At least our life was, for a week.
We spent a week in a beach rental in Avalon, NJ with family. There were six adults and five children five and under. So at least we were not out-numbered!
There were many magical moments this week, so why not do a good old list? Who doesn’t like lists, right?
Let’s just dive right in, shall we? The cousins got along great, and right away cousin Benjamin shared with Julian something he won’t soon forget: the beauty of potty talk. At night we could hear them in their beds next to each other talking and laughing for hours. The conversations would go like this, “Poopy butt!” Laughter from Julian. “Poopy on my head!” Laughter from Julian. And so on and so forth. Julian was a very captive, easy audience. Thanks for this valuable lesson, Benjamin.
Sneaking away for dates:
When the kids napped, we napped. Because the beach makes everyone tired. But then we woke up, and the kids were still napping, so sometimes we snuck out on ice cream dates or I went for a run on the beach. Also several trips to the ice cream parlor and a bar at night while Grammy offered to babysit. Good times.
Other than talking about poop and running away from our children, we ate non-stop. We woke up and started eating, and continued to eat until we went to bed. Scones, muffins, pancakes, bacon, eggs, bagels, fresh donuts, pizza, an assortment of grilled meats and fish. Whenever our bellies were full, our mouths would say, “MUST EAT MORE PRETZEL CHIPS NOW.” and “ONE ICE CREAM PER DAY IS NOT ENOUGH. GIMME MORE NOW.” And so we obliged.
When we took quick breaks from eating, we loved loved loved the beach. Of course I’m kidding. We brought coolers loaded with snacks and beer so we didn’t have to stop eating. One day we ordered pizza directly to the beach. Julian and especially Arthur were so in their element. Arthur just ran and ran and laughed and screamed at the ocean with pure delight. It was so beautiful to see them so free and happy. Blond hair all tangly from the salty air, hands sticky and sand all over. It was pretty much paradise. Except we were in New Jersey and not St. Lucia. I will never forget sitting with Arthur in my arms right by the ocean, nursing and cuddling my baby (He’s 15 months? SHUT UP.). And chasing waves and digging holes with Julian.
I loved spending so much time with our niece and nephews and watching the boys form friendships with their cousins. They all played so nicely together and took care of each other. There was hardly any fighting or bickering, except for who got to sit next to whom and too many hugs for Arthur and Baby Henry. Other than that: no complaints and much joy.
Totally the highlight of our trip for Julian. It’s like Coney Island, except so much bigger (and dare I say better?). The cousins went on all the rides. We ate (duh!) lots of good stuff and stayed out way past bedtime.
Every morning I wanted to get up early and watch the sunrise at the beach. Of course I never did and then had instant regret when one of the kids would wake me up anyway 30 minutes after sunrise. Because that’s what kids do. Then Arthur came down with a cold and partied all night, and so on our last morning I got up with him at 5:30am and snuck out to the beach. We walked for about 30 minutes in the cool morning air and then sat down and snuggled and watched the sun rise on the horizon. I chased Arthur up and down the beach in his footie pajamas and then went back to the house for a cup of hot coffee. It was a perfect good-bye to a wonderful week at the beach.