We spent the past week at the Jersey Shore at our annual family “beach retreat” in Avalon. This was our third year (year 1 and year 2) there; it’s so lovely to have this little beach town to return to each year. It’s familiar but yet such a change from our every day lives that it feels new and refreshing.
This year we rented a house with a pool – and we can probably never not rent a house without a pool again. We loved it so much.
Here is Julian on the morning of day three at the beach house. He can swim!
Most days were very laid back. Lazy mornings, lots of rounds of Spot it! among the cousins, fresh donuts, and lots of coffee.
Then we would either dip in the pool or head straight for the beach. My brother-in-law and sis-in-law are beach pros and have all the equipment that made for a very comfortable beach camp for all of us. We were 9 adults and 5 kids!
Arthur loved playing sports at the beach. We would set up a goal, and all he wanted to do was play soccer, catch or football all day long. We may have someone who likes sports on our hands…unfamiliar territory.
The rest of us were happy to be lazy, jump in the waves, and dig holes in the sand.
Also: beach naps.
One morning we drove into the neighboring town of Stone Harbor, had giant stacks of pancakes and waffles and let the boys ride their scooters around town. Another morning we borrowed our family’s bikes and went for a bike ride around Avalon. Julian got to ride on the street! He felt like such a big shot.
And then of course there is Wildwood. We went twice, because Arthur wasn’t feeling well the first time around and was just miserable.
That first day/night there, Julian got to ride his first proper roller coaster! He is hooked. He wanted to go again. And again. He has no fear.
We went on some rides…
…and had dinner. Arthur fell asleep right after this photo was taken. His ability to sleep anywhere is both a blessing and a curse.
So Jeff and I took him home and left Julian to roam around Wildwood with his cousins (and a couple of responsible-ish adults) way past bedtime.
But we felt like we needed a do-over, so we went again.
This time around everyone was happy. We played games, went on rides, and ate our weight in corn dogs and fries.
We rode the ferris wheel (again)…
…and drank lemonades overlooking the beach.
Both Julian and Arthur went on proper roller coasters this time around, several times, and as I was screaming “Oh no! Oh no!” they both screamed “YEEEEEEES!” and wanted more.
It was such a fun day.
Most nights the kids went to bed super late. We went for walks around Avalon, had ice cream…
…and ended our nights drinking wine on the patio. We also got our family hooked on our latest obsession, “Stranger Things.”
After a week away, I am happy to sleep in my own bed again and to be in a house with no squeaky doors. Also, not having sand on every surface of the house is nice.
Just kidding. I don’t mind the sand. Being at the beach was awesome. Having family together was wonderful. But I think we were all a bit tired from late nights and early mornings and lots and lots of play. Right, kid?
Thanks, fam, for another great vacation!