Ahhh, there is nothing in the world like a few days basking in the sun on the glorious beaches of NJ. Really does a body good. This was our tenth year going to the same spot for vacation. Where we go, dogs can't come, so we made arrangements for our good newfie friends to take our two for the five days we would be gone. This left them with a total of five nooves in their house! The dogs got along very well, ate, slept, and played, and since I knew they were in good hands, I did not worry about them.
We camp in Cape May. You know, the whole tent and sleeping bags sort of thing. Not the kind where you bring your TV, fridge, and everything else. We prefer to "rough" it, as long as it's not too rough. Like tenting in a rain storm, now that is rough.
We arrived bright and early and headed straight for the beach. The ride went quickly, it took us 4 1/2 hours. We spent the morning and early afternoon on the beach, where Thing 2 found some really awesome fossils. He is very good at fossil hunting, and has found the beaches of Cape May to be great sources of small coral and other fossils. After some sun, sand, and waves, we headed to the campground to set up the tents. The boys each set up their own tents, with help from sis. I usually set up their tents, but figured by now they ought to be able to set them up, and they did a great job. While setting up a line to hang wet towels to dry, we spotted our neighbor next to us who was camping in a trailer. They had a small yappy dog they thought was so fierce. While the wee thing was yapping at me, the woman said, "Oh, he gets riled up when he sees another person or animal." Hmm, now I'm wishing I had brought the newfs. That would give him something to yap at, from the safety of a tree. They might not think their dog was so fierce and scary if they caught sight of almost 300 lbs of black fur and spittle. Orion would have thought it was a "keeetty!"
Next we met a young boy walking a teenie dog, and I ran to ask if I could pet his dog. He told me the dog was 9 weeks old, they had had him for two days, and he was a chihuahua/poodle mix. The wee thing might have weighed a pound, if that much. I told him and his friend that I had two newfies. He didn't know what newfs were, but his friend's eyes got big and wide and he said, "Oh man! Those dogs are HUGE!". They sure are, compared to this wee beastie. This tiny pup might have been the size of Orion's snoot. Funny how when we are not with our dogs, we seek out other dogs. We found ourselves doing this for the remainder of the trip. We did find a doggie day-care on the way to the beach, so who knows, maybe we will bring the newfs next time.
Another perfect day at the beach. Lots of sunshine, the waves were great, and the weather perfect. We went up to the Lobster House and bought some fresh salmon (caught that day!) then headed to the lighthouse beach where hibachi grills and picnic tables are set up. After rubbing pepper seasoning on the fish, we grilled corn on the cob, veggies, and the fish for a delicious dinner that beat any you could find in a restaurant.
More perfect sunshine and waves. I found reason number 2 for not wearing a one-piece bathing suit to the beach. I was in the water when a huge wave came up and I faultered. Should I take that wave or should I duck under? That split-second thought was just enough to have the decision made for me, as the wave roared over me, knocking me under and dragging me through the sand and rocks. The force knocked the top of my suit down (but I repaired that quickly while still under) and used it as a scoop to pick up rocks. I scraped my shoulder and I was so mad at myself for not being quick enough. I went back in the water to try to dislodge the rocks from my suit, and thought I got most of them until I headed for the ladies room and ejected the rest. A kid with a bucket and a shovel couldn't have scooped up as many rocks as my suit. That was the last time I wore a one-piece. We won't even get into the rocks and sand in my hair, which was up in a braid. I had to shampoo it twice to get most of them out.
One thing about leaving the nooves at home was that I was able to wear (gasp!) WHITE PANTS. Anyone with a huge black slobber dog knows white is never worn, so I was thrilled to wear my favorite white cropped pants. This is the only place I get to wear them!
For dinner we stopped and bought a couple of steaks, some salads, and fruit. Back to the lighthouse to grill them, then we hit Washington Square for a round of shopping. Washington Square is one of my favorite places in the world, all these tiny shops open until 11 pm. The kids got custards while I bought a fruit smoothie. Yum!
This was our last "beach" day, and some clouds and wind came through. Enough wind to blow sand in my ears while soaking up the rays. We sunned ourselves until afternoon, when we headed back to the Lobster House for swordfish (caught that day!) for dinner. Picked up some more corn, rubbed the fish with pepper rub, and served some more side-salads and fruit. The fish was the best fish we have had since, well, last year when we came here. Really, fresh fish is like home-grown tomatoes, the store bought stuff just isn't the same. Hubber took the kids to Stone Harbor for ice-cream and shopping while I took my ease at the campsite, visiting friends who were there.
Today we headed home. We decided to skip the beach because there were a few things the kids wanted to do (like visit Clary's Country Kitchen in Cape May Courthouse for breakfast). After breakfast we took down the tents, loaded the truck, and checked out. The kids wanted to visit Sunset Beach (Thing 2 wanted to get a few bags of rocks there), so daughter and I hit the stores there. They have a couple of nice shops there, so daughter got herself a few articles of clothing and jewelry. I bought Thing 1 a tee shirt I though he should really have. Once he saw it, he agreed. By now I am really missing the babies, so we headed to the Lobster House for a lunch of fried seafood (I skipped the fried seafood, had some smoked fish I picked up in the fish shop), then hit the road for the ride home. We were making great time until we hit a spot of "repaving" in CT which held up traffic for over an hour (and no one was paving at that time, either; guess people were just afraid of the bumpy pavement?). We arrived at our friends' house to get our babies, and at first 'Kee just stood there, looking at me as I walked in the door. Orion knew we were there to get him and ran to "count" everyone, jumping to kiss me and bite my chin. Once 'Kee saw Orion kissing us, she burst into the room for her lovin's. These were two very, very happy dogs, and getting them into the car for the ride home was no trouble. Once we arrrived home they tore out of the car and raced around the yard, jumping on each other, wrastling, and coming back to make sure we were for real. I've never seen such happy dogs in my life, and their joy at being home made my heart burst with happiness.
Overall, a great, relaxing, and fun vacation. I can't wait until next year.