So we went to the beach this weekend, out in the Hamptons.  It's no wonder the rest of the country thinks New Yorkers are idiots.  The Hamptons are crazy.  I have been there many times, but for some reason this weekend was a reminder that there is a right way and a wrong way to go to the Hamptons. 

Don't even get me started on the traffic – that is a whole other frustration.  This post is about money.  The right way to go to the Hamptons involves grocery shopping yourself, hunkering down in your house and hanging by the pool, beach and grill.  When I was younger, I would expand that activity list to include visiting a variety of bars, and dancing on the occassional table.  And that was fun.  But that was then and this is now. 

My first mistake was going to get coffee and bagels Saturday morning.  Sounds innocent enough.  But then I got to the cash register.   "$15 please."  "$15 dollars for two coffees and two bagels!  Are they wrapped in gold paper?"  I asked if the bagels had been flown in on a private jet from Montreal.  "No, they are baked on premises."  "Well what business do you have charging that for two coffees and bagels!"  People started to stare.  There is something dumb about certain people in the Hamptons where they actually feel good about themselves that it costs a fortune to buy breakfast.  I felt bad and paid.  At that point, to forgo food would have been asking for more trouble.  But I was not about to quit, after all I was hungry.  I went next door to get fruit, thinking, how bad can that be.  Grapes…hold your breath…$9.00 a pound.  At this point I am thinking I am in a Mastercard commercial "Eating the Hamptons, Priceless!"

I am conflicted.  It's just so nice out there.  And honestly, I love to hate it.  It's awful in so many ways.  Who drives a Ferrari to a beach?  Who wears Manolo Blahniks to a BBQ?  It gives New Yorkers a bad name.  WE New Yorkers give New Yorkers a bad name.  It's just so troubling because it's gorgeous out there.  The beaches were stunning and empty (no cell phone toting crowds on the beach – you have to know where to go), the weather was great, and if you know the backroads you can avoid Route 27 hell and be there in about two hours from NYC. 

So, lesson learned.  Shop beforehand, take the backroads, don't even thinking of leaving your house at night, hang out during the day at the beach and not in East Hampton where the shops are ritzier than Madison Avenue, and that, my friends, is how you can enjoy the Hamptons.

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