Down the Shore
Here’s something you should know about my (Erin’s) family: we are completely awesome. And for longer than any of my generation has been around, our family has been going down the shore to Seaside Park, NJ, for a week of sun, surf, good food, and great family bonding. At this point, the youngest in attendance is in his early twenties and the oldest, the matriarch of our family, is in her eighties! We all look forward to this week more than any other. Last summer we weren’t in Jersey at all—my cousin’s wedding in Georgia moved our vacation to Tybee Island instead—so we were thrilled to be rekindling our traditions back “home.”
The first thing we do when we arrive on Saturday (after chili dogs at Stewart’s) is take a walk to the ocean to “make sure it’s still there.” The house we’ve rented the last few years is the second one from the beach, the best location we’ve ever had. After that first night, each day follows the same general schedule: wake up as you will, enjoying crumb cake from Park Bakery for breakfast, and either make your way to the bay for crabbing or one by one go up to the beach itself. You wander back to the house for lunch when the time seems right, and you get in the water when the waves are begging to be ridden, but everyone knows to be up at the beach after the lifeguards leave, because that’s when our family happy hour starts. Back to the house for dinner or a trip to the boardwalk, and then we do it all again the next day.
Jason lost no time introducing a new tradition to our beach week, baking fresh cookies for all of us in his first year and every year since. This year, chocolate chip, oatmeal chocolate chip, and oatmeal cranberry. Mmmmm.
On the last night, as we ate pizza and drank wine on the beach in the light of the setting sun, my cousin’s boyfriend went up to Jason and said, “we are so lucky to have found two women with such an awesome family.” How lucky we all are to have each other!
What great traditions and what FANTASTIC pictures!
@earthchick: Just the first of three posts this week. Way more pictures to come 🙂
Fantastic post! This is the last year we will miss Beach Week. Move over and make room for Dad and me in Family Circle Happy Hour come next year.
Beach week perfection.
Omg, these photos make me want to come for beach week next year! I’M GONNA CRASH.
@caro: Friends are _always_ welcome! You’ll be put to work shucking corn or something, but you’ll be embraced heartily.
beach week always looks so awesome!! i might take you up on that friends are always welcome business.
Great post and pictures! (I liked that the post was clearly written by Erin, too). I’m glad that I had the chance to share in Beach Week with you and you fam! I’m sure the next couple of post will detail the rest of your traditions as you all sure seem to have a lot of them for Beach Week!
Good times! You know it was my visit to your family beach week that made me actually start to like the beach? I hated it for years before that!
I want to go back. Now. I love the picture of Patrick and the crab. Oh, who am I kidding…I love them all!
@RanchFatty: Looking back through, the one with Heather and all of us in the background actually made me laugh out loud. Good times. I love us!
this is the COOLEST tradition. and it’s so awesome that you guys are keeping with it, even as all the cousins get older. my extended family used to go to Cape Cod every summer, up until I was maybe 15 or so, but we haven’t been back since, and I miss it. A lot. Also: a beach week every year? so jealous. 🙂
I am Patrick’s Crustache. I am writing an apology for existing in all the Jersey Pictures.
@Patrick’s Crustache: Thank you for taking the time to comment, and I do hope you will be too busy to attend next year.
I’m totally inviting myself back for next year. love how you guys planned the pictures to tell the story.