I’m not going to say much today. These pictures sum up my last week (except for the heartburn, exhaustion, tummy cramps, and near crying over the long drives, which in the long run don’t matter and won’t be remembered). It was a lovely weeklong vacation back at Ocean City NJ with, this time, my family. Peaceful. Idyllic. Filled with nighttime strolls on the boardwalk and long afternoons at the beach and lazy mornings watching Cartoon Network.
But lest my life seem too quiet, too calm… there will be much, much more to come, immediately. Stay tuned.
Andy grew up coming to Ocean City, NJ every single summer of his life. When he first told me this, I was a bit skeptical; I mean, I grew up roaming the country and finding myself in new places most of the time. The most frequented vacation home my family ever had was visited three times in my 26 years of life. Sure we may have visited friends repeatedly and had some favorite campgrounds but a “vacation” was generally meant for adventures.
But since I married Andy, I’ve been at OCNJ every single summer, even if it’s only for a day. I’m already hoping that a trip will work out next year to introduce our new baby.
Andy and I have visited some other fun places during the summers and I want to continue that; but it’s been nice to have a familiar place ready and waiting every summer. I’ve had few things to sink roots into in my life, the most notable being my grandmother’s house, so the feeling of familiarity is very special to me.
So this year, with a week here with Andy’s family and then another week with MY family (they are renting Andy’s family’s home), I am in complete bliss. I’m kicking back my feet, and getting all my favorite treats on the boardwalk.
Ah, the boardwalk. I love the OCNJ boardwalk. How could you not? In the morning, it’s filled with families on bikes stopping for hot fresh apple cider donuts – I like to sit at Oves sipping my iced coffee and watching them zoom by. I’d prefer to be out there with them, but I can’t with this belly!
In the evening, it’s jam packed with young teenagers with their friends, while their parents are trailing somewhere behind them; with little kids clamoring to go to the amusement park; with endless drippy orange-and-vanilla swirl custard cones from Kohr Brothers.
So my skepticism is gone. The world is full of places that I can’t wait to see, but I am learning to see what it feels like to have a place full of memories to come back to over and over again.
I’m both relaxed and wiped out, which is kind of a lovely way to feel. After three days of traveling we reached the shore, and during and since the trip I’ve been bombarded with lots of pregnancy discomforts like swelling, strong exhaustion, dizziness and the like.
But who can complain when I swell up while walking on the boardwalk on a humid, warm evening and relieve my tootsies by dipping them in the cool ocean?
And what about this guy? He is baby ready. He’s already got the carting of the girly bag and the toting of the mother’s cast off items down pat. He has no shame and actually declares that he feels rather masculine to be hauling the items his extremely pregnant wife has gotten too exhausted to carry.
And really, what COULD be more masculine than a sensitive, supporting man who is confident enough to carry a purple bag and sequined shoes because his baby mamma is exhausted? I love this guy.
I apologize for the slow posting. We’ve been traveling for several days and just yesterday afternoon arrived here:
Tired from travel, I went to bed at 9 yesterday after a good walk on the Boardwalk, dipping my feet in the ocean to try to de-swell their monstrous size and ended up soaking my dress as I got a bit carried away, and Prep’s pizza. Although the boardwalk was definitely not this empty (see below). I expect to be mowed down this week at some point as I waddle along.
More to come.
I quickly learned upon my arrival in Philadelphia that anybody who’s anybody jets down to “the shore” (New Jersey shore, that is) whenever they can during the summers. I’ll admit it – I scoffed a bit. Come on, people – go somewhere different. Do something exciting. New Jersey? Really?
And then, three weeks after we got married, Andy took me along with him to stay at his grandparents’ Ocean City house with his parents for a long weekend. He’d spent a week of every summer of his life at this shore house.
And he introduced me to this:
And then he took me here:
And just like that, I was sold. I can’t get enough. I begged to take a day trip down to Ocean City the moment the weather gets remotely warm in April and we walk the boardwalk dressed in sweatshirts. I crave Prep’s pizza as if I’ve been eating it my whole life. There are few things that I love more than bike riding along the boardwalk in the morning, seeing the sun glimmer on the water, and stopping for a hot, freshly made apple cider doughnut at Oves. Or Polish water ice. Or both, depending on… how I feel.
This is what I miss the most about Philadelphia. Having the shore just beyond my finger tips, always ready for me to escape to, with hot, crispy pizza and birch beer and Kohr’s Bros. orange creamsicle frozen custard cones, and a ferris wheel at the end of the day. It’s so comforting, and although it isn’t Philadelphia, it’s what I’ll yearn for most when I remember living there.
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