We were lucky enough to be invited to celebrate with Cliff & Maryann’s extended family in the seaside town of Milford, CT. On the way we stopped at Stew Leonard’s, the Disneyland of food stores, to pick up some goodies for the picnic by the sea. Stew Leonard’s is another place I really miss- with its singing bananas, pop up figurines and really good fresh food. It was a staple store when I lived in CT, even Lacey remembered lots of details about it even though she hadn’t been in one for 10 years or so.
So we made our way through the crowds picking up whatever we fancied (especially stuff you couldn’t get in Florida) and had a fine time. We piled back in the car with our treasures and set off for the beach house in Milford. The homes were beautiful- some small, some large but mostly all were weathered gray and completely charming. Nothing like the ‘beach houses’ here in Florida! Not a ‘Mediterranean theme’ to be found anywhere, which was very refreshing and just fine with me. Lacey & Noelle loved the look of the town as well both wistfully wishing to live in a place like this.
We arrived at a small, impossibly crowded downtown area right at the seaside and Cliff squeezed his SUV into a narrow spot between the house, cars and bridged waterway. We spilled out of the car, stretching our legs after the longish drive and headed along the walkway at the side yard of the building. The house itself looked like something out of a Charles Wysocki calendar- white with green stripes, windows agape and on the second floor facing the sea was a bedroom with a little porch and its door wide open to let the sea breezes blow through the house.
Weaving though the many adults and children roaming around we found some seats under the tree facing the water. There was a canvas tent with tables filled with all sorts of food- chicken wings, salads, and side dishes brought by different family members to share pot luck style. Beyond that was a pair of swings set in the sand and a volleyball net. Further on was the seashore and surrounding beaches The water view was beautiful, with all kinds of dwellings on either side, some were big seaside mansions and some little cottages.
We helped ourselves to the wonderful array of food and settled into our seats, enjoying delicious food and interesting conversations with all the various family members attending. Cliff and Maryann’s daughter, Remi, walked around with a camera and took hundreds of great shots of all the kids and family. She was quite a good photographer and captured lovely candid moments of just about everyone attending, us included. So that’s how we spent most of the day- laughing, talking and enjoying the beautiful weather and waiting for the fireworks that were to happen at dusk. When it started to get dark, we headed further down closer to the seaside to park our chairs and see what would happen next.
Now, these were not the professional, town-organized type of fireworks, but fireworks set off by the neighbors who lived up and down the beach. It might as well have been professional, because they were absolutely beautiful! They were right overhead, aimed towards the sea. The neighbors in obvious competition, tried to outdo one another with each set. All around us, up and down the beach were explosions of light, some far and some near. It was wonderful! Lacey tried to capture the nearness of the explosions with her video camera and got a few great shots of color exploding.