Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Block Island Club

Over the many years that we have vacationed on Block Island, our family has passed the weather-beaten sign for The Block Island Club hundreds of times.  The sign rests at the end of a long, long driveway, so we never knew what the club really was.  In my mind, I pictured an exclusive pool resort with waiters, fruity drinks with umbrellas and rich women lounging in the sun while their children played with nannies on the lawn.  When we made the decision to stay on the island for two weeks instead of one, I looked up the Club on the internet to see if it were possible to join for just a week - I figured that it might be a good idea to have options if the children got bored of the beach.  It ends up that my image of Palm Beach exclusivity couldn't have been more wrong - and really, judging how low-key and family-friendly Block Island is in general, I'm not quite sure what I had been thinking.  The Block Island Club is really a place for children to take swimming, tennis or sailing lessons and to meet other children who are staying on the island.  The word Club is what threw me.  Calling the facility The Block Island Camp would probably be more appropriate, except that it does have memberships for just adults who wish to kayak or sail.  

Gordy was leaving the island after the first week of our vacation and I wanted the children to have some time away from each other (and I wanted at least an hour every day to exercise or just not be spoken to).  We paid for a week membership, bought a bunch of tickets (how you pay for individual classes) and started up that second Monday.  

But before all the sailing, tennis and art lessons commenced, we took advantage of the ample kayaks and paddle boards available to the members.

Three years ago, Gordy and I rented Kayaks from a local place on the island and took the kids out for an early-morning paddle.  

It did not go well.  

The children got hot.  The children got tired.  The children began a campaign of unbelievable complaining.

We had only be gone for 5 minutes of the 60 minutes we had paid for.

Needless to say, we weren't eager to pay for the experience again - but using the clubs' boats was a different story.

We signed out three kayaks and figured that however long the kids lasted would be fine.

It took a few minutes to get everyone outfitted in life vests and while that happened, I took some photos of the Coast Guard Lighthouse across the harbor:

Josie tried out the kayaks and found the one that best matched her life vest:

One doesn't want to color clash with one's boat, after all.

The below photo is not a photo of my family kayaking:

This is:

Yep.  That's right.  Within five minutes, all three children had tired of the kayaking and had brought their boats back to the shore.  And then, as if to prove that that act wasn't lazy enough, they all "went swimming" which really meant doggy-paddling to Gordy's kayak and then hanging on while he lugged them back into shore.

Crazy, huh?

Some children have so much nerve!

On the second Monday of our trip, I began what was a daily ritual for the rest of the week:  we woke up, ate breakfast, drove Josie and Georgia to an art lesson at the club, Henry stayed "and read" (insert eye roll here) while I exercised for an hour, we picked up the girls, drove to the Block Island Depot for a New York Times and a snack, I then drove back to the club, dropped Georgia and Josie off at a tennis lesson and Henry off at sailing, ran an errand, picked G&J up an hour later and brought them for more errands or back home for lunch, drove BACK to the club an hour after that to pick Henry up from sailing.  That was three back-and-forths a day..... but three back-and-forths minus two free hours for mom = fine by me.

Hooray for the Block Island Club!

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