We took a long weekend to join Matt’s sister and her family in Avalon, NJ for a little vacay. Honestly, I wasn’t sure of what to expect from the Jersey shore; my experience only being a bachelorette party in Seaside Heights (from what I can remember anyway), and the ever infamous MTV series, Jersey Shore, both of which were not what I would compare a quiet family vacation to. And what’s up with using the word shore, anyway? It’s a beach, damn it! Anywhere else in the world one would describe a place with sand/ocean/lifeguards/coastline as a beach. But not our Jersey friends. To them it’s The Shore. It is also funny to me how people from Jersey always refer to themselves as being from one end of the state or the other. A simple “Where you from?” is followed by “North/South Jersey”. I got a good dose of that during my freshman year in college, where about 40% of the class was from… you guessed it…. Jersey. Um hello, last time I checked it was still one state, or have you been successful in succeeding from the Union? I also had to teach my roommate how to pump her own gas because they don’t let you do that yourself there (something about creating jobs or something), so instead they jack up the prices and have someone else pump it for you. But I digress… Avalon was actually pretty wonderful and gave the Delaware beaches I raved about in the last post a run for their money.

Plus we had our adorable niece and nephews to hang with for four whole days. We were in heaven.

Since the weather was sorta crappy, and the attention span of kids under six are extremely limited, we only did a few short outings to the beach. However, this gave us plenty of time to do the typical beach activities – building sand castles, searching for shells, burying children, flying kites, you know, the usual stuff.

Natalie got the award for best sand castle village. She didn’t just build one, but an entire freakin’ city; all with shells and other random embellishments including a feather atop the highest one to tell which way the wind was coming from. I think we may have a future crew member in training! There was no actual award, just lots of praise and attention which seemed to make her just as happy.

I even managed to get in some Kindle time, devouring a new book that Jill had suggested. Let’s just say it was comparable to the Fifty Shades of Grey series, and I was glad to be reading it incognito on my tablet instead of in actual book form. And Matt got some adult playtime in with a willing paddle ball participant, his brother in law, Brian.

Our nights were spent visiting the local ice cream shop – NOT soft serve mind you… there IS a difference – where the special was a massive Man vs Food creation that consisted of 12 scoops of ice cream with 15 toppings served in a pirate hat. All for $30. I can’t even imagine what effect that amount of sugar would do to kids. Well, I actually could, since there seemed to be quite a few of them raging with what one could only compare to as superhuman energy bouncing around all round us. We opted to just buy the hats and forgo the meltdown that would inevitably ensue around bedtime later that night. Let’s call that a win-win.

Matt and Andrew pretending to be pirates. You know, with the squinty eye and the hook finger. Spot on, boys!

The highlight of the trip was being able to celebrate Jameson’s 2nd birthday on the actual day itself. Natalie and Andrew and I made him a homemade cake to celebrate. Don’t ask me why there are actually 16 candles on the cake or why only half was covered in sprinkles. Kid logic is a mystery to me. The cake was pretty damn good though. I can’t deny that I may have had it for breakfast a few times.

Unfortunately, he WILL be 16 at some point. Probably a heck of a lot sooner than any of us adults would like to acknowledge because that means we will be old. Maybe not 50 old (well, at least not some of us), but older none the less. How time flies. Just stay two forever, Jamie.

We took the ferry from Lewes, DE to Cape May, NJ to break up the drive a bit, and boy it was cool. Funny how boats just seem to be our preferred mode of transport these days. Now if we could just figure out a way to get our car onto the catamaran… Guess that’s what the dinghy’s for.

The views were fantastic, including this particularly interesting parking situation. I wouldn’t want to be the owner of that silver car, especially in rough seas.