Photo Diary: Orient, New York

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As mentioned, we rented a house on the Sound in Orient, New York last month to get out of the city and just be. We'd done Montauk in years past and wanted something different this summer but still close enough that the dogs could come with us and friends and family could visit {to entertain our kids}.

We decided on the house sight unseen, except for the photos on VRBO, and I prepared myself for the worst. While travel is a lovely gift to bestow to children, our experience has proved that any change in their regular routines turns them into unruly little monsters.

Surprisingly, the trip ended up being the best we've taken as a family. The house was spectacular -- spacious, secluded, great views, a small pool, and big lawn. We had friends in and out the entire week and the kids loved stretching out and running around without limitations. I can count on one hand the times we actually left the house to go out, and that was mostly for food shopping to grill at home.

It was a needed respite from city life and confirmed for us how much easier life will be for us with more space, fresh air, and regular access to a car.

I highly recommend the North Fork of Long Island as an alternative to the Hamptons by the way. It's so much more than just wineries and family farms. Quiet beaches and state parks make it a casual, low-key summer destination. Hit me up if you ever need recs!