Chopping Block: Southeast Light Delights

It’s a about a mile (UPHILL). I say it many times a day. People ask where the Southeast Light is and I have to inform them that it is a little of ways, but it is certainly worth their efforts.M333

Luckily, to reward their climb Southeast Light Delights and a lot of lobster awaits them. With a literal monopoly on the refreshments available nearby, the food truck could rest on it’s laurels, but IT DOES NOT.

Andre Boundreau is the funny man running the show at Delights. He dishes out high quIMG_1129 (1)ality food and drink for the flocking tourists. One of his children will likely take your order.

I had never been to the truck, but a serendipitous win at Bingo with my mother left us with a coupon for a Free- Range Lobster Roll, a Del’s Lemonade and an ice cream sandwich. Yes, all lobster is free-range by the way. This lobster happens to arrive fresh from Scarborough, Maine. Sorry, lobsters you can’t be free forever.

We biked up and enjoyed every little bitIMG_1151 of the winnings. Boundreau as pleased to have us come and collect. Even promising to my momma #blockislandfamous
The menu is not limited to lobster rolls (which at available both hot and cold), it also includes lobster grilled chesses, ricotta and berries sandwiches, hot-dogs, and more. For refreshing drinks, they offer Avery’s Artisan sodas, Maine Root beers and assorted soft drinks.

 

So plan for a picnic. This food truck provides chairs and blankets as well. Leave room for dessert. The ice cream sandwiches are layered: cookie, cookie-dough ice cream, cookie. Or if my last post has you craving gelato, the truck has two flavors that rotate daily.

The truck is located just inside the fence at The Southeast Lighthouse. Continue up Spring Street from Old Harbor (yes, about a mile) and you’ll find it. It is open daily typical 10am-4pm. Like Southeast Light Delights on Facebook for menu update and a dose of good cheer.

Do you prefer lobster rolls hot or cold? What’s the best picnic food? Did we cheat at Bingo?

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Help Float the Glass Floats

The Glass Float Project returns once again this summer to Block Island. The hidden glass floats, otherwise known as “Orbs”, are a Block Island tradition that delights and frustrates visitors throughout the summer. The softball-sized, hand-blown glass balls are scattered across the island to be found by lucky souls.

The glass balls are crafted by Eben Horton, and funded by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and Block Island businesses. To support the project, a Kickstarter campaign in progress until May 19.

If you help fund the project you are REWARDED! Here are some highlights, be sure to check out the site to see the full details and to donate.

  • $10 or more: Glass “coin” and subscription to the email34c88b2336445ea426bccba4a37f839a_original alerts of when more floats are being hidden
  • $50 or more: Your own signed float
  • $60 or more: Pendant Block Island Necklace
  • $70 or more: Special extra large float
  • $90 or more: Solid glass float paperweight
  • $150 or more: Exclusive blue glass float
  • $250 or more: Signed Gold leaf float

So far the campaign has raised $6,500 of its $8,000 goal. The project works with the Nature Conservancy to encourage visitors to explore all that the island has to offer. Giving helps support this mission (and might help you find your own orb this summer!). Give here.

 

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All photos from The Glass Float Project.

 

Barking Block

If you are like my family, the thought of leaving Fido behind when you come to visit Block Island is inconceivable. Luckily, the island has many accommodations and areas that are pet friendly and allow both you and your pup to enjoy Block Island.

Pre-Island

Be sure treat your dog with tick repellent before your trip, the island is known for its deer tick population and this leaves dogs running through the islands trails at risk. Be sure to pack dog food; there will not many choices available once you are on island.

One big thing to think about is the commitment to bringing along your furry friend. You will not be able to leave him for extended periods of time within the hotel and hot days can take the meaning of “the dog days of summer” to another level, leaving dogs indoors on days like these is not an option.

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Getting There

Dogs are allowed on the traditional and fast ferries. The traditional ferry from Pt. Judith requires you remain outside with the animal, unless crated. And the fast ferries only allow crated pets.

