After our long weekend in Toronto, we took Megabus back to Philly, and joined some friends and family in a birthday celebration for Elliott a few days later. The next day, we packed the car full of our suitcases, food and toys, and headed to Ocean City, NJ.
Ocean City is a special place for me in so many ways. Growing up in New Jersey, I went with my family “down the shore” many times over many years. I remember trying to brave the waves, my older siblings and parents trying to teach me to body surf, eventually always getting sucked under by a “big one,” and trying to ramp up my bravery for the next time. I remember how delicious-tasting those Pringles and warm-from-the-sun Chips Ahoy cookies were, that Mom had always packed for us along with our sandwiches. I remember Dad always proclaiming he hated the sand and hot sun and saltwater, and then putting it all aside to come and swim in the ocean with us. I remember building drip castles with my brother, throwing a Frisbee with my other brother and sister, and walking the boardwalks of the various beach towns. I remember the long drive home after day trips when I was still covered in sand, sitting in the car, and having to wait for five older people to use the one shower when we got home before it was my turn. The Jersey Shore is about family in a way the namesake TV show never bothered to explain.
Ocean City, NJ is special to me in other ways. It’s home to the beach where my husband first proclaimed he loved me. It’s the home of the beach on which my husband proposed to me, on a night with a full moon, a brightly viewable Venus, and even a brightly viewable Mars. It’s home to a boardwalk we’ve walked up and down countless times, a beach we’ve walked along countless times, a place we’ve eaten hundreds of French fries and dozens of soft ice cream cones. It’s even the location of my very first surrey ride, and surreys are a VERY big deal in my world.
This particular week, we visited Ocean City with my dad and Ann and Ann’s family, as part of their annual family vacation. We swam and boogie-boarded, we took walks on the beach and boardwalk, and we ate French fries and pizza and ice cream.
We played games and miniature golf and watched movies.
We celebrated Elliott’s birthday on the actual day, and helped teach some of the grandchildren to ride bikes.
It was another special week filled with family and fun. And through it all, we were reminded that no matter how far we go in our travels, there’s always a place back home that’s just as special as can be.