Huntington, New York. This lesser known part of the big apple was where I spent nine weeks working at a summer camp as a lifeguard. During my time here, I came to know the town like I was a local and had some great experiences over the summer.
One of our first outings to help us bond as counsellors was to the Walt Whitman Shops, a large shopping complex in the south of Huntington. Strolling around and taking full advantage of the exchange rate was a great way to be introduced to Huntington. It had a great mix of classic American shops like Bloomingdales, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue, and all my favourite like Victoria’s Secret, Forever 21 and H&M. I definitely blew my first pay cheque. It was around $20 in an Uber from where we were, which when split between 4 of us was very reasonable.
And the trip ended up on a sweet note when we went for dessert. We took a trip to the classic The Cheesecake Factory, where I sampled the red velvet cheesecake. At $8, it was a little expensive, but the portion size made up for it.
Next, we made the trip to our local beach, Gold Star. While the beach isn’t necessarily sandy, relaxing in the sunshine with a snow cone was a great way to spend a day. I wasn’t quite brave enough to take a dip in the water though. It was a little too cold for me!
On our walk back from the beach, we stopped for food. We went to Burgerology at our Camp Director’s recommendation and it was delicious. I went for a chicken burger and chips, or ‘fries’. While $16 is reasonable for the amount of food we got, the portion size was overwhelming and I wish they offered smaller portions.
Our next big outing was for a staple American holiday: 4th July. After spending all day celebrating at camp in red, white and blue, we travelled an hour by car to Jones Beach to watch the fireworks. Sitting in the sand watching the sky explode into a million colours to a montage of patriotic songs was a tad surreal. But it made for a stunning picture!
The next week during a night off, we took a trip into the town to visit two very special gentlemen: Ben and Jerry. Huntington town centre featured a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream parlour, where I sampled a brownie ice cream sundae.
After our dessert, we took a stroll through Huntington town. We chose to walk to the local Stop and Shop to stock up on snacks for camp. But as we walked the sky erupted into thunder and we experienced our first flash flood! Our camp director had to come and rescue us, but thankfully we were safe. While it was a little scary, the sky looked beautiful lighting up with the thunder.
Our next stop was a local Huntington event, the Fireman’s fair. While it sadly featured no actual fireman, it did have some very cool rides, including a haunted house, and classic games like hook-a-duck. Here I tried the American funfair delicacy of fried Oreos. For $5 for 6, they were very reasonably priced, and surprisingly delicious!
Another of our favourite hangouts in Huntington town was the New York Panini, a little restaurant that offered sandwiches, salads, and of course, paninis. It was very reasonably priced and had a wide variety of food. It was here I tried a Nutella panini, which as you can see from my face was delicious. They also featured live music, and the singer was nice enough to accept our request of ‘Wonderwall’. I said maybe…
As a special treat, the board of directors from the Camp arranged for us to go paddle boarding around Port Jefferson. We waited until our evening off and then took to the lake. While the concept of standing up on the paddle board was initially terrifying, once we conquered our fear we discovered it was quite easy to manoeuvre. The water was even tempting enough for us to take a dip and have a little swim. We were even treated to the sun setting on the water as we paddled around, which made for some lovely scenic shots.
On our final weekend off from camp, they treated all the counsellors to a boat party. We hopped aboard the HMS Christine for a historical tour which thankfully didn’t last very long. We then got to spend time eating lots of delicious food and dancing to music.
The boat took us around the island, and we even got to see one of Billy Joel’s houses which definitely impressed this uptown girl!
It was the best way to spend our last weekend together.