Two Fridays ago I tried to act all nonchalant as I told the peeps to clean up their rooms, rushed them off to the library to grab a few movies (Muppets Treasure Island--man, did they laugh), and washed all the laundry in sight. I told them we were just "School Cleaning." Which we kind-of were, but, really, it was because as soon as their eyes drifted shut we had some crazy mad packing to do. And then just as the sun was rising we woke them up--told them to grab shoes and bears and to get in the van. We were headed to the ocean. For a whole week. In a house. On the beach. With friends. Oh, the excitement!
Let me tell you, this was one hard secret to keep. It had been planned all summer. And all summer I could NOT wait. But I couldn't say anything. No talk of waves, sand-castles, a whole-house "hotel." Nada. Because, honestly, the pre-vacation countdown kid-style is wearying and because these surprises are ridiculously fun. :)
We ended our summer and started our fall in Ocean City, NJ. Such a fun place of memories--family vacations and a whole summer there in college with 100 other Cru students--with great opportunities to make new ones.
A "few" of my favorites...
Fearless wave rider.
"Pirates" being swept out to sea. (Nothing quite like getting up close and personal with the surf and sand. ;)
Shell-collecting where the sky meets the water.
Our last surprise--Nana (look at Beza fly!)
And Pop when the friends left.
Bravely feeding the gulls.
And hand-stander. (Our house? Third one--second floor.)
Showing who's boss.
Endless play-by-play self-talking surfing expert.
Who exhibits remarkable form.
In all he does. Like fighting boardwalk pirates.
Sun-rise watchers (right before it rained.).
"Late-"night ferris wheel.
And beach buddies.
Deep trench dwellers.
Saying-goodbye-sunrise--just before it downpoured again.
Seven glorious days living-it-up--embracing the sand (even piles in the bathtub), conquering the waves (after countless slams to the ocean floor), and taking the unpredictable weather as it came (our apps predicted rain--and lots of it--every day. We spent every day rain-free on the beach)-- before diving in to a whole new year.
Can't wait to do it again...