Where to stay

There are a number of hotels and inns that are dog friendly on the island, some charge cleaning fees, and those that leave you with close quarters to neighbors often request you leave a cell phone number if you are going to leave your pup for a short while (in case he misses you too loudly). Other small inns and rentals allow pets, be sure to ask when you call.

-Spring House Hotel- The hotel has one Seaside rental home, and 6 Townhomes that are open to dogs. There is a $150 additional charge over 35lbs and $75 charge pets under 35lbs, for cleaning after your stay.

-Darius Inn- $50 fee per stay, dogs are welcome in all rooms with private entrances.Ann_and_Simon_sized

-Gothic Inn-No fee in their 1 room and 3 apartments that are dog friendly, the inn also has one cottage for rent outside of town that is a “dog heaven” with fields, hiking and plenty of space.

-Blue Dory Inn-Allows dogs for $25 fee in rooms and suites with outdoor exits.

Shops and Restaurants

One great option on the island is the availability of take-out. Order up at your restaurant of choice; get it to-go and enjoy the all the spots the island has to offer.
Unknown-1– The National Tap & Grille: On the back porch of the hotel, you and your dog can enjoy dining and the full menu of the hotel’s restaurant.

-The Harborside Inn: Outdoor wicker seating allows you to dine with the entire family. They even provides treats and water.

-The Island Dog: Located just to the left of The Statue of Rebecca, this shop welcomes pups and owners to come in and browse and buy inspired by Block and those who bark. A great stop for a gift for the dog lover back home.

I spoke with Island Dog owner about the uptick in pet accompanying vacations. “Dogs are the new kids,” she said and I have to agree with her. This means Buddy can’t be left behind anymore than the newborn baby. She has seen popularity in her store grow with dogs being the new trend. Even if the animal does don’t come along for the getaway, he does certainly need a Block Island collar to be reminded of the week in kennel (but don’t worry he loves you still).

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The town does have a leash law that requires dogs to be leashed in public areas, and non-accordance with the law can lead to fines. The best way to avoid this is taking dogs to the beach early in the morning or later in the evening when the space is less busy. The Greenway hiking trails are great pet-friendly activities as well. The island offers a great getaway that lets the entire family come along, so if your best friend didn’t make this trip, bring him back a little something and a promise he will surely be accompanying the next trip.

Dog Jaunt offered great information for this post, it is great site to use when headed anywhere with your pet.

Pre-Island Preparations: Unsolicited Advice Part II

Back at it and with plenty more to share. The island is small, but I still find more and more everyday. With this comes expert know-how and the desire to inform the public. Here is round two on my traveler’s tips.

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  1. Your pants will still fit when you leave

Awe vacation. A chance to eat and drink whatever with an easy resolution to get back on the health track once you return home. But before you fret, consider this. Block is home to so many activities that get to break a sweat without a thought. The fun of biking all around the island, walking on the beach for miles at sunset or an early morning run with the rising sun all burns baby burns. You will have an appetite post island exploring and Block Island offers plenty of great options for refueling. Mudslides and Fish and Chips feel a little less heavy once you’ve conquered the Mohegan Stairs. At the same time, it’s hard to find a restaurant or café that doesn’t offer home grown produce or natural ingredientIMG_3385They don’t mess around with ice cream here. So balance your diet with fresh produce and gorgeous salads.
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  1. Warning: GLASS ON THE BEACH!glass-float-project

Heads up! Important to know that as soon as you step off the ferry, there is hidden glass all over. But don’t worry, this is a good thing. We are not talking about broken Coronas, but instead Orbs. Hidden hand blown glass balls, called orbs are hidden through out the island for you to find and keep! Most are hidden along the beach and nature conservancy trails. Insider’s tip: a new batch is hidden every Thursday evening, making Friday morning a prime time to go hunt. Tap in your inner pirate and take home a free souvenir.

