So Saturday was beach day. Hooray! Which meant (since we all know my wife is in charge) getting up bright and early, getting everything packed up, feed the kids breakfast and meet at our nearby friends' house by 8 a.m. I am sooo not a morning person. I've always been a night owl as far back as high school I think. I'd stay up easy till midnight every school night (watching the Yankees or The Honeymooners) and suffer like mad in the morning as I zombied my way to the bus stop.
Anyways, we got to our friends, helped them finish packing up their car and then we both hit the road by 8:15 or so. It had been really cold (like low 70s) and rainy the day before and was supposed to be in the 80s on Saturday. Not great beach weather, but doable. And we were heading about 2 hours south to the Jersey Shore, Point Pleasant to be precise. It's a nice beach, lotsa sand, pretty family friendly in terms of the beach combers. Plus there's a pretty decent sized boardwalk with ice cream, games, arcades and of course the rides. We got fairly lucky and only hit a medium level of traffic on the last leg of the trip. Even luckier, we only had to make 1 bathroom break. (With 2 kids that are in potty training mode, that's a miracle!) We got to the beach and paid the insane $18 parking fee. What the?! Odd how it was only $10 just a few weeks prior. But after a two-hour game of "Are We There Yet?", I probably woulda paid $50 just to get outta the car.
Then we unpacked everything (the giant cooler, the beach chairs, towels, extra clothes, the toys, the diaper bag, etc.) and headed for the beach. And yes, we remembered to bring the kids with us too. So we get to the beach where we have to shell out another $15 ($7.50 per adult; kids were free) to get on the beach itself. But right before we did, we saw the worst thing ever. A small piece of cardboard taped up to a post. Written on it in pretty crummy handwriting with a black sharpie were the words, "Rough water. Red flag zone means no swimming today." Um. Um, what? I suddenly felt like Chevy Chase at the end of "Vacation" when he finally makes it to Wally World. They wouldn't even let us put our toes in to get wet. Of course we paid and went out to play in the sand, but only after calming down a 4-year-old who was crying his poor eyes out since all he wanted to do was jump in the water with daddy. Sigh. In the end, it turned out okay. It wasn't nearly as crowded as it could've been, wasn't too hot a day and we got to get close enough to the water to really sit down and build crazy sandcastles and dig big pits for the kids to jump in. And there was the ice cream, and the horrible crazy expensive rides. Though thankfully, since we went with family friends, our 4-year-old went on all the rides with his friend. (Yes, I'll admit it. Last time I had to sit with him on the flying elephant ride. And yes, there are pictures. Somewhere...)
Oh, and of course as always, since I'm as pastey white as they come, even with like SPF 900 suntan lotion, I somehow still managed to get a nice burn on my neck, shoulders and head. Awesome.
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