Love/Hate Friday


Friday morning:  Deciding where I want my Saturday morning run to take me.  Off road if I can help it.  A boardwalk, loop around a pond, some trails.  I probably think about it the whole train ride to work.

Don’t Love:

Friday night:  Shoot, where the heck am I running in the morning?

Hate, but typical:

Saturday 5:30am.  (Sitting in my car in the driveway) Ok where am I going?

Greenbelt Trail

Greenbelt Trail

There are too many running locations that interest me, that I want to do them all and can’t make a decision.  It’s not like I’ll never run again, I should just take a risk and Continue reading


National Parks Open! The absurdity is over

It seems completely un-American to put people in the position of not being allowed in OUR own parks.  They are OURS (well, we share them with wildlife and plants of course).  I think about all the families that had vacations planned over the last few weeks to Mt. Ranier or Badlands or Yosemite (or Yoh zeh MITE as my son called it this week) National Parks and came across closed gates.  I can’t imagine if that had been the case when the kids and I went cross-country this summer to 4 of those parks.  I guess we would’ve gone to Disneyland instead.

Well, at least the parks are back open and OURS again.  While those of you on Long Island may not think this affected us, there are sites in our state that are run by the National Park Service.  This includes Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Cove Neck and Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor.  They were closed, their employees were not getting paid and the natural wonders that they provide the Long Island communities were blocked off.  I’m glad this is over, but leadership from all parts of the political spectrum should really apologize to the people (not just because of the impact Continue reading

Thermometer Thursday :-(

We usually send a weekly activity and events update on Fridays, however we’re going to publish early this week, as a couple of 1Quest2theNext authors have come down with the flu or similar today.  This definitely alters weekend plans filled with hikes, runs, lacrosse clinic and more.  Hopefully all the kids are ok Monday so we can head out to Schmitt’s Family Farm bright and early before the crowds hit to get their pumpkins!

Sofia riding a pumpkin @ Schmitt's Family Farm Oct '12

Sofia riding a pumpkin @ Schmitt’s Family Farm Oct ’12

Sickness has been passing through the house all week and I hope that’s not the case where you are, 1Quest2theNext readers.  Because there are some great fall events and things to do this Continue reading

It’s quittin’ time!

Hi, valued 1Quest2theNext readers!  Almost time to logoff for a few days, shutdown the laptop, take off your work gloves, put away school books and get outside and enjoy this great Island we live on.  Here are a few highlights of activities to give a try:

Old Westbury Gardens the next several nights to view over 5,000 hand-carved Jack-o-Lanterns lighting up the property

– Planting Fields Fall Family Festival both Saturday and Sunday.  Includes: Halloween Trick or Treat, Costume Parade, Puppet Show, Pony Rides, Potato Sack Races,  Pumpkins for sale, live music and much more!

– It’s also prime time to go pick some delicious apples of the trees out east or pick some pumpkins to carve up.  Those places will Continue reading

Fall Friday

It was a long work week – didn’t get to see the kids much so looking forward to some outdoor fun!  It’s feeling a bit cool and I’m slipping and sliding on lots of leaves on my runs through the Long Island Greenbelt Trail.  Busted 2 toes today on a tree root, but that’s good kind of pain 🙂

Every year I say let’s forget about paying for Fall cleanup and try to take care of it myself.  I guess I am having delusions about how much raking the kids can handle and I usually make it through half the yard – the front usually, not the full back.  I’ll see the kids lounging on the couch doing nothing or hear the Giants game and I cave and call someone to finish my ‘attempt’.

A few of our large trees fell during Hurricane Sandy and then we had Continue reading

Choose your own Adventure

So the ducklings’ Autumn migration has begun, your workload is getting out of control and the kids are back to school and their routine.  Lots of time management and re-organizing in progress, I bet.  Well, a bright spot on the horizon; the weather outlook is pretty mild for this weekend.  Not too hot, no cold front and lots of things to do to enjoy every minute of your time off!

Exploring the South side of Caleb Smith State Park Preserve – regularly access is only for fishing; learning how to live as a naturalist @ Bayard Cutting Arboretum on Sunday or dancing a jig at the Irish Festival hosted @ Hofstra University are just the beginning of the fun planned for our Long Island community.  It starts as soon as your last conference call ends and the kids get off the bus this afternoon!  Make lots of new memories this weekend!!

I recall those Continue reading

Greenport Maritime Festival

The annual Greenport Maritime Festival is a bright spot in the Fall that attracts over 40,000 visitors each year to Eastern Long Island.  While a highlight is the Tall Ships docked through the weekend, those that converge on the village have many delightful adventures to choose from throughout the weekend!

