staple - BAGELS! 

We then spent an hour helping my sister write a cover letter because we are SO KIND. 

I also showed Peter how to shuck corn in preparation for that night's barbecue. Can you believe he had never shucked corn before? 

Then Peter, my sister and I went down for a swim at the beach. Peter complained about the rocks and the murky water but I LOVED IT. 

We met my parents for a drink down at Ralph's where a local favorite was playing guitar and singing some good tunes (James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet!) The song of the weekend was "Southern Cross." 

Next up with BARBECUE time! My dad makes THE best hamburgers where he grinds the meat himself - I'm not a huge burger person, and I almost never order one out, but no summer is complete without one my dad's homemade hamburgers. 

To lead up to the main course, he served a ton of clams on the half shell with his homemade cocktail sauce. 

Despite my mother saying some not so appetizing things about clams, we all enjoyed them and we also enjoyed our giant margaritas (my dad ALSO makes the best margaritas!) 

Then, I forced Peter to play the guitar while I attempted to sing along and my mom and dad and sister looked on in horror as I butchered every song. 

I slowly and steadily devoured my burger - topped with mashed avocado, American cheese, ketchup + mustard (yes, I mix!), onion, tomato, lettuce and pickles on the side. PLUS two ears of fresh Long Island corn on the cob and my dad's tomato salad with fresh basil from our garden. 

(Could it be any more perfect?)

I was so content at the end of this meal. And by content I mean bursting. 

The last thing I had planned was a fire outside at my grandparent's house - complete with aunts, uncles and little cousins. We got there and I couldn't even touch the chips and guac, which shows how full I was from dinner. 

Eventually, Peter and I DID manage to join my little cousins in making some s'mores. Okay...we initiated the s'mores making...

AND we pre peanut butter and Nutella'd our graham crackers. We don't mess around when it comes to dessert. 

I wish I had more pictures from the fire because my grandparent's backyard is absolutely gorgeous! I'll have to be a more diligent photo taker next time. 

Sadly, with the end of the fire came the end of the weekend. Even though it was a long weekend, I had a 4:00 a.m. alarm on Monday morning to leave for a work trip to Toronto. So we got home, took a quick nap, and I was on my way. 

What could have made the weekend better was some time spent on the boat (with tubing and water skiing preferably) and Peter and I sitting to watch the sunset at the beach. But this was the absolute most perfect way to end my summer. 

I know I can be a demanding person - I basically gave my parents a list of things I wanted to do in two days and created a lot of work for them (we also cost them a lot of money in food and alcoholic beverages...) And from the second Peter arrived to the second I left I had him in constant motion. I invited about 10 people over to my grandparents house. But I hope everyone knows how much I appreciate them putting up with me and making everything happen and how incredibly happy the whole weekend made me. I'm the luckiest :)