(Yup– the Go-Gos. I’m impressed you keep catching the references that I keep throwing!)
Call me old-fashioned, but I avoid telling social media that I’m leaving my home for an extended period of time. It just kinda says, “hey! I left my valuables unattended!” So I’m more likely to talk about it.
My in-laws, who are probably more “Joisey” than my family, have rented a beach house for one week for the past 5 years. This makes the family vacation for the hubs and our kids extremely attainable. (NOTE: I will never use the word ‘vacay’ by personal conviction.)
This year, they went all-out, renting the same house as the 2 years previous for TWO weeks. Since the hubs gets one week of vacation, we weren’t about to supersize our time at the Shore. And it’s just as well, since the Legal Lawyer* and his wife and kids were interested in joining the family at the beach house.
Sadly, the time did not pass well for them. The beach was windy and cold, and the Legal Lawyer had gotten himself a bit ill. Then it rained.. and rained. And the overnight traffic was too loud to get a good night’s sleep. They ended up leaving the same day the two youngest brothers-in-law arrived.
The aforementioned bros have hourly jobs that wouldn’t love having them take off work for a solid week, so they went from the last half of the first week to the first half of the second week.
We joined them on the Saturday. It started with the traditional visit to
the Embassy… the International House of Pancakes. And since we didn’t have to wait until standard check-in time, we were able to get to the house and unpack immediately. We even decided to hit up the church in the evening so that we wouldn’t have to wake up early on Sunday. That’s a vacation, I’m thinking!
There was a little time spent on the beach, but the cold and windy from the week before still hadn’t subsided. (Buttercup was the sleeping-est baby on the beach! She went out all of twice, but she fell asleep within minutes of settling in after the beach tent was set up.) We tried other things… mini-golf, ice-cream, and fun in the game room. I was even a good girl and went jogging a couple mornings.
There was also the obligatory visit to
Sleaze-side Seaside and the Water Park. It was so sad to see the post-Sandy boardwalk. Usually we don’t play those carnival games, but rides weren’t an option. Besides, we couldn’t afford much, but it seemed appropriate to try and put some money back into the boardwalk’s economy. Hope springs eternal, and we’ll keep going back to see what the Jersey Shore has to offer in years to come.
There is a sunset cruise available every evening up near the lighthouse in a location called Viking Village, and my father-in-law is known for taking amazing pictures. So one night we all went in order to get some nice sunset shots and maybe even some of a pod of dolphins. It was very cool– until it wasn’t… Apparently I get seasick (the things that manifest after multiple pregnancies!). And in case you didn’t know, windy beach= choppy ocean. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the Regulator is apparently also prone to seasickness. We sat in the cabin and tried to enjoy the ride. And we made it!…. Buttercup, however, lost her dinner in my lap.
And then that turned out to be the last sunny day of the week. So we spent way too much time watching TV. By Friday, we had to get back out, even if there was drizzling involved. But we were in luck! We usually take some time at the NJ Maritime Museum just to look around the pictures and artifacts. But they were offering a morning full of kid-friendly activities! Demonstrations, puppet shows, and a scavenger hunt. The kids ended up winning free ice cream at a shop around the corner. But the hubs and I didn’t totally lose our minds just because it was vacation– we went back to the house to have lunch. Then we found the family billiard hall and tried to play pool…. badly. On the bright side, I felt that we really earned our ice cream (Pint-Size Genius doesn’t do ice cream, so the hubs used the coupon and we bought him a bag of Doritos).
Was it the best beach vacation? Definitely in the top 5 (see what I did there?). But we’re optimistic for next year. And it might be a little tough to pay for that vacation while I am, incidentally, a SAHM, it always seems to be worth it. The boys might not have spent a ton of time on the beach, but you’ll never hear them complain. And that makes me proud; being happy with the opportunities they receive makes me feel that I’ve done something right.
(Right now, you might be saying, “But you were away over two weeks!” And I would say, “Slow your roll, stalker!” I needed to get everything back in order when we got home, and that took longer than expected– especially that hot weather that would have made the beach so awesome was here at home and crippling my air conditioners! But I think I’ll get back into the swing of things.)
*Legal Lawyer: My best friend in college– he went to Hah-vahd Law after graduation. When I asked him what he was going to do with the JD, he replied “lawyering.” And when I said “what kind?” he answered, “the legal kind.” He’s nothing if not specific.