Families and friends can browse through booth after booth of nautical-centric arts & crafts, view classic wooden boats, and lots of ‘local’; bands, seafood, produce, wine and beer from the area.

There are also several family-oriented activities, including a carousel, pirate show and fireworks at night.  And we can’t forget about the many ice cream shops, cotton candy and all kinds of treats!

From Mia, 2:  “Me like to go on the carousel!”


From Brandon, 10:  “When we went on the Tall Ships we got to go to the lower level of the boat and sit in some of the beds.  We were able to use the steering wheel and look at the big compass on board.  Newsday was there and they took my picture to put on their website!”

You can also take a cruise to view the 8 lighthouses surrounding Greenport.  Bug Light is the favorite to many!   Located between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay, Bug Light was first lit in 1871. Burned by vandals in 1963, it was restored fully in 1990 and now shines brightly.  It did receive significant damage during Hurricane Sandy in 2012.  Much of the damage has been repaired but fundraising efforts remain to complete the work.  100 tons of rock need to be added to Bug Light’s base to help protect it.

If interested, visit this site:


From Sofia, 7:  “So….it was hot out and there were a lot of people so it took a long time to find a place to get lunch.  My tummy was so hungry so that even after lunch I needed more.  So later we got ice cream AND cotton candy BOTH!  It was soooo sooo good!”

If you want to board the Tall Ships, we suggest visiting early morning or perhaps early evening, as line do get quite long.  You will be able to speak to the ships’ captains, learn about the history of the ships and hear nautical tales from sailors as well as explore the various interesting sections of the vessels.  The authenticity of the ships combined with the exciting adventures they have been a part of make up for an exciting time at the Festival!

the key to a kid's heart...sugar!

the key to a kid’s heart…sugar!

There are many restaurants by the water, both fancy and more modest (but with exceptional local oysters, clams, lobster and more).

This year the 24th Annual Greenport Maritime Festival is scheduled for September 20-22.  The theme for 2013 is a celebration of Greenport’s 175th year of being established.  Replacing the clam chowder contest of previous festivals will be an Oyster shucking contest that fits in more with the history of Greenport.

Here is the daily schedule for this years Festival:

We hope you have fun out East!  Leave us a comment and let us know if you do or any other tips or memories from previous visits to the Greenport Maritime Festival…

Not time to hibernate just yet!

Some say this is the twilight of the Summer; or that it’s already over.  No more beach, boating, nightlife in Huntington, day camp; we’re home from vacation, back to school or off to work.

It’s all in your mind!!  So what if a few leaves have started to fall this week and you are buying new backpacks and anxious about your kids’ new teacher!  There still a window of time to get out, put your feet in the sand at Robert Moses field 4 (with less fees), enjoy the feast at the annual Italian Festival, run a race for a great cause or hike a trail at Caumsett with a chance to see some wildlife.  Explore the grounds of a Gold Coast estate or the shoreline.

Don’t give in to the ‘End of Summer’ conspiracy!  Check out the 1Quest2theNext calendar of activities on Long Island this weekend:

Brandon F, 10, Amateur Photographer and 1Quest2theNext co-editor

Brandon F, 10, Amateur Photographer and 1Quest2theNext co-editor

Early Hots & Hams

Before you BBQ those hots and hams on Monday, cook up something fun to do away from your TV; Mets are ‘done’, no good Saturday night HBO movie and some nut is driving around Long Island knocking down poles, pulling electric and cable, so home is not an option.

So what options are on the table? Head out east for the Shinnecock Pow-wow, if you have a boat glide on over to the Huntington Lighthouse Music Fest, take in a street fair or 3…or forget about a planned event with crowds and just hit up a trail at Caumsett, Connetquot River or Caleb Smith State Park preserves!

We took a risk on last minute cancellation openings at Hither Hills in Montauk but will have to post about that in 2014 as no campsites were available. Shame on us, found out they book up 9 months in advance but its supposed to be great camping, movie nights and pickup baseball games out there.

So sorry fellow LI’ers, we took a risk and Brandon, Sofia and I drove up to Watkins Glen State Park up in the Finger Lakes and will spend a few days fishing at Seneca Lake, hiking the 400 foot-deep narrow Gorge behind one of the 19 waterfalls and cooking up some hots and hams early.

Happy Labor Day, loyal 1Quest readers!

Pic from the drive up yesterday to Watkins Glen; from a section of the Appalachian Trail at the Delaware Water Gap. Brandon wants me to take 6 months off of work and pull him out of school to do a thru-hike from George to Maine – the AT is 2186 long! When he turns 18 I’m down!