Friday, August 8, 2014

Jersey Shore Trip

Hi again! It's Annie, Hope's sister, here to share my recent beach vacation with you! It was the first trip for my little family consisting of me, my husband Ben, and our son Jack. We traveled to the Jersey shore for a short weekend getaway. 

We left right after work on Friday night, mostly so that we didn't have to take time off work, but it's actually best to leave close to a baby's bedtime when taking a road trip, so it worked out. Jack slept most of the car ride. We stopped about every 90 minutes to stretch our legs, change the diaper and give a feeding, if needed. We also had lots of soft toys for Jack to play with in the car to keep him occupied and a mirror so that we could check on him from the front seats. I was really nervous about the six hour drive, but it turned out to actually be pleasant!

We stayed with a friend from college in Bayside, New Jersey. It was a really cute town, but we spent our short trip mostly at the beach. We spent Saturday at the Island Beach State Park on the Barnegat Peninsula. I was surprised to learn that most beaches in New Jersey charge admission. We payed $10 since our friend Dave is a resident of New Jersey, otherwise it would have been $20 per car. The beach was crowded, but not too crowded in my opinion. It was perfect for people watching and laying out in the sun listening to someone else's radio playing a local pop station.

Jack didn't particularly love the beach. Everytime the sand touched his feet he screamed. He did love the water, though (as expected because bathtime is his favourite!). We sat right at the shoreline and let the water hit us every couple waves. We forgot an umbrella so for our next trip to the ocean we got two! It would certainly have made it easier with a baby. I lathered sunblock on Jack about once every 30 minutes. He got a bit fussy but eventually settled down for a nap in his stroller with a big sunshade. 

After a long day at the beach we had dinner at Harpoon Willy's because Ben had been craving their crab cakes since the last time he was there, several years ago! It was a cute, historical restaurant situated right on the Manasquan River. It was built in 1792 and is one of the oldest buildings in the community of Wall, NJ. Their crab cakes did not disappoint Ben, and I enjoyed a lobster fennel salad with brie (OMG, so good).

No trip to the shore is complete without a trip to the boardwalk so later in the evening that's right where we headed. We decided to skip the Seaside Heights Boardwalk (of MTV's Jersey Shore) in favor of the more family friendly Jenkinson's Boardwalk in Point Pleasant, NJ. Not that we didn't expect this but parking was expensive and it was really crowded. We spent only about an hour there because Jack started to get really cranky and tired...OK, the adults too! Maybe in the future we can take advantage of the carnival rides and games and the aquarium. 

Dave wouldn't let us leave New Jersey without trying pork roll, or Taylor Ham. I learned that people in New Jersey love their pork roll. It's just a processed ham that's pan fried, but it's origins go back to 1856! Apparently there's a lot of history with this meat. It was good. I'd have it again with my breakfast. I can't remember the name of the diner we ate breakfast at, but Dave assured us that pork roll is pretty good at most places in the Jersey shore. 

After breakfast we loaded the car and headed home. It was a bit harder this time because Jack was very awake. We took turns sitting in the back with him. We sang songs, gave baby massages, and tried to keep him laughing. Since it was our first family trip I was pretty emotional. It's amazing to think about all the adventures Jack will have in life and this was his first one out of state! I hope he has the opportunity and drive to travel all over the world just like his Zia Hope! Thanks for letting me share!

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