Hometown Southport


August 19, 2011: Summer's end creeps up too fast. No matter how much I've traveled this season, the list of places I've yet to go remains far too long. But it's hard to believe a seemingly simple and uncomplicated trip back home did not make the cut this season. It's hard to believe summer is ending without a trip up to my parents' house in Southport, Ct., before it does.

Southport is appealing in all seasons, for very different reasons. But summers in that old New England town are especially nice. Southport is a good spot for slow bike rides and grilling dinner. It's a good spot for playing outside.

Summer's also a good time to enjoy warm evening walks with the dog down to the town green, where the mouth of the Mill River empties into Long Island Sound.

In Southport, delight is in the details -- from the historic Pequot library to the grand old homes with small sets of steps out front, remnants from the days people used them to descend from their horse and carriage. I love the pale blue ceilings of people's front porches, as if we're down South.

One of my favorite buildings in Southport is this darling pink one on Harbor Road. If there's one thing Southport needs, it's its own ice cream shop and I think this could be the place.

Kayaking up the river at summer's end isn't bad either. Like Irvington, Va. and Annapolis, Md., Southport is one of those places best seen from the water. With so many beautiful homes at the water's edge, it's often most revealing to see this place from this perspective, meandering between sailboats in the harbor.

But soon the boats will clear out and the water will get cold. Cyclists will still pedal through on weekend rides, but bit by bit, the town will quiet. Before too long, it will be time to appreciate an entirely different batch of details about this place. It will creep up too quickly, but before we know it, we'll be huddled around the firepit in hats and mittens, discussing what we like about Southport in winter.