Every summer since I was a little kid, my family has come to Hammonasset Beach to spend a few days outdoors. We camp out by the ocean where the air is fresh, the sun is hot, and the surroundings are simply beautiful.
This year was a bit overcast and rainy, but I honestly love that kind of weather. It’s so quintessential New England to sip a cup of hot coffee on a drizzly morning by the sea.
This little family tradition has come to mean a lot to me over the years. I remember being on these trips with my high school friends, writing in notebooks, sneaking out to the beach at night, and giggling over awful teenage boys who also happened to be camping nearby.
These days I value it as a time to slow down, disconnect (a bit) and soak in some peaceful energy. I do sort of feel like I live tethered to my PC and don’t have many opportunities to leave it behind for days on end. There’s also something to be said for having a lasting family tradition like this one. I’m so glad my nephew gets to experience it too.
Here are a few snaps from our most recent family camping trip.
We do have a solar powered power station, so evenings are typically spent with a glass of sparkling wine or champs and some serious writing. It’s incredible how much you can get done in the quiet, soothing outdoors!
At least one full day of the trip is spent in the nearby town. Mainstreet has everything you need to stay busy, from coffee shops and restaurants to boutiques and our favorite bookstore. The bookstore has become a part of this tradition too. I usually find a pretty blank notebook to take with me and fill out through the year. Sometimes we pick books or little relics to take back with us.
New England beaches are a bit more gritty and the water is usually dark navy. Overcast afternoons are common, but so are bright and sunny ones. This particular beach is off the Long Island Sound on the Connecticut side.
The best part? Campers get access to a private beach, and if you go there early enough, you can have the entire thing to yourself.
There are little hiding spots and clearings past the trees where tide pools are full of swans and crabs. There’s enough shade to set up shop and get some inspired writing done too!
Otto took this selfie with my phone, so, obviously it gets featured! <3
I know this isn’t your typical resort family getaway (my family has never been one for those) but these annual trips are really special to me. In my 20s, I missed out on a lot of them because I was too busy being… whatever I was being.
But hey! I’m in my 30s now, and I value family time more than ever. The fact that once a year, my parents, brothers, nephew, aunts and uncles gather up for a few days of chill beachy camping, BBQ, and card games feels like a blessing in the truest sense.
Now that I’m back home, I’m already counting the days until next year’s trip.