Since we so successfully went back to the summer in my last post, I figured you could handle doing it again. In late July, we headed down to the Jersey shore for our annual pilgrimage. Our rental is from Sunday to Sunday which really helps from a traffic standpoint. Especially since we drive around 7 hours to get there!
|All packed and ready to GO!!|
|Stopped halfway at a Children's Museum in Connecticut for lunch and to stretch our legs.|
|Headed over the George Washington Bridge!|
We were the first of our family to arrive so I quickly headed up to take a picture of the beach and send it to my sister, her fiance and my mom...basically to make them jealous that we were there already ;) I was really surprised to see how little of the beach was left from the year prior. You can see the difference from last year's photos here: Jersey Shore.
As the first ones to the house, we were also the first ones to find out the central air conditioning was broken! This wouldn't seem like an issue, but it was mid heat wave, one member of our partner suffers from health issues that can be exacerbated by the heat, and getting our then 9 month old to nap in the heat was extraordinarily challenging. I won't bore you with the details, but the lack of A/C and the logistics surrounding the eventual not-getting-it-fixed were tiresome and aggravating. Thankfully, if you have to be tired and aggravated, you might as well be on the beach, right? Yeah...that's what we told ourselves.
Anyway, on to the rest of the pictures. Eventually after we arrived, the rest of the family showed up and we were able to start our vacation!
|Surprising how fun a sliding glass door can be.|
|This was our second year of week-long puzzle challenging - this year we actually finished!|
|The Ladybug only made it to the beach once a day due to nap schedules. We had a small blow up pool for her since we figured (correctly) she'd be terrified of the ocean.|
|Ladybug and daddy check out the waves.|
|Cousins digging in the sand|
|"No I will NOT put my feet in the ocean, daddy!"|
|Protesting the ocean is exhausting.|
|Some downtime for the boys|
|My sister and Songbird in their custom, matching shirts|
|Wrigley the dog is an excellent vacuum|
|That's a reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaly biiiiiiiiiig hole...|
|...and now a small swimming pool.|
|The Ladybug catches some rays with her aunties|
|The caption and the face says it all...he finished it off by drinking the last bits out of the cup!|
|Ladybug takes her first bike ride!|
|Post dinner UNO competition|
|Surfer girl gets a rash guard!|
|Songbird's daughter, L, finishes off the puzzle|
|Barnegat Light House|
|Checking out the waves|
|The house only cooled to 82 degrees with major humidity by 10:00pm - and that was after FINALLY getting some fans from my husband's aunt who lives down the road.|
The next morning, we decided that after one last jaunt to the beach, we would vacate the premises even though we still had another night left. We had tried all week to get the kids together for an annual photo and it just wasn't going to work. Then, on that last trip out to the beach, a tide pool popped up behind a sandbar. It was just shallow enough, and warm enough, that the Ladybug was transfixed! I plopped her down in her complete outfit and diaper not even caring that she wasn't in her swim suit and she had a blast AND thanks to an iPhone 3 that Songbird had brought down with her, we got our picture.
|The cousins at the beach!!|
|2010 (G-1, W-5.5)|
|2011 (G-2, W-6.5)|
|2012 (C-9mo, G-3, W7.5)|
Fortunately, things were about to get a whole lot better. My husband's aunt and uncle have a vacation home on the island and were there with various cousins and kids. We headed there while my sister and her contingency headed off the island to a hotel in preparation for meeting up with someone the next day. The beer was cold and the A/C was even colder :) It was such a turnaround from the frustration of the other place and the perfect way to turn around our spirits.
|Little G checks out a kayak|
We were able to get some fun pictures of the family while we were there as well.
And then, as if it couldn't have gotten any better, the ice cream truck showed up for the very first time in Little G's life. It was magical. He actually did a little dance when he realized there was an entire truck devoted to delivering ice cream.
We headed back to the dock and the sun was starting to set and was absolutely breathtaking!
|Pic from Cousin A's fancy-pants camera|
After dinner, Little G finally got to enjoy his ice cream sandwich.
The next morning, we headed back to the rental house to grab our bikes and headed home.
|Headed back over the GWB|
This year's trip was definitely challenging. I know it sounds so whiney to complain about the air conditioning at a beach house, but we don't have central AC in our own home, so we're very aware of how to manage in the heat. The issues were all related to the amount of time we spent NOT at the beach because we were waiting for various repair people to show up (or not show up) or show up and tell us that nothing could be done as well as the sleep lost by all of us with an angry, cranky hot baby in the mix.
All of that said, it was a lot of fun. I grew up down the shore and it will always be part of my blood and I am so glad to have a chance every year to give that experience to my kids as well.
For one week a year, they are no longer cousins, but best friends at the beach.