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Home Away From Home

I’ve been spending bits of my summer in the same Massachusetts neighborhood by the sea for as long as I can remember. It’s the neighborhood my dad also grew up spending weekends and summers at, and the neighborhood that feels more like home than any place I’ve ever lived permanently—truly my home away from home.

My baby swing, which got washed away in a hurricane.

My grandfather and me on the porch of my grandparents’ old house.

It’s where my cousins and I would dig for clams with my grandfather when the tide was low; where I could spend a full day at the beach with nothing but beach toys and a cooler full of snacks; where my cousin Meagan and I took an annual “best friends” photo by the beach; where there were so many relatives under one roof we had an adults table and a kids table so we could all have a seat; and where the my only care in the world was what time the ice cream truck was coming around the block.

My mom and me wading in the water in front of the old house.

Clam-digging with my cousin Meagan and my grandfather.

Not only am I enamored with the New England scenery (which is a total dream), I’m also ever-enchanted with the way I feel as soon as I arrive at the house: calm, care-free, at ease. Though our days of clam-digging and ice-cream-truck-chasing have passed, we’ve replaced those activities with long boat rides, cocktail hours on the deck (“we pour at four”), and post-dinner concerts led by my musically-gifted father.

The Meagan & Natalie “best friends” pose.

Needless to say, I start looking forward to this vacation again as soon as it’s over, and I’m delighted to say that today our Massachusetts trip officially begins. While I’m away, I’ve asked several of my blogger and writer friends to guest post in my absence.

In the coming days, you can look forward to hearing from Stephanie of The Lipstick Gospel, Anne of Anne The Adventurer, Kat and Em of The Refined Woman, Mary Beth of Annapolis & Company, Rachel Johnson of Through Painted Deserts, and Tracy Le—a dear friend and coworker at Darling Magazine.

Do you have a home away from home? I’d love to hear about it…

P.S. Follow me on Instagram for peeks of my vacation :)

Top image via A Well Traveled Woman; all other photos taken by friends and relatives.

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