Monday, July 11, 2016

Jersey 2016

We set off for New Jersey on Monday, June 27th, intending to get a hotel along the way and finish up on Tuesday morning. Around 8pm that evening, we had about two hours left to go and the kids started asking if we could just skip a hotel and go straight to Mimi Jane's house. We did. . . and that was just the beginning of our wonderful week at the shore.

Tuesday
Since we got in on Monday night, we didn't have to do any traveling on Curtis's birthday. He woke up at the shore.
IMG_3834

The birthday boy!
IMG_3840

IMG_3841

IMG_3836

The sky was a little overcast, so we didn't go swimming at the beach, but we did look for shells.IMG_3835

And we found a lot of them.
IMG_3842

IMG_3843

IMG_3844

Bella also found some sea glass. Later on, she looked through Mimi's collection.
IMG_3845

Baseball season just ended out here and they were still in the mood to play a little ball.
IMG_3847

Later in the day, we played a little mini golf.
IMG_3849

I cracked up watching Curtis chase his ball around with the club. Since he was the birthday boy and since he turned six, we didn't give him a score higher than six for each round.
IMG_3852

Mimi and Andy ended up tying for first place.

Our big six-year-old back at the house.
IMG_3853

He's ready for just about anything!
IMG_3102

IMG_3854

I know I have mentioned how much Curtis is into "kitties" these days. Mimi took him to the store to pick out a cake. . . and this was what he chose.
IMG_3856

IMG_3858

He liked being sung to.
IMG_3862


Time to make a wish!
IMG_3861


Then we watched his birthday slideshow.
IMG_3866

He couldn't have asked for a better birthday!

Wednesday
We went to a waterpark on the island called "Thundering Surf".
IMG_3868

This was definitely one of the kids' highlights of the trip.
IMG_3871

IMG_3872

IMG_3877

I didn't get as many photos of that since phones and waterparks don't go too well together.

After a few hours at the waterpark, we ate a late lunch at "Holiday Snack Shop". This was one of the oldest eating spots on the island. Andy loved it and continued to talk about the place for days.

Later that same afternoon, we made it to the beach.
IMG_3879

IMG_3881

IMG_3883

IMG_3885

IMG_3889

There was a lot of hole digging on this trip.
IMG_3890

IMG_3891

IMG_3892

Every evening, we showered up and got into our pajamas.
IMG_3897

And watched the beautiful sunsets over the bay.
IMG_3894

Many people walk to the end of the street to catch the sunset. We got to enjoy it from the front porch.
IMG_3896

Perfect blanket placement by Curtis. Completely unintentional. IMG_3103

Thursday
This was our most perfect beach day. The temps were in the high 70s/low 80s. The sun was hot and the breeze was refreshing. We came out in the morning at low tide.

More shell collecting.
IMG_3899

IMG_3902

IMG_3903

IMG_3907

IMG_3911

IMG_3919

IMG_3921

More hole digging.
IMG_3927

IMG_3925

More swimming.
IMG_3930

Bella really got out there and went swimming in the waves.
IMG_3931

Each summer, the kids get stronger and stronger in the water, which makes the whole experience so much more relaxing for us as we can watch them from our chairs.
IMG_3916

Later that evening, Jane kept the kids and sent Andy and I out for dinner. I don't tend to eat a lot of seafood, but when at the shore and you can get it fresh, you give it a try. I had an arugula salad topped with artichokes, onions, and quinoa.  And I really liked it!
IMG_3936

IMG_3934

Andy tried swordfish. He liked it too! Of course, he'll eat about anything.
IMG_3940IMG_3104


The view from our table.
IMG_3941

Another lovely sunset. The camera never really captures how pretty sunsets are; but we still try.
IMG_3942

IMG_3943

Friday
The sky was a little overcast again on this day, which actually worked out as it gave us kind of a rest day. Mimi and Andy took the kids to the Haymarket - a toy store on the island. The kids were given gift certificates to spend there. Bella bought a kite, Graydon got a ball, pokemon figures, and a water-squirting camera, Curtis bought a lego set. Everyone was very happy with their purchases. Thanks Conyers family!
IMG_3110

Later in the day, the boys rested and watched a movie in Mimi and Bud's room.
IMG_3115

Meanwhile, my friend Jen drove out and we spent the day together. We still keep in touch with phone dates, but it was so nice to see her in person.
IMG_3945

Saturday
Another beautiful day. Andy and Bella went to the beach in the morning to fly her kite.
IMG_3120

IMG_3121

All of us came out after lunch to enjoy our last beach day.
IMG_3948

IMG_3951

IMG_3954

IMG_3959

IMG_3961

IMG_3965

IMG_3971

IMG_3984

We ordered in seafood that night. Both Graydon and Bella tried clams.
IMG_3987

IMG_3988

I'm getting more brave with food, but I wasn't interested in trying those. And neither was Curtis.

We went back to the beach one last time that evening.
IMG_3989

The sky was so gorgeous.
IMG_3990

Curtis found a hole.
IMG_3994

IMG_3996

IMG_3998

Sunday came and it was time to pack up. The kids were already getting sad as our trip got closer to the end. Graydon kept saying that each day was going too fast and that he wanted us to leave him at the shore with Mimi.
IMG_4001

Bella commented to me into the week that she hadn't worn many of the outfits she had packed. I realized the same was true for me. We were either in swimsuits or pajamas! I think that is the sign of a very good beach vacation! We feel so blessed for our time together with Mimi and for all of the memories that we made together on this trip.

We left the shore just after lunch and made our way to Cinnaminson for the day. We had plans to meet up with some friends there.

Brooke, the pretty blonde on the right, just graduated from high school. She had just finished third grade when we moved to New Jersey. Time. . . slow down please! The kids were so excited to see these two sisters again.
IMG_4006

And the whole family. We enjoyed a nice visit. I felt so torn between wanting to stay longer but having to get going because we had lined up a few visits for one day.
IMG_4008

Andy met up with a pastor friend and the kids and I went to visit some more friends. The kids played and picked right up where we left off. We ate dinner together. It was starting to get late and our plan was to drive a couple of hours that night and finish up the rest the next day. Just before packing up our things, the girls came very sweetly asking for a sleepover. This wasn't our plan, but after deliberating and talking with our friends, we decided to stay. The kids, especially the girls, were very happy. And we got to enjoy some bonus time with good friends.
IMG_4010

And another beautiful sunset - this time over the Delaware River instead of the bay. There were also some fireworks going off from multiple locations across the river.
IMG_3129

Monday: 4th of July
Although there were a ton of fun 4th festivities in town that day, we needed to get going. But first, some fun pics with friends.
IMG_4013

IMG_4016

We made it home a little after 8pm that evening and were able to catch some fireworks that our neighbors across the street set off.  A great ending to a great week.

No comments: