Saturday, July 8, 2006

At the Jersey Shore…Avalon, July 2006

(fair warning: it's long! I tried to shorten it, but just can't - we did SO much we wanted to tell you about!!)

What a week we had. I am always so disappointed when our week down the shore (or any time, for that matter) ends. I hate leaving the beach!

But we had a great week. Albeit, some of us didn’t get as much sleep as we would have liked (a few reasons…room we had was bright – not a huge bummer, but aided waking up early, well, and the street light outside our window! – and Leda sleeping in the same room makes for a very sleepy Mama!) It’s interesting to note that what they say about going on vacation with your kids…it really isn’t much of a vacation! ;-)

But who cares? We were at the BEACH!

The house we were renting was our friends the Durham’s, who accompanied us for the week. Our rent – some work around the house! We headed down on Friday night (since there wasn’t anyone in the house the week prior to us, we could go down Friday night instead of Sat morning) which was great…we got down there late, but we got a whole Saturday! Usually Saturday is a wash – once you get down there, someone has to go shopping, there’s unpacking to do, there’s just too much to do that by the time you get everything done, there’s no time for the beach. Well, we got beach time last Saturday!

Leda, well, she just ADORED the beach. Can you imagine a child of mine or Brock’s NOT liking the beach? Pah-lease! Other than the fact that the water was like -50 degrees (well, not that bad, more like 65 degrees – but it was darn cold!), the beach was wonderful! We took Leda into the water and, we think after the initial shock of the cold, she just loved it! She kept tasting it! Every wave, she dunked her hands in the water and sucked the salt water off her hands. She just loved it.

And the sand, well, that is apparently just as tasty as the water! Leda ate enough sand to start our own beach back here at home! You couldn’t stop her! (And, yes, we tried, and succeeded about half the time!) Leda played in the sand – in fact, it is probably one of the first times I have seen her spend more than a few minutes playing with something. She was fascinated by the shovels and the sand and the buckets. And she loved destroying anything her father or I built!

Avalon, July 2006

Most of the week was beautiful…warm – a few days humid enough to be uncomfortable – and sunny. We had about a day and a half of “bad weather,” but as I always say, a bad day at the beach beats a good day in the office any day of the week!

Saturday night we had corn on the cob for the first time! It was really good this year. Leda tried it off the cob (obviously she didn’t get a whole lot off the cob, Mama had to cut it off for her) and she loved it! On Sunday morning, Leda had her very first taste of a Kohler cream donut! We think she might have liked it! ;-)

Corn on the cob!
Corn on the Cob!

Kohler Donuts!!!
Kohler Cream Donuts!

Sunday night, we got to watch fireworks from the back deck! Avalon had fireworks for the first time and they were close enough that we got to watch and hear all of them from the comforts of our own back deck! Leda LOVED the fireworks (definitely my child!) and Paige even enjoyed them! We got to see some fireworks on Tuesday night (the girls were put to bed before hand, they were tired!) from the front porch – fireworks were in Stone Harbor – but not as good as the ones in Avalon…we hope they do that again next year!

On Monday, we all took a ride out on the boat. Leda really enjoyed it, but didn’t really like the lifejacket she had to wear and wasn’t all too keen about having to sit in Mama’s lap the whole time…it might be another year or two before Mama takes her back out on the boat…too much work for Mama! ;-) The idea was to catch some crab, but that didn’t work out so well, so John and Brock headed out to the local seafood market to “catch” our dinner! We had a great dinner of shrimp cocktails, shrimp and scallop scampi, really yummy swordfish and some really good crab cakes that Brock made with some fresh crab meat (obviously not caught by us!) Leda, herself, ate 5 or 6 shrimp! It was an amazing feast!

On the boat

On Tuesday we hung out, relaxed, hit the beach for a spell. Tuesday was a warm day, so we actually broke out the air conditioner, otherwise, Mama and Jennifer weren’t making dinner! I made my “famous” chicken tarragon dish with Jennifer’s help and we had a really nice dinner sitting in the living room in the air conditioner! And, we sipped champagne, too! (not the girls, the adults did!) After the girls hit the sheets, the adults took in a few fireworks from Stone Harbor…we couldn’t see them as well as the Avalon show, but we also had a really awesome lightening display to go along with it!

Wednesday we took the girls to the Cape May Zoo. We had done the zoo for the first time last year (none of us knew there was a zoo down there!) and we figured the girls were a little older now so they might enjoy it better. They did! Well, Paige probably got more out of it that Leda did, but it was a good day for them. After the zoo, we headed home for lunch and a nap (and no one napped!) before we headed off for the Boardwalk in Wildwood! Paige rode the flying elephant ride and the carousel with Jennifer. Leda watched from the sidelines because Mama wasn’t going to do the carousel again…she got dizzy the last time she did that! ;-) We had a little pizza and then walked the boards! Got ourselves some saltwater taffy and funnel cake and off to home and bed we went!

On Thursday, we spent some time hanging out, relaxing, really couldn’t do a whole lot, because it was rainy most of the morning and early afternoon. The girls painted with finger paint on the front porch...okay, really, Paige finger painted, Leda ate it! And got it every where...Mama and Leda had to take a bath after about five minutes of finger painting! In the late afternoon, before dinner, we headed down to the dock to do a little crabbing…hoping we might have another seafood dinner of our own catch! Alas, only three good sized crabs were caught (and one of those three was given to us by the other family out there catching crab!) So, we had leftovers! Then, after dinner, we all headed down to the ice cream place and had ourselves a little ice cream!

Painting!
Painting!

Avalon, July 2006
Crabbing!

Ice Cream!!
Ice Creaming!

Friday was our last day at the beach, so we spent a good two hours on the beach having LOTS of fun. I swear that Leda was shivering the whole time (she had gotten in the water and the wind was blowing a little chilly) but you couldn’t stop her from playing in the sand and getting in the water! Leda really loved it. It warmed my heart to see her enjoy something that I get so much pleasure out of!

Avalon, July 2006

We headed home on Friday night because the men thought it would be better than fighting the traffic on Saturday. Men are mean! I could have walked the beach one more time this morning! Although, I did sleep EXTREMELY well last night, in my own bed!

Oh, and let me tell you about our night of NO sleep! I believe it was Tuesday night when Leda went to bed around normal time (around 8ish) and I think I crashed sometime around 10. Sometime around 2:30, Leda woke up. Not just cried out because she couldn’t find the binky or she had a bad dream or something, WOKE UP! I brought her into our bed so she wouldn’t scream and wake up the Durhams, but she wouldn’t go back to sleep. She was quiet, but she wanted to play with Mama, kick Daddy, giggle her way through the night!

I think around 3:30, I couldn’t take it anymore. We needed to get this child back to sleep and the rest of us too! The only think I could think of was to put her in the car and drive around until she passed out. We don’t usually do that, in fact, we had never done that, but I had no other options. At home, we would have let her play in her crib while we slept, but we couldn’t do that here, as there were other people in the house, and her being in our room, she would just start screaming every time we put her down to sleep!

So, into the car I put the child and I drove around Avalon and Stone Harbor for about a half hour. I think I saw four cars total moving around the island! There was NOTHING happening. It was quiet! Somewhere at the south end of the island, the kid, she fell asleep! So back home we went, quietly took her out of the car and into her bed and we were all back in bed and sleeping by 4:15!

Next year, the kid, she gets to share a room with Paige! ;-)

In all honesty, we had a wonderful week at the shore. We enjoyed the weather, the sun, the ocean, and, especially the company of our good friends, Jennifer, John and Paige. Leda and Paige loved playing together (for the most part! Paige really did warm up to Leda and Leda was just fascinated by Paige!) They got to play in the sand together, play with toys together (Paige let Leda play with her dolly!) and they even got to take baths together!

We are looking forward to doing it again next year! It’s a bummer to think we have to wait a whole year before we go back to the beach! But, it will be worth the wait!

Avalon bathing beauty!

Click here for all the pictures from our week at the shore!
And, as always, click on any picture to see bigger versions!
Video will be uploaded in the next couple of days over at the video spot!

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