A stupid vacation transportation conundrum
June 21, 2021 6:25 PM   Subscribe

Mr. Millipede, our almost two and a half year old twins, and I are taking the LIRR to Montauk from NYC this weekend. Our train arrives at 4:45pm. I am an imbecile and I do stupid things sometimes, so here we go. I made dinner reservations at 5pm at what looked like a very close restaurant, but in reality requires an extremely strange roundabout route to get there from the LIRR station, one that would take 30 minutes walking (5 minutes driving). I need some advice.

Here are our constraints.

1) We do not own car seats and will not purchase car seats for this purpose (neither of us drive, and we used our infant car seats twice ever)

2) We do not know anyone with kids or carseats far out on Long Island.

3) The restaurant told me that our 5pm reservation is tight so we cannot be late, as they need the table at 6:30.

Here are some things in our favor:

1) The millipede twins are extraordinarily quick and tireless walkers for their age. On Saturday I estimate they walked four miles. We are a walking people; we walk everywhere all the time. We will also have a travel double stroller with us just in case. We are also also carrying a rolling suitcase.

2) There MIGHT be a weird back way to walk to the restaurant? I can't tell for sure and I'm not positive I want to risk it, but if you're curious and want to opine on this, the restaurant is called Navy Beach, and we need to get there from the LIRR Montauk station. Look at google street view and satellite and see that weird little path by the tracks? And how it veers off into kayaks but the other way goes straight and is so tantalizing and looks like it runs into a path that leads to the beach and a few yards down the beach is the restaurant??? I may not want to risk this.

I feel very bad about the idea of my kids in a cab, even for a 3 minute drive, without car seats. I'm extraordinarily risk averse in every way (except apparently about sneaking along railroad tracks to the beach?). Uber doesn't have car seats outside of NYC. I wrote a few local cab companies and asked if they have car seats and no one got back to me. We are sliiiightly too young and sliiiiightly too small for that cool carseat vest thing (although if your answer is that the slightly too big carseat vest thing is ok for a 3 minute drive, I am willing to listen to that). Am I nuts for being this worried about a 3 minute cab ride without car seats?

I am also not sure if it is too late to cancel my reservation. I think it might be. When I talked to the restaurant on the phone last week, I remember thinking their cancellation window was absurd (and then thought, yes, sign me up! here is my credit card). So we somehow have to make this work.

posted by millipede to Travel & Transportation around Suffolk County, NY (15 answers total)
Does the restaurant require your entire party to be present before you can be seated? If not, one of you can take a cab and get the table, maybe place the drink order, and the other can walk with the kids.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:36 PM on June 21, 2021 [14 favorites]

It is way more dangerous to sneak around railroad tracks than to take the cab ride.

Alternatively, could you call the restaurant and preorder to save some time once you get there and allow them to turn over the table?
posted by momus_window at 6:37 PM on June 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Did you ask the restaurant if you can cut through from the train station? They probably know whether it's possible or not!
posted by goingonit at 6:37 PM on June 21, 2021 [11 favorites]

For what it's worth, it sure as heck looks to me like you can cut through! https://maps.app.goo.gl/xU8j498THPREP4Yp6

If worst comes to worse you can try and if you fail, get dinner somewhere else.
posted by goingonit at 6:42 PM on June 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Could one of you take a cab, as Kevinbelt suggested, with the stroller/luggage and then the other three of you walk to the pier and then walk along the beach? I’ve never been to Montauk, but it looks doable.

But might as well call the restaurant and ask about the cancellation policy tomorrow anyway.
posted by umwhat at 6:42 PM on June 21, 2021

1) Yeah, that back way you're looking at totally connects to the beach, as far as all satellite views show, and it definitely isn't mixed up with the train tracks at all.

2) There are other even more straightforward ways to get there shorter than the 1.5 miles Google sends you, as long as you're fine with walking on the beach. E.g., head down Rough Riders Landing there [... huh.], and take the boardwalk to the beach. Or if you don't want to go into a condo complex like that, you can take Tuthill Road from the station Northwest until it basically hits the beach, then follow the beach down. That measures to about 0.7 miles. Walking along the beach is likely slower than walking on a road or path, though, so take that into account. I'd say going through the condo complex and down the boardwalk to the beach should be fine, though, and that path doesn't have much beach walking.

3) And I'll second asking someone at the restaurant.
posted by whatnotever at 6:57 PM on June 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Having looked at the satellite view and eye-level view, I would try that hatchery road and the beach access past the kayaks, or else backtrack to the kayak turnoff and use Rough Rider's Landing's beach access. Second option, walk down Manor Road/Rough Rider's Landing, and use their beach access.

I did see what looks like an attempt to fence off a section of beach closer to the restaurant, which is a point in favor of sending one adult in a car with the luggage. (Also, the stroller and luggage may not work well with sand.)
posted by mersen at 7:10 PM on June 21, 2021

How likely is it that the train will be late?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:24 PM on June 21, 2021 [14 favorites]

Best answer: The restaurant's website says you can cancel up to 24 hours before without being charged, so if this is stressing you out (even without the kid component, it would stress me out to have a reservation for 15 minutes after my train was supposed to arrive), I think you're safe canceling it.
posted by primethyme at 7:35 PM on June 21, 2021 [10 favorites]

There are specialist transit companies that have car seats -- I know one (kidmoto) operates (via a partner) in the Hamptons, but I do not know if that includes Montauk; could be worth a call?

...also, if you order right this instant you may be able to get collapsible car restraint/seats from Amazon (example). The europeans even have a fully inflatable version that you may possibly be able to locate somewhere in NYC although I don't believe it's been certified to US standards so it'd be a gray market-type of importer.
posted by aramaic at 7:44 PM on June 21, 2021

Response by poster: You guys. You are good. You are right. I cancelled. I remembered the policy incorrectly. We will be so much less stressed out now. Thank you!
posted by millipede at 8:10 PM on June 21, 2021 [7 favorites]

LIRR on-time performance is actually pretty decent, particularly the Montauk branch, but the train can be up to six minutes late and still be considered punctual. I think this is cutting it too close for a walk with small kids and luggage if the restaurant is going to be super strict about you showing up promptly at 5pm.

If you want to chance walking and if the restaurant has a grace period of at least a few minutes, this would be my advice: The path you're talking about (the one that runs just behind the station platform) is fine. It's not dangerous and is separated from the tracks by a fence. So, try to be situated as close to the front of the train as possible when disembarking. Make sure you're standing at the door well before the train reaches the station so you can be ahead of the rush. Walk down the path as far as that building that (on satellite view) has five objects on the NE side that look like lifeguard towers laid on their sides or maybe boat cradles. It doesn't appear you can go any further than this building, so make a right on the path that heads toward the beach and then walk the remaining 550 feet along the sand to the restaurant. It'll be only a couple hours past low tide, so there should still be some firm sand to roll the stroller and luggage on.

Edit: oops, should have refreshed before posting!
posted by theory at 8:57 PM on June 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Per restaurant website: "Please be sure to confirm your reservation with us in advance of your arrival. Reservations cancelled less than 24 hours in advance are subject to a cancellation fee."
And maybe call the restaurant to see if walking to them is feasible.
posted by calgirl at 7:30 AM on June 22, 2021

Question: how are you planning to get to your hotel?
posted by calgirl at 7:34 AM on June 22, 2021

Response by poster: We are walking to our hotel. On roads, not the beach. It's a 20 minute walk. We have a stroller just in case.
posted by millipede at 10:18 AM on June 22, 2021

« Older Run toilet, run   |   Rear-ended this afternoon Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments