Keeping the challenge going has been just that ---a challenge--- but it's been very rewarding, too. Writing and reflecting, I feel a deeper appreciation all the time for what I love about our special place!
Day 12: Sweetbriar Nature Center
Sweetbriar Nature Center is very special little space tucked off a quiet road in Smithtown. In addition to their extensive wild animal rehabilitation services and educational programs to area schools, the Center boasts a miraculous Butterfly House. You can read more about Sweetbriar and the Butterfly House at one of my blog posts from last summer by clicking here.
Day 13: Day Thirteen Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Steamboat Company (Ferry)
Many a time has this wonderful vessel saved us the trouble of driving through the city (most especially, the Bronx) on our journeys northward. While it's a little pricey, I hope you'll agree that for the gas, tolls, wear-and-tear on the vehicle (and yourself) it's ultimately worth it if you live further out east. It's a very pleasant 75-minute ride across the Sound. Our strategy is to tag-team it: one of us immediately gets on line, while the other finds choice seats with a view. Advance reservations are easily done, strongly recommended, and bring a lot of peace of mind.
Day 14: Long Island Growers Market
Scattered throughout Long Island and representing just about every day of the week are the Long Island Growers Markets, a collection of farmers markets that serve our various communities. The produce and products available, from kale to soap to sea robin, are all purveyed by our local farmers, artisans and fish mongers. To find a Growers Market in your neighborhood, visit their website. (They also have a nifty search feature where you can look up markets by the days of the week that they are offered.) Recently I picked up some beautiful purple peppers at Mays' Farm booth. They made a wonderful, antioxidant-rich contribution to Mr. Cardinal's recent Spinach, Feta and Vermouth Turkey Sausage dish.
Day 15: Walt Whitman. This is an #iloveyoutoMontaukandback x Coastal Freebie, featuring the immortal words of poet and Long Islander Walt Whitman.
Day 16: Port Jefferson Village
Port Jefferson is a picturesque, hopping little town, and a place that has an "all things to all people" vibe. You'll see couples having a romantic evening out, travellers taking advantage of the Ferry, a vibrant biker subculture, foodies reveling in the fine dining, wine, cheese and cigar tastings, and families indulging at the Frigate or watching the Ferry dock.
Plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and quaint architecture.
The hold grail of sweet indulgences, the Frigate.
A pretty town park open to the public. It's located between the ferry lot and Danforth's. You can admire the boats in the harbor or watch the ferry come in as you relish your ice cream cone.