It’s a tale of two summers as residents head out of town: For some, it’s a better summer than before

| July 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

ENJOYING THE SUN IN PUERTO RICO is the Cox family from near Park La Brea, with parents Jessie and Jeremy (rear) and sons Zen (7) and Kingston (9).

The summer of 2020 was dismal for many families in our Larchmont enclave. COVID numbers weren’t at their worst, but that didn’t make up for the fact that vacation plans were squashed, and camps were half-operational. The dog days, as they say, dragged on.

Next, we entered an apocalyptic autumn, with ash filling the sky and no in-person school. By Halloween, COVID numbers were ticking up again and, by the holidays, many travel dreams were again deflated.

With the spring came vaccines, the return of school and hope for summer.

Summer 2021

VIEW of the Hudson from Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.

As I write this, I am looking out over the Hudson River. We are currently staying at my in-laws’ golf club in Westchester County, N.Y. I used to work here during the summers, but it’s been two years since I’ve written from this terrace.

My 7-year-old daughter is down below on the grounds, participating in a day camp that has her golfing, playing tennis, doing arts and crafts, and swimming the day away. She is with 12 other kids from the surrounding towns; all new friends. They are not wearing masks. I wonder if they should be.

Meanwhile, my 9-year-old son is at sleepaway camp in Grantham, N.H. We dropped him off there for a month-long stay (eek!) before heading off on our own adventure.

So far on this trip, we have visited friends and relatives in Boston, Mass.; Harwich Port, Mass.; Katonah, N.Y.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.; and Westport, Conn. It’s exhausting, but we are happy and making up for lost time.

I’m not alone in my pursuit to give my kids (and myself) a better summer than last year. Many parents I’ve spoken to from the neighborhood had the same mission.
Sleepaway camp seems to be the star of the show. While some sleepaway camps were operational last summer, and the die-hards certainly went (as they should have), there seemed to be a groundswell of interest in the experience for summer 2021 among newbies and converts like me.

Trips away

ELLA Friedman enjoys a dip at Canyon Creek Camp in Lake Hughes, Calif.

Family vacations are also back on the table, and not just to Santa Barbara for a week.

Alex Andrews, Larchmont Village, took her family to Costa Rica for a memorable experience.

“Costa Rica was wide open, with no mandated quarantine time, so we scooted off there as soon as school let out for my two teenagers,” Andrews said. “We had an amazing time and can’t wait to get out there and do some more traveling.”

Another family went to see extended family in Puerto Rico. Jessie Cox, who resides near Park La Brea, told me:

“We are so happy to be able to travel again in 2021. Last year, we had to cancel a family reunion at Disney World and a trip to see my husband’s family in Siesta Key. This summer, we are thrilled to be spending time with family in New York and Puerto Rico. Having our families on the East Coast is difficult, but being able to connect with them this year has been a true blessing.”

KAYLA Friedman on a “Quest” to Yosemite with Camp Tawonga.

Back on the camp front, Nona Friedman, Larchmont Village, told me:

“Both of my girls went to camp this summer. Kayla went for two weeks, and Ella went for one week. Everyone was happy and they were out of the house. HUGE contrast to last summer.”

Friedman’s answer is a common refrain. I spoke with families who had sent kids ranging in age from 8 to 14 to camps across the country, including Minnesota, North Carolina and Maine. I am so happy for each and every one of those children (and their parents!).

For all of us who are enjoying ourselves, though, it’s important to recognize that times are still tough for many. Just today, I saw two news stories out of Los Angeles that jolted me back to reality. City pools have closed due to lack of chlorine (caused by the uptick in private pool construction, the article posited), and several Los Angeles-area beaches were closed due to a sewage spill. The threat of COVID looms as well, with the Delta variant causing numbers (among the unvaccinated) to surge, yet again.

Countless families looking for a break have undoubtedly been affected by these strange “man-made” disasters. So, while some of us sojourn and revel, let us all hope that the summer of 2022 will be enjoyed by all.

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Category: People

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