A Weekend Down the Shore.

August is gracefully making it’s way through our lives once again… bringing stupidly hot heat, and the unavoidable images of little kids with new pencil cases and sparkley clean sneaks. Am I the only one who actually loves August? I know it’s the end of our summer, but if summer lasted forever, it wouldn’t be quite as charming. (I secretly also must confess that I get pee my pants excited over the onset of boot season.)

But August has also always represented one consistent memory in my life – a trip to the Jersey Shore.

I have been going to Seapointe Village, in Diamond Beach since I was too young to utter anything but the noises I sang to myself as I sucked my thumb senselessly.  If only I had known about the punishment of self soothing called 2 years of braces.

That’s my daddy and I on my first trip to Seapointe Village. Fast forward 22 years and I now go and stick my toes in the exact same sand for a few days every August to be with my little cousins, Matt and Meredith, and my aunt and uncle.

They don’t live close to me, so time spent together is always used to have maximum thrill. This year we clearly took advantage of every minute – on my days off I was up out of bed at the same time my alarm goes off for work… Like I said, every minute.

That was last weekend. This weekend as I stare out my window to rain clouds and crazy storms, I wish I was back there again. Call it karma or whatever it might be, but thank you jesus for the amazing weather we had. The water was perfect, crystal clear not a nasty jelly in sight, and a little less than bathtub type of warm.

We had a lot of fun last weekend. Three days of sunshine, swimming, page turning books, great dinners together, lots of photography, and some yoga too.

Our first dinner together was one of the best beach meals you can have, burgers! My Aunt Carolyn brought down fresh pattys that she bought at a new farm near their town. You could taste the freshness, which was made even better by a fresh greens salad and crisp green beans. Bam, beachy!

I also brought down the mason jar full of strawberry pesto. My uncle joe and I had a spread on our sandwiches every day for lunch. It was amazing with a little turkey on whole grain toast.

Saturday night’s weather was exactly what I needed to take the annual christmas card photographs of Matt and Mere.

Even their outtakes were priceless this year. At 10 and 13, they have become perfect models. Since the moment I first saw these two, I have been taking photographs of them. Saying that are used to my photographic style is probably an understatement…

I think I pretty much actually have little photographers in training.

Meredith is allowed to use my point and shoot, and on the occasion, when it is literally locked around her knock, she gets her hands on the 7D, but that is rare. Instead, I get to capture their cutie patootie smiles with it.

Those smiles were bright and shiny Sunday morning when we made a 7 am stop at Britton’s Bakery on Pacific Avenue in Wildwood Crest. Famous for their apple fritters, and housing walls full of freshly fried donuts, warm crumb cake, and a whole lot of other breakfast indulgences, these kids were staring at heaven.

 8 Apple Fritters. 12 donuts. and a Morning Glory muffin for me, later we were packed back into the car. My eyes were rolling into the back of my head because 1. I was EXHAUSTED (up at 630 on my day off) and 2. because the morning glory muffin was amazing. As we drove back to the condo I was listening to little voices beg for donuts. How couldn’t you when it was all you smelled! We each decided to taste a fritter that morning – quite tasty – if you like the death grip of fried oil that takes your tongue hostage for 6 hours, and that feeling of fried dough making itself sooo comfy in your stomach.

I might have exaggerated a little there – but maybe all that will make you understand why yoga was so necessary.

The whole crew took part – well Uncle Joe watched, and Grandma just gabbed about old yoga pose memories – but the kids and my aunt tried their best at a bunch of not-so easy poses I threw their way. Meredith was so much fun to watch in motion. Very serious, very focused, and a huge fan of pigeon (my FAVORITE POSE) … it’s no wonder why she is  my mini-me.

This year she was also Miss Independent and Matt was a total boy. At 12 years old, I held Mere’s little newborn chunky legs in my arms endlessly. I used to pretend she was my little girl (hardly believable) but holding her made me so happy. As she grew up she never let go of me, especially down the shore. The number of times I get buried in the sand, too many to count, and I loved so much watching her learn how to swim. Nostalgia at its finest, this year I got a little tooo much quiet time since the kiddies were constantly off doing their own thing.

But that’s how life is. I just feel lucky that the same tradition I looked forward to at their age, they get to enjoy just as much. 

Thank you to my Aunt and Uncle for allowing me to enjoy one of my favorite summer traditions. 

To see more of the fun … Check out my SmugMug Account. 

Click to see the Shore Album.

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