Beach time bliss

Ahhh, the shore was fabulous! My mom and I spent a full 7 days over the 4th of July holiday in North Wildwood and enjoyed every minute of it. I have to say, being at the beach for a whole week is one of my absolute favorite experiences to have. I’ve been to England more times than I can remember, to Scotland twice, to Switzerland and France once, spent my honeymoon traveling the coast of California – from Napa Valley to San Diego – and have been there several times too, I’ve been to the Caribbean and Mexico – and the one place I seem to be the happiest: the Jersey shore. I just love sticking my butt in the sand, splashing off in the water, hearing the seagulls, smelling the smell of the ocean as you come over the bridge off the parkway and into the seaside town, all of it. It doesn’t take much, does it? Sigh.

We had mostly fantastic weather and an abundance of visitors during the week. Nick, Chris and our friends Mike and Melissa visited us from Saturday to Monday. My Aunt Patty and cousins, Kimmy and Alex, visited us Monday to Tuesday. My mom’s lifelong friend, Bettyann, visited us Tuesday to Wednesday, and then my mom’s work friends, Joan and Cindy, visited us from Wednesday afternoon until Friday night.

We hit the beach daily for as many hours as possible, weather permitting – we did have a day or two where it became really cool, windy and cloudy and all I could keep thinking was “storm is a comin’!” And my mom kept referencing the 1983 movie “Something Wicked This Way Comes” – now I feel like I need to watch it. Tuesday, the water was especially rough – we couldn’t figure out if it was because we moved our beach spot to the other side of the inlet, so maybe it was just rougher over there? Or if it was just rough that day, everywhere but because we didn’t go in the water on any other part of the inlet, we don’t know. Anyway, I was only going in up to my knees to cool off, because as Mother Nature would have it, it happened to be the hottest day on the beach too. Well I knew it was rough, but I guess I underestimated how rough – a biggerish mid-thigh height wave came and knocked me right off my feet, but that’s not all. It knocked me onto my butt and proceeded to drag me, skipping along on my butt, backwards, all the way to the edge of the water where my white-faced mother, aunt and mom’s friend were staring at me. I was cracking up, due to the sheer embarrassment of a) getting wiped out by a 3ft wave and b) the public witnessing a 6-months pregnant woman being wiped out and then dragged to the beach. I was totally fine, thank God I landed on my butt and not my belly, my ego was just a bit bruised, oh and my whole bathing suit bottom was FULL of sand. And there was no washing the sand out in the incoming waves either – the current was so strong that when the smaller waves would break near the beach, they were full of muddy, shelly, rocky sand – just like what was already in the bottom of my pants. I was forced to go back up to the condo and take a full blown shower and change into a different suit. Mother Nature must’ve gotten such a kick out of that earlier performance because this was also the same day that once we got back on the beach, about 2 hours later, (we had guests leaving in this time frame too – it did not take me 2 hours to change my suit) she decided to lower the air temperature to be by what seemed about 20 degrees, bring in the clouds and kick up the winds to the point where we had to go back inside. We were freezing! Despite that though, I believe, any day at the beach is a good one, so I wasn’t too bothered.

We also made it to the Wildwood boardwalk three times and reveled in all the different types of people (things?) that you find there. I had my fair share of funnel cake, fudge, salt water taffy, boardwalk pizza and even tried the new food, Chipsticks. This is where they take a potato and put it in this cool spiraling machine that puts it on a long stick which spirals the potato while slicing it and then it’s fried and seasoned. See below.

I also had more than my fair share of lovely, lovely seafood that week. Crab legs, a clam bake that included a full 1-lb. lobster, clams, shrimp and mussels. A fabulous deviled crab cake & scallops, cream of crab soup and I was able to bring home 2lbs. of raw extra large shrimp and Alaskan king crab legs for Nick and Chris’s enjoyment. I never thought you could eat too much seafood. I was wrong. I think I’m good now for a few weeks, or perhaps months. It was all fantastic tasting, but I just think I can only eat so much fish in such a small time period.

Baby Spillane quite enjoyed the beach as well. There was lots of kicking and tumbling and whatever else he/she was doing in my belly all week. Lots and lots of little (and sometimes big!) movements – each one giving me little bursts of joy each time they happened. Speaking of movement – although I’m pretty used to feeling baby Jepeto move throughout each day, I can’t help but stop what I’m doing, put my hand on my belly, and just smile and really pay attention each time it happens. It really is so cool and such an amazing feeling. Gosh, I can’t wait to meet this baby!

It was a great week down the shore and I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Everything I packed!

Oh yeah, we did have a small casualty while down there: Nick’s wedding band became a victim of the Atlantic Ocean. Just like that – one second it was on his finger, the next it was making it’s way up towards Ocean City…Good thing we didn’t go expensive on his ring 😉

4th of July fireworks

This is a bunker that, my mom says, when we were kids and when she was around my age, used to be in the water. There was a pier leading out to it and you could picnic on it and use those look-out thingies to see way out into the ocean. Now, it’s in the sand. It’s amazing what 20 years of beach accretion (opposite of beach errosion) can do…

In the water in this picture is the S.S. Atlantaus, a cement ship that sunk in 1926 150 feet off the coast of the beach

Mom and her girlfriends, Joan and Cindy

Our last night in Paradise. You can see just how eery the weather was – it took a very definite turn for the worse that night – high speed winds, humidity probably at 150%, clouds, thunder, lightening and then torrential down pours accumulating about 6 inches of rain all over the island. What a way to end the week!

My yummy dinner on the last night – it was so humid that my camera lense kept fogging up!

The Shafers

My Nicky

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