New Jersey Trip: Day 3

The Jersey shore! This was Kent's first trip to the beach, and we all had a marvelous time.

Full of cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs, Mom, Bill, Kent, and I set out from their house to pick up Jack at the Newark airport (yay for seeing Daddy!) and then headed down to Manasquan on the Jersey shore where Bill's dad has a beach house. We met Morgan and Brian there, so I got to see the beginnings of Morgan's baby bump — she's having a little girl at Christmas, so we're sharing a lot of our pregnancy time, just like Joanna and I got to do when I was pregnant with Kent and she was pregnant with Travis. It's quite exciting to have cousins who'll be so close to the same age, especially if Jack and I can ever figure out how to live closer to said cousins.

After meeting up at the beach house, we all headed out to find a lunch place, hoping to happen upon some good, fresh seafood. We found a spot that had a seafood counter as well as sit-down restaurant service, and the food was good. Some of it was excellent. I had a crab cake sandwich, which was a fabulous crab cake in between two cold slices of store-bought bread, so I peeled the bread off and just ate the crab cake, and it suited me just fine. I also had some incredible lobster bisque that I can't stop thinking about; I've been in a serious seafood soup mood ever since, leading me to wonder if maybe it's time for me to learn how to make shrimp and corn soup or some sort of bisque-y concoction. Anyway, after our lunch, we came back to the house to change, and then it was time to walk two blocks down to the lovely, yet very crowded, beach.

We went swimming first, easing into the ocean and then getting all the way past the breaking waves to where the ocean was lulling and peaceful. It was overcast, warm but not hot, so the water mostly felt cold and wasn't quite as refreshing as it is on a super-hot day. After a big accidental gulp of ocean water, Kent made a rather sour face and stuck out his tongue, then told us that he wanted "different water," as if to say, "Can't you guys do something about all of this salt??" He nevertheless had a really fun time holding onto us as we jumped over the waves, though when he started to turn purple, we decided it was probably a good time for him to get back on the beach. Jack took him to dry off and play in the sand, and I stayed in the water with Mom and Bill a little while longer, floating and relaxing until I started to feel cold as well.

Kent was very taken with the sand and had an excellent time rolling around, digging in it, and generally absorbing it into every crevice of his body. He and Bill dug around in the sand a bit, basically amounting to Kent smashing all of Bill's attempts at a sandcastle, and Kent finally agreeing to be buried in the sand, only to remove himself a few seconds later. It was pretty fun to watch. My mom's favorite part was watching Kent lie down face-down, then drop sand onto his own back and down his diaper. This necessitated a full strip down to the bare bottom when it was time for us to leave — Jack carried a very naked little Kent over to the outdoor shower, hosed him off as best he could, then carried him back to a dry spot where he could get clothed again. Kent also had a shower back at the beach house, but he still had sand in his hair and his ears, even the next morning. Sigh. The beach. I didn't mind, though. He loved all of it.

Bill and Jack attempt to bury Kent in the sand.

Bill and Mom, after Bill buried himself in the sand

Kent decides he wants to be just like Aunt Morgan and Uncle Brian

Kent, with sand

We headed back to the house after a while and had an evening of eating, grilling, and more eating, and except for the part where Jack accidentally ate some clams in a dip he thought was onion dip, everything was excellent. I did corn on the cob on the grill, and since there were about a dozen people eating, we had a ton of corn. We had to do two batches, each of which covered the whole grill, but even though it was a monster to prepare, it was still grilled corn, so it was delicious. The lightning bugs came out, and Kent and his newfound cousin-in-law William (age 8) had a lot of fun trying to chase them and pointing them out to us.

William was great with Kent; I really enjoy watching older kids who like to engage toddlers instead of just seeing them as an annoyance. William also introduced Kent to the hand-held video game experience, so we're expecting Kent to ask for his own game system any day now. I don't even know what the kids are playing on these days, but I know it's not the little green-and-white screen of the original Nintendo Game Boy, which is what I had growing up (and loved every minute of, by the way, especially since I had saved up my own money to buy it).

Much fun conversation and darkening sky later, we got into the car around 9 p.m. and headed back to Mom and Bill's house, a little less than 2 hours away. Mom rode with Morgan and Brian, who came back with us to spend the night, and Jack, Kent, and I rode back with Bill. Kent and I both fell asleep, and we all stumbled into bed when we got back. It was way past my bedtime, not to mention Kent's.

Next up: a visit from Lauren and Steeeeeeeeeee!

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"especially if Jack and I can ever figure out how to live closer to said cousins"

We could start a commune in Philly. *grin*

Glad you had fun! I'm seriously bummed we weren't in town to see you. :(
Hey, I'm for a commune in Philly, I'm in too! :-) I love the request for different ocean water. It's so sweet that he thinks you & Jack can do anything. Superhero parents!
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