  1. There She BlowsIMG_3515

The heat of a New England summer is not exactly what you will find on the Island. The ocean moderates the temperate and it is hard to find a day without a breeze on the island. Many of the hotels do not have air conditioning due to their age, but save yourself the extra fee on the room with AC. The breeze keeps the heat the island does endure pretty comfortable. With this I will add, it does get cool unexpectedly. Pack a jacket and pair of pants for this vacation, so you can still enjoy outdoor dining and fun even when the coast howls and tries to mess up your hair.

  1. Best of both worlds

You love the ocean waves, the sand in your toes and the free salt-water mermaid hairdo. Your travel partner likes to kayak, swimming without rolling over and going on hikes. The Fresh versus Salt-water debacle ends here. The island is home to beaches, obviously, but also fresh ponds. Additionally, though it is salt water, Great Salt Pond is great for smooth water activities like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, small-boat sailing. And for those granola-crunchy types the Nature Conservancy trails make for hiking and turning your beach vacation into a greener than expected getaway.

  1. Smash Open the Piggy Bank

With the small businesses on the island making your mouth water with delicious baked goods, and shops making you want to do your Christmas shopping in July, a good thing to be prepared for is a hand-written sign taped haphazardly to the cash register reading “ CASH ONLY”. Rob a bank before you leave the main land and fill your wallet with straight paper. There are plenty of ATMs on the island, but running to them and paying fees to get money just feels wrong . Be prepared, because nothing is worse than having skip the lemonade stand because they don’t except AMEX.

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Beautiful Block: A Hopeful Hike

This AM, my roommate Hope and I jumped out of bed and ran for the hills. We decided we needed an adventure, and with Hope working at noon, we had to get an early start. We both had been itching to explore Rodman’s Hallow which lies in the southwest corner of the island. The glaciers that craved out the island a few years ago left the gapping hallow for us adventurous gals to go explore.

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But we before anything was being explored we needed to fuel the machines. Luca’s Market was selected for topping off our tanks. Located on Ocean Avenue between Old and New Harbor, the new(ish) market was a great spot to stop. The market sells crafted grommet groceries, the kind of place you would love to buy everything and could even consider giving any of their items as a gift and it would totally be fine (that doesn’t run true with most grocery stores). For our breakfast purpose we began our morning explorations with the bakery and deli the spot boast. IMG_3631

Hope and I hit up the “Day Old” basket for goodies, mine included a Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Chip cookies (for post hike reward). My blueberry scone was exactly what a scone should be and their coffee was darkly roasted and just the way I like it. We even met “Luca” himself, turns out he is a small child, not a cute little old man on a tractor.

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Back on our bikes we headed to the Hallow. Hills and silly lost tourist may have slowed us down, but it was still early enough when we arrived to hear birds chirping in their excitement of our arrival.

IMG_3659There are number of criss crossing trails in the Hallow. From the parking lot all of them will lead you out to the ocean. If you get too lost at a fork in road, channel your inner Robert Frost and you will know exactly which way to head.

IMG_3641When we reached the water, we found steep slopes down, but supporting ropes to assist in the decent. Down on the beach the water washes up with great views to the south of Long Island.IMG_3643

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Hope and I got all reflective on our hike (must have something to do with the pretty views). We reflected on both of our lives, where we are headed, what we are nervous about and the excitement we have for the road along the way. Thinking in the near future, Hope would like to join the Peace Corps and I would like to continue to embellish my college life with whatever additional means I can. Multiple personalities is not typical ones goal, but I like the life style of multidimensional living. Here on Block I am a hotel front desk worker, a freelance journalist, a bouncer at Martini night, a tri-athlete in training and a travel blogger. Not too shabby.

Wading pools created by the ties for children means looking for creatures, sadly for a 20 year old, it means attempting to get artsy for Instagram likes. I digress, but still participate nonetheless.

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The Hallow provides a great short hike for those looking to give their butts a rest from their beach chairs on the island. With our bike ride home taking us the southern loop, Hope and I covered a good portion of the island before rest of the town was finished with their morning cup of joe. Be prepared to feel better about life in general post hike.

What’s the best adventure you’ve ever been on before noon? Do you have a favorite morning baked good? What’s your “triple threat”? Why am I not #instafamous yet? Comment below