Montauk, N.Y. “It’s a Wonderful Vacation”

Written By: Kathleen  DeCanio

For the previous ten years my family and I have vacationed every summer in Montauk. Together we enjoyed five glorious days in July at the historical Montauk Manor. This has proven to be a great family vacation for all of us. We love the hotel and it’s location so much. To share that experience with our family and friends, there’s an open invitation for anyone who wants to take part. One year there were so many people with us that during the five days it was never just our immediate family. Don’t get me wrong I love having family and friends on vacation, this particular year it was non stop of coming and going the whole time. There was never less than our family plus two or more and no more than our extended family, friends, neighbors, neighbors families and anyone else who happen to come along. When the week was over it was more like the Manor hosted our family reunion, there was forty three of us. In that mix there was grandparents, uncles, cousins, sisters, nieces, nephews, in laws, friends and boyfriends. It was a vacation I will never forget. That vacation was planned months in advance. My friend and her family wanted to join us that summer. Our families have been friends for over twenty years and we’ve vacationed together before. We arrived Sunday at the Manor along with our friends and the kids, since we made reservations early our rooms were next to one another. We had a full kitchen, living room, balcony, two bathrooms and a bedroom for us. Our rooms were great, views were awesome and both families settled in Sunday night as planned. We were ready for five days of beach, pool, great food and shopping. The kids spending all their time together getting in every activity from horseback riding to jet sking. Arriving on Monday was my mother-in-law and my husbands two nieces. The girls were visiting from Colorado for a few weeks and drove out to Montauk with their grandmother. Also arriving Monday was my father-in-law, Mary (his significant other) or as I sometimes refer to her as my “second” mother-in-law. I wonder how many people can say they have two mother-in-laws and they want to vacation with them? Anyway back to vacation, coming later that day was Mary’s daughter Stephanie and her two sons. By dinner on Monday everyone expected that day had arrived, my husband Pat and I do a head count and we are nineteen. Including both families, and if you’re wondering where all these people stayed, good question. Yes everyone was at the hotel with us. Separate rooms were mandatory, no exceptions! This brings us to Tuesday or my husbands golf day. We would be joined by his golf buddy Bob and girlfriend Linda. They were staying at another hotel on the beach and were very thankful once they laid eyes on all of us. We were gathering for dinner and our “small” group of family and friends was now approaching the size of a small tribe. My Uncle Bob and his girlfriend were also joining us for dinner. Now with our four new guest in tow we were twenty three and still growing! It was nice to have my uncle and his girlfriend for dinner, they happened to be at their place in Montauk so we got to spend some time together. After dinner we watched the sunset then made way to the lobby of the Manor for wine and Irish coffee. We sat by one of fireplaces on the overstuffed couches and shared wine and stories of Montauk. Great ending to a perfect day. Just a noteworthy fact; officially my uncle holds the record for the shortest visit that week. With Wednesday approaching quickly I began to feel a little anxious. Anticipating some of my family arriving the next day I wanted everything to go as planned. I started to hear some of our guest talking about extending their stay. Everyone was having such a great time. There was supposed to be seven people from my husbands family leaving around the same time ten from my family arriving. Trust me this wasn’t a problem; everyone was happy, getting along no problems nothing but family, friends and fun. My stress was all me and about my family. It was their first time with us in Montauk, I wanted them to love it as much as we did. If I was running around pulled in different directions it wouldn’t be good. Now Wednesday is upon us and eleven o’clock checkout is closing in. I don’t hear anymore talk of extending vacation another day. Then it happens “the transition” the DeCanio family departing as the Martin clan arrives, it goes off without a hitch. Just ships passing thru the night. Now my two sisters along with their six kids, my sister-in-law Trish and her daughter Alexis are here and off to the pool. Great, that went well, it’s time to sit back and relax, my sisters are the last of our visitors. But then again maybe not. Not long after “the transition” of families was complete I found my way to the pool. I spotted a chair by my sisters and got myself settled in. My youngest daughter calls my cell phone to inform me that four of her friends and one mom are on their way out for the day. I didn’t have a clue how any of this would play out I threw my hands up and decided to try not to stress, it was vacation. That might sound good but my problem was a few teenage girls, all friends along with a few cousins, again all girls something was going to give. I knew it wouldn’t be smooth sailing the entire day. All I wanted to do was relax and have a great time with my family. They were so happy and excited for the pool and just to be here in Montauk. My sisters had no vacation planned that summer and even if for just a day I didn’t want anything to go wrong. Just as I had predicted “something gotta give”, well it did, and “it” was me! Yes, I was the problem. It wasn’t the teenage girls or the younger kids by the pool it was me. Thankfully it was short lived and hours into my sisters visit so the whole day wasn’t a loss. The kids had a great time and in the end all was good. I said good by and my family as they began their two hour trip home to Lindenhurst. My memory of Thursday is limited, the calm after the storm! Knowing everyone was gone I will say it was relaxing, quiet and uneventful in comparison to our three previous days. My girlfriend Jeanie had her mom, dad, brother-in-law and his kids out for the day. This is last group of visitors and completes the DeCanio/Gustavason summertime invasion of the Montauk Manor. Our final tally is forty three people. I cannot believe that many people came out to Montauk over the course of five days, unbelievable! Anyway my girlfriend Jeanie and her family left for some lobster rolls and I think for the first time I was alone on a lounge chair at the pool. Not one family member in sight, not even mine. No husband or kids, nobody. With that thought in mind I quickly picked up my James Patterson gave the waitress a wave and ordered a cocktail. Soon after with a smile on my face, a great book in one hand and a margarita in the other I was a happy camper. A perfect afternoon, I couldn’t ask for more. Once again another wonderful day in Montauk and like all the others very special in it’s own way. In closing I’d like to share one last special time from that wonderful Montauk vacation. That Monday night when we were nineteen strong our dinner is the memory I hold closest to my heart. Our dinner was homemade Sunday sauce with Gram’s meatballs and sausages from Gemelli’s. Along with that we had pasta, garlic bread, salad and wine. Together after some needed furniture moving, we were all able to eat together while watching the sunset on Fort Pond Bay from room 305! This is just one of many summer vacations in Montauk. I give my thanks for all the vacations that have passed, my hope for all vacations in the future and my heartfelt wish that our children, grandchildren and every generation after us experiences the same wonderful vacation in Montauk, N.Y.