Immediately after we accepted the offer on our house, Mr. Magpie and I decided to plan a short vacation to The Hamptons with our best friends for the fourth of July. I’m not sure what about selling the house triggered the get-out-of-dodge feeling that washed over us, but we synchronously came to the same conclusion: let’s plan a getaway and completely disconnect. I’ve been mentally architecting a perfect day during our upcoming trip, and it goes something like this:
Wake up early. Even before babies necessitated it, and before married life occasionally required it, as Mr. Magpie’s stirrings or personal agenda would rouse me before I’d naturally wake, I’ve always preferred an early call time. When I was a graduate student, I would wake at six a.m. and read or write or grade papers until nine or ten a.m., when rumbles of hunger would necessitate a break. And then I’d usually be done for the day with my academic work, freed to attend class, run errands, jog–save for the interminable reading. I was never done with reading. But I still love waking early when I can. Nowadays, it feels like a tremendous luxury to wake on my own terms. Just this morning, for the first time in maybe a year and two months, I woke at 6:13 a.m., flipped on my Kindle, and read for thirty uninterrupted, selfish minutes. Just me, the noises of the city — the rumbling of a garbage truck, the distant sound of a back-up beeper, an occasional whistle or shout — and a book in the gray-white light of morning. I’d like to do this on my perfect day in the Hamptons. Wake at 6 and read in bed.
Read mini books. I love mini’s eager face in the morning, peering over her crib. (She’ll sleep in this while we’re traveling, though.) After her morning bottle in our bed, I usually read her books (some of her current favorites) and help her “feed” her two babydolls with this set, a process that can often go on for stretches of ten or twenty minutes. (Place bib on baby, laugh at the sight of it. Then “mix” food with spoon and spoon food into baby’s mouth, while murmuring. Then press bottle forcibly to baby’s lips. Then tear bib off. Then place bib back on. Repeat.) We’ll quietly complete this daily ritual in our rented Hamptons house.
Walk into town for coffee. We’ll throw mini in her travel stroller, still in her jammies (these are my current favorites of hers), and I’ll throw on an easy jumpsuit and my go-to sandals (these are a great dupe for far less) with my favorite shades (back in stock!). We’ll bring the dogs (our best friends have an English bulldog, and we’ll have our Tilly), grab coffee (iced soy latte pls and thank you) and a pastry from a little coffeehouse while it’s still quiet and un-busy, and take in the sights.
Head to the beach. I’ll throw on my favorite one-piece, we’ll pack up beach-day essentials, and load a portable speaker with a mix of pop music and country (our best friends are also from Ol’ Virginny, and none of us can get enough of Maren Morris or Kacey Musgraves while hanging outside). We’ll pass a couple of hours in easy conversation, watching mini take in the sand and surf for the first time in her life, pausing for brief stretches of Kindle reading.
Go for a run. While mini takes her nap, I’ll peel off for a run. I’ll wear Indoor Voices leggings or my favorite running shorts (weather depending), my favorite running hat, and my APLs (select colors on serious sale!). I also never run without my dorky but awesome running pouch, which enables me to run hands-free — I keep a credit card/a bit of cash (my Dad insists I do this), my phone, and my keys in here — and use my wireless earbuds and running watch. (I also own an Apple Watch, but find the Garmin a little more intuitive to use.)
Have a late, light lunch outside. After a quick shower, my hair will magically air-dry into perfect beachy waves. (JK — I’ll blow dry it as I do every other day — all my secrets are here.) I’ll change mini into her new La Coqueta set, and we’ll throw together an easy summer lunch — tomatoes and feta and olives tossed with oil and vinegar and fresh herbs alongside a hunk of bread or leftover chicken from last night’s dinner tossed with mayonnaise, celery, walnuts, and grapes and spread onto crackers. We may break into the midday rose, or linger over a plate of honeydew — who cares? We’re on vacation time.
Meander through town, or hit up the farmer’s market, or stop by the vineyard. We’ll do something as a group in the afternoon to get out of the house and take in the local sights. But it will be easy, unharried — “do you want to check out that spot where they harvest oysters?” Mr. Magpie might ask, looking up from his cookbook. (He reads cookbooks like books — this is his current favorite; we’ve been making pasta from it every Saturday or Sunday for the past month.) We’ll pile into our rented Jeep (I specifically reserved one for the vacation) and head off in pursuit.
Enjoy happy hour. Back at the house a few hours later, I’ll change into a dress (probably something floral — likely this), give my mom my daily call (we always speak around 5 pm), and we’ll sit outside with gin and tonics or caipirinhas or a glass of cava and some easy appetizers — say, manchego cheese with quince paste on little toasts or slices of chorizo, toasted up in a hot skillet, or — our current favorite — guindillo peppers and anchovy-stuffed olives, strung together on a toothpick and soaked in olive oil. The dogs will scurry around after tennis balls, wondering what this heaven of unleashed bliss and fenced-in grass is all about, while mini enjoys her dinner al fresco in a high chair (the bonus of ours? it travels well — it’s easy to dissemble). The music will change from rousing country and pop to Ella Fitzgerald or Robin Thicke or Madeleine Peyroux, or a mix of all of them.
Put mini down. After a bath in her portable tub (how darling?) and her requisite good-night story, I’ll feed mini her bedtime bottle and put her to sleep. I love the quiet time we spend together just before she’s down for the night — she’s snuggly, drowsy, sweet. I can get away with covering her face in kisses and tucking her over my shoulder for a few minutes of quiet embrace.
Cook dinner. We’ll transition from cocktails to wine and fuss around the kitchen. Mr. Magpie will be the main event, preparing something dramatic and incredible for the entree, but my bestie and I will alternate between preparing a salad or shucking corn and sitting in conversation over glasses of wine. Is there anything that makes you happier than passing a long evening in the company of your best friends over a home-cooked meal? No. There is not. There is nothing! We’ll linger over the table for hours, eventually migrating to the couch inside to take in an evening thunderstorm, or to the chairs outside for a post-dinner drink or two.
Go to bed. We’ll peel off not too late. I’ll scrub my face using the wash I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT and change into pajamas. Even though the house is rented, it will magically have these sheets I’ve been drooling over for the last year. We’ll sleep with the windows open to the sounds of nature — crickets chirping, maybe a cicada here or there — and curl into one another to fall asleep.
That’s it. A completely perfect day for me. No phones, lots of conversation, intermittent stretches of reading, a long run, no agenda but enough to do — and with loved ones. Note: I stole all the pics above from Pinterest, but they capture pretty much my expectations for the Hamptons (I’ve never been!)
What’s your perfect day?
I do NOT need a canvas tote, but…this?! I kind of can’t stop imagining myself wearing it while on vacation.
How about this statement blouse — under $60?
An appropriately-styled windbreaker for mini for the holiday weekend.
Does mini need these vacationing mice? #dying
Still swooning over the bows/print on these $25 sandals.