Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Vacation at the Jersey Shore!

I have been on a little vacation from blogging for the past two weeks. Why? We took a vacation! I took the girls back to NJ to spend a week at the Jersey shore with my folks. Hubby had to work, so he couldn't join us. It was a bummer, because I wish he could have seen how much fun the girls had, but we took some great pics. And of course, my parents were beside themselves with glee over having the two little rugrats all to themselves. We packed a ton of fun into just eight days.

Actually, before we headed down the shore (that's Jersey-speak for "headed to the beach") we took the train up to New York and went to the American Girl Place. S luuuvvvved it. My folks bought her a doll and she got to bring her to lunch at the American Girl Cafe where the waitstaff arranges a placesetting for your doll with appopriately-sized china. At four years old, S is just at the cusp of the entire American Girl demographic -- so I see several years ahead of us filled with the dolls, their accessories, movies, and whatever else they come up with. And then of course multiply that by two once the baby gets old enough to appreciate the stuff too! I guess if they're going to be obsessed with a set of dolls though, it could be worse. A lot worse. At least they're not Bratz dolls.

Anyway, we had a great day in the NYC and the next day we headed down to Ocean City, NJ to my folks' summer house where I spent every summer since I was a pre-teen. Ocean City is one of those quintessential family towns. It is an actual island connected to the mainland by a series of bridges. And it is one of the few towns at the shore that is dry -- as in no alcohol sold there at all. Not in liquor stores, not in restaurants, nowhere. As a teenager, this was kind of a bummer, particularly if you wanted to waitress: tips at restaurants that don't serve alcohol are nowhere near as generous as those that do. But now as a parent, I really appreciate this fact; it really keeps a family element to the place and limits any "seedier" elements. In fact, Ocean City calls itself "America's Greatest Family Resort."

I don't know about that, but the girls did have a great time there. They crammed all the essential summer experiences into just a few days: played on the beach, searched for seashells, adopted a couple of hermit crabs, ate ice cream, Italian ice, and salt water taffy on the boardwalk, and enjoyed the rides at the amusement pier. It was really special for me to revisit the shore and see it through their eyes. S loved the boardwalk and couldn't understand why there wasn't one in every town. They both loved digging in the sand. Neither was too sure about the waves.

Like all vacations, this one had to end. We said goodbye to the shore and promised to come back another summer. Even though I've been living in California for more than fourteen years, I am still a Jersey Girl -- I'll always carry a little of the Jersey shore with me. Now hopefully, my native Californian daughters will too.

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