The Island of good times and happiness

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 9:00pm

Kaitlyn Keane attends Massapequa High School on Long Island, N.Y. She has relatives who live on Block Island and visits every summer. 

The large white, double decker ferry pulls into the dock in Montauk with the words Viking Star painted in green along the side.

You board the ferry placing your bags on the lower level, then climb the steep stairs to the top level, holding onto the rails so you don’t fall over. Sitting in the last possible row on the faded green seat, soaking up the bright yellow rays of the sun, you can already picture the beautiful island you are about to arrive at: Block Island.

Populated with large trees that have bright green leaves, the Island is small, and its shores are long, surrounded by the blue waves of the ocean that crash onto the black- and tan-sanded beaches. The pink rental bike carries you up and down the steep hills paved with smooth black asphalt throughout the island, the type of hills that make your legs sore once you reach the top. Not a car in sight, you ride your bike back to the big blue house filled with the same friendly faces as the year before. If you do happen to see a car it has the rental place painted onto the side in black letters since this small island tries to be as nature-filled as possible. Facing the Atlantic Ocean the house you stay in each year sits, its pale blue coloring matching that of the ocean’s. Old-fashioned with the pale dark blue paint peeling off, the blue house fits 18 of you, your friends and your family, with a little boutique brimming with beautiful island flowers and cloth in the garage. Once inside the home, the sound of little kids’ bare feet running across the wooden kitchen floor and laughter is heard above your head. Upstairs the same black stove sits in the corner with a tree branch plastered above it with holes to hold pots, pans, and spoons. The countertops are covered in lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, lobsters, and all other sea life to be boiled for the Old Country Boil later that night.

At the center of the kitchen a long light-colored wooden table big enough to fit everyone in the house stands. Rays of sunlight pierce the windows and glimmer on the stained wood as if the table were wet. Once the sun sinks into the depths of night the table will be covered in local newspaper pages so the tan wood can no longer be seen. Steam from the pots of sea life fill the room as pounds of food are poured across the table. No plates, no napkins, no utensils, just your hands are ready to indulge in the feast. It smells as if the ocean across the street has flooded over the dunes into the kitchen, bringing all of its creatures with it. The cracking of lobster tails can be heard from down the table as lobster juice spits across the table onto your cousin’s face. The sweet taste of butter drips off the lobster meat into the mouths of everyone and the satisfaction that you are back on your island floods back to you like the ocean scent over the dunes.

As the sun comes back to life in the morning, enormous sand dunes that look like giant ant hills greet incoming beach-goers as they scale the tan beachwood steps to get onto the beach. At the top of the beach pure black sand lays as young children run over, soaked from the ocean, to roll in the dark sand and come out looking like some sort of sand monster. The taste of salt hits your lips and as you lick it off a smile is painted across your face, for a day of relaxation is all you can think about. Across the beach hundreds of tanned people, blue Tommy Bahama umbrellas, and all different colored beach chairs crowd the tan sand. Out across the horizon deep blue waves with white tops crash along the shore. Once you’re close enough you can see right through the water to the bottom as if it were glass. The distinct smell of seawater rushes into your nose and the feeling of the sun’s warm hug swaddles your body. Young kids dig three-foot-wide holes in the sand so they can have their own mini ocean once the waves run up the shore and pour into the crater they created. From your beach chair you see the busy town with tourists riding their bikes down the street and sipping cocktails at the Surf Hotel overlooking the Ocean. Every hour or so a large three-decker ferry pulls in, unloading hundreds of people in between the two jetties. The jetties are made of massive gray boulders all lined up, and if you look close enough you may see people hopping from one to the next like crickets hopping up and down.

No matter where you are on the island the taste of salt is on your lips and the smell of the ocean warms your soul. The sun beats down, creating the perfect paradise, and smiles are tattooed on every face that passes by. This is where you have one full week of no responsibilities. This is where the trees are filled with beautiful orange and pink butterflies. This is where the birds in the sky look as if they are painted onto a blue canvas. This is a place like no other. This is Block